video editing apple computer?

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Alphaville
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video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

this is probably the wrongest place to be asking about this, but i thought i’d gain some valuable perspective by asking here anyway, because criticism breeds resilient plans.

i do part-time video work. no high pressure deadlines, and nothing heavy, no compositing, no need for xeon towers or monster video cards. just simple 4K editing of footage shot in consumer devices and graphics created on a tablet.

==this background can be skipped==

i’m currently using final cut x on a very old macbook pro to finish a project that was created on an ipad pro.

in ancient times i used to work in diy windows machines, but it was difficult to build stable systems, adobe premier used to crash constantly, and avid required certified systems for support which made diy machines iffy. that was over a decade ago. not planning to go back.

eventually i migrated to the apple ecosystem which, while having less raw power, worked more seamlessly and with greater stability, and without the need for constant paid upgrades ($500/year every new avid version, i think they do subscription now). i used to have a 2009 macmini plus a plasma tv which was a great hack for color calibration without a professional monitor. that setup died three years ago. so, 8 years of use was a pretty good life, even though at the end it was, wow, SLOW.

3 years ago i refurbished the last macbook pro model to have a dvd bay, and have been using it for the last couple of years. final cut x was $300 and seems a perpetual license (till itks no longer supported anyway, but good bang for the buck. though i sorta hate it, it’s workable).

i shoot video on a phone (no longer need pro or prosumer cameras), assemble the footage and draw graphics on a tablet, and the finish on the cheapo computer which yeah, still works. but now after 8 years of life it’s no longer receiving OS updates, some apps can’t update, etc,

==end of skippable background==

so i’m looking at a new apple computer to last another 8 years.

my diy-er side says to get a mac mini, add ram and attach my own peripherals, tweak, tweak, tweak, win in the long run.

my optimizer side says get an imac and get to work on more videos instead of wasting time on hardware. i’ve never had an imac, it seemed to me that losing one part was to lose the whole system. but it seems appealing because it has a nice big calibrated screen, it has good basic ergonomics, and it offers more power otjer models, esp. graphics. it’s also fairly repairable (maybe) and i believe memory can be upgraded by user so no need to bleed upfront.

my minimalist side says get a macbook, work from anywhere, plug it to existing setup (cheap 24” monitor i already or an led tv when required) (but not sure about calibration on led crap).

feel free to criticize my life’s choices and make suggestions.

all opinions are welcome, because the only way to test hypotheticals without an actual (costly) experiment is to discuss them.

thanks in advance!

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C40
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by C40 »

Do you really need a Mac? My own personal computers have been 4 Macs (Two iMacs, one Mac Pro, and one Macbook pro) and one PC. Plus I've used various other PCs. The best computer I owned was the PC - a used gaming computer with two big video cards, tons of RAM, etc. I bought it for $700. That was ten years ago and it'd be cheaper/better now.

The Macs seem quite overpriced to me on hardware and I'd guess that if Macs do actually have some advantage on video/photo work, it probably doesn't make up for the price difference. Apple used to have an OS advantage but by Windows 7, Windows was significantly better. (I don't know what's happened with Windows since then)

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

@C40

thanks! yeah, every time i open a windows computer these days i get an anaphyllactic reaction :lol:

i used to like windows xp actually... it wasn’t terrible and i kept it for as long as i could.

i need a mac because i’m very integrated into the apple ecosystem now: iphones as cameras, ipads as editing and design spaces. i just need to do fine cut and finishing and audio in the computer, and everything works well together: no special cameras, no transcoding, no project conversions (automatic duck hi), i can just focus on the work. it’s a money saver actually vs. the windows kludge.

Loner
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Loner »

I know very little, so this is just a small thought, but if you're doing part-time, light and simple work, would not any computer be able to handle this? If so, I'd just go with the most convenient, cheap computer I can find. You can always buy a used screen calibration device on Craigslist.

Lucky C
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Lucky C »

I have done a lot of video editing in the past and use a Macbook, but I also haven't upgraded in the past 8 years and haven't done video editing since around then either.

I've been happy with my Macbook because I wanted portability and didn't think I would be doing anything heavy duty. If I was a serious paid video editor I might want the iMac in a dedicated office (especially if that helps optimize taxes) and keep using my old computer for other uses. I'm not that into DIY and tinkering computers but if I was then I would say Mac Mini, more about personality type than what's optimal. As for Macbook, what's the added cost/limitations vs. how much you actually need to use it outside the home?

