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post #1 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 1:52 PM Thread Starter
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A Mac for me?




Seriously. I've been gradually ramping up my (event photography business') video services. This fall, for example, I've done a few weddings, as well as some high school football 'player highlight' DVD's for college prospects to send to recruiters.

I'd previously been using Adobe Premiere on a PC, but about a month ago, a colleague on the sidelines suggested I should check out Final Cut Pro. Since I've recently had a bunch of difficulty creating DVD's from my finished/edited footage on the PC, I figured I'd have to buy some new software, so I decided to do it backwards - take the plunge and get Final Cut Studio (which also includes Motion 2, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and more goodies). I was entitled to an EPP discount through my "day job" employer, and the Apple store at the mall had it in stock, so I picked it up. (Despite the $1299 retail price tag!)

Although the learning curve is ridiculously steep (there are FIVE books on Final Cut Pro ALONE - the box must've weighed 15 pounds!), FCP is a LOT like Premiere. It took me a few attempts to export my footage into a QuickTime movie that would actually WORK with DVD Studio. Despite what the books said, exporting using the QuickTime movie option and the recommended "basic" settings did NOT produce a "file" that was compatible with DVD Studio. Instead, it created five files, with an apparent 2GB upper limit. As such, DVD Studio only recognized the first file; the others couldn't be imported. Still, by the end of the night I'd completed my first DVD (exporting to a single ~9GB QuickTime movie), and then today burned another nine copies for my client. Obviously this setup is going to work better than what I was doing on the PC. And of course, the host of supporting applications are going to take the finished video products to an entirely new level, with much better-looking titles, DVD menus, etc. I probably could have bought "equivalent" software to run on my PC and NOT been faced with spending an additional $5-6K on a Mac, but I guess I was up for an adventure.

Of course, I still need a Mac to run it on. For the moment I'm long-term 'borrowing' a Power Mac G5 with a 1.6 GHz processor and 4GB of RAM. Assuming the Final Cut Studio software is all it's said to be, I have my mind set on a Power Mac of my own, a dual-core machine (not sure what processor I'll spring for) with a lot of drive space and memory. Later I'll add a 30" Cinema Display, as that thing makes me drool uncontrollably. I'll need to add a bunch of drive space, probably one big internal SATA drive and literally a stack of external USB 2.0 or Firewire drives (I have four of those already, and they're all full...) The dual-layer (DVD) Super Drive is a nice touch, too; I'll resist buying a dual-layer drive for the PC now.

I support Macs in my IT job, and I should definitely be a lot more familiar with them than I currently am. Using it for video production is going to pay off as an investment, so if I can 'kill two birds' and get myself some neat new hardware, I don't see why not...

Of course, I'll be keeping my PC's (I currently have fifteen running machines and a slew of spare parts), so I haven't TOTALLY lost my mind...
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 2:07 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?



Being an amateur I use iMovie and iDVD but it is amazing the things you can whip up quickly. I have made a couple of bike DVD's for my nephews and a Barber slide show (to Pink Floyd Sheep ) that turned out decent. Given your needs have you looked at XServe? Might make sense and you can get hot swapped 7TBs of data in the raid edition.

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post #3 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 2:59 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

blah blah....pics... blah blah....video....blah blah. As long as you take cool pics at Grattan it's all good.

I do all my own stunts.
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 3:03 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

The price of the 30" monitor hasn't come down, but the video card you buy to go with it is now "only" $500.

It shouldn't be long before both come down in price.

The difference in quality of that monitor compared to a nice 20" viewsonic was incredible. Not just size, but actual picture too.

The main downfall to them is they heat up a room really quickly.



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post #5 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 5:43 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

I use Pinnacle Studio 9 for basic video editing/picture slideshow w/ music for most non-paying gigs. I've also had some experience with Pinnacle Liquid Edition. Studio 9 is already really good, especially once you start buying the "plug-ins", and as a bonus, easily creates DVDs with menus - way WAY easier to use than Premiere.

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post #6 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 5:46 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

I haven't sampled the new FCPHD, but I do love my Dual 2GHz G5.

