agree with mrmacfixit...
by boya84 - 1/16/08 5:06 PM
In Reply to: HD video-editing Mac by dressner
but will throw in my 2 cents...
If you NEED portability, then the answer is obvious. If you really don't need it, the iMac will be much more palatable. In either case, you can add an external monitor for more square footage during editing (I think you will want that - especially if you are using FCP.
Either machine will edit the video - once it is imported - with no problems... the first issue you will encounter is during the import, then comes transitions and titles/credits or any other activity where video rendering is required... and last, the export (to a QuickTime, AVI or MP4 file - or burning a DVD - in each case, it is that rendering that is really CPU intensive.
Two additional considerations:
If you go the iMac route, get the RAM up to at least 2 gig (more is better if/when you can afford it). You can install it yourself, so no need to pay premium prices from Apple.
Internal hard drive space will get eaten pretty quickly. In addition to the Operating system and installed apps and possibly other documents/files (iPhoto, iTunes, etc...), 1 hour of imported HDV will take up ~40 gig of hard drive space. Yes, you will be editing and removing projects when done - but there may come a time when more than one project is being worked simultaneously. External Firewire drives work fine.
And actually, if you have power available, the iMac is not that big of a deal to move since there are really only 3 pieces to it... the CPU/monitor, mouse and keyboard. So if you go into a coffee shop, just sit by the wall with the power. I guess a protective case of some sorts would be beneficial... Pretty tough to sit in the middle of the park (no power) and edit, though...
(My perspective: I've been editing HDV from a Sony HDR-HC1 for a couple of years - and mostly on my 17" iMac flatpanel 2GHz, 2 gig RAM, G5.)
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