It's too hard to say what's optimal in terms of cost because it depends on your specifics. A customizable computer can last longer but you might be spending more money on upgrades (for example getting several new upgrades instead of selling an old computer and buying a used less-old computer). Money-wise it's more about being on the lookout for a special deal regardless of what type you go with, after all we're in a recession and lots of places are going out of business.

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

Loner wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:19 am
I know very little, so this is just a small thought, but if you're doing part-time, light and simple work, would not any computer be able to handle this? If so, I'd just go with the most convenient, cheap computer I can find. You can always buy a used screen calibration device on Craigslist.
ah good question, yeah. it’s simple but it’s laborious.

so, ergonomics (in a manner of speaking) is the most important factor here. the ability to stand for hours in front of the thing and work uninterrupted without crashes and glitches and offline footage...

i said light and simple because whenever video enters the equation, the gearheads suggest the latest most high-res cameras plus server farm. :lol:

(this is precisely why i‘m polling this forum: it’s going to be the opposite of gearhead advice)

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

Lucky C wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:24 am
[...]
I've been happy with my Macbook because I wanted portability and didn't think I would be doing anything heavy duty. If I was a serious paid video editor I might want the iMac in a dedicated office (especially if that helps optimize taxes) and keep using my old computer for other uses. I'm not that into DIY and tinkering computers but if I was then I would say Mac Mini, more about personality type than what's optimal. As for Macbook, what's the added cost/limitations vs. how much you actually need to use it outside the home?
[...]
being on the lookout for a special deal regardless
ah! yes, thanks. i should pay attention and shop around carefully, and thanks for the reminder (/me steps away from apple website).

the video thing used to be a rollercoaster feast and famine nightmare of a business, exciting but stressful. now with a steady paycheck from other sources, the video work has been upgraded to a serious hobby that pays for itself. taxes etc don’t factor, because businesses and accountants ruin hobbies. :D

the more i think about it, the computer doesn’t need to move. for moving, there’s the ipad.

the mini is probably the way to go... but the retina screen on the imac has an ergonomic appeal: no sore eyes from cheap monitor glare. hmm.... 🤔

Loner
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Loner »

Ah ok, I get it. Yeah, laptops are convenient, but god I hate the ergonomics too.

I also just remembered reading this a year ago, maybe it can help you: https://petapixel.com/2019/04/08/buildi ... the-cheap/.

I know you're looking for macs, but you might be able to find some similar deals for macs?

Lucky C
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Lucky C »

Yeah I actually got the first generation of retina screen when I got my new Macbook in 2012. I figured if I took good care of it and didn't need it for any heavy gaming or video editing then I would be using it for much longer than a cheap laptop, while enjoying the quality display from the start. Amortized over 8 years now, it's not much of a difference in cost per year vs. if I were to be on my 2nd cheap laptop upgrading twice in 8 years.

Through work I have used more recent versions of Windows on newer laptops and there is no noticeable improvement in casual tasks like internet, watching videos, and using MS Office vs. my old Macbook. I certainly haven't been impressed with Windows 10 so if I wanted a new computer I would be thinking about building a Linux machine for the DIY/cheap route or another Apple if I could find a good deal.

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

Loner wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:32 am
Ah ok, I get it. Yeah, laptops are convenient, but god I hate the ergonomics too.

I also just remembered reading this a year ago, maybe it can help you: https://petapixel.com/2019/04/08/buildi ... the-cheap/.

I know you're looking for macs, but you might be able to find some similar deals for macs?
oh, that is how i got my start, buidling systems, yeah.

the issue i used to have with diy systems is that software and hardware were not always compatible, so there would be crashes, and glitches and unfinished renders, etc. in order to get a perfect match one had to get an *avid certified computer* and avid media conposer installed on it. adobe premiere... used to be crap back then.

switching to apple solved most of that. i kept working on avid (but for mac) and it worked most of the time because apple has less hardware variability than winworld. although eventually the computer lacked the resources to run avid. nevertheless, it would still run apple software... slowly, but stably.

i do miss avid though. inexperienced people hate it, but once you learn it, it’s the best, most organized, most comprehensive, most customizable, most scalable editing software out there,and has formidable media management.

if i could run avid again... i’d hold my nose and build a windows machine.

then again, i could also run avid on a new macmini probably... i’ll have to investigate on the software end. thanks so much for pointing me to cheap good hardware builds!

