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Why It’s Still Smart to Buy a Mac Pro

Gizmodo has posted an article called "Why It's Gotten Straight Stupid to Buy a Mac Pro." While the title pretty much sums up where this author comes down in the current  iMac vs. Mac Pro debate, it does specifically mention the Mac Pro as providing "serious horsepower for tasks like editing media." With the newest iMac update you get a very powerful machine. It includes a brand new processor, a large monitor and an affordable price all in one. There's no debating that a Mac Pro can be expensive. The 8-core Mac Pro starts at $3,299, while the Quad-core iMac tops out at $1,999. Start adding in Mac Pro options and you can cross $5,000. So why would any video editor buy anything other than a 27-inch iMac today?{C} With the iMac you are lacking the ability to add one of the single most important pieces of hardware for the video editing suite: the In/Out video card. To call it a "capture card" today isn't really proper anymore since with so many tapeless formats many editors never "capture" a frame of video. But you do have to monitor that video that you are editing. Without any expansion slots an iMac doesn't have the ability to add the Final Cut Studio industry standard AJA Kona or a Blackmagic cards. Neither can you add an Avid Mojo DX. You might be able to add an original Matrox MXO at some point but as of this writing the new iMacs aren't on Matrox's supported hardware list. The newer Matrox MXO2 requires a PCIe adapter card for connection. You could connect an AJA IO HD as it connects with a single Firewire 800 connection but since the iMac's only have a since Firewire 800 port you are left with only USB drives for your media. You can't do high-end editing with USB drives. Plus the IO HD is expensive and given Apple's recent moves to shy away from Firewire I wouldn't trust the IO HD as being a good investment for the future.

That right there knocks the iMac out of  contention for any serious video editing suite. Unfortunately, the lack of a proper display card for monitoring is something that a lot of editors don't seem to be concerned about today. With the availability and affordability of tapeless cameras like the Panasonic HMC-150 or the Canon 5Ds and 7Ds, you have more media being shot and edited than ever before. And with the equally affordable Final Cut Studio, there's a lot more directors, producers and less experienced editors cutting today than ever before. What we are seeing are many of these editors working in edit suites (though those suites might be their bedrooms) without a proper display card for external monitoring. The only place they are viewing and reviewing their programs is on their computer display using Final Cut Pro's desktop preview as their monitoring option. You can't have a properly setup edit suite without some type of client monitoring option on an external video display. And that's not even getting into the discussion of all of the editors who are working in Apple Color without a properly calibrated grading monitor and using only the computer display. An external video display requires a video I/O card and those cards require a PCIe slot. You can't get that in an iMac. And you can't even begin to build a proper edit suite without a good external display.

There are other things you can't do with an iMac in a video editing environment as well. You can't add cheap drives internally and RAID them into a fast RAID array for multi-stream high definition editing. You can't add a very affordable eSATA card to get faster than Firewire speeds. You can't add a fibre channel card and connect an iMac to the fastest fiber channel storage options available today. You can't pack more and more RAM into your iMac as 64-bit moves into the mainstream. You can't upgrade the graphics card as Mac OS Snow Leopard technology like Open CL begins to offload more and more work to the graphics processor. And you'll really enjoy all of those Mac Pro processor cores as Snow Leopard's Grand Central Dispatch begins to work with new software.

And I'll be honest… I would be worried about how long an iMac would stand up in a real production environment where you have a Mac Pro working around the clock, editing during the first two shifts of the day and rendering or transcoding footage overnight and on weekends. The Pro machines are designed to work long and hard hours. And the fact that you can remove the tower from the edit suite itself means the heat and noise of the computer can be removed from the room if so desired. Oh, and there's that second optical drive bay that Mac Pro's have so you can add that Blu-ray drive if need be.

Can you use the new iMacs as an affordable rough editing suite or a b-edit station? Absolutely. Can you use a new iMac as the primary edit machine for a producer or director who wants to rough in their RED edit after getting a Firewire drive full of transcoded ProRes files? Of course. Can you use the new iMac to finish the gritty behind-the-scenes promo piece that will never see broadcast television? It may be the best all around solution for that. Can the ad agency use the new iMac to slap together demo reels or montages of ripped DVD footage for a client presentation? They are probably using an iMac for that anyway. Is a new iMac acceptable for a lot of offline editing situations for jobs that will be onlined, finished, color graded and output elsewhere? Possibly.

