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Have $15,000 for new HD setup. Suggestions?

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Lisa Laughbaum
Have $15,000 for new HD setup. Suggestions?
on Nov 24, 2012 at 6:26:58 pm

Hi everyone,

I own a small video company that specializes in capturing live theater events, especially children's theater and dance recitals. I am excited to finally be upgrading from a decent SD system (3 Canon GL2s and FCP on iMac) to a low-end yet professional HD setup and would love some input in regards to what works best for you.

I have $15,000 to spend and I'm looking at purchasing 2 Canon XF100s and 1 Canon XA-10 (for the static wide shot). I edit on FCP and think I should upgrade to the 12 core Mac Pro and relegate my 27" iMac to monitor status. Your thoughts and suggestions?

My other question concerns my final output. Since most of my clients/parents will still be purchasing regular DVDs instead of Blue-ray, will this expenditure increase my quality as much as I'm hoping? Will using HD cameras (having the final output go to dual layer disk as usual) be any more satisfying than the quality I currently get using SD equipment?

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated!

Lisa Laughbaum
Laughing Tree Productions
http://www.LaughingTreeProductions.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Have $15,000 for new HD setup. Suggestions?
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:03:27 pm

[Lisa Laughbaum] "I edit on FCP and think I should upgrade to the 12 core Mac Pro and relegate my 27" iMac to monitor status."

FCP7 is no longer available. If you're talking about FCPX, it actually runs better on new iMacs than it does on the current Mac Pros (the 2012 Mac Pros are built on last-generation Intel CPUs from 2011, but the iMacs run current-generation Intel CPUs).

I would not recommend buying a Mac Pro today unless you have a specific need for it. Unfortunately, I think the iMac is a better computer for most editorial use cases. (Other apps like Ae or C4D are be a different matter.)

If you really want the best performance available, it's currently on the PC platform. Personally, I run both Macs and PCs.


[Lisa Laughbaum] "Since most of my clients/parents will still be purchasing regular DVDs instead of Blue-ray, will this expenditure increase my quality as much as I'm hoping? Will using HD cameras (having the final output go to dual layer disk as usual) be any more satisfying than the quality I currently get using SD equipment?"

Getting good-quality downconversions from HD to DVD is more challenging than you'd think. Check the FCP forums for "HD to SD" or "HD to DVD" for some pointers.


[Lisa Laughbaum] "I am excited to finally be upgrading from a decent SD system (3 Canon GL2s and FCP on iMac) to a low-end yet professional HD setup and would love some input in regards to what works best for you. I have $15,000 to spend and I'm looking at purchasing 2 Canon XF100s and 1 Canon XA-10 (for the static wide shot)."

I'm not a camera guy, but with an effects/post background, I'd be most curious about the low-light performance of the newer cameras you're looking at versus the old ones.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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