Living with the iMac.

A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
col lamb
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:51 pm
Location: Preston, Lancashire

Living with the iMac.

Post by col lamb »

A few weeks ago we jumped ship from PC to iMac, by buying an Apple 5k machine which is mainly for editing images. Its for my Wife whose old PC was not up to smoothly running Adobes Photoshop and Lightroom subscription bundle and not be stymied by all the anti virus/malware software.

Well a few weeks later and we have Final Cut Pro X on the iMac and I have edited five holiday shot videos.

FCPX is a pretty good piece of software, way, way better than iMovie which is all I had previously used on my mates iMac. It is smooth to use, fast to trim and add clips,very easy to ripple edit, the video stabilization is superb and the inbuilt sound processing just works without any fuss.

Spend 1/2 a day looking at video tutorials on FCPX and make a note of the main shotcut keys and you are sorted, it is so easy to pick up and get using productively

I have sold my Panasonic TM900 camcorder and now use my Lumix G7 digitial camera to shoot 4k video, and to see 4k video on the iMacs 5k monitor is stunning. FCPX edits the 4k footage with ease.

Whilst I have no intention of replacing my PC (yet) when the time comes it will be replaced by an iMac. Yes they are expensive, but they work straight out of the box you even get iMovie and Photos included so there is no need for extra software and backups work automatically to an external WD hard drive which also stores copiesnof images and video files its all so much easier that using a Windows PC.

So my PC Specification sticky post will no longer be updated as I am a convert to Apple.
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
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Dave Watterson
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Dave Watterson »

I will say again how grateful we are for all your advice, Col. As Tim says elsewhere it means we take more heed of your recommendation to go Mac, than we would of such remarks from anyone else.

Happy filming!
Ian Cox
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:04 pm

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Ian Cox »

Not sure if you can help Col ( and any other iMac users)
I recently puchased a similar iMac 27 5K and will be editing holiday material shot on a ( battered) Panasonic SD700 and an HC-X920. Presumably the SDHC card can be directly inserted into the iMac slot for import of the clips.
I still use a Pansonic mini DV with IEEE1394 firewire output and I would like to edit old and new material from tape and need to identify what cables/adaptors are needed as the iMac now only comes with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports.
Any advice?
I note you have moved to FCP -X for editing . This seems to be available at wildly differing prices depending as to whether obtained ( downloaded) in the US or in the UK - any advice?
col lamb
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:51 pm
Location: Preston, Lancashire

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by col lamb »

Sorry Ian been away for a couple of weeks and not accessed forum until now.

If I were you I would get all the old minidv material you have digitized onto a hard drive.

Then dump or sell the minidv camcorder as your 5k is capable of editing 4k video it would be a shame to record anything other than HD or 4k.

There may be firewire to usb3 adaptors available but I cannot advise on them.

I bought FCPX from the app store as I was happy with the UK price.

On our recent hols I used the G7 to shoot regular HD rather than 4k as I have yet to use the camera for anything other than 4k so I will be interested how the final holiday movies look.

I have just put together a short 1minute movie on my PC, the first for an age, and my oh my does it seem sluggish compared to editing on mybWifes iMac.

Yep, I am a convert
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb
Ian Cox
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Ian Cox »

Thanks Col

Can I admit my ignorance - how do I digitise to a hard drive from the old camera (as suggested) if there is no firewire connection?
Have I missed the obvious?
You are right - I should archive / dump the old camcorder but I was just using up the tapes for some Natural history projects '
I can dump these tapes to DVD ( via firewire) via a Panasonic player/ recorder but this ends up with MPEG on DVD's.
Back to the HC X920 I suppose at full HD .
Did you manage to get any decent footage of the Lunar Eclipse? I found that the contrast ratio before totality meant only manual focussing / gain/aperture would work on an SD700.
col lamb
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Location: Preston, Lancashire

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by col lamb »

My PC has a firewird card added so a few years ago I spent days recording all my MiniDV tapes onto my PC, I copied the hard drive where the files were recorded so I had a backup and then sold my MiniDV camcorder to a member of the IAC.