But what you won't be doing is walking into a professional post-production house and seeing their primary editing suites being outfit with a bunch of iMacs. I'm guessing from reading that Gizmodo article that the author Mark Wilson hasn't done a lot of professional video post-production. That new 27-inch iMac is an intriguing machine at an unusually affordable price for Apple. I'll buy one for my house but my edit suite will still get a Mac Pro.

46 Comments

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  • http://macdevil.tvdog MacDevil

    You are so mean Scott..Next you will tell us that Final Cut is not as good as AVID. You elitist snob….

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      Oh man the Avid vs. Final Cut Pro debate. That one’s as old as dirt itself. And if it’s elitist to want to view my edit on something other than FCP’s Canvas window … then elitist I am! It’s actually nice to have a nice size external monitor MacDevil, you should try it sometimes as it’ll change your whole outlook on editing. : )

  • http://web.me.com/andymees Andy

    Hey Scott

    No argument with the main thrust of the piece, but I do think you maybe neglected to mention a couple of options for the determined iMac editor…

    First, for I/O, how about the MOTU V4HD? That rather nice piece of hardware connects via FW800 like the AJA IoHD, but it also lets you connect FW800 drives in series (unlike the IoHD it doesn’t hog the FW bus) … right there you have a pretty serious I/O option for any iMac based editor.

    Second, for media, what about iSCSI (Gigabit ethernet) based storage options? Not only might that provide the bandwidth necessary for a single editor but it also offers the possibility of SAN based editing for an iMac workgroup … not too shabby.

    Professional post production houses with iMac’s as primary edit systems … no, obviously not likely. But nonetheless, iMacs as fully functional primary edit systems? I think not only that it can be done but that it probably will be … just not by me ;-)

    Very Best
    Andy

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      Andy, good call on the MOTU unit, I totally forgot about that one. Maybe because I’ve never seen one in the wild, only at NAB! But it did look like a slick unit. I just worry about relying on Firewire these days with Apple’s current trend of slowly moving away from Firewire. I would be nervous with only 1 Firewire port for a machine I was going to rely on to do editing. And the iSCSI is another option that’s great to mention too so thanks for bringing that one up!

  • http://macdevil.tvdog MacDevil

    external monitors and calibration are over-rated… we just upload to the web… every tv, monitor, and screen looks different…so why even try to get a ‘standard’ that doesn’t exist….

  • Freespirit

    And still for most power users the iMac is enough. We video editors are dependent on plug-in cards and raid sets so the Mac Pro will stay our main machine. But most power users don’t use any of those things, they just need the raw CPU power.

    I mean a graphic designer maybe used to go for a MacPro, but nowadays it’s hard to justify that compared to an iMac, even with adding the extra screen. Or for a coder or a gamer who wants raw power over expandability.

    I think that you are missing the point the iMac now has the speed to replace the Mac Pro for large groups of power users that just bought the Mac Pro’s for their speed. But for us in the niche world of video editing etc. their still is no other option than the mac pro. But I sure hope they figure out a way to lower the mac pro price (maybe ditch XEON for i7).

  • http://conigs.com conigs

    I’m in complete agreement over the MacPro vs iMac debate. However, when you tall about proper monitoring, you’re missing one detail: most of those people shooting in their 5D/7D/Consumer HD camcorder never release their video anywhere beyond YouTube & Vimeo. And we’re no longer talking just hobbiests, here. While I work on broadcast commercials daily and have all the calibrated monitors I could want hooked up to the Kona3 in that MacPro, I fully uderstand that we’re also living in the age of “good enough…”

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      consig, I’ll disagree with your detail that says “most of those people shooting in their 5D/7D/Consumer HD camcorder never release their video anywhere beyond YouTube & Vimeo.” I think a lot of 5D acquisition is hitting broadcast. I know I’ve personally worked on many music videos and commercials this year shot on 5D. Currently working on a broadcast concert shot on 8 of them. The new Saturday Night Live opening was 5D. They might be more local and regional broadcasts at this point but they are out there.

