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SlyTX 01-06-2011 05:06 AM

Why should I get a Mac for my video editing?
 
I guess I am about an intermediate video editor/camera operator, using the GoPro HD, Canon t2i DSLR and Canon Vixia HF200 camcorder. I currently use a Windows 7 desktop with Intel i7 860 processor and 8GB of RAM, that I built. I use the Adobe CS5 package including Premiere. However, several of my peers are Mac users and Apple enthusiasts in general. We are mostly in community college together and they prefer to use FCP for editing, but still photo shop and after effects.

Now I am quite productive with my Windows computer and Premiere, but they insist I will not be taken seriously as a content producer without ditching my Windows platform and conforming to the Mac. I kind of had to throw in my own opinion about a lot of jobs looking for FCP experience to get them to come up with an actual good reason for us to be using a Mac computer at all. I dont fully disagree with this, but with the current state of FCP, as well as the current state of my NLE of choice, Premiere, my learning and productivity isn't being held back at all. A lot of my peers and class mates are very impressed with my productions and honostly some of theirs are very poor and lack even the least bit of "techy" editing.

I honostly wont be buying a new computer any time soon, atleast 2 years I anticipate. I just cant afford it, especially a mac. The idea of paying as much as a Mac costs and getting an under powered machine makes me queezy. I would hate to be forced into the position of owning a Mac and using FCP just to conform to my peers, so that I can be "one of the guys" and gain respect solely based on the fact we share the same computer. So can anyone convince me other wise?

bobtomay 01-06-2011 05:37 AM

If you're happy with your Win 7 box for what you do, it does what you need it to do, you are not required to use OS X in your school studies, there is absolutely no reason in the world I can see that you should consider purchasing a Mac.

In light of the fact you say that: a) you can't afford to get a new computer and b) you're not going to purchase a new computer for "at least 2 years", the whole discussion is nothing but a waste of time - yours and theirs.

I would advise that you allow the Mac fanboys to go on about their Macs if that's what they want to do and in the meantime don't become a Win fanboy. Just sit quietly by, let them do their thing, you do your thing and let your end product speak for itself.

At some time down the road, you may or may not need to learn to use OS X or come to understand the advantages of being capable across multiple platforms.

At this point in time, there is no argument that can be made that could possibly change your opinion in your current circumstances. There was certainly no argument that could have convinced me to get a Mac during the years I spent as a hardcore gamer and hardware enthusiast. And conforming to your peers in school is certainly not a valid argument for or against anything.

These type of discussions only lead to flame wars of which we're not interested. I considered closing the thread to start with, but on 2nd thought, I'll leave it open and see where it goes. But, as you see, not all of us here are "fanboys".

harryb2448 01-06-2011 04:04 PM

Why even bother to convince you? Stick with your PC.

Oneironaut 01-09-2011 12:33 PM

The only reason to get a Mac for editing is because FCP is fast becoming an industry standard and the more editing programs you can use the more of an asset you become. Once I master FCP, I will probably also get Premiere and Avid. The more you know, the better.

Also, since Apple makes both the computer, the OS and the application, there are less conflicts and more stability, which is important in editing because you don't want dropped frames. It seems that since creative professionals have been using Macs for a long time now so there's a legacy of use in the industry. OS X has always offered a rich infrastructure to support media applications. In Windows, the application developer must create much of this infrastructure at the application level. The result is that applications may not work together as well.

As for the computer itself, your specs are great but may be overkill. I use a 3-year-old Macbook Pro to edit with Final Cut Studio on a regular basis and it still clips along pretty well. On a newer model MBP things would probably get done in a twinkling. Mega specs are fun and impressive, but often times unnecessary unless you're doing work on major features.

But if you're not even interested in getting a Mac or using anything but Premiere, this whole discussion seems moot.

chas_m 01-10-2011 02:49 AM

The only trouble I'm having with this entire discussion is that an "intermediate" level video editor is not making enough money to afford a Mac for "at least two years?" Something is really wrong with this picture ...

