Greetings. I'm a video features producer for a newspaper in W.Va., where after a long hard slog, we have convinced the powers-that-be to switch from an archaic PC-video editing suite and camera to a Mac-based system. Helpful buying advice needed ASAP! We have approval to buy two Mac laptops, a couple copies of Final Cut Express and a modestly-priced video camera (maybe $1000-1500). Here are my ideas and questions:1/ Two MacBook Pros with 17-inch screens and with what internal configuration of hard drives in order to edit video? 2/ Two copies of Final Cut Express3/ What FCE-compatible video camera? I am looking for one with an external microphone shoe.Hurry with the advice before the beancounters change their mind! Thanks, Doug
It has been awhile since my newspaper bought lower end cameras, so I will comment on the computer configuration. The 17-inch MacBook Pro is great for video editing. The key here is to make sure you buy a fast external Firewire 800 hard drive to edit from. I highly recommended that you do not edit from your laptop drive. I just bought a LaCie portable that works great. Just make sure it is a 7200 rpm drive and not the slower 5400.
Thanks for this advice, Colin . Yes, I forgot to mention I am hunting for a camera with an external mic shoe. The days of using bad on-camera mics are over for us. Appreciate this. Douglas
+1 on Colin's suggestion to go with the 15 inch and apply the savings elsewhere. I have a 17 inch MacBook, and while it's great when I'm sitting at a desk or a table, a little less size would be nice when I'm editing in the front seat of my car on when the computer is crammed in my bag.For lower-end cameras, we're still using the Canon HV-20, -30 and -40. I know people are moving away from tape, but having the permanent archive is pretty nice. I use a tapeless camera with FCE on my MacBook, and other than capture time, I'm usually happier working off a tape.The biggest thing I miss using FCE instead of FCP on the MacBook is Compressor. You can use export with Quicktime Conversion or compres with Streamclip, but it's just nice to have software where you can save the compression settings.
Helpful suggestions! Camera-wise, right now I am looking at either a Canon Vixia HF s21 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder or a Canon Vixia HFS 200 in conjunction with Final Cut Express 4.0.1 on Macs running Snow Leopard. Anyone have any feedback on the latest Canon Vixia series used with FCE?