  • Mac guy

    Good points all. The Gizmodo author does seem ignorant of the hardware needs in the pro area.

    OTOH, rumor has it that the new iMacs are worth the price just for the outstanding displays. Why not buy one as a monitor, and get a backup computer for “free”? (the new iMacs can be used as external displays).

  • http://conigs.com conigs

    Scott, while we’re seeing more and more 5D/7D fotage coming into our edit suites, I’d still argue that it’s only a small fraction of the footage being shot on those cameras.

    Also, just look at MacDevil’s post above. I’ve had long discussions with people on the age of “Good Enoughâ„¢.” While we’re in an industry that works to (sometimes) the strictest of technical specs and need precise monitoring, scopes & legalizers, many people do not. Post-production is now getting to the point of “desktop publishing” in the 90s. The guy at home opening up Color to touch up his home movie to look better doesn’t need the external monitor & scopes that a MacPro can afford him. Will it be perfect? Hell no. But that guy is doing more than he could have before.

    I know you touched on that in your post, but I just feel we need to recognize that post-production is no longer just for broadcast/commercials/films. And the precise tools we rely on on a daily basis are not needed in many of those situations.

    I’m also not disagreeing with you. I have an old 2xDualCore 2.66 Mac Pro at home. When that bites it, it will be replaced by another MacPro.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      “The guy at home opening up Color to touch up his home movie to look better doesn’t need the external monitor & scopes that a MacPro can afford him.”

      Very true and that’s who an iMac is perfect for. But that person probably doesn’t know what scope is, nor do they read Studio Daily! There’s a line between amateurs and pros …..

  • http://www.jayfriesen.com Jay Friesen

    Scott, I think you’re dead-on here.

    My stuff never hits broadcast but as an all-inclusive production guy for a non-profit, I MUST HAVE expandability! As it stands, the Mac Pro barely has enough as it is…I’m not talking just video and HDDs.

    My RME audio D/A interface needs a slot as well. If I want to add any DSP audio cards, I need more slots. Another graphics card for animation? Yup, need one. An external set of RAIDs? Need cards there too.

    I did buy an iMac for our in-house graphics work (last model). It’s perfect for that but my MBP has more interface options than that machine and the last time I edited on it, I overheated the graphics cards and blew out the screen for the rest of the day. I’m sure their improved, but not up to the task of pro work.

    For the record, I’ll never hire someone that doesn’t grade their work…even if only for web. Yes, every monitor may be different, but don’t make bad even worse. All professionals should work as hard as they can to maintain the standard and create the best experience they can for their audience.

    Next I’m going to hear that mixing audio on laptop speakers is fine too…

  • http://conigs.com conigs

    “Next I’m going to hear that mixing audio on laptop speakers is fine too…”

    Jay, maybe not yet, but I definitely get comments back on audio mixes from people who are proofing on laptop speakers…

  • AndrewK

    The raw performance gap may be closing, but there’s more to an editing system than speed just like there’s more to editing than just knowing which buttons to push.

    Another pro for the Mac Pro is that you can reduce heat and noise in the bay by having the tower in a dedicated machine room w/only the KB, mouse and monitor in the bay.

  • http://www.replayvideo.net BIll Moede

    A Mac is always a better choice because of the OS. And most cases the Mac always be better hardware.

    Windows will always be a horrible OS, especially with any media production software.

  • http://vprod.blogspot.com Larry Vaughn

    If you use the ethernet port to connect a hard drive array, can you still use the ethernet port to network to other computers?

    What will happen when the next MacPro uses the optical interconnections we have been hearing about. One connection fits all. What happens to all those expensive peripherals at that point?

  • http://vprod.blogspot.com Larry Vaughn

    If people do edit for the internet, consider that maybe you should use speakers for mixing audio that most people have connected to their computer at home. IE, not very good ones.