I have no idea about capturing miniDV to an iMac as I am still walking up the learning curve, but I am sure if you are in a club a fellow member could help capture to an external drive plugged into their PC. Do make sure that the captured video is logged as clips "as shot" and not as a continuous file that records the whole of the tape as one file.

MPEGs on DVD are readily editable, a DVD VOB file is only an mpg file with a different extension

It was cloudy where I live and so did not get any video, even if it was not cloudy I would have been taking images in preference to video. As it turns out the images I took during breaks in the cloud were OK.
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb
Pqtrick
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Location: Warwickshire

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Pqtrick »

I am happy to see that there is a forum presence for the iMac. I am just celebrating with a Facebook post, the first anniversary of the purchase of an iMac.

After many years of PC's, configurations, crashes, the dreaded blue screen and then total crashes, I decided to go back to my roots in computing and invest again in a Mac. I have never looked back. I don't have to think about systems, megawatts, unnecessary updates and malware (although I run ESET) The computer just works.

Originally, I used the Mac Classic, the black and white small screen one! for Pagemaker and Quark, then on to a Mac II. It all ended when working in CAD and the environment was PC.

I have Final Cut Pro X and 16gb of RAM and a recent 2TB external drive. For the old DV tapes I have an adapter lead. It does not have a DVD drive but this is not necessary you output to a solid state device.
All I can say it works, and you just forget about it. The pre-installed iMove is not to be overlooked, for basic editing it is idea and copes well in making a finished presentation. FCP X is good for more demanding projects and you can more over from 'Premier' reasonably well. It has its own foibles which you need to get used to and the terminology is sometimes odd, yet logic, for instance you don't 'export', you 'share'.

Mainly, I am more than happy with it.

Pqtrick.
ned c
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by ned c »

I wish you continued success but after 18 years with Macs first EditDV and then FCP from v2 to v7 when Apple treated its user base with complete contempt; I am deeply suspicious of all things Apple. I was left with a legacy of files no longer compatible with the new software and a certainty that an OS would arrive that would make FCP 7 unuseable. No DVD drive! Firewire killed off!
Good luck
ned c
col lamb
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Location: Preston, Lancashire

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by col lamb »

Yes Ned, that to is a concern that I have and one that I have commented upon with other Mac users.

I still have the first edited files and original captured 8mm video and they still play on my PC twenty years later, that said my version of Premiere is 5.5 so its getting on and OK for HD but my PC is now locked for upgrades, that is its not getting any as it works and I plan to keep it that way.

It is another reason why now I export from FCPX in MP4 format and archive in Prores, with the hope that the Prores file can still be played after a couple of Op system major updates, whereas the MP4 will be able to be played. My TV can play a MP4 file on a USB stick but Prores, well it does not see it at all.

Apple is not the only one ignoring optical drives but whilst I do not like it, I have only burned three DVD's in the last year and no Bluray's at all.
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb
Pqtrick
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Pqtrick »

I appreciate what you say Ned, but we all are affected by changes of formats, systems and operating systems. In the normal cycle of mortality, everything gets old out of date gets defunct and dies. My experience with PC's is a long and sorry one, at the end they just die and during their lifetime they can be a pain. For me, the Mac works, it copes with everything that I do without complaining. I was reflection bon the time I used a Mac for work and found them totally reliable. (When I worked in a PC environment, using AutoCAD, The IT department were forever more having to resolve problems). All the people I know who have them swear by them are of the same opinion. I can import old DV from a tape if I wish and very rarely have need to burn DVD. if I need to 'share' I take it on a memory stick to the venue or upload a competition film using drop box.