What do you think of aperature? It seems to be quite a new step for Apple.
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 6:12 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asiliat
I use Pinnacle Studio 9 for basic video editing/picture slideshow w/ music for most non-paying gigs. I've also had some experience with Pinnacle Liquid Edition. Studio 9 is already really good, especially once you start buying the "plug-ins", and as a bonus, easily creates DVDs with menus - way WAY easier to use than Premiere.
Umm what he is describing is way beyond that. iDVD makes menus DVD Studio makes production grade DVDs

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post #8 of 35 Old 11-11-2005, 6:15 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

you're gonna enjoy the ease of use of a Mac and you won't ever get a Blue Screen Of Death (not that the newer version of windows give it very often anymore).

Those Apple Cinema Displays are all sweet as hell.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #9 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: A Mac for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
The price of the 30" monitor hasn't come down, but the video card you buy to go with it is now "only" $500.

It shouldn't be long before both come down in price.
...but the G5 doesn't need an additional video card to run the 30" display (and even a second monitor alongside it). Of course, the price for the G5 + 30" display combination (assuming a base G5) is $4500...

I may come back to Earth and look at a 23" (or comparable third-party 20-24" display) instead, considering the price would be less than half.

I did complete the ten DVD's for my football client, my first on a Mac. Honestly, I didn't use Final Cut Pro for more than compiling the pre-edited footage; I mostly used DVD Studio, and I didn't bother with a menu - it wasn't necessary, and I couldn't spare the time.

However, I've also completed the basic edits for my next project (using Final Cut Pro). Now I'll start learning Motion 2 and LiveType. Honestly, thus far, I can't see how Final Cut Pro (as a standalone package, excluding the other "Studio" components) is any better than Premiere Pro. I'm sure I'll find the differences eventually. I already have one beef; to do a razor cut and a ripple delete, you apparently need to select the razor tool and click the timeline where you want the cut to be, then switch back to the track selection tool and highlight the track, and then perform the ripple delete. The way you use the razor tool doesn't seem very precise, and Premiere's method of cutting wherever you positioned/stopped the playback/preview bar (and particularly in providing you with a keyboard shortcut to make the cut) is more exact, faster and more convenient. I'm still looking, but if Apple included a way to do it as quickly as with Adobe, I can't find it.

As far as the ease of use of a Mac, I'm not convinced. Upon first inspection, it (still) seems like a marketing ploy or perhaps just folklore. I suspect it's because I've been using XP for a while, but while the Mac OS (I'm currently using Panther - 10.3.9) is nice, it really isn't any easier to use than XP. Nevermind that to really get into the guts of the system or to do more complex things you have to know UNIX. At least I've ditched that useless Apple mouse in favor of one that has two buttons and a scroll wheel.
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post #10 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: A Mac for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccwilli3
What do you think of aperature? It seems to be quite a new step for Apple.
I haven't really checked out Aperture yet, but it's on my list of things to do. Since I mainly do event photography, I'm shooting WAY too many photos to do anything in RAW (image format, as opposed to JPG). I suppose I should do weddings and smaller jobs in RAW, but at events, there's not enough time; I need to get photos online ASAP.

Since the main benefits of Aperture deal with color management, keeping unedited original copies of your image files, and RAW workflow, Aperture isn't really going to benefit me for the bulk of my photo work. I may get it eventually, as it would be good for smaller jobs where color management and nondestructive image processing take on higher importance... But wow - did you see the recommended system specs?
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post #11 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

Nope, Macs aren't easier to use. Just different.



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post #12 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 11:35 AM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

$4500 for both? If you wanna go Mac...dunno, that's awfully tempting man. Especially since it's a write off.



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post #13 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 12:19 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

30" is sexy but if you can spare the desk space consider a 2 20" you can run tools and palettes on one and work on the other. Also I think you actually wind up with more square inches of display.

Also you might look into one of these.

Also UNIX opens up some super cool uber geek opportunities

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post #14 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

I have 2 20" LCDs. It's great for multitasking, but for photos and movies I think the 30 would be a far better set-up.

Cuz has the 30" in the center, and his old 20" off to the side, normally it's just for e-mail. It looks funny, the 30 dwarfs it.



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post #15 of 35 Old 11-14-2005, 9:13 PM
 
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Re: A Mac for me?

I actually find Pre-OSX much easier to use. And every version I've ever used of Windows has given me troubles. Even just doing simple things such as surfing the web and writing a text document make problems.

I know how glad you are that you got rid of that crappy apple mouse. I had the old circular one and it sucked so much. 2 button with scroll wheel is a blessing. I don't udnerstand why apple builds right click stuff into the system but doesn't give you the button to do it.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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