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Thread: Flirting with a mac (feeling dirty)

  1. #1
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    Default Flirting with a mac (feeling dirty)

    It's about time for me to buy a new laptop. Although I'm set in my Windows Ways, I've been flirting with a mac for some time. Now I know, pound for pound, a laptop is chapear than a mac, but anyone know of the best value mac (where and what to buy etc?) Any advice greatlfully received.
    Last edited by Marc Peters; 09-13-2010 at 09:01 AM.

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    It really depends on what you are looking for from a mac laptop. For video editing they are second to none (in my opinion). If you were looking for a brand new laptop bought straight from Apple the cheapest laptop they have is the Macbook, which starts at 849. If you wanted to go for something a touch more swanky then the more advanced Macbook Pro starts from 999.

    If you are not fussed about the laptop being brand new then you could try visiting the official Apple refurbished store (link) where they list discounted computers. Further to this, if you are happy to own a second hand Mac, you should take a look on ebay - I bought a nearly new Macbook Pro on there for 620 (when they were still selling at over 1000 new). Second hand Mac's tend to hold their value quite well, for example I sold a 3 year old computer recently for just over 600, not too bad when I paid about 900 for it new.

    Your final option, if you wanted to go for the cheapest mac available is the Mac Mini, which is not a laptop. They start from 649 for the "tower" part of the computer (although, it's a little square box, not so much a tower!) but this does not include a monitor etc.

    I personally find video production much easier to complete on a Mac, but this is of course just my opinion!

  3. #3
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    Wot he said.

    Macs tend to be the same price wherever you go. Apple are so fanatic about quality that you can only buy from approved retailers. The plus is that you know you're getting a proper mac, not a white box with all sorts of acquired bits in it. The disadvantage is that it's impossible to get "deals" on a new mac.

    The mac mini is really worth looking at if you're moving from a PC. If you already have the monitors, printers, etc etc then you just unplug your PC tower and plug in the mini. I've got one and it's excellent value for money.

    What's very important to remember is that the Apple OS is so different from windows in the way it works you can't compare like-for-like with processing on a windows computer and a mac. Two machines with the "same" processors and the Mac will run much, much faster than the windows.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 09-13-2010 at 08:56 AM.

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    I concur with the above...a Mac Mini...they are underrated...also perhaps go the refurbished route...they have the exact same warranty..you could never tell the difference. FWIW if portability is not much of an issue...IMac...

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    Portability is definately an issue. I've spent most of this afternoon (ahem, on my lunch break, of course) browsing through different options, and come to one conclusion: laptops are just bloody expensive!

    I think I'm sold on going for a macbook pro though (and the refurbished route seems sensible), but want to stick with Premiere Pro. I've asked Adobe support if an "upgrade" from CS4 windows to CS5 mac is possible, and await their reply.

  6. #6

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    If they say no - ask them for a crossgrade PC to Mac for CS4 then upgrade CS4 to CS5 on the Mac. They definitely offer crossgrades very cheaply (or at least they used to).

  7. #7
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    Default My experience

    Having owned a macbook pro for a while now are some things to consider. I know this will sound a bit negative but stay with it.

    IMO
    The standard screen is 1440x900 (I think) the hi res screen of 1680x1050 is only about 70 more and worth every penny
    the standard screen is glossy, pay the extra again and get the matt screen (I didn't, wish I had) reflections are a nightmare, even indoors (or resign yourself to sitting in dark rooms)

    If you want to connect things like camcorder through firewire and external monitor add at least 15 per cable (upto 30 over the counter, may do better on ebay)

    If you plan to use a usb mouse and have a memory stick that's a gnat's cock wider than a usb plug you will need a usb hub, as the sockets are so close together you won't get both in side by side.

    The edges of the chassis are sharp and uncomfortable on your wrists as you slide your arms across it when typing

    No internet explorer option. HUH? Why would you want that? You may, you may not. Our business is built around web video and as part of the service we build sites for our clients. In the business world many offices still use IE6-7 (can you believe) so for testing it is essential that we have that capability. Luckily we have pcs we can test on, but this doesn't help productivity...!

