Which Mac Pro to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aa521490, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. aa521490 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #1
    I recently purchased a Sony a55 HDSLR camera. I used it this past weekend to shoot some photos as well as videos at a youth basketball game (5-9 yr old).

    It was inside a gym with good but not great fluorescent lighting. I used Sony's 70-200mm G lens with the a55. I had to set the iso to 3200 in order to get shutter speeds of 1/500 sec to freeze the action with an aperture of 2.8.

    When I got home to view the Raw + jpeg files, only the jpeg files showed in Finder. Only after I realized OS X did not support a55's raw files. Anyway, the pictures were so and so. I had more in focus shots than not, but the pics were "noisy".

    I imported a pic into iPhoto to see if I could clean it up. I figure I could give it a try, but I could not. I now know I will definitely need Adobe's Lightroom. Apple's Aperture takes a while to support new cameras' raw files.

    As for the videos, focus and tracking were spot on. The G lens SSM helped a lot. The picture quality was more than OK considering the gym lighting and MP4 recording and no I did not use the 1080 HD setting. I should have, but I forgot to set it. I am still learning.

    I was surprised to find out that the videos can be imported into iPhoto. It will playback in Quicktime.

    So now my question is which Mac Pro should I buy? Let me first say that I am not a pro or semi pro. I am more of an enthusiast. Photography is a hobby that I discovered last year. I have young children and want to take photos of them at school functions, sports, etc. I see myself in this hobby for a long time.

    Since I want to take pics first then video second will the previous base model mac pro (2.66 quad, 640gb HD) fulfill my needs? Or should I buy the current generation and newer mac pro (2.8 quad, 1tb HD)? The only difference I see between the two are the graphics card (nvidia vs. ati). Although video is secondary, if the slr manufacturers (canikon, sony, pentax...) future video use improves, how will the graphics card between the 2 mac pro perform if I edit the slr's hd video on the mac pro?

    I know the mac pro may be overkill for my needs, but I want the mac pro for its expandability. I have a 2.4 C2D 20" iMac and have about half a dozen firewire (daisy chained) and usb external enclosures for time machine, photos, movies, and MDRP's huge dvd files. My desk is a mess:eek:.

    I want the Mac Pro to last me at least 5 years. Will it? Anyone here have a mac pro or is it called a G5 from 4-5 years ago and still use it?

    Thank you. Sorry for the long rant.

    P.S. I figured I post here instead of the Mac Pro or Digital Photogarphy forum because members and guests look here more often.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    You really don't need a ton of processing power to run PS or lightroom, so the older models should work well, especially for enthusiast type work
     
  3. aa521490 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 25, 2007
    #3
    What about the slr's hd video? Say at the end of a sports season I want to stitch together my kids' video to make a video highlight. Would I need final cut or would iMovie do?
     
  4. Madgenius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    #4
    I have a Mac Pro.

    I'd expect at least 5 years of being relevant out of my machine, but who's to say I'm not sure if it will last 5 years, since I can't tell you the future, but I will tell you there are still people getting good use out of G5's. Photo and video editing are not that demanding on todays hardware, while rendering is a different story there's other solutions to that.

    I can also tell you software has not caught up to the hardware of the Mac Pro. Many programs don't take advantage of the multiple cores or 64 bit. So there is still more power to get from these systems.

    I think the next frontier for tech is more efficiency like the iPad. For those that need power we figured out long ago 'let's just buy a bunch of them and split up the work'.
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #5
    The HD video wouldn't be a problem for the older model either. Sure it wouldn't be quite as fast with rendering times, but it could still handle it and run final cut easily. You could probably get away with iMovie if you wanted to. If you would like the extra speed and could justify spending the $2500 (plus getting more memory for it), by all means go for the newer model. Personally I couldn't spend that much on a hobby (but then again, I am a college student :p)
     
  6. aa521490 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 25, 2007
    #6
    Having a family may change your mind on spending that kind of money :D. I want to capture the "moments" in my family's lives ;). I may never get the chance again.
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #7
    Haha, I believe it. I'm sure it would be different if I even had those sort of resources too, as I'd love to have a Mac Pro just for an excuse to do video editing.
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    any i5/i7 computer will work...you don't even need quad core, unless you really care about how much time you spend video editing. as a new hobbiest, I don't think the cost is justified, but it's your decision.

    any 2008 Mac Pro or later will work, too. almost all the '08s are 8-core since that was the standard configuration, but if you decide on an '09 or '10, go with four.
     

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