  • The Captain

    I do agree that a Macpro is vital to video editing, over the imac. But I just read the original article (“Why It’s Gotten Straight Stupid to Buy a Mac Pro.”) and the author does make some great points. Not that the imac beats out the macpro for editing, but that us macpro users are being gouged by apple just for the ability to expand our systems. Now that the imac is close to the performance of a macpro (the lower end) then we are kinda getting the shaft with the extra premium put on the mcpros that come with no monitor, just to be able to use some of our cards, and plug a camera and a drive in at the same time.

  • http://TechThoughts.org Anthony

    What the article and discussion points out is that the overly expensive MacPro hardware is not required for all but a few high-end productions any more. There’s no doubting its capability, but it is sorely overpriced when you now compare it to Apple’s own i7-based iMac.

    The expansion restrictions of the iMac are indeed problematic and Apple seems resolute in its offering of the Pro for Professional who need any sort of expandability. It’s like forcing all auto buyers to purchase a Hummer when all they need is a station wagon. You can buy it in any color, as long as it’s perforated aluminum. ;;-)

    People are moving to Vegas. People are buying high-end PC gaming machines and using them as wicked past production tools because they are cheaper and faster than what Apple offers. Millions of people around the country get real work done on PC’s. They make money. And, because they spent less mony on the hardware, or get more hardware for the money, they are doing better off than Mac users.

    Oh, and FCP-7 still can’t edit native RED 4k footage.
    Vegas-9, on a PC, can.

    I use FCP every day. It’s how I earn a living. But I reserve the right to be completely frustrated by Apple’s attitude and policies. No internal Blu-ray option? Even for data? That’s just inane bigotry.

  • http://tvoneproductions.net Philip

    We have 6 Final cut Pro Edit Suits in our south Jersey Studio I am the only one with PC based Edit system I use Velocity HD, Vegas 9, Some Avid, When Apple changes stuff, it winds up costing us Big, The Mac pros have differentTh memory as well as some slots that except expensive cards, Jobs is Just interested in making BIG Bucks & they don’t care about the end user, I will not get trapped in Mac Prison, The Pc takes anything I throw at it & I don’t need a Genius Bar to fix it.

  • mark raudonis

    Two words: Fibre Channel

    When they come up with a way to include fibre channel into an iMac, then I’d agree with most of the comments here. Until then, if you’re in a large scale networked, shared storage environmen using fibre channelt, an iMac just ain’t gonna work.
    But, they sure are tempting!
    Mark

  • Old Rogue

    “I just worry about relying on Firewire these days with Apple’s current trend of slowly moving away from Firewire.”

    “You can’t pack more and more RAM into your iMac as 64-bit moves into the mainstream.”

    Both arguments are specious, since you are making assumptions about what the iMac might be, instead of what it is right now, which is FAST.

    But since you did peer ahead for a comparison, let’s review the future.

    Apple’s collaboration with Intel to produce Light Peak will be showing up sometime next year for lightening fast fiber optic connections to ALL peripherals, making Firewire as well as USB as useful as the dinosaur. And while the ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics processor is no slouch, Light Peak will make high-end, external graphics boxes a real possibility.

    The current high-end iMac can “support” 16GB of RAM in two slots. Nobody current makes 8GB modules for the iMac, but they will. The Early 2008 models can only “support” 4GB of RAM and yet OWC and others are making and selling 4GB modules, meaning one can install a 4GB + a 2GB and successfully run 6GB on one of these older machines. This would suggest that in fairly short order, one could install 24GB on the current crop of iMacs. So, how much RAM do you need?

    I would be willing to bet that in less than a year, iMac models will support 32GB, with newer processors, and still at about half the price of a Mac Pro.

  • Old Rogue

    Oh, and I forgot to ask, has anyone here actually tried to edit, color correct, render, etc., on a new iMac? Did it crash? Was it slow? How about some real feedback?

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      Light Peak is very intriguing but you can’t run a business on future technology that might meet all of our needs. I hope it does at it looks promising but that’s about it. One can see Apple’s move away from FireWire today.

