What Mac for editing video?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BML, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. BML macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2007
    I am a 70 year old retired HR Manager with a passing acquaintance with computers in that I used one to write and produce a guide book to camping and caravan sites with a view of the sea in Britain. I also use other bits of software and am currently using a Mesh computer. However, I am still very much a novice.
    I recently decided to learn how to transfer the content of our family VHS tapes to DVDs and edit the rubbish out and loaded Pinnacle 10.6 onto my computer. I then had great difficulty in updating the ATI drivers but after a lot of trouble managed to resolve them.
    I was told that the most effective way to use the editing package was to disable most of the software running on the computer and disable the internet connection. This seemed very complicated so I decided to buy a stand alone computer to use just for video editing and building photographic slide shows.
    I was also advised that I would not find a laptop with a good enough specification for video editing because it would require a dual core processor, between 2GB and 4 GB of RAM and at least a 320GB hard disc.
    It was at this stage that I started to look a t the Apple Mac so I keyed, "Mac" into the Web, keyed my Post Code into finding a reseller block and sent three E-Mails setting out what I wanted to use the Mac receiving no replies. Needless to say I will not be buying from them.

    So, what specification would a Mac user recommend for editing video and building slide shows and as I spend a fair amount of time on the coast during the summer is there a Mac laptop that would meet my needs?
  2. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    15/17" 2.33GHz MacBook Pro and an external HDD or if Laptop isn't a must, then an maxed out 24" iMac
  3. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2007
    All MacBooks and MacBook Pros are good for editing video. It's your choice at which one you want but this might help you decide.
    I also suggest you wait until Santa Rosa platform and Leopard too.
  4. andrewag macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2005
    Hi there :)

    Any Mac will do what you want it to. It sounds like you only want to do basic editing, so a computer with specifications you listed would be a bit of an overkill.

    Using the software that comes with all new macs (called iMovie and iDVD) you can import video, edit the video and burn it to DVD with ease.

    You will need a way to import your VHS to the computer. This can be done with simple devices that your local MAC dealer can point you to. It should be resonably cheap. Some video camera's also have a feature that will allow you to hook up a VHS player to it and pass it through to the video camera and finally the computers.

    You would be best off going into a store and seeing what they say. As I have mentioned prevoiusly, there is no need for anything complicated to do what you want to, and the software that comes with all new macs will do just that.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
  5. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
  6. belovedmonster macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    Even a 2 year old G4 laptop will do what you require. Who ever advised you that you would need some super modern laptop was giving you bad information. Obviously a faster laptop will render videos and do other tasks quicker, but you do not need a high end computer by any means. The bog standard Macbook with the addition of at least 1GB of RAM and some kind of external harddrive will do what you want with power to spare.
  7. ecapdeville macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2005
    Mexico City

    I edit video in my G4 ibook, just added more ram and an external HD...great piece of hardware...

    love my mac.
  8. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Well laptops do come with Dual Core chips, 2Gb-4GB and have over 320Gbs of harddrive, but those laptops are HUGE, and you'd be better off with a desktop.

    Apple laptops top off at 3Gbs, 2 Cores and 200Gb of harddrive space. But who ever told you that you need that much power lied. If you really want a laptop, you should either get a MacBook Pro or a MacBook with an external display. I'd say 2GB of RAM would be good, but not need. 1GB would be fine. For Harddrive space I'd suggest an external firewire harddrive. This way you can get alot of stortage for you Mac, and if need be move it to another computer easily.

    Maybe look at a iMac if you want to cut down cost, but not lose speed. You could even increase speed if you buy a nice iMac. You'd lose the laptop part, but it would save some green!
  9. wakerider017 macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2006
    US of A
  10. dex22 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Round Rock, TX
    Hi BML

    Hello BML,

    It's unfortunate that so many people have such strong opinions that everyone else is wrong :)

    I read your list of requirements. It seems even the most basic Macbook laptops fit your basic needs. You can easily expand hard drive space as your storage needs grow, but you may want to expand the memory from day one.

    You also want to import VHS videos, and for this, there are a few choices. One of the easiest to hook up to your laptop, which is also affordable, and has other fun uses too, is the common USB video adaptor.

    So, let's make a simple shopping list?

    An Apple Macbook (MA700LL) with a DVD burner is $1299. From Amazon ($75 rebate and no sales tax) is $1225.

    It comes with 512MB of memory, which you may want to expand to 2GB - $126 for two 1GB sticks from 18004memory.com (or buy it from an Apple-supporting company for around $160)

    The EyeTV 250 isn't the cheapest, but it's the most flexible way of getting video into your computer, AND when you hook up a TV antenna, it lets you watch/record TV too. It's $149 from macsales.com - the cheapest units are less flexibe and start at $89.

    For an external hard drive for your laptop, anything with a firewire port will work. You could pick something up at a local store, or shop online. I went to pricewatch.com and found some bargains, like Eaglebit.com selling a Adaptec firewire enclosure with a 500GB Seagate drive for $175. Macsales could do something similar for $250.

    If you have any other requirements, that you didn't list above, I would be happy to advise :)
  11. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Any Mac will suit your needs, but I can tell you unless you really need a laptop then the 20" iMac is by far the safest choice with Macs. It's not expensive, has a fantastic large display for video editing (which renders colours and movement beautifully too should I add) and is very very very powerful, all in a very compact case.

    I'd kill for one, and I can guarantee you'd absolute love it. Amazing machine IMO.

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