Video editing setup for first time switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lca355, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. lca355 macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2009
    Long time lurker, first time caller. Let's dive right in.

    I can not wait any longer, my dell xps gen2 has pretty much bit the dust. I am looking to buy a 17" Macbook Pro and this will be my main home machine. My other machine is a gateway p6860 fx laptop which does ok, but I'm sick of fighting w/ vista and my wife uses this machine a lot for her work. (I just cannot get adobe premier essentials to edit any video on that laptop) Back on topic.
    So I want have a good setup for video editing home movies coming from a dv tape based Sony camcorder and 720P clips/photos from a Nikon D90. I was initially torn between the 24 imac, great big display or the 17 inch macbook pro, but I think w/ the firewire 800 and expresscard 34 slot I will be best able to make use of the 17 " macbook pro.
    I was looking to cannibalize 2 320GB WD 7200 RPM hard drives from my desktop and put those in an esata raid enclosure and then use that as a scratch disk along w/ an expresscard 34 esata card. Any reccomendations on enclosures or expresscard 34 esata cards? I am thinking the other firewire 800 port should be hooked up to an external hd and used for time machine backup? I am really completely new to the mac side of things and would like to set this up right from the start. Any input is welcome.

    The other big question is software, but I am just going to start out w/ ilife and work my way up from there.


  2. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    17" - no way

    Get white macbook + desktop (refrub mac pro or imac)
    If you do it right, you can have both for a similar price of a 17"
  3. Takahashi macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Henderson, NV
    Agreed, keep in mind that the newest line of Macbook Pros lack the ExpressCard slot. You mentioned just getting a desktop, then a laptop. Do you need portability or is it just for convenience? I would go with a desktop hands down for video editing. I use a 24" iMac for doing that sort of thing 1080p video though. It is well worth upgrading to that. If you can find a refurb MacPro that is in your price range, hands down buy it. It will make everything be so fast and take out the frustration of trying to splice together clips and getting lag.

    Last, and final note here is, either laptop or desktop, what ever you decide. For video and picture editing the best thing that you can do to any computer to make it run tasks fast and effortlessly is to upgrade to a Solid State Drive. Sure they are expensive for a good one, but I can say it is the upgrade that gives you the biggest performance boost of all.

    Hope this helps!
  4. lca355 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2009
    Thanks for the input. The 17 inch macbook pro still has the expresscard 34 slot. I really want to keep it to one machine and I am pretty set on the portability. In fact, I placed my order for the 17 inch this afternoon. So, congrats to me I guess. I need to figure out if the right esata card and enclosure to get.
  5. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Editing video on a White MacBook would be horrendous. Well the Mac Pro is better then the MacBook Pro, iThink you are making the right choice, the MacBook would be a terrible idea...As to the SSD, it's probably overkill for home videos? Just a thought? If you were on due dates, it might have some value, but if you are on due dates from your family constantly...that raises a whole other slew of questions.
  6. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I edit on my 2 year old whitebook, and it does fine (both iMovie and FCP). An external monitor is a big help, but in a pinch I can do without. With modern computers, DV editing is not really that demanding a job.

    People used to edit DV on the G3 iBooks. Editing HDV is a whole different world of pain.

    If you go the laptop route, suggest using a FW external drive dedicated to being your capture and edit disk. (though actually I use my own internal drive, as it has plenty of room for me). FW400 is fine for DV.

    Sometimes I go tape-less and capture straight from camera to disk via FW - I don't even use a tape in the camera. Obviously works best in the studio or with a locked down camera.

    If you plan to go HDV in the future, then an iMac will help. No need for a SSD though - they are best for getting lots of small files very quickly, and not so hot on massive sustained data transfers, which is what HDV is about.

    EDIT: just saw you ordered a MBP17''. Congrats, it's a fine machine. I'm sure it will do what you need, including being able to do HDV work in the future. Be careful about the eSATA card, I don't know which one is the best, but some of them are touchy with OSX. You could always get a FW800 RAID enclosure, but these are indeed more expensive.

    FW800 for your Time Machine disk is overkill - TM is pretty slow and runs at about 1GB / min or less (!)- let your first backup run overnight. FW400 or USB is fine for a TM drive.
  7. McDughf macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2007
    Great Britain
    Believe It Or Not, I've Been Editing Videos On One Of The Original White Macbook Core Solo's Whilst In The Field For Ages - They Are Not As Bad As It Sounds And I've Cut Many A Decent Program With Them. Of Course, I Do My Main Stuff On A Desktop Though, Which To Be Honest Is In My Opinion The Better Machine For Editing Videos.

    I Completely Agree With You Here - Its A Joke Right? Not Only Would The Price Of A Workable Capacity Drive Would Be Through The Roof, As Most Video Editors Would Know, There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Free Space. Personally, I Class About Three Terabytes Of Storage As "Comfortable" When Video Editing, Especially When Using HD - Try Purchasing THAT In An SSD Formation...
  8. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    So I was wondering... Do You Type Like This On Purpose Or Does It Just Come Natural For You While Typing?
  9. McDughf macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2007
    Great Britain
    LOL! Sorry mate, Its called "Title Case" ( as opposed to lower and upper..) Been subtitling for so many years its just natural for me to hold the shift key down after each tap of the spacebar...
  10. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    I was just giving you hard time! :D
  11. lca355 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2009
    Thanks for the input guys. I will take a look at the FW800 enclosures vs Esata. If I go that route instead, I could pop in a card reader in the esata slot. I'll check it out. Hopefully the new mac will get here sometime next week!

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