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Thread: Thinking of an imac for AVCHD editing...

  1. #1

    Default Thinking of an imac for AVCHD editing...

    Hi

    I have recently got a Panasonic SD10 camcorder and am looking to edit the HD footage. I need to upgrade my PC and am currently looking at an imac. I have heard good things about macs but what spec?

    The basic models appear to have an i3 processor. Should I spend extra on a quad core proc? I haven't decided to go for the 21 or 27" imac but am unsure if I need to spend a bit more cash on processor / memory or if I can save my money and get the base model?

    I would like to edit the HD footage on the fly but can't on my current PC.

    Thanks,
    Lee

  2. #2

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    You could convert your AVCHD to MPEG4, or AVI.... then do a quick edit on your PC

  3. #3
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    One important thing to remember is that you can't directly compare imac specifications to PC specs.

    I have a dual-core 2.66 Ghz imac and comfortably edit avchd with it. The 27" screen is certainly impressive but you can also get a 21" imac and add a full HD monitor.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubislaw_studio View Post
    You could convert your AVCHD to MPEG4, or AVI.... then do a quick edit on your PC
    Tried both of those formats using a couple of different converters. The PC edited the footage okay and the quality looks about the same but the video loses smoothness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    One important thing to remember is that you can't directly compare imac specifications to PC specs.

    I have a dual-core 2.66 Ghz imac and comfortably edit avchd with it. The 27" screen is certainly impressive but you can also get a 21" imac and add a full HD monitor.
    I have been told that the hardware is different and they are not a direct comparison. I don't know how much more 'efficient' macs are though.
    If I want to edit 1080p AVCHD in real time, will the basic model cope ok? i.e. not take ages to process editing / no dropped frames or out of sync audio etc.

    It's a fair chunk of cash and I'd much rather spend a bit extra now than have to upgrade it later.

    I did pop to an Apple store and try to edit some of my own footage using both the 21 and the 27" imac but, for some reason, the macs couldn't read the USB stick correctly as it couldn't 'see' the part of the stick where the files were (it was one of those ones with in-built PC virus protection).

    Thanks,
    Lee

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    It's the effects and such which can cause delays.

    If you're editing with a few dissolves or occasional effect, the basic imac will deal with it in its stride. If you've got magic bullet on every shot and multiple audio transitions at every cut, then you'll have to pre-render it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebert View Post
    Hi

    I have recently got a Panasonic SD10 camcorder and am looking to edit the HD footage. I need to upgrade my PC and am currently looking at an imac. I have heard good things about macs but what spec?

    The basic models appear to have an i3 processor. Should I spend extra on a quad core proc? I haven't decided to go for the 21 or 27" imac but am unsure if I need to spend a bit more cash on processor / memory or if I can save my money and get the base model?

    I would like to edit the HD footage on the fly but can't on my current PC.

    Thanks,
    Lee
    I can only tell you about my experiences with editing on my PC and a friends I Mac which had been updated at great cost to take AVCHD , we did a dual shoot with his HDV camera 1440x1080i and my Canon HF10 with much the same video spec. as your camera AVCHD 1920x1080i, what I found was how slow the transfer was on the I Mac to what I was used to on my PC something like 4 or 5 times slower to transfer my HF10 AVCHD to his machine and from what I could see from the results no advantage in the speed of editing between the 2 systems, and considering the much higher cost of his editing system I would certainly give it a lot more thought before going over to an I Mac for editing AVCHD

    Why not do as a another friend has done and update the tower on your current PC, he has the latest i7 and it cost him far less to update than the I Mac did and it leaves the I Mac in the dust for speed of editing AVCHD 1920x1080i at 24Mbps from his Canon HF200 .

    Bryan

  7. #7

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    The hardest thing about the move will be the learning curve moving to a mac. Yes, before I get my head is bitten off by the mac lovers about how easy they are, there is still a very large difference in interoperability between mac and pc. Never mind the experience with the video editor of choice. My advice is that unless you want to start from scratch, stick with the pc. you'll also save a pretty penny in comparison and you can use that for a better monitor.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I am a PC person usually but after much talk and research, I took a leap of faith and I went for an imac with i5 quad core processor.

    I went to the apple store armed with my camcorder and was amazed how helpful they were. I asked the person at the door what I wanted to do and they brought over another person who was familiar with movie editing. He went through some basic editing techniques and we did some 'on the fly' editing and rendering using my own footage with absolutely no problems at all.

    All this was performed on their base model 21" version. I went for the mid range 27" version in the end and am very happy. I have edited two movies so far and I am impressed with the speed and smoothness of the process.

    There are a fair few differences of how things are done compared to windows but I haven't had any major stumbling blocks so far. It's all been quite a pleasant learning experience.

  9. #9
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    I would be interested in your opinion on how the Mac handles AVCHD 1920x1080, I've been surprised by the differences in the editing programs when it comes to the loss of resolution from some of them all using the h264 codec and the AVCHD high profile codec.

    My Canon HF10 MTS files are 1920x1080i at 16Mbps and I find I lose very little as long as I keep the output of the AVCHD edited videos at around 20Mbps.

    Bryan

  10. #10

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    Leebert, I'm going through the same decision as you did. Can I ask you what software you use to edit your videos? Do you use iMovie, Final Cut, etc? Any additional converters?

    How is the quality output? I borrowed a new macbook pro to test editing my AVCHD clips, but all my attempts at editing and burning to DVD have resulted in fuzzy/distorted video. I am only using iMovie and have tried a few converters to no avail (clipwrap for example). Thanks for any feedback, I'd love to stick with mac, but can't afford to add on expensive software for AVCHD editing.

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