Hi I posted the following text yesterday and got ZERO response. Maybe it is because my question is so stupid or obvious, but maybe nobody saw it? So here I will try again. I really could use some advice...
I am a total newbie to FCPX and video editing, please take that into account...
I have a macbook air 2011 with a measly 120Gb and would like to edit 2 hours (246 GB) of Sony EX - 1 footage. (XDCAM MP4)- Because of a sale here in Germany I could get either a 120gb elgato thunderbolt SSD external drive (or its 24OGb cousin) for a rather cheap 99/199 €. Since my macbook does NOT support USB 3.0 and I would otherwise be stuck with USB 2.0 I reckoned it wouldn't harm to get a fast drive?
Do you think it makes sense to get one of those drives and use it as an external disk for importing the native material and editing? All I want to get is 20 minute of film out of the material (Not much of effects, just simple editing). Then again, will 240 G disk space be enough for editing 246 G of native material? (I suppose transcoding into Pro Res would create even more Gigs and going the Proxy Resolution route might harm the overall outcome?)
To cut a long story short, will the rather small 240 GB elgato ssd drive (or maybe even the 120 GB one) suffice for what I want to do (and make the editing experience nicer because of the speed) - or I am better of getting a slower USB 2.0 disk but with a larger 1TB capacity?
Thank you all in advance!
You may get a much better response if you post your question in the FCPX Techniques forum as this one and the FCP forum tend to be for FCP7 users.
However as a general rule then the faster and larger your external drive for your media is the better. USB2 is never going to be quick enough for ProRes as you have pretty much worked out.
So given you are on an Air with Thunderbolt it makes the most sense to use that. I would go for the largest drive I could afford as storage has a funny knack of never quite being enough. While the smaller drive will easily handle your 20 mins final edit it depends on how ugh footage you need to capture to complete your edit.
In terms of ProRes thats a good choice of codec for editing, if you have source from DLSR then transcode to ProRes 422 or even LT. The HQ and 4444 versions are way too much for H264 source material.
8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 or MC V 7 with Symphony option. FCP7, Color, Media creation and conversion. Adobe Encore DVD creation and authoring.
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 or MC v7 with Symphony option FCP7
7TB raid 5 fibre storage.