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Should I buy a Mac?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by testingtimes, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. testingtimes

    testingtimes
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    I apologies right now, I know apple Mac’s have never been members of the camcorder family tree, but as I’m intending to use it for Video capture from my new camcorder I thought I’d crow bar the question into here. If moderators or friendly members would like to point me into a discussion forum where this topic fits more comfortably, I’m all too happy to move.

    My current home PC is 8 years old, has a 7GB hard drive, 128mb RAM, some ancient Celeron processors and is dying a slow and painful death, the CDRW drive has broken leaving me with a very slow DVD-ROM. I’ve tried on many occasions to slap some sense into it by reformatting it, stripping away every programme which isn’t absolutely essential to it’s functioning, but still it’s slow as slow can be and for ever crashing. I tried to capture, edit and resave a 10 minute short film taken from my Mustek DV4000 6 in 1 camcorder, and the computer was out of action until the weekend when I had chance to try and pull it back from the brink of nervous exhaustion.

    What to do?

    Mac users are in unanimous agreement that a Mac of any sorts is the best thing since sliced bread. When I’ve discussed this issue with people they’ve always told me to get one and I’ll never regret it – I just don’t know whether to believe them though, if this was a case of changing my normal brand of washing up liquid for new Cillit Bang, then if it turns out it’s not the right job for you, you’re only £2.49 down and you can go back to buying your own. But this is just such a lot of money, I really need to be certain I’m doing the right thing here.

    I’ve got £475 saved up, when I get paid at the end of the month, I’ll filter off a little bit more and could probably push it up to £550. I’m after something that doesn't crash, that can store all my MP3s, and can edit, save and burn DVDs – and additionally it’d be nice to have the kind of computer that can record and produce original music too. I’m not bothered about games and stuff.

    Questions:

    • Should I buy a Mac or would I be better off with a PC for editing my videos (amongst other computer uses)?

    • What kind of a Mac – Mini, EMac or IMac – is there that much difference if you’re not a high end graphic designer or working for a TV production company.

    • Dose anyone have any opinions on buying a Mac from Ebay – I do worry that this is a lot of money to be pissing it away should it not function as well as a brand new model from the shops.


    Your help would be appreciated.
     
  2. klr10

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    Aww Gawd - you've done it now..... :rolleyes:
     
  3. Media_Man

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    LMAO


    OK - so i will come clean - i'm a Mac user. I trained and work in the media using Macs for many years - and PC's dont get much of a look-in in profession media circles. Not the ones i work in anyway (broadcast TV).

    Why?

    1. Reliability/Stability. Whilst it is of course possible to buy (or more usually build) a good PC these days - you really have to know what you are doing. Decisions like which processor works best with which mother board with what sort of RAM with which graphics card on a certain version of windows running a certain update...no wonder there are so many problems.

    You can just buy one 'off the peg' of course - but which one ?? And do you really want to go to PC World ?? lol

    I'm afraid there are just too many variables for a professional to content with when it comes to PC's. Some do though - and they have my admiration - not to mention sympathy. :D

    Seriously though - the really big advantage with a Mac is that there is non of these types of 'multi-configuration', 'multiple manufacturer' headaches. Apple design, make and assemble their own hardware and critically they also write the software OS too. This means you get a reliable, stable system right out of the box - which is worth its weight in gold imho.

    If there was just one reason to buy a Mac - this would surely be it. :clap:


    2. Microsoft Windows. Nuff said. :eek:

    3. No viruses, worms or spyware on Mac OSX.

    4. Safe internet use. (see 3 above)

    5. Apple I-life 5 is included with all new machines - with the superb iMovie that would be perfect for your video editing needs.

    6. Macs are finally as affordable as PC's - so there's no excuse !!

    7. Macs are cooler. Always have been - always will be. ;)

    8. I have used them for 15 yrs and will never turn to the 'dark side' ! :rotfl:


    Best value on your budget is between the Emac and Mini Mac.

    The Emac is very good VFM - as you can use it straight out of the box.

    The Mini Mac is more flexible though - as it lets you choose your own screen type and periferals - but would probably end up costing you more in total once you have bought everything you need.

    Personally i would get a Mini Mac and then shop around online for some cheap add-ons and a TFT screen, though for ease of use the Emac may be a good choice for a first timer like yourself - and it falls right on your budget too.

    http://www.apple.com/uk/emac/

    http://www.apple.com/uk/macmini/

    Buy from here...

    http://www.cancomuk.com/


    Hope this helps - good luck !! :thumbsup:
     
  4. testingtimes

    testingtimes
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    Many thanks,

    After I posted this I found the Computer section on here (that's my problem isn't it? I don't LOOK do I... childhood flashback there)

    Surprisingly, that made more sense than the computer forum - no offense to those that contributed. But I understand there's definitely 2 schools of thought, and never the twain shall meet, who's best Mohammed or Jesus - you decide.

    I am kind of leaning towards a Mac, I am wanting to do film stuff. Although I'm told there's lots of programmes available for the PC which are great. One word does keep cropping up - iMovies.