Anyway, that and other factors make the discussion a little silly, I agree. I will say that Premiere Pro and After Effects are also popular on the Mac platform, so when you DO change over (and eventually you will have to, as you've already noted, due to the continuing popularity of Mac-only Final Cut Studio), you'll at least have one leg up knowing Premiere. The more systems you know, the more employable you'll be -- and the only platform that runs all three of the major video editing suites -- is Mac.

Doug b 01-10-2011 04:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chas_m (Post 1166985)
The more systems you know, the more employable you'll be -- and the only platform that runs all three of the major video editing suites -- is Mac.


Now THAT is probably THE most compelling reason you should ever need to answer your question. Up until I read that, I didn't really feel you had a good enough reason. Especially reading things such as:
Quote:

but they insist I will not be taken seriously as a content producer without ditching my Windows platform and conforming to the Mac
Because if that's the best your dopey friends can come up with, I hope they never consider going into contract negotiations. Yeech.

BTW, it's spelled "honestly".

Doug

SlyTX 01-10-2011 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oneironaut (Post 1166647)
The only reason to get a Mac for editing is because FCP is fast becoming an industry standard and the more editing programs you can use the more of an asset you become. Once I master FCP, I will probably also get Premiere and Avid. The more you know, the better.

Also, since Apple makes both the computer, the OS and the application, there are less conflicts and more stability, which is important in editing because you don't want dropped frames. It seems that since creative professionals have been using Macs for a long time now so there's a legacy of use in the industry. OS X has always offered a rich infrastructure to support media applications. In Windows, the application developer must create much of this infrastructure at the application level. The result is that applications may not work together as well.

As for the computer itself, your specs are great but may be overkill. I use a 3-year-old Macbook Pro to edit with Final Cut Studio on a regular basis and it still clips along pretty well. On a newer model MBP things would probably get done in a twinkling. Mega specs are fun and impressive, but often times unnecessary unless you're doing work on major features.

But if you're not even interested in getting a Mac or using anything but Premiere, this whole discussion seems moot.

Thanks a lot for the replies, everyone.

Oneironaut, based on your response I am assuming you have some experience with editing especially in FCP, perhaps you could share your opinion about it with me. From what I understand a large part of the professional editing industry uses the Avid software, another large part uses FCP, and the rest use a mix of others. With the state of Final Cut Pro, that being its under satisfying latest update and now, lack of updates, do you think FCP is going to gain anymore ground? Theres been a lot of talk on the blogs and forums I visit about dissapointment with Apple and FCP and a lot of those users admitting to converting to Premiere. Wether this is really effecting the industry, however, I am ignorant to. Have you had the chance to use CS5 at all? Any comparison you can personally make?

Chas, I am a student who works part time in a restaurant, I am not getting paying editing jobs at this time. I am first in line to shoot and edit a music video for an amateur artist and was offered $800 for the whole thing. That COULD happen, its supposed to be some time after February. Besides that, Im making a minimal income with monthly bills, Im 24 and dont get money from my family. I say two years because right now I have my desktop and my nearly 4 year old HP laptop that is still running like a champ, I just put Windows 7 on it and am expecting it to run for another 2 years. I also use Adobe Lightroom, Photo shop and After Effects. A lot of these programs benefit greatly from fast processors and a lot of RAM, especially AE. I highly value the components in a computer and in my opinion, paying as much for a MBP with the components I would want seems counter productive. $200 for an extra 180GB of interal HDD space is very expensive in comparison to HDD costs in general. I would not want to use an external hard drive because the transfer rates are greatly limited over USB/Firewire interface. In practice the laptop would not be my primary editing machine, but I still would be hesitant to accept spending as much on my laptop as I would on my primary machine with lesser components. However, I am still stuck HAVING to learn FCP, unless this next release is a serious dissapointment within the industry and Premiere begins to gain even more ground. However, I just dont know how possible that is.

chas_m 01-11-2011 07:58 AM

Sly: thanks for illuminating your situation. I made the mistake of assuming you were working in the field professionally. My bad.

As for FCP/FCS, it's getting another update soon (Steve himself "leaked" this in response to inquiries: "A great release of Final Cut is coming early next year" meaning 2011).

Regarding the external hard drive: someone has misled you about Firewire transfer rates. FW800 is a non-issue regarding transfer rates.

