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I have been working with a sony HDR-HC1 video camera for a number of years. It can shoot in HDV but the edit system I have been using for over 10 years (applied majic screenplay) only works with DV format. From some vidios I have seen shot in HDV it seems the quality is much better. So if I am going to change over I need to figure out what type of edit system to go with. Suggestions??

Stand alone PC or Mac?

Thanks.

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Well, certainly stay away from stand alone type editing machines as they are not expandable and rarely receive firmware or software updates. PC or Mac, welcome to the war. There are many who use Avid, Premier Pro or Edius on their PCs with good reports for both. I am strictly a Mac person and have used Final Cut since version 1. I prefer Macs as they appear to me to be more user friendly, considerably more stable and virus free. However, Macs tend to be more expensive machines so a large part is dependent upon your budget and filming aspirations. All Macs come with, at least, iMovie and the new Final Cut X to be released on June 11th is anxiously anticipated since it will be an entirely new app with a GUI similar to iMovie. What features it will have or leave out is yet to be determined but it will, like CS5 and up, be 64bit and be able to access all your cores and ram. FC in its present state can only access, according to whom you speak to, 2.5-4 gigs ram. I think many will buy the download for X but retain FC Studio 3 until they have grown accustomed to X's new workflow. Premier Pro will also work on a Mac.

Steve

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As another alternative to also consider if your budget is not huge:

 

I shoot with a Sony HC 5 and a HC7, very simular to your HC1. I have a custom built Intel Dual core PC machine still running windows XP Pro that gets the job done for editing and making Blu-Rays. I use Sony Vegas Pro Version 8 for editing the video. I use the inexpensive TMGAuthorworks for authoring and the DVDs or Blu-Rays and an external blu ray burner.

 

Vegas pro now has a version 10. I've been pleased with the capabilities Vegas Pro given its pricing. The only weak link in Vegas Pro is its built in authoring software for buring Blu-Rays. I've had problems with that doing Blu-Rays authoring and what I wanted and thus instead use the TMG software instead for Blu-Ray creation.

 

If you go the PC and Windows route, be sure not to go "low bid" on a machine. Thats where the Apple world figured it out. They have fewer options but they all have sufficient hardware to do the job. People that tend to buy the cheapest PC machines seem to be the ones that have the most complaints. It the PC world you could buy substandard hardware if you go low ball on pricing. Consider a decent quad core machine or better, any middle of the road hardware should be sufficient. Invest in a good separate graphics card and a couple of fast hard drives. You might want to look at the software's recommended hardware specs and work backwards from that.

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As another alternative to also consider if your budget is not huge:

 

I shoot with a Sony HC 5 and a HC7, very simular to your HC1. I have a custom built Intel Dual core PC machine still running windows XP Pro that gets the job done for editing and making Blu-Rays. I use Sony Vegas Pro Version 8 for editing the video. I use the inexpensive TMGAuthorworks for authoring and the DVDs or Blu-Rays and an external blu ray burner.

 

Vegas pro now has a version 10. I've been pleased with the capabilities Vegas Pro given its pricing. The only weak link in Vegas Pro is its built in authoring software for buring Blu-Rays. I've had problems with that doing Blu-Rays authoring and what I wanted and thus instead use the TMG software instead for Blu-Ray creation.

 

If you go the PC and Windows route, be sure not to go "low bid" on a machine. Thats where the Apple world figured it out. They have fewer options but they all have sufficient hardware to do the job. People that tend to buy the cheapest PC machines seem to be the ones that have the most complaints. It the PC world you could buy substandard hardware if you go low ball on pricing. Consider a decent quad core machine or better, any middle of the road hardware should be sufficient. Invest in a good separate graphics card and a couple of fast hard drives. You might want to look at the software's recommended hardware specs and work backwards from that.

So which ever way I go apple vs pc it would be a stand alone unit dedicated to vidio editing, correct? I am sure i will have sticker shock but I am leaning toward an apple system since we plan on changing over from pc to windows down the line. that said what apple system would you recomend-realize i never have used an apple and know zero about them other than a great rep.

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While the new iMacs will come with Thunderbolt which should be a wonderful speed feature for those using hi end cams, the iMacs are really not expandable so you are limited to the amount of ram you can install. Not sure whether you can switch out graphics cards on the iMacs either. If you chose a Mac Pro, you can pretty much install all the ram and buy the unit with all the cores you want. I use a 12 core with 20 gigs of ram and it blazes on the 64bit CS5.5 After Effects software. Apple's FCX is being released in mid June and now will also be 64 bit and able to access all your cores and ram so there will be no more 'waiting to render' progress bars.

Wolfeeldiver is 100% correct regarding buying bottom of the line PCs...they are made for word processing and that's about it. If you go for a PC, get a darn good one.

 

Lastly, NVIDIA is greatly expanding their line of graphics cards which the faster NLEs do require.

Steve

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