What are useful accessories when using FCP?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by AviationFan, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Hi there,

    first post here, after lurking around for a while. I started to experiment a little bit with movie making during the winter, on a Dell Laptop and mostly with Windows Movie Maker (after finding out quickly that iMovie wouldn't be much fun on my old G3 Pismo PowerBook).

    I quickly realized that I wanted much more control over what i was doing, and since it was time to replace my Pismo, I have placed an order for a new Intel iMac (20", 2GB RAM, 256MB Video RAM, 500MB hard drive) along with Final Cut Studio, taking advantage of the promotion currently going on. FCP is probably way overkill for what I want to create - mostly DVDs with family videos that we can send to the grandparents so they can see their grandkids grow up, but I am very interested in the technology involved, and I look forward to a new challenge such as learning Final Cut.

    Anyways, while I am waiting for my order to be shipped, I was wondering what other accessories might be good to consider. I know there are special keypads out there as well as jog/shuttle controllers. A search for "shuttle" here in this forum didn't provide any useful results, so I am hoping that you experienced guys can tell me if these are good things to have.

    Also, from what I read, it sounds like an external hard drive might be a good idea to store the video files. I tried using one with my Dell Laptop once, but capturing video from my camera produced massive amounts of dropped frames - I assume because the hard drive and the camera had to share the same FireWire bus. Should I expect this to be better with the new iMac? If so, any recommendation for a particular hard drive type of manufacturer?

    One last question for now: I am also looking for recommendations for a printer that can work with printable DVDs. I am not looking for anything too fancy - just something that will do a decent job with text, photos, and printable DVDs.

    Thanks in advance for your help! I am excited to get started with my new Mac and FCP, and I appreciate all the good information I have already seen on this forum!

  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Ok, since you're doing just fun stuff, don't spend too much money on the equipment. If you haven't purchased Final Cut Studio yet, you might just want to get by with iMove until a universal binary of FCE is released ($1300 for FCS vs $300 for FCE) and just use iDVD for the DVD authoring. As far as a shuttle controller, check out the Griffin Powermate: link. It's programmable, so you can use it for other things besides Final Cut. www.macsales.com is a pretty good place to find external hard drives and such. A lot of people on here use them. Get a FW enclosure and put a 160 or 250 GB drive in there and you should be fine. I'd recommend, though, that you capture the video (DV I'm assuming) to the internal hard drive first and then transfer it over to the external to work on it. You should be fine as far as not having dropped frames and/or a/v sync issues.

    Unfortunately, I have no recommendations for the printer, so good luck with that and everything else.
  3. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    Accessories for FCP

    One seriously important accessory you'll want to invest in if you want to be a video editor:

    - A good coffee machine. Personally, I recommend something that will make 2 double espressos side by side, as well as a steamer for cappucino. I also lean towards Italian brands, but the Swiss are making good ones these days as well. As long as the word "Starbucks" is not on it, you should be ok.

    Seriously though, for what you describe, I wouldn't bother with the jog/shuttle wheels. You have good control with the keyboard or the mouse. Around 75 bucks (I think) on ebay will get you a FCP keyboard with all the keys labled & color coded. For a brand new first time user, that may be a good buy. Other than that you should be ok.

    Have fun. Oh...and for the late night edits...try mixing a nice dark rum into that cappucino.

    Good luck! Have fun.
  4. Texas04 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2005
    If you capture with your camcorder through Firewire but save on an external you should be just fine. I've done it and it has worked out just fine.
  5. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    I use a Canon iP4200 to print on DVDs and CDs.

    It works well and is inexpensive but you need to use a sealant spray to make the ink water proof.
  6. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If you take the time to look at tooltips as your mouse hovers over the different tools and look in the menus at the keyboard shortcuts, your regular keyboard will be fine. There's really no reason to go out and spend $$$ on those special ones IMO.

    Your mouse will be more than adequate for jog/shuttle controls.

    The external HD will probably come in very handy, especially if you like to keep full-quality digital copies of all your projects like I do. (Just the final result most times, not the entire project including capture scratch and everything.)

    If you're capturing to your Firewire HD, then the most efficient way is to daisy chain the drive and camera. But plugging them into two separate ports will be fine too. Neither of those circumstances should cause dropped frames.

    FCS comes with a tutorial DVD, watch that once or twice and then get to work on your projects. You'll figure it out.
  7. virus1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2004
    you picked a terrible time to buy fcp, mate. new versions comin out in the next few days for nab..
  8. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Epson printer

    I use the Epson R300 to print on my DVDs & CDs. There are newer models but I've had this one for almost 2 years with out a hitch. I also use is for photos, too.

