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Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?

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David Murrow
Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:59:28 pm

I need to replace my aging G5 tower and I'm trying to decide between a 17" MBP and a new MacPro tower. Any advice? Has anybody out there ditched the tower and gone completely portable? Is there a reliable solution that allows you to use e-sata drives with your laptop?

Thanks



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:22:25 pm

You lose a lot of flexibility and capability by going laptop-only. A whole lot.

If you have jobs where you absolutely MUST edit in the field, get a laptop in addition to the desktop. Otherwise, the desktop is still The Champ, because a laptop leaves you wanting to do more in many instances... but you can't.

You don't say what OTHER applications you use regularly in Final Cut Suite -- not to mention other applications from other software developers like Adobe, Maxon, Autodesk, etc. -- so a laptop is a dangerous recommendation based on the sparse information we have.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ron Pestes
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:52:53 pm

I don not agree with the above post. I use a MacBook Pro exclusively and have never been sorry. There may be times that having both desktop and laptop would be better but who has that kind of money? I edit with FCS3 and use external hard drives. Not a problem at all.

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Giuseppe Mangione
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Oct 1, 2010 at 8:58:16 pm

I use FCP with a Macbook Pro 17'' with 2GB of RAM, 256 MB of VRAM and several hard drives via FW 800. Editing codec: Sony XDCAM EX.

I mostly worked in short video up to 10 minute in full HD 1080. I only see the system slowing down at the end of a project when I had to fill up the timeline with a text layer for subtitling (especially after the 5th minute of the timeline, everything become pretty slow ). With no subtitling, the system works pretty well.

I do some color correction and filters. This takes time, but manageable.
A big issue is when you have to export and convert in H264... It's really time consuming.

I never had problems with firewire hard drive, so I really don't think you need e-sata system.

My conclusion: for editing with a Macbook Pro only you have to organize very well your workflow with breaks for rendering and nights for exporting H264 files. But it works for me, and I'm mobile!

For audio mixing I export an OMF file and I do it in Pro tools LE.



Here come my questions...

In the near future I have to do a bigger project up to 1/2 hour (EX 1080, with subtitling). And I want to upgrade my system.

Of course I would like to go for a desktop, but because I travel a lot between Italy and U.S. I'd prefer to stay with a mobile studio.

Do you think the new Macbook pro 17'' with 4GB ram 512 VRAM etc... will work fine for this project?
Have you ever had this experience of 1/2 hour?

What's the best solution for using a monitor with a Macbook Pro?
1 - to use external monitor connected via PCI Express card with a Matrox MXO2 LE or something similar.
2 - use another PC monitor connected to the laptop.
3 - have both... the PC monitor as extra editing monitor, and the external monitor to view the video.

Has anyone tried in a Macbook Pro the Matrox MXO2 LE or the Matrox MXO2 mini with max technology for exporting H294?
Any advise?

ciao
beppe


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Rafael Amador
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Oct 2, 2010 at 2:43:20 am

Hi Giuseppe,
I have a MBP 17 similar than yours, and I just bought a new one (coming).
I expect to reduce the processing time a lot.

[Giuseppe Mangione] "3 - have both... the PC monitor as extra editing monitor, and the external monitor to view the video."
This is the best solution, mostly because you work with Color. You will need an IO solution (Matrox, Motu AJA io).
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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David Murrow
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:59:36 pm

I'm an old Media 100 guy who learned After Effects in the mid 90s. Today I primarily bounce between Final Cut Pro and After Effects and Photoshop.

I bought the latest version of FCS, not realizing it wouldn't run on my G5. So I run it on my 13" macbook, which is a real pain.

Editing is only one of many things I do to earn a living. I'm primarily a writer. But I've got a bunch of spots I'll be editing over the next couple months and I'm trying to figure out if I can just move to a 17" power book with an e-sata adapter.



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Steve Eisen
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 23, 2010 at 11:25:38 pm

I don't know of any "professional" editors that use their MBPro as their primary system.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Ron Pestes
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 12:04:04 am

I should also add that I connect my laptop with a 24 inch Dell monitor and bluetooth keyboard and mouse at home. Also, I use LaCie Rugged drives on the road and then plug in an esata Caldigit VR at home. Buy what you can afford and don't worry about wheather full time working pros are doing it. They are few and far between when you consider all the part timers out there that are just trying to get work and doing there jobs very well.

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 7:36:48 am

I\'ve used a MacBook Pro as my editing machine for many years too. It\'s not as fast as a desktop, obviously, but I didn\'t need it to be, in my situation. To increase it\'s usability I\'ve added the following...
Connected to a 20\" in Cinema for a larger screen
USB apple keyboard and Apple magic mouse
Sonnet Expresscard eSATA card to connect to SATA drives
drive dock to connect to bare SATA drives for large file work
Matrix MXO2 mini to connect to analog TVs and HDMI devices.
Of course, FireWire and USB drives

All this let\'s me carry a mini studio in a backpack and set up in minutes in the field.

For home use I use a iMac as my desktop, and it\'s networked to my MBP. My media lies on a collection of disks which connect to the MBP and the iMac as needed.