    Why premiere? for 500 (amazon) you can get the full FCP studio (Photoshop aside, worth every penny compared to Adobe) which gives you all you need to do pretty much everything video. FCP works in a very similar way to premiere you will master it in no time, offers better performance and all the things premiere does badly FCP does well. After effects to motion is a bit more of a learning curve, soundtrack pro is great, color is scary at first but is actually very easy. A month on lynda.com and you'll be a master

    External firwire hdd for video files when editing makes a difference

    Factor in extra for flash video and win media export plugins for compressor or stand alone exporter (squeeze, etc) I was told by the man in the MAC store this is not a problem, everybody can and should use quicktime (BRAINWASHED IDIOT...!) Which leads to asking for advice. Great stuff on the interweb, but ask a TRUE MACCY face to face and the answer will always be the same... "you don't need that on a mac" usually about anti virus, which you do if transferring files to a pc. "it's still better than a pc" usually when asking about all the nice friendly stuff PCs do as standard.

    The path to a mac is not as straight forward as it appears and I've found myself forced to change the way I do things and end up having to go back on pc to do certain tasks. If this is a business decision, ummm!!!

    If this is for your own pleasure then I say go for it, as you can take your time building the software library to your needs and while that is being done you have a fantastic little computer that does all your day to day stuff, gives you brilliant battery life, looks cool (I know means a lot to some), is quiet and can be on your lap without burning a hole in your trousers.

    In my book way over priced, your paying double for something that in the real world is only a little better and that's mostly in looks, but if that was a REAL consideration nobody would buy BMWs and Aston Martins.

    Sorry for the long post...
    Canon, Edius, Final Cut Studio, Always Progressive, Promotional Video Production

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    Cost is starting to be the real barrier to the change. I've had a response to my Adobe support request, and they have indicated (exactly as David suggested they would) that I would need to crossgrade to mac CS4, and then upgrade to CS5 (they no longer ship CS4). The crossgrade would be the upgrade cost for CS4. Then there's the cost of the upgradde to CS5. So that's alomost the cost of a new application.

    I've spent a few hours over the last year idly trying out Macs (in the Mac shop as my girlfriend spends yet more money on clothes). I haven't been "blown away" by ease of use, but I've put that down to the need for a learning curve.

    The motivation for the change is really down to a need for *any* kind of upgrade. I'm exploring the Mac option as it's one upgrade path I could take. And from my perspective as teh site admin, it's good for me to be reasonably well rounded in most aspects of video editing.

    The more I look into it, the greater the cost becomes.

  9. #9

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    Wow, Adobe quoted me 15 when I looked in to the crossgrade (when CS3 was still current).

    What I would be asking myself is this; What kind of 'Upgrade' are you really looking for? Is it software, hardware, both? What is it about your current setup that is not working for you? Or is it that you are just bored? If it's boredom, is it boredom with tools simply because you are bored with what you are editing? If so, you may get a small rush after some new kit or some new software, but then the boredom will return and your wallet will be significantly lighter.

    I've been through the gear lust years, spent more money than I can remember and eventually realised that the gear (and software) was not the solution.

    Other than considerations for Virus and Spyware problems, changing from PC to Mac or Mac to PC should really be done only on the basis of choice of software - i.e. you need to run software that will only run on the 'other' platform. Even then, is the investment worth it and what else will you lose?

    I still have ONE program that I need to run on Windows (in a Virtual Machine) and that is my Sage Accounting software. If Sage did a Mac version I would be all Mac. However, if there were no longer any Macs, I could still do the work I do on a Windows PC if I had to. A tool is a tool is a tool.

  10. #10
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    Bottom line is performance. I've been editing AVCHD using a whole variety of work arounds; as I do all of this for the enjoyment, it's a pain that I really could rather do without. It's a hinderance to my enjoyment that I want to "fix".

    I've made a choice, and as you've indicated, it was down to software. Even if the hardware was the same price, the price and hassle of changing all the software was the difference. If money was no object, and I was changing due to software I couldn't get on a PC, then I would opt for a Mac. As it stands, I have a Dell laptop saved in a shopping basket.

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