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Thread: Need Help Buying A Cheap Online System!

  1. #1

    Default Need Help Buying A Cheap Online System!

    Hi,

    New to editing and am in need of an inexpensive system that I can output a final video for sales. I shoot about three low budget films a year (under 200K) and need to buy a system that we can rely on to cut and out put our films onto digibeta or DVCam. I have been looking through some used systems to try and find a 1:1 uncompressed system, but even the sellers are not always sure what they have. The following is one that I wanted to submit for your professional opinion and tell me if it is capable of what I need. Thanks!

    This computer runs in Panther 10.3.3 and os9.2.2 and is loaded with lots of goodies, with all these programs this system is worth well over $12,000.00 perfect for the serious editor, it comes with all the programs installed, which includes.

    Dual 800 MHz Power Pc G4
    2 MB L3 cache per processor
    1.5 GB SDRAM
    Bus speed 133 MHz

    Final cut pro 4.1.1 ....for video editing
    DVD studio pro 2.0.5 .......for DVD authoring
    After effect 6.0 pro ........for compositing and special effects
    Photoshop cs ..........graphics designs
    Acrobat pro 6.0 ........professinal printing
    Compressor 1.1 .........encoding video footage
    Dikwarrior 3.0 ......... optimizing your hard drives
    Roxio toast 6 titanium .....for backing up programs and burning cd, vcd, dvd, etc
    Soundtrack 1.2 ........for scoring music for your video project
    Illustrator cs .......... for graphics designing
    indesign cs ..........for graphics designing
    Photoshop cs ..........for graphics designing
    Golive cs...... for web designing
    Sonic fire pro 3.0 .........for scoring music for your video projects
    Reason 2.0 .......... for scoring music for your video projects
    Shake 2.5 ........ for video compositing
    maya 5.0 ....... for 3D graphics designing
    Soundedit 16 version 2 ........ for editing your finish music for output
    Cinema tools 2.0.1 ....... for cut list for 24 fps film
    Garageband 1.0.1 ......... for scoring music for your video projects
    The print shop 1.0 ........ for plublushing
    Logo creator 9.0 ..... for logo designing
    Norton system works
    Norton firewall
    and lots more....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,191

    Default

    As the system has got two copies of Photoshop CS on it, can I have one?

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi.
    The spec of the machine itself doesnt look like the greatest (brand new for 2000 approx) as the latest power mac has dual 2GHz processors and has a 1000MHz FSB.
    As far as all the goodies go if your only wanting to edit and output most of it will be redundant and therefore a waste of cash. Do you want to do 3D graphics, 3D compositing, make music etc etc and if so can you use these programmes as most of them have a very steep learning curve.
    Also if all these progs are preinstalled do you get the discs and more importantly will you own the licenses? If you dont and it all goes tits up thats 12 grand down the drain! Also some of these progs now have newer versions available, youll definately want Final cut pro HD as it now supports high def format.

    If I were you I'd work out exactly what you want to be able to do with your machine and tailor it to suit, youll save a load of money, for 12000 you could probably get hold of a used avid suite.

    In summation; dont buy that machine just yet!

    tonga

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks Tonga,

    I appreciate your input. I am trying to get a machine that will basically do all of my editing needs. So after I have shot my film and transfered to tape, I want to be able to edit it with whatever opticals required (credits, filters, etc) and the only thing I would have to worry about would be post sound mixing and maybe a professional color correction.

    I am working with a limited budget as I am an independant producer, but I still want something capable of giving me a professional quality out put. I have been considering that there is an upswing to HD so your point about the new Final Cut Pro is an important one.

    I have gone to promax.com and think they have some decent prices on systems but the low end 1:1 online system is about 13 grand and the HD ones are 17, 000.

    Any other suggestions as for 2nd hand or better deals suites, I would really appreciate it!

    And I will halt buying it just yet until I get a few more ideas.....

  5. #5

    Default

    No problem.
    What format do you shoot in, you say you transfer to tape so I'm guessing film, super 16?

    tonga

  6. #6

    Default

    We have shot 5 features on super 16mm and two on 35mm. We did one hi def film but I hated the look of it. I am game for trying 24P one of these days, but for now I am still shooting film. I have been scanning the web for deals on used systems and am hoping to find an all-in-one on line that I can use but will also consider financing a new unit if I can get one cheap enough.