The one thing that\'s a limitation with any MBP is speed. Especially if you\'re doing DVD encoding, complex layered compositing, and other such processor intensive things.

Otherwise the convenience and portability is great. But that has to be the reason for getting a MBP.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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isabelle lassalvy
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Nov 23, 2010 at 8:08:39 pm

Just a question
how can you use the mxo2 mini and the esata sonnet card at the same time with only one express cad port ?


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Sascha Engel
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:32:25 pm

To STEVE EISEN:

May I introduce myself: Sascha Engel, Choreographer, filmmaker and editor.
Now you know one ;-)

Sascha


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walter biscardi
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 1:08:37 pm

David, first off, no clue on the e-SATA thing. You'll need to check with someone like macmall.com and ask their sales folks about that. They are very knowledgeable and will be able to help you with the right product.

As for the complete studio in a laptop, the real question is what do you do with your system and do you need the flexibility to expand your system later? A laptop is basically what you see is what you get. About the only thing you can change later is to add RAM if you haven't maxed it out yet. That's pretty much it. And today, RAM plays a big part in the speed and efficiency of a system.

A Desktop allows you to change out the graphics card, video card, add a significant amount of RAM and install additional hard drives / optical drives and more. In short, a desktop can change and grow as your needs change and grow. The desktops in my shop run an average of 3 to 4 years before they are replaced so I get a lot of use out of them before they are slid down to another function or sold / donated.

In addition, there is no comparing the render speeds of a desktop model to the laptop because you simply can't put those processors in there.

And somebody else asked, what do you run beside the FCP suite? That could determine what's the best way to go. And do you absolutely require the portability of a laptop for your work or do you work in one location?

At the very least, if you are going to go with a laptop system, I would go with the 15" MacBook Pro and add a 24" Dell or Apple monitor as your second monitor. Also consider a small WACOM tablet as these are great not only for your work, but also eliminate any chance of carpel tunnel syndrome.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

Blog Twitter Facebook


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Jay Soriano
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:24:23 pm

Walter,

What size Wacom do you recommend(use?) for FCP/Photoshop editing?

thanks.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:30:24 pm

As many opinions as fish in the see. I work mainly on a MBP 17inch with 4GB RAM and a 512MMB Graphics card. Just finished a 75min HD Full Feature Film on that machine. Edited countless video clips for some of the biggest musicians in Israel. Both SD and HD - working as well with AE.
All my work under http://www.youtube.com/taikang is done with Apple Laptops.
For heavy effect rendering and Grading I also go on a big machine.
For the rest my MBP with a good 24inch monitor connected does the jobe very good.
I just have to be sometimes a little more patient with rendering times ;-)

Of course, a Desktop is more decent and faster, but if you wanna stay mobile - the MPB is good to go.
I just edited also a RED video clip shot in 4k - no problem.


Sascha


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Don Walker
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 24, 2010 at 5:15:45 pm

David,
As it stands right now, if you are not planning to do a lot of After Effects or Motion work, a MBP would be fine. But get the 17' version which has the Express 34 slot for a E-sata drive. The 15" version does not have that slot anymore, they replaced it with an SD card slot.(something that you could by at Walmart for $9 bucks).
Having said all that, the whole situation should change when the next major release of FCP comes out. It will be a 64 bit program. (If it's not then I'm quitting Apple) When you combine a 64bit program with a 64bit operating system, combined with 8 /16 processors, and 32GB or more of RAM, a scenerio that only a tower can provide, the MacPro will blow away any laptop. IMHO
don walker

John 3:16


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Stuart Davidson
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 25, 2010 at 9:37:42 am

Beware using E-Sata on a MBP, I moved from Firewire to E-sata and suffered constant lockups and crashes. Internet research showed I wasn't the only one. Went back to FW and the problems went away.


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Don Walker
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 25, 2010 at 5:54:42 pm

I edit maybe 5% of my work on a MBP and I never have experienced problem with ESATA. (Sonnett F2 drives etc.)
don

John 3:16


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Jim Edds
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Jul 25, 2010 at 11:40:33 pm

I use an Iomega eSATA drive with my MBP 17in. I use the Sonnet Tempo card (cheaper of the two versions). No problems yet here.

I will say one thing for the Macpro vs. MBP - with the latter I'm constantly switching between the eSata card, the firewire express card (to capture from tape), card reader, etc. A pain at times. Nice to have all the wires connected without messing with them anymore! Also, the MBP screen needs to be bigger if you're at the highest resolution. Print is too small for my eyes. Drop to a lower res and it just doesn't look as good.

MBP I7 2.66 8GB RAM, 140GB SSD, FCP 7


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Noam Osband
Re: Does anyone use a MacBookPro as their only editing computer?
on Sep 16, 2012 at 8:21:24 pm

So, I only edit off my 17" MBP. I have 8GB of RAM and I use FCP7. And it works fast. But I've just started looking into SSD and I'm wondering what people think about it? Reading online, it seems the main advantage is in compressing but that FCP will not work noticeably faster. Am I wrong here? Anyone want to give me some advice?


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