  • http://www.johnbrunedigital.com John Brune

    I use an original 24″ iMac every day and AVID software and I shoot and edit HDV. I have made my living like this for years and I have no need for a RED or a 5D or 7D. I produced with DV before that. I know–no one cares. But the iMac works and it works well. It’s a power house for what it offers. To say that a MacPro is the only solution for a serious video professional is pure snobbery. This sounds like the argument I had today with a voice announcer guy who claimed that his $1500 estimate to voice a 10 minute script was a bargain versus the guy I’ve been using for years at $200. My iMac puts food on my table pays for itself time and time again. If I need to upgrade to something else I will but for what I do it’s a solid solution and I don’t waste valuable time trying to keep up with the Jones’.

  • Jack Frost

    Forgot to list the RED Rocket in the list of PCI cards any serious video editor would have.

    The article on gizmodo is ridiculous.
    Basically, he says “you’re stupid to buy a Mac Pro, but you can’t upgrade the iMac, only the Mac Pro.”

    So, anyone who needs to grade their Mac is now stupid, according to that asshat.

    Also, if my monitor goes bad, I replace the monitor, I don’t need to take my whole computer in for repair.

    The article is little more than over-excitement over the great i5 powered 27″ iMac. Basically, he got his hands on a boob and soiled his underwear without ever getting to the good stuff – and then declared the good stuff unnecessary.

  • Old Rogue

    “One can see Apple’s move away from FireWire today.”

    And yet, there it is still on all the current iMac and Pro models.

    “you can’t run a business on future technology that might meet all of our needs”

    But you can predict the demise of a technology, and that’s OK? You can’t have it both ways, bub.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      Uhh sorry back at ‘cha bub but all you have to do is open your eyes to see Apple moving away from Firewire. Steve Jobs weighed in himself:

      http://www.edibleapple.com/steve-jobs-email-response-re-lack-of-firewire-on-macbooks/

      It’s a fact that the lower end Macintosh computers have seen their Firewire connectivity reduced in recent models. And a single Firewire 800 port on an iMac does not point to professional connectivity. I certainly don’t want to bet my profession and the ability to edit on a single Firewire port. There used to be more than one, now there is one. Firewire is great; fast, easy connectivity but Apple hasn’t put confidence in it as of late. I’m not predicting the devise of a technology I’m just looking at the current trend. They’ll (probably) never take Firewire away from the Mac Pro but based on their actions I’m not going to buy a $3,500 AJA IO HD that depends on Firewire. But if you want to daisy chain Firewire drives across you edit suite then that’s your decision.

  • Harvey Popowich

    Hardware has never made a show that people want to watch
    Its the story.

  • http://twitter.com/alexm13 Alex MacLean

    “external monitors and calibration are over-rated… we just upload to the web… every tv, monitor, and screen looks different…so why even try to get a ’standard’ that doesn’t exist….”

    You know what, your absolutely right! But, why should it stop there? Im just going to stop white balancing and focusing. Actually I’m just going to throw out my HVX and buy a flip camera, since its just going to the web anyway…

    But on a more serious note, I agree with Jay F. on this one. Color Correction is a necessity.

    As for the iMac, in my opinion its a great offline edit solution. I cut with a 24″ for a little less than a year, and it worked great. I used it for 2 films shot on Red, and it handled 1080p ProRes files with no problems. The only thing that concerned me was the computer would get VERY hot, and loud.

    I upgraded last year to a 17″ MacBook Pro when I briefly lived out of the country. I planned on purchasing a macpro when I returned, but I haven’t needed one yet. The MacBook Pro is sufficient for my needs and I run it very hard as a desktop. (Hooked up to mx02, 2 displays, external drives, ect.) i.e. external monitoring through express 34.

    So my suggestion is if your looking at going for an iMac don’t rule out a MacBook Pro.

  • j lapointe

    Not to muddy the waters, but there are BROADCAST video editors out there that use a laptop MACBOOK PRO to edit and broadcast every day at TV stations across the country.

    Not web video, but full blown broadcast quality (some stations cutting HD).

    Apple taking away PCI slots and firewire ports will lose that arm of their sales.

    There’s a need in broadcast for portable, fast, reliable way to edit in the field/mobile.

  • Bernhard

    Hi!

