Which route to take for a Mac user?


Standard Member
I’m keen to start video editing but am in a quandary as to which route to take.

I currently have:
a G3 Mac running OS 8.6 with Firewire connection
Panasonic NVDS15B (no DV in)
Panasonic DMR E55 DVD recorder

I was thinking of enabling DV-in, upgrading my Mac to OS 9.1, upping the Ram to 128Mb, buying imovie 2 for a tenner and buying an external hard drive (120Gb for £120). Might replace the processor too.

Then I thought maybe I should just plug my camcorder into the TV, then record footage on to DVD, then edit using a DVD Ram reader/writer

Don’t think there would be too much in it in terms of cash, but does anyone have an opinion as to which route would be better?

Also, when you acquire the footage from your camcorder, can you plonk it straight on the hard disk of your choice (ie is there a “save to” option?). My current hard drive is only 6Gb – way too small.

Any opinions would be welcome.




Standard Member
As a mac video editor myself, I feel that both your options wont be any good in todays world.

I use a G4 and that gets slow sometimes too. Since you have a dvd recorder i would recommend selling your G3 and getting one of apple's new emac's with built in dvdr. While upgrading is a good option for some i feel in your case it would be like throwing your money away. The emac comes with firewire, imovie, idvd and os x which is much more better than 8.6. Once you upgrade your camcorder you will have a really good more practical setup than your options.

Even if you record onto dvd and then edit, you still need to convert the footage from .vob's (dvd movies) into .mov's to work in imovie.

When capturing footage from camcorder you can specify any hard drive you have installed.

Hope this helps.


Standard Member
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

There's only one thing that I've always been a little wary of:

my system works fine, and I've got older versions of some pretty decent software, like Quark (4.11). Photoshop (6 I think), Office etc, and I'm put off by the fact that these packages may not work properly if I junk my G3 and go for a newer machine.

Are my worries unfounded?

What's the process of transferring files/software etc? I don't have the original installation disks for my software as I was given it by a former employer.

Duncan Craig

Active Member
You really need to part with some cash to get where you want to be, I think.

Check on Mac sites if your Mac can run OSX, I still run OSX and final cut pro 3 on a G3 iBook and it's great.

Don't go to OS9 it's a total nightmare compared to OSX.

So as previously stated an eMac is a good start. It has the latest iMovie and iDVD, AFAIK.
Don't get the Superdrive model though, just buy a Pioneer 107 and stick it in a Firewire enclosure for around 120 quid, 8xburns with DVD+ and -

I would keep your old Mac too cos Quark and Office would cost you even more. Try the new versions of Apple Works free with the eMac which are quite good.

Also do you have broadband? because it's fairly important for all the software and new features Apple keep adding to their software.

How much do you fancy spending?

If you can't get your camera dongled, you could get an analogue to DV trancoder. Around
150 quid. Sorry for my rambling...Long day editing today...FCP 4.5 is fun though.


Standard Member
Thanks, Duncan.

Only set out to spend a few hundred quid at first but looks like it's going to be 500 or so, even if I buy an emac second hand/refurb.

Still, I think it may well be worth it in the long run bearing in mind I intend to do a fair amount of CD and DVD burning, editing of recorded programmes on DVD and making movies of the kids and so on.

My current Mac does everything I need on a business/surfing level so having a separate emac may well be the best option.

Notice the prices have come down quite a bit, so may wait a little while to get a better deal.

The alternative would be to upgrade my G3 but I reckon it would cost not much less than buying a separate emac. Save on the desk space, though!


Well-known Member
the newly upgraded emacs are a total bargain!

1.25 G4 processer and all that great Apple software for only £549!!

i am very tempted myself as currently in the Apple world with a new G4 iBook which i use to edit my movies via iMovie4. Am gonna hold off for a bit longer and see what they do with the iMac, is in desperate need of a rehaul.

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