    I just wonder if it'd be best to get a eMac superdrive, or miniMac and use my piece of crap monitor, keyboard and mouse, or save up for a couple more months and get an iMac.

    Then there's the issue of second hand machines from eBay. In your opinion can they be trusted as a whole? Obviously you can't vouch for all machines. But I would buy a 2nd hand Breville sandwhich maker from eBay, they're tough reliable and don't break down easily the chances of them being "warn out" by a previous owner are slim - the same couldn't be said for a complicated multi-component machine like a PC. But what of a Mac?
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    OK, first to say I agree with most of what Media_Man has said, and secondly I have only ever used a PC so here are my thoughts on why a PC would be better for you than a Mac :devil:

    You have used and therefore have a working knowledge of a PC/Windows. To a large extent buying a Mac would mean starting again from scratch.
    Windows XP is very stable. My PC has never crashed during NLE, or anything else for that matter.
    If you already have some software that you will want to continue to use then a PC is the better option - obviously!
    Windows XP has a very good editing package as part of its install called Movie Maker. Just get the SP updates and this will upgrade to Movie Maker 2 that will do everything you need to get going. Full help and advice on it can be found Here.
    There are loads more editing packages available for a PC, so as your requirements grow you can easily upgrade.

    If you really do want to see if a Mac is right for you then I suggest you beg, borrow or steal one to see if you like the OS etc. Macs do tend to do things in a different way to PC's and therefore some people just don't get on with them - but others love them straight away.
    £500 should get you a very nice PC that will cope very well with video editing, I don't however have a clue as to what it would get you from Apple. A PC is very easy to upgrade as & when you need more memory, disc space etc and can be cheaply bought from many sources. I don't think Apple Mac upgrades are as cheap or easy to get hold of.

    Please don't get the impression that I am anti Mac's. I just want to put the other side to the argument so you can make an informed decision on what to buy. After all there is no one solution for everybody.

    Mark.
     
  6. Media_Man

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    I think you would definately be safer with a used Mac than a used PC - though there is a certain amount of risk attached to both obviously.

    However - if someone is up-grading their G4 for a G5 then you may find a bargain. The best deals would be for a G4 tower - say a G4 Dual 800mhz for around £500. Towers are more expandable than Emacs and Imacs and dual processors are great with the latest version of Mac OSX (Tiger).
    Stick a gig of Ram in it (and put Tiger on it) and you would have a great system - perfect for video editing and you would probably be able to use your current monitors, mouse, etc with it too (if they are USB based).

    Having said that the Emac Superdrive is still a bargain - as is the Mini Mac - just for different reasons. They would be a safe option.

    Have a look in Ebay and Loot and see what the second hand prices are for G4's to see if its worth taking the risk. Speak to the seller on the phone and suss them out. If you go and have a look at it demand to see it in action and ask them to run a Hardware check (available on the Mac OS DVD) when you go round.

    Also on Wednesday the Apple store has its refurbished offers available that can be very attractive - plus they come with a full warranty.

    Finally the G5 Imac is very nice and very sexy....and has the G5 processor in it so it has alot more power than any of the above. You may also be able to find the older G4 version quite cheap now so shop around....

    Decisions decisions....

    PS: Jesus is definately better. I mean even if you arn't into the whole 'Christian' thing he was a Carpenter - so he would always have been useful around the house...lol :)
     
  7. Media_Man

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    Not true Mark. Macs use pretty standard DDR Ram, ATA and SATA internal drives and either Ati or NVidea graphics cards these days - so all can be upgraded easily. Firewire drives are readily available too obviously.
     
  8. Roy Mallard

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    I run a mac mini very successfully even with hdv, the trick is to buy the ram upgrade (1GB) and the faster clock speed version (1.4ghz) and to run your video files onto an external 7200rpm firewire drive.

    This is actually more stable than my dual P4 3Ghz 1gb ran windows pc.
    And a lot cheaper
     
  9. Media_Man

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  10. testingtimes

    testingtimes
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    I've heard about this before - is it just from the apple UK website: http://store.apple.com/Apple/WebObjects/ukstore ?

    That other link that was sent from CANCOM looks pretty good I'll check it out.

    CHEERS!
     
  11. ad47uk

    ad47uk
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    Can I add my little bit here, PLEASE?

    I will anyway :)

    I was looking at a MAC and to be honest, I would still like one.
    But, the P.C is cheaper to buy, you do get more for your money if you decide to buy one off the shelf. the other good thing about a P.C is they are cheap to fix.

    If your motherboard goes wrong in a P.C, it is easy to get a new one and at a decent price. Upgrading a P.C is al;so cheap and easy. I put a new hard drive inside a Mac last year and the things you have to pull out to get at the hard drive.


    The main problem with the P.C is stability, but that is the OS problem, not the hardware. But Windows Xp seems to have improved that. More choice of software on the P.C.


    As for the Mac, stability is the main feature I think, The MAC is not really a fast machine, A lot of PCs will knock the spots of any Mac for speed. If you areinto Desktop publishing and want to use Quark, then the MAC is certainly the best way to go. Quark on the P.C is crap.