    I’m using both at work – a MacPro with 16 virtual 2,93 GHz Cores and 16GB RAM; and a MacMini (lastest and best model) – you’ve heard right: not an iMac!

    The power of the MacMini is very nice – the GPU is according to Cinebench only factor 2/3rd of the Radeon4870 in the MacPro – okay the VRAM is little smaller…
    Using all cores, the MacPro is 6 times faster than the MacMini. But watching the CPU usage in FCP tells me the MacMini insn’t that bad in comparison!

    In my opinion it’s not an issue of the used machine – it’s an issue of the application and the software that is able to use such many cores.
    For hardcore 3D a Mini would be underkill.

    To the technical stuff:
    it seems firewire is dying, since FW3200 doesn’t hit the market yet. But USB3 with optical cables and downwards compability seems to be the future.
    The calibrated display-issue will soon be resolved. Thinking of the HP Dreamcolor and DisplayPort – the future belongs to IT-monitors, calibrated for video monitoring – as long the graphicscards are able to deliver 10bit. The end of dedicaded video-monitoring hardware is near, as the end of exotic storage solutions like fibre channel. Inside the IT industry, fibrechannel SANs are dealed as old fashioned technology!
    Indeed I’m using a NAS with Gb-Ethernet for HD editing – with ProResHQ and 4444 very fine!!! In the future we’ll upgrade to 10G Base-T as soon as it becomes higher standard.

    This is not a posting against the MacPro (hey- I’m using the monster-model :-) – but
    1.) this should be a question of technology and not ideology
    2.) the whole system has to meet the (hopefully) very very well defined requirements

    ad 2.) in the age of editing 4K material in sub-SD resolutions and blew it up again with the ease of a mouseklick – it’s not too hard to meet the most of them

  • Bernhard

    one more thing to say:
    this discussion only illustrates the progress of democratization of production and the convergence of technologies (video and IT)

    Instead of fighting discussions we should be glad about progresses like FCP (in the past), RED, hp Dreamcolor, … and now the new iMac.

  • AndrewK

    John Brune,
    It’s not that Mac Pros are the only thing ‘real’ professionals use it’s that the current iMac’s can’t completely replace Mac Pros because pure speed isn’t everything.

    Scott Simmons,
    Gotta disagree about FW and Apple. Apple briefly pulled FW from the MacBooks because they were stealing sales from the MB Pros, IMO. Jobs alleged statement about the reasoning behind it was just PR (factually incorrect PR at that).

    Apple is/has moved away from the FW400 port but I wouldn’t call that the same thing as moving away from FW. I think Apple is just trying to remove port clutter and redundancy. FW800 is backwards compatible w/FW400 and the 9-pin FW800 connector will also be used by the forthcoming FW S3200 standard (up to 3.2Gpbs). Also, dropping down to only a single FW port is more of an inconvenience than anything since all Macs only have a single FW bus shared by all the FW ports.

  • Brian Melnyk

    because video equipment is so expensive, i bought an imac and was able to afford an XH-A1 and FCP and start working. now i’ve used that money to invest in more equipment, and instead of a mac pro, i have a MBP and a merlin… and a libec tripod… and microphones…and a hv30 and…. etc. etc.
    while i would love a mac pro, i think getting whatever you can afford to edit and SHOOT quality video ASAP is the way to go. it is great that the imac is a viable option!

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  • Jaleel

    I think the Gizmodo post was correct on a number levels especially if you don’t use OS X. I recently purchased a Dell XPS 8000 w/ the new U2410, awesome monitor but still waiting for the system. I spent half of what a similar spec’d Mac Pro would’ve cost and got a 24in semi-pro monitor.

    With that said, I think that the problem is that Apple doesn’t have anything that’s even expandable by design but the Mac Pro. I’ve always had a problem a with all-in-one systems but the new iMac w/ i7 is quite interesting. It is a power house compared to the single CPU Mac Pro but Apple doesn’t offer anything else but the Mac Pro that’s expandable. I would love to see a Mac Mini Pro come out with room for 2 hdd and some expandability, including the ability to upgrade the video card and CPU but with a (i5 or i7).