eta: avid system requirements: https://avid.secure.force.com/pkb/artic ... popup=true

eta, 2: the reason avid is such a picky nightmare with the hardware is because it’s meant to be seamless and reliable once configured. e.g. you’re editing a half billion dollar superhero movie, you need zero glitches and delays. so when you try to downscale that for the home based aficionado... it becomes a pricey proposition and it forces you to go “professional” and to seek profit to maintain the system. yeah, unfortunately... :(

eta, 3: unless i learn to love premiere (i never did), apple’s prosumer tools are more “sustainable” in the end. they are pricier upfront, but have a fixed cost (not a subscription model), they work seamlessly together, the hardware and software are compatible and need no frequent upgrades, and the system degrades gracefully over the long term, rather than suddenly become useless.

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

update for the curious: ifixit hasn’t done a macmini 2020 teardown yet:

https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Mac_mini_%282020%29

ram is unofficially user upgradeable, therefore likely to void warranty?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205041#one

ffs...

makes me want to look into linux video editing... if only it were any good 😭

wait, maybe i can experiment with it on osx:

https://filmora.wondershare.com/video-e ... ditor.html

🤔

daylen
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by daylen »

Alphaville wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:36 pm
makes me want to look into linux video editing... if only it were any good 😭
How about Blender? https://www.blender.org/features/video-editing/

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

daylen wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:45 pm
How about Blender? https://www.blender.org/features/video-editing/
thanks! yeah blender is in that list i linked above...

from that list i’m also vaguely familiar with cinelerra, which has been in development for ages

maybe i should multiboot my old macbook pro, and play with linux a little...

linux used to be sheer masochism... i never achieved anything in it, except a state of confusion :lol:

but i hear there have been improvements... i should look into it just for basic general knowledge anyway.

(eta: and also i miss building systems)

5ts
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by 5ts »

Alphaville wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:26 am
so, ergonomics (in a manner of speaking) is the most important factor here. the ability to stand for hours in front of the thing and work uninterrupted without crashes and glitches and offline footage...
iMac. Do not pay Apple for a RAM upgrade. Get the smallest amount of RAM upfront and upgrade yourself later for 25% of the cost. The rest of the machine is a reasonable value. The monitor is incredible.

The Mini is essentially the guts of the iMac while missing the best part of the iMac, the incredible screen.

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

5ts wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:00 pm
iMac. Do not pay Apple for a RAM upgrade. Get the smallest amount of RAM upfront and upgrade yourself later for 25% of the cost. The rest of the machine is a reasonable value. The monitor is incredible.

The Mini is essentially the guts of the iMac while missing the best part of the iMac, the incredible screen.
i know that retina screen! huge selling point

best thing of all ram is indeed user-upgradeable per apple’s official specs so no warranty disgrace, unlike the disappointingly blocked mini

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201191#install1

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

Lucky C wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:41 am
Yeah I actually got the first generation of retina screen when I got my new Macbook in 2012. I figured if I took good care of it and didn't need it for any heavy gaming or video editing then I would be using it for much longer than a cheap laptop, while enjoying the quality display from the start. Amortized over 8 years now, it's not much of a difference in cost per year vs. if I were to be on my 2nd cheap laptop upgrading twice in 8 years.

Through work I have used more recent versions of Windows on newer laptops and there is no noticeable improvement in casual tasks like internet, watching videos, and using MS Office vs. my old Macbook. I certainly haven't been impressed with Windows 10 so if I wanted a new computer I would be thinking about building a Linux machine for the DIY/cheap route or another Apple if I could find a good deal.
oh i don’t know how i missed your post! thanks for sharing info on your setup and amortization. less electronic trash also, with longer lifespan.

windows 10 gives me rage-induced headaches. so cluttered and annoying, every time i gotta help someone with it i want to stab the screen...

eventually i might end up turning my old macbook pro into a linux box, just to see if i can finally learn something,,,

5ts
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by 5ts »

Windows is just terrible. And video editing on linux is terrible, while picture editing on linux is ok. I prefer the never ending headaches of linux circa 2006 to any Windows.

daylen
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by daylen »

Both work fine for most purposes. I use both.

Alphaville
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by Alphaville »

daylen wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:19 pm
Both work fine for most purposes. I use both.
which 2 and for what?

daylen
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Re: video editing apple computer?

Post by daylen »

Windows 10 on desktop for gaming and videos. Linux on laptop for everything else.

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