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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Advice on a iMac system for video editing???


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OregonRich

 
Member Since: Nov 29, 2007
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 4
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Hello - I'm looking to purchase a new iMac for video editing. I've always heard how great Macs are for doing this, but I've quickly become uncertain. Yesterday's trip to local computer retailer made me it even worse. The salesperson said that an iMac really wouldn't allow for much more than manipulating some home movies. He inferred that anything less than a Mac Pro would be a waste of time. Just to be clear, I'm not looking to make feature length films with major league effects. My wife's a former teacher & we'd like to create some educational pieces as well as work on other projects.

I was initially looking at the 20" iMac with:

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory (upgrading from 1GB)
320GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory

But now I'm wondering if I should move up to the 24" iMac with:

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory (upgrading from 1 GB)
320GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory

Or the 24" iMac with:

2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme
2GB memory
500GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory

Can any or all of these machines work well for my projects and if so, are there major advantages between them that justify the price jumps from one to the other. I apologize if this post is in the wrong forum, but I figured who could be better to ask than those on a video editing board. I'd really appreciate your comments and advice. Thanks.

Rich
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Sexy Patrol

 
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Member Since: Jan 13, 2006
Location: Upstate California
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An iMac would be fine, I use a last-gen iMac and it does great. Unless you're planning on using uncompressed HD content which would use an enormous amount of resources, then the iMac will serve you perfectly. The Mac Pro is ideal for video editing, however what you're saying you will be doing in terms of that an iMac will be perfect. If you can afford it then I would definitely go for the top-end iMac but if you're strained for cash you'd be fine with a mid-range. Try to spring for the biggest hard drive possible (and if you need to buy an external after the fact, that'd work too). It's always nice to have as much storage space as possible for video content because it'll fill up quick! Also make sure that your hard drive is no slower than 5400RPM (preferably 7200RPM for video editing but it's not absolutely necessary). Bottom line is, for what you're planning on doing with it - any iMac would be fine.

Also, I forgot to mention before... if you're looking to produce a series of videos where you'll be consistently editing videos and want them all to have professional grade quality, I'd recommend investing in something like Final Cut Express just so you have that step up in production quality from iMovie. Out of curiosity, what kind of camera do you plan to be using?
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brian67

 
Member Since: Oct 28, 2007
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Mac Specs: 24" iMac, 2.4GHz C2D, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, OS X 10.5.1

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The iMac can handle the task. Get the best one you can afford. One thing that will save you money is not getting the extra RAM from Apple. Two of THESE would give you 4 GB of RAM wich would be very handy when editing video files.
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OregonRich

 
Member Since: Nov 29, 2007
Location: Southern Oregon
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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the help.

Sexy Patrol - As far as a camera, we just have a basic JVC miniDV (GR-D372u.) We're going to upgrade and I'm trying to do my homework there. I'm consideing the Canon XL2, the Canon GL2, and the Canon XH A1 MiniDV HD Camcorder. Any recommendations on these or others I should look at?

Thanks again!
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OregonRich

 
Member Since: Nov 29, 2007
Location: Southern Oregon
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Removed because it's considered a crosspost.
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brian67

 
Member Since: Oct 28, 2007
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Mac Specs: 24" iMac, 2.4GHz C2D, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, OS X 10.5.1

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I think I already answered this. My 24" iMac with 4 GB of RAM can handle any editing job unless you're talking about making a Hollywood Blockbuster. Probably could still do it, just not as good as a Mac Pro.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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NOTE: Merged crossposts

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thirdkid4thman

 
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Member Since: Nov 30, 2007
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Mac Specs: iMac 20", 2.4 ghz, 4gb RAM, 500gb HD + IEEE 1394b 500gb external

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I would suggest buying the 2.4 GHZ, 20 inch display, upgrading to a 500GB hard drive (video can take a lot of space), then upgrade your own ram to 4GB. If you later decide you need more screen space you can buy a second monitor which is much more useful than a single large screen. That is the system I have and it works great. The computer with RAM will cost approximately $1720, and you can buy a 20" display comparable to the imac's online for around $200. Bang for your buck this is what I would suggest.
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OregonRich

 
Member Since: Nov 29, 2007
Location: Southern Oregon
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Brian67 - Thanks, you had answered it. I asked a similar question on the Hardware board to get a few more opinions, but was notified that it was considered a crosspost & merged back to this one. I appreciate the link & your comments though. Very helpful.

Thirdkid4thman - Great information. Thanks also.

Devilboy - nice reprimand. Many thanks!
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