And yes, becoming a serious video editor is (from your perspective) an expensive undertaking. One thing that will help is your student status -- it dramatically lowers the cost of the software, and slightly lowers the cost of the hardware.

If you need to learn Final Cut Studio, then you're going to have to pony up for a Mac at some point. No way around that, but the good news is that even though Macs are more expensive, they also tend to last a long time and are so widely used in the A/V industry that they will be a worthwhile investment. You might want to look at getting one of the higher-end Core 2 Duo Macs if the iX class (new) machines are out of your reach -- I think once the next round of refreshes happen you'll see C2D Macs drop significantly in value.

Good luck!

SlyTX 01-11-2011 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chas_m (Post 1167714)
Sly: thanks for illuminating your situation. I made the mistake of assuming you were working in the field professionally. My bad.

As for FCP/FCS, it's getting another update soon (Steve himself "leaked" this in response to inquiries: "A great release of Final Cut is coming early next year" meaning 2011).

Regarding the external hard drive: someone has misled you about Firewire transfer rates. FW800 is a non-issue regarding transfer rates.

And yes, becoming a serious video editor is (from your perspective) an expensive undertaking. One thing that will help is your student status -- it dramatically lowers the cost of the software, and slightly lowers the cost of the hardware.

If you need to learn Final Cut Studio, then you're going to have to pony up for a Mac at some point. No way around that, but the good news is that even though Macs are more expensive, they also tend to last a long time and are so widely used in the A/V industry that they will be a worthwhile investment. You might want to look at getting one of the higher-end Core 2 Duo Macs if the iX class (new) machines are out of your reach -- I think once the next round of refreshes happen you'll see C2D Macs drop significantly in value.

Good luck!

Thanks for the assistance Chas.

Im certain there will be an impending update. Of course there are a lot of rumors, but often times rumors and leaks come out to be 100% right. The rumors currently are that the release will be in March or April, and that it will lack some features that other competing editors already have. Also, that the new MBP line will exclude in optical drive, and of course, have no support for BD. Although I dont use my opical drives a whole lot, I still have some use for them and would like one, so I would have to get an external one. Either way, the new release of FCP/S will come before the time for me to get a new laptop, thankfully.

I dont mean to sound arrogant about this, but the external HDD speed is very much an issue. FW800 is capped off at about 1/3 the transfer speed of an eSATA connection. Obviously a laptop is not going to have multiple HDD, and this being my secondary machine it may not be an issue at all. However, a lot of Windows laptops have single 500+ GB 7200RPM HDD for very affordable prices. Transcoding several h.264 files into ProRes takes up MASSIVE disk space and even 320GB could be pushing the boundaries of a project with other space being taken up for all my other data.

codda 01-12-2011 07:35 AM

FWIW I'm going to chime in on one thing regarding machine spec. My understanding is a Core 2 duo will not be adequate to render clips that have been color corrected with After Effects or Magic Bullet...color correction using plugins is growing fast and the core 2 duos do not have the horses or graphics card necessary to perform the function...unless someone here is having any success doing it..

Oneironaut 01-12-2011 01:47 PM

SlyTX, according to Wikipedia, "According to a 2007 SCRI study, Final Cut made up 49% of the US professional editing market, with Avid at 22%.[1] A published Survey in 2008 by the American Cinema Editors Guild placed their users at 21% FCP (and growing from previous surveys of this group), while all others are still on an Avid system of some kind."

So it appears that FCP will only continue to gain ground. I think those who complain about the updates to FCS are those who feel that things should constantly be added to just for the sake of updating, but honestly, I think FCP is rather mature and fully-formed and only needs a few things tweaked to stay competitive. Obviously there are features in other editing programs that are better than their FCP equivalents, but in general I'd say that FCP does more than what I need it to do. However, I too am an intermediate level editor. Perhaps more professional level editors have more needs than I do, but the only thing I've really heard that FCP is lacking in is media management. I'm sure as FCP is improved, such differences will become negligible. I have only dabbled a little with Premiere Pro and it actually seems pretty similar to FCP, which seems to be what most people think.