It was not my intention to make the thread Mac v. PC I was just making the point that I was happy to see a Mac presence on the forum.
Michael Slowe
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Michael Slowe »

I am amazed that you all are so surprised at the pleasure enjoyed by working with a Mac computer! I started shooting digital video in 1996 and set up an edit suite based on the Mac computer and the wonderful editing software Media 100. I've stayed with this basic kit ever since but, of course, with renewals and updates. I'm currently on a MacPro (Tower), circa 2010 with the OS called Mountain Lion (10.8.5), still with Media 100 which is currently being re promoted by Boris FX who have owned it for about eight years.

I can't speak too highly of Media 100 for editing. It is far more intuitive than both FCP and Premiere Pro, can handle almost any codec, including 4K, will still accept old DV tape material (via firewire) and is also linked with the wonderful titling and FX software, Boris Red. I have kept this model of the MacPro because it still has all cards etc fitted inside and has a built in DVD burner (for BD's I connect a stand alone BD burner). The new MacPro's are lightening fast but everything has to be connect from the outside with Thunderbolt, I can't be bothered as my system does all I require and everyone seems to like the stuff I produce.

As to Media 100, there is a promotion currently on offer for a $99, including I believe, the fabulous Boris Red. Have a look at the Media 100 site. It's a wonderful editing experience believe me (and editing has always been my 'thing'). It is the nearest thing to film editing which is why it was suggested to me way back in the 90's when I switched from 16mm film to digital video.

By the way Col, I'm surprised to see you now mentioning the Apple ProRes codec, since a few years ago you told me that it wouldn't last and would be killed by Apple. It is now one of the standard professional codecs and accepted worldwide as a QT .mov file.
ned c
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by ned c »

I don't want to give the impression that I left the Mac world lightly. I tried Avid Media Composer at that time v7 and found it incredibly clunky so I actually purchased Media 100, installed it and could never get it to function properly Much communication with the people at Media 100 and even a face to face at NAB went nowhere.For some reason they did not give me replacement software so I decided to move on. For many years we have used PCs for office work and had Sony Vegas Studio on them just in case the Mac went down. Simple and easy to use software with a DVD creation program integrated much better than the Apple FC Suite. So, an Asus Work Station from B&H; Vegas Pro 12 (now upgraded to 13 as I go 4K) and so far the problems are me rather than the set up. A learning curve with a long way to go but so far so good.

ned c
Michael Slowe
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by Michael Slowe »

Ned, that's a shame because I've never had a moment's trouble with Media 100, and that's with upgrading to new versions every couple of years since 1996.
I know that you have used Vegas for some time so no doubt you're happy, but I urge others to have a look at Media 100 if you're on a Mac. $99 is not a fortune and you get the fabulous Boris Red 5 thrown in.
col lamb
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:51 pm
Location: Preston, Lancashire

Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by col lamb »

Michael
I first saw a demo and had 1/2 hour hands on with Media 100 over twenty years ago and at the time thought it would dominate the market, but Media Studio and Premiere soon dominated. A total crime as Media 100 was and still is superb.

As for Prores,let me reiterate it is an AIC, that is an Apple Intermediate Codec, namely a transition between the as shot file and the final output file that Apple created to make editing easier. Being lossless it is a large file and since there are not one but many Proress varients there is the risk that in a few years time they may not be able to be played. They are a great archive format just as long as they are not the only format used to archive. Remember they are a non standard format whereas mp4 may be lossy, its a standard.

Thanks for the Media 100 tip, I will check it out.
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb
ned c
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Re: Living with the iMac.

Post by ned c »

AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) was a codec introduced when AVCHD came out and FCP7 could not read native AVCHD so it had to be transcoded to AIC with the penalty of a very substantial increase in file size. The ProRes codec in various forms ranging from Proxy to 4:4:4:4 color space is now widely used as an acquisition format by a number of high end cameras (Arriflex, Cion, BMCC,etc.) and external recorders (AJA, Samurai etc) so there is a heavy investment in this format and I suspect that it is past the point where Apple could kill it off. Unlike raw it can be set up for minimal post work and imported directly into most edit programs. ProRes replaced AIC as the transcode of choice with FCP7; I assume that FCX will natively edit AVCHD.

ned c
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