    The problem is that Apple could offer many of the things that can be added to a Mac Pro that some want (Fiber, iSCSI, more FW ports, ect) in a iMac but that would kill sales of Mac Pros.

    Too many of us get caught up in the trap of Mac vs PC which is not a correct way of looking things as a Mac is in fact a PC, and always has been, but Windows vs OS X. There are far more editors on Windows than most would like to believe in one way or another, even if being run on Apple hardware.

  • Sebastian

    MacDevil FCP is a poor imitation, at best to the 1st guy on the block, Avid. I have worked with all the systems out there and hands down the Avid workflow is most intuitive, efficent (used loosely) one out there. I won’t get into that debate. I find it interesting FCP users call anyone not FCP are elitists. There is a reason why they still use an Avid. Now with that said even Avid has its flaws. All edit systems do. I agree with Scott’s point about having an external client monitor. Some other great points have be made which I won’t go into here. But to summerize on all the posts. You should edit for broadcast and distribute how ever you distribute for example internet, cable, DVD, BD etc etc.. I edit with Grass Valley’s Edius and I already know what some people are thinking already WTF is Edius? Well its BIGGEST, (and I say that with a capital “B”) asset is that it is true realtime. I can slap on filters, dissolves, color grading, DVE with virtually NO RENDERING! Yes no rendering. I say virtually because if you put enough effects on anything you might have to render a clip or two. And I can’t tell you the importance when a client is sitting above your shoulder and the last thing he wants is waiting for a movie and single effect render. Time is money folks especially in this day and age. The only thing bad i can say about it is the filters are less than glorious. But with the rumoured next version to accept After FX plug-ins I will glorify this system like you FCP users out there glorify yours. I watch FCP mouths drop open when they see the speed at which this system flies on a modest PC. I just wish they able to port it to a MAC. Hands down MAC has more efficent OS than a WIN. oh and lot less crashes. Watch out for this edit system it is a sleeper it will surprise a lot of people and yes it can use a client monitor too.

  • Robert

    Excellent article. You could also point out that after three years and one day your iMac’s power supply will blow out and you’ll be left with this bust iMac that has a gorgeous screen. A screen going into a landfill.

  • Nero Media

    I have Avid and FCP studio 3 as well as Vegas and Premier Pro. we also use logic 9, and nuendo in conjunction with FCP and Premier and ProTools HD in conjunction with AVID. firstly i would like to say that Avid is slightly easier and more intuitive. secondly, DigiDesign is highway robbery! $5000 for Avid and a basic hardware package- $17,000 for protools hd and associated hardware and an additional 25000 in plug ins and cert to be able to mix in thx, 7.1, 5.1, 2.1. another 50,000 for the controller ie “mixing board” and what do i get for all that $? digidesign $100,000 professional editing studio.

    the same power can be had by using Premier Pro, After Effects, Encore, Final Cut Pro studio 2 or 3 and Logic in conjunction with Nuendo for around $30,000 including mixing board, controllers, interfaces, apogee i/0 card and legit software with plugins! so in effect the $70,thousand difference is mostly the degidesign name and the ease of use! lots of clients would turn down a media company to produce or edit their documentary, commercial, instructional video etc etc if they didn’t have degidesign! and yes it is a better product. but for those that don’t need it, Final Cut Pro, Premier Pro and Logic will work just fine! to be honest i prefer Premier Pro, After Effects to Avid as i cant edit AVCHD formats! so i can grab a Canon XL-H1a with a DTE hd instead of the HDV tapes. Do part of a commercial shoot and edit on a laptop and show a rough draft to the client right there within minutes! Theres nothing wrong with using either set up! Avid Users are Working Professionals on a level where the benefits of using Degidesign make since. Nothing elitist about that! but at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with FCP or Premier Pro! even the avid guys tend to use more than just avid! the right product for the right situation!

  • http://www.eoptionsonline.com/ Albert Gray

    Thanks for posting the information of buying a Mac Pro

  • rob

    Can you break this into paragraphs? It’s impossible to read.

  • Elmo

    You are grossly mistaken. The AJA ioXT displays SDI out via Thunderbolt all day long.

  • Elmo

    Stop everything. This article is from 2009.

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