    At the end of the day it is up to you what you buy, as I said I was looking fat a MAc, but now they have decided to go with Intel chips, I think I will leave well alone. I hate Intel.
     
  12. Media_Man

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    No problemo. Let me know how you get on. :)
     
  13. Roy Mallard

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    Another issue that none of you tinkers have mentioned the other sid eof the equation, the software.

    iMovie is better than pinnacle & ulead, Final Cut is far more intiutive than Premiere (I struggle to say 'better'), if you buy through the education site you'll get FCEHD for eighty of your english pounds, and it'll work first time.

    If I could start again i'd start with a mac.
     
  14. melliott1963

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    Just to add my 2 pennies worth!

    I think that at the end of the day, the decision as to which to buy will come down to what else you want out of the computer.

    Is it only going to be used for video editing and other 'serious' applications? Or do you have a family who are going to want to use it as well? If it's the latter, then there are far more 'leisure' applications available for the PC. Do you have a child who is going to want the very latest games? Whilst you can get them for the MAC, the PC is supported by the greater number of games and they are far easier to come by in the high street.

    Will you want to exchange data with other people? If so, what do they use? Whilst a certain amount will be interchangable between MACs and PCs, a lot won't be (at least, not easily).

    Stabiliy-wise, I'm currently running Sony Vegas on Windows XP and my whole video editing experience has been rock solid with not a single error or crash. That's not to say that this is true for other PC video editing programs!

    Even though I'm a PC user, I won't recommend one over the other, because only you will know what you want out of the computer.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. ad47uk

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    melliott1963, you have hit the nail on the head. I started with the AMiga and it done me well, the only reason I went to a P.C was because Commodore went under and the Amiga stood still. when I got my first P.c, the Apple Mac was expensive, that is what put me onto the P.C.

    Now, I want a Mac as well. I like the P.C for the games and for some of the software that is not on the Mac., but I like the MAC, because a lot of software on it is better than the P.C eqivalents, just look at Quark for instance.

    But as you said, it depends what you want from a Computer.
     
  16. Mr.D

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    I'm sitting in front of a film compositing workstation.

    Its a dual xeon dual boot linux/W2k box with a remote terrabyte raid about 3 floors away in the machine room. Prior to that we were all on sgi octanes and onyxes (sometime I'll use Inferno, cineon and matador on them).

    Our main compositing software is Shake made ( or rather owned) by apple ironically enough .

    Every so often we get given a mac to try out ...so far we've stuck with the linux boxes and every other facility around hardly uses Macs ( the odd photoshop station here and there but even then most of our guys run it under windows). We have powerbooks we take out on set for previs work but the serious stuff happens in linux.

    3d mostly happens in windows on maya although some guys quite happily use it in linux.
    I have a mate who runs his own small facility and he leases a load of macs but he's going back to linux boxes for performance and stability reasons.
     
  17. testingtimes

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    That's an important point and one I've asked myself before. And I think that's the reason I'm leaning considerably towards a Mac.

    I went through a phase of "tweaking" in which I time I messed up 2 PCs badly (although I did learn a lot, so the whole experience has pro's and con's). I'm over this now, I want a good computer I don't feel the need to upgrade or customise in anyway - so I don't want any house keeping at all.

    I don't have any children, and my Girlfriends got a Win98 laptop from circa 2000, which'll do for any windows needs.

    I have a PS2 - I have no reason to play games on a home computer.

    By trade, for want of a better description, I'm a "web designer". I work on a PC at work, but am inheriting my graphic designer colleauges Mac. (I will end up keeping the PC for certain server compatability issues in my organisation)So i think which ever home computer I use, I'll be keeping a toe in each camp - (not sure if that's the right phrase?)

    Needs:


    • A computer I can do video capture and editing from my camcorder

    • Something I can burn/copy DVDs on

    • Something I can plug amp/synth/mixing desk into and record music

    • Something with the longest shelflife possible

    Regarding my last point, as I said, I can't be 4rsed anymore with upgrading and component jiggery pokery. I'm willing to spend money on something that'll last and be contemporary for as long as possible.

    Which is why I think the best option for me is a Mac.

    (to be honest, I think I should stop fannying about with this and just god damn buy an eMac with a superdrive and get it over and done with. There's still just this ******ling thought that if I saved up another £200 I could have a faster, more stable computer which has a 3-4 year longer shelf life)
     
  18. Media_Man

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    1. Yes - you should stop fannying about. lol

    2. "Shelf life" is largely irrelevant. I know studios who still use G4 400mhz machines to run their Pro Tools rigs on. Lots of people make a living using older technology. Dont get sucked into the trap of waiting "just a few more months" for the next technological break-through or newer slightly better machine.

    I use a Dual 1.25ghz G4 myself and haven't felt the need to go to a G5 - and now the Intel thing is happening i won't be doing either !!

    Having said that, although the G4 Emac and Mini Mac are great, the offer below has got to be much better value - and will keep you happy for a long time too...probably... ;)

    http://www.cancomuk.com/products/se...256/80Gb/SuperDrive/56k [Refurb]&fromlist=yes
     

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