    I was quoted the unit below for 16K that is an HD one:

    1 PM-G5/2GHz/DP/512MB/160GB/SuperDrive/3xPCI/Rad9600
    2 512MB DDR400 (PC3200) 2x256 Dimm Kit for PM/G5
    1 Apple Final Cut Pro 4
    1 AJA Kona 2 w/BOB SD/HD Card
    1 AV Cable Kit for DV/DVCAM Decks PRO/SD/HD
    1 Altec-Lansing VS4121 3pcs Speaker System
    1 PVM14L2 14" Color Video Monitor 600 TVL w/input connector for
    analog component
    1 ViewSonic VG900 19" LCD Metalic on Black Display
    1 System Configuration and Testing
    1 Gefen ADC to VGA Adapter
    1 4 Meter 6-4pin FireWire/1394 Cable
    1 ProMax 90 Day Support Package
    1 HUGE Media Vault 1200-DualMax
    1 ProMax FCP4 Training PowerPack
    Includes:
    Final Cut Pro 4.0 Visual QuickPro Guide
    Final Cut Pro 4.0 ProMax QuickStart Training DVD


    1 Atto Express PCI UL4D 64/133 PCIX to 320 2CH VHDCI
    1 6ft 9pin M/M-serial RS-422 cable for DeckLink Card & AJA Io
    1 Tripp Lite BC Pro 600 UPS Battery Back Up AC120VA

    Any ideas of what I should be looking for with what I need?

  7. #7

    Default

    I'll have to admit I'm getting a little out of my depth here as were talking serious kit.

    Consider....

    1) Who will be using your rig, a pro or some guy who has dabbled? If its the latter, a rig like the one from promax is gonna be way too much for em.

    2) Building a rig with a good upgrade route, based around your minimum requirements and expand as and when you need to, this way you wont buy a load of stuff you find you never use.

    3) Software; as I'm not a user of FCP I dont know what it can do, but for your effects and titles etc you may need an additional dedicated compositor like AppleShake or Combustion although these are complicated apps - not really noob freindly!

    4) Speaking to a professional editor (not salesman!) for advice before parting with your cash.

    #Four being the best advice I can offer!

    Good luck

    Tonga

  8. #8

    Default

    I like the idea of buying the base and then adding as I go, which is sometimes why I consider buying a used one like the first mentioned G4. But what I wanted to know is, what part of the editing system is what allows it to be an online system? Is it the software? Is it the tower? In other owrds, if I buy a G4 capable of 3:1 output what do I need to get to make it 1:1.

    I think my frustration is I have yet to talk to one of these people that seems to even know themselves! They say "well, it's broadcast quality" but as I am learning that has a slight range. When I buy a system, I want to be able to cut on it and not worry about going to someone else to do the online.

    The most inexpensive one so far is an older AVID 4000 that I am seeing tomorrow. It supposedly had 90,000 put into it over the years and he wants 1,200 for it. He says:


    The quality on this is very
    good, but not one to one. It is comparable to 3:1,
    which is still broadcast quality. You can certainly
    hook it up to a digibeta machine to master to. I
    would recommend an FCP system for what you want to do,
    but with a good capture board, and all the equipment,
    you will probably need around $10-15,000. My system
    can do the job for you, though it is not as fast or
    reliable since it is older.

    This system was the top of the line about 6 years ago,
    but as you know, computers have advanced a lot since
    then. However, you can edit broadcast quality video
    with this system. We used it primarily for
    commercials. The video storage space is 90 gigabytes,
    which will hold about 5-6 hours of high resolution
    footage. There is a very desirable real time 3dfx box
    included, which gives you a lot of control of the
    picture, including split screens, lots of transitions,
    color effects, color keying, flips, spins, etc. You
    can hook a digibeta machine up to this system without
    any extra hardware. It has component video input/
    output, as well as composite, and had a deck control
    cable. Drop frame is a time-code thing, and yes it
    will work with drop as well as non-drop frame
    materials. I don't know how computer savvy you are,
    but this is an advanced editing system. Some people
    get training, but I was able to learn it by using it.
    I can set it up for you, and show you the basics if
    you want. I really just want to get it put to good
    use since right now it is just sitting unused. Before
    you asked what I meant about no 24FPS means. Basically, video runs
    at 30 frames per second, and film runs at 24 frames
    per second. If you are planning on cutting film
    negative, you would want to edit it in 24 fps mode, so
    that you can generate an accurate cut list. If you're
    finishing on video, you don't need 24 fps. I have all
    the user manuals which will help you a lot."

    I wonder is if I buy it, am I then stuck with something I can't upgrade easily to doing a clean uncompressed online tape?

    Thanks again!!!!

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