    You will need to buy the ink jet printable disk but other than that no problem.

    And you don't need to use a sealant spray like kiwi-in-uk mentioned.

    As for FCP Vs. FCE, iMovie should be enough to hold you over until FCE comes out for the Intel. (Soon I hope.)

    (FWIW, Other than render time, I never had a problem with iMovie on my Pizmo.)

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  9. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I personally dont like the griffin controller. Its cool that its universal for other apps, but alot of other controllers are too. I have the contour shuttle express. It has various buttons that can be assigned for marking in and out points, play and reverse, as well as two jog rings - one for frame by frame and one for scrubbing. I think I paid around 50 bucks for it.

    A firewire HD is your best friend as a video editor. I have a 500 gig internal in my quad, as well as 4-250 gig FW drives chained off of the tower. When looking for a drive, RPM is important. You need a faster drive to keep up with the capture and access of the video.
  10. AviationFan thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Thanks to all that have responded!

    I wouldn't have bought it at this time had it not been for the $300.00 discount (FCP + new Mac). This may or may not turn out to be a good deal, depending on how expensive the upgrade from 5.1 to the new version will be.

    OK, I think I'll just try without any extra hardware and see what that's like. I look forward to seeing the tutorial DVDs - FCP should arrive a few days before my Mac, so I'll have a few days to wait anyway before I can get started.

    For the kind of videos I'd like to make, I bet FCE (or even iMovie) would be adequate. However, for me it's not so much about what I create, but how I create it. I look forward to experimenting with DVD Studio and Compressor, they look like fun toys for a gadget fan like myself - I guess it's a bit like driving an SUV on paved roads.

    Will definitely do that! :)

    Thanks again for all your suggestions!

    - Martin
  11. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    FCS6 'may' be announced at NAB next week, but I don't think it will be available until sometime after the promotion ends in June. And as you suggest, who knows what and how much FCS6 will come out at.

    I'll remember that when I'm bashing our Ford Focus Family Wagon up the local fire-roads to the MTB trails (see podcast below) and entering my VISA number for FCS5.1 or FCS6. :) (bit backwards perhaps!)
  12. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac

    Well, the new Intel iMac has 2 firewire ports. This should allow for seperate connection of an external drive and a video camera so you don't have to daisy chain your gear. I use Lacie 7200 rpm drives for external storage. I must add that any drives I've owned that are larger than 250Gb were noisey.
  13. Danksi macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2005
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    The iMac's have two physical ports, but they share the same logical bus. The performance (good or bad) should be the same whether you connect two devices to the iMac, or daisy chain them from one of the ports.
  14. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    But there is an advantage to daisy chaining the drive and camera if you are capturing to the external. The command stream is all that has returns to the computer, the actual data stream can go straight from the camera to the external drive. Daisy chaining is actually more efficient if you are capturing to the external. You're even less likely to get dropped frames (not that this setup will be likely to do that anyway.)
  15. The Past macrumors 6502

    The Past

    Aug 17, 2004
    United States
    jdechko, will you please elaborate on this. I am curious. I always do it directly to scratch, but may be I could improve my workflow...

    I want to add one more vote for Shuttle. I use the Griffin mate as well. It is nice and does a good job for word processing and web, but I tend to switch to Shuttle for all video editing. Just a personal preference as it given me a lot more control and precision (for frames). Shuttle can also be configured for other applications.
  16. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Capturing to the boot drive is bad advice.

    If you're dropping frames while capturing to a chained deck/camera and external hard drive, it's not the fault of the chain; it's that your hard drive is too full. Keep your hard drives less than 80-85% full at any time or you'll suffer horrible performance problems.

    When you buy, for example, a 400 GB hard drive, it'll be roughly 379.8 GB formatted. Eighty-five percent of that is 322.83. Consider your "400 GB" hard drive for video work to actually be 322.83 GB, or roughly 80% of the capacity on the label.
  17. ikonq macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Logic Keyboards (not Logitech) are sweet. They sell the Keycaps for Final Cut Pro, and a cool little tool to replace them yourself. If you're not crash hot on them, theres a product called zCover which does the same kind of thing, but in a silicon cover.

    AppleCare Protection Plan, and a Second Monitor are always good investments too.
  18. cwright macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    FYI – Last time I checked, the Canon series printers sold in the U.S. have the printable CD/DVD feature removed. If you're in the U.S. I'd recommend the Epson R220, R300, R320, etc. They all have the same printer driver, just different features.

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