In general, while it's always interesting to see what new features might come to FCP, I have not been disappointed with it at all. But then I'm not one of these people who thinks that every program, computer or device needs to be updated every single year.

SlyTX 01-14-2011 01:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oneironaut (Post 1168453)
SlyTX, according to Wikipedia, "According to a 2007 SCRI study, Final Cut made up 49% of the US professional editing market, with Avid at 22%.[1] A published Survey in 2008 by the American Cinema Editors Guild placed their users at 21% FCP (and growing from previous surveys of this group), while all others are still on an Avid system of some kind."

So it appears that FCP will only continue to gain ground. I think those who complain about the updates to FCS are those who feel that things should constantly be added to just for the sake of updating, but honestly, I think FCP is rather mature and fully-formed and only needs a few things tweaked to stay competitive. Obviously there are features in other editing programs that are better than their FCP equivalents, but in general I'd say that FCP does more than what I need it to do. However, I too am an intermediate level editor. Perhaps more professional level editors have more needs than I do, but the only thing I've really heard that FCP is lacking in is media management. I'm sure as FCP is improved, such differences will become negligible. I have only dabbled a little with Premiere Pro and it actually seems pretty similar to FCP, which seems to be what most people think.

In general, while it's always interesting to see what new features might come to FCP, I have not been disappointed with it at all. But then I'm not one of these people who thinks that every program, computer or device needs to be updated every single year.

ALright my whole reply was just removed due to being auto logged out of the forum due to time reasons, im just gonna post the short version.

Link to ACE blog spot "2009 ACE Equipment Survey"

ACE Members Tech Web Discussion

Search within your brwoser for equipment survey, the page has a lot of content. It quotes;

"the results are helpful in showing trends for ACE editors, for providing feedback to equipment and software vendors, and to ACE. There is no suggestion that these results reflect the video editing industry as a whole just the trends, thoughts, and feelings of the best editors in the world."

"Although Apple has a substantial presence in film and television editing, they aren't the biggest player in software. The good news is the biggest player, Avid, has become very responsive to the needs of editors. They are making significant improvements in the software and hardware. And they very much are paying attention to what ACE editors say."

"(Avid) need to work on you PR because people in the low budget world think FCP is the only choice and I have a hard time convincing them otherwise. And to me, FCP is still the Easy Bake Oven of editing systems."

Oneironaut 01-14-2011 09:46 PM

Many editors stick with Avid simply because it's been around for so long, predating other nonlinear editing systems. They'd probably say that ANY other editing system is the Easy Bake version, not just FCP, especially since FCP is basically as not really any less powerful than Premiere or Vegas.

No one has suggested that information from the ACE represents the thoughts of the BEST editors in the world, just that it represents the trends of MANY editors. If FCP is at least as good as Avid to the likes of Walter Murch, I'd say that there's something to it that contributes to its ever expanding user base.

It kind of sounds like you want to justify your decision NOT to use FCP rather than reasons why you SHOULD use it. I would say, go to a local public access station and take a cheap, quick FCP class. That's how I got hooked into it. It can't hurt in any case, the best editors are at least somewhat familiar with every editing system. In fact, once I get my FCP certification, I'll probably start learning Avid.

chas_m 01-15-2011 07:30 PM

Would just like to add that if Steve says the next FCS release is "great," then I personally would be expecting big things and not the rather silly limitation the rumour market would have us believe.

PS. FCS already supports Blu-Ray. Just one example of where you appear to have been misled on some points.

PPS. You're correct that FW800 isn't as fast as eSATA, but I've edited 1080p in real-time using FW800 without issues, so just because something may be faster doesn't necessarily mean its better. USB2 has a "theoretical" faster speed than FW400 but I've yet to see a situation where USB2 beats FW400. Just sayin'.

The point is that video data moves at a particular speed. As long as the transfer method can handle that speed, it's perfectly good for video data. Just because something comes along that does 3x better doesn't really affect results unless you're working on something that requires MORE speed than FW800 can handle. I personally haven't run across that situation yet.

Oneironaut 01-22-2011 02:32 AM

so was this a serious question, or another troll? an update would be helpful.


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