View Full Version : minimum Mac for video capture/editing

03-20-2003, 02:52 PM

I have a Mac 7300 accelerated to a G3-400, 1G RAM, USB/FW PCI card, Ultra160 Cheetah 36G (x2). The 7300 bus speed is 50.

I am told that this is way too slow for video capture and editing, and that I need to upgrade to a newer Mac. My interest is in taking my Hi8 video tapes and editing them down into small vignettes of perhaps 10 minutes apiece as documentaries for schools. No broadcast quality required (especially since it was shot only in Hi8, which is not broadcast quality anyway).

Are the comments that this machine is outdated and not able to do video, especially because of its slow bus, correct? If yes, what is the minimum I need to do DV? Would a G4-500 dual do? A 733? I am asking because it will impact on whether I need to buy something faster and how fast t should be, if the present setup is inadequate.

Thanks for your input,

03-20-2003, 03:39 PM
Your machine should be fast enought to do video, the question is how are you going to get the video into your computer. i had problems doing DV capture on my 7500 with a very similar config as you.

03-20-2003, 04:54 PM
You could add a G4/800 ($399), you'll find ref'd G4/867DP at Apple Store Specials today for $1299.

Even your existing Cheetahs would benefit from a G4, along with ATTO UL3/4 card. The G3/400 is probably limited. With others upgrade to dual 1.4's they'll be selling their older G4's, whether QS or AGP, but even a DP500 still fetches close to $950.

[This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 20 March 2003).]

03-20-2003, 09:30 PM
Thanks for your comments.

On the issue of a G4-800 card, I keep hearing references that the existing bus is the limiting factor for upgrade cards, with 10x the bus as the maximum chip speed. Would that not make the max for my 50 bus Mac to be 500Mhz? Would my Mac really be able to take advantage of the additional speed of an 800 card?

Regarding video capture, I often hear good things about the Canopus, and sometimes the Formac as working effectively. I believe the Canopus is around the $300-350 range.


03-21-2003, 07:05 AM
The Sonnet G4/800 is 7455 and it is the cpu chip, not your bus, that is the limiting factor. The 750 G3's were limited to 10X and the 7400 to 8X, while 7410's would allow for 9X. The 7455 is ... 16-20x? or something.

- G.

03-22-2003, 04:58 AM
I'd like to just pipe in with my experience capturing video using my 8500's internal RCA video-in circuitry (which I understand is extremely similar to that of the 7500). My 8500's configuration has since changed, but at the time that I did the video capture, my 8500 ran with an XLR8 G3/400, a Sonnet Tempo ATA100, an original Mac Radeon, the stock SCSI 2 GB 5400 rpm hard drive, and a 40 GB 7200 rpm IDE hard drive connected to the Tempo card.

With this configuration I was able to capture video (and audio) to my 40 GB hard drive at 30 frames per second using 320x240 resolution and no video compression and no audio compression. My files were huge because of the lack of compression, but I simply compressed the movie down afterwards. By not compressing anything during capture allows your computer to get the highest frames per second. While the huge file sizes can be a problem for long projects, it's not a problem for short ones.

It was not possible to capture 640x480 video at 30 fps using my 8500, but given the amount of data that needs to be transferred at this resolution per second, I'm not too disappointed. I'm sure many other systems are unable to capture uncompressed video at 640x480 at 30 fps.