External Hard Drive Recommendation?

mbeano's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/08/2008 - 8:38pm

Hello everyone,

I am a new film student (as of now I have only taken theory classes, and yet to take a production class). I am thinking of buying an external hard drive. It has been a really long time since I have touched anything in relation to film or video editing so I am pretty ignorant to alot of the technology as well as the jargon.

I really want to get more into video editing. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, I have to buy my system in stages, little by little, and cannot afford to have 1 system dedicated solely to editing (for now). So for the time being my laptop will be used for everday stuff as well as learning editing and fufute student video projects. Here are my computer details:

Laptop - Apple MacbookPro 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4G DDR2 SDRAM, and 250G Hard drive, running OSX 10.5.

For now I only have iMovie, but eventually plan on buying Final Cut Pro. So for now I am looking for recommendations on an external hard drive. I know I want at least 1 terabyte of storage. I am also wondering If it is recommended to get 2 separate external hard drives - one for my media, and 1 for everyday stuff. In all I'd like to keep my costs down under $600.

As I am new to all of this any comments on what I need or should be thinking about would be welcome, and all advice would be much appreciated

Thanks in advance,


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Well, your computer set up is fine. It's definitely good enough for DV and probably HDV too, although, i wouldn't jump into HD. It's too soon, theres no point, and it won't enhance your learning process of video in anyway. Learn the basics of video with DV first; save yourself the money.

Since you are a student, you can get the student version of Final Cut Studio 2 for like, $700, which is super cheap. The only difference between that and the regular version is that it won't be able to upgrade to Final Cut Studio 3, which won't be for a long time anyway.

To answer your questions about the external drive, I've had a 250GB LaCie drive since 2005, and have never had a problem with it. It would be a good idea to have 2 separate hard drives, however, I doubt you'll need a second 1TB hard drive for general school work and everyday things. I would expect 100GB to be plenty.

alohrey's picture
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/07/2005 - 5:05pm

If I were you I would invest in the final cut express software to get you started. It is cheap, and actually pretty powerful software. As a beginning editor you will focus most of your efforts learning about basic cuts, fades, and the timing of editing. Final cut express will be able to handle all of the basics, and that way you won't be tempted to waste tons of time one things you don't really need to be doing right now. As for a hard drive, I too would recommend a lacie. I just picked up a 750 GB disc with eSata, firewire800, usb, and firewire400. I am currently using it on my macbook pro editing HDV in FCS2.0 and it works great. Keep up the hard work, your laptop will be a great editing system for you.


~Adam www.hdupdate.com

birdcat's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

I recently had a Western Digital MyBook500GB (USB & 1394) go bad on me. Although I have two others (USB only) I won't get a Western Digital again.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com

brandon0409's picture
Last seen: 10 years 6 months ago
Joined: 05/31/2006 - 12:21pm

Best buy has a 1TB Seagate drive for around $160. I swear by Seagate.

What I did was to get one of those and buy an external encloser. Vioala! External hard drive.

Total cost was about $190 for 1TB.

Much better than buying those prepackaged 150GB external hard drives for $200.

LDPLDP's picture
Last seen: 9 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/27/2007 - 11:59am

For an external hard drive, get one with Firewire 800 running at 7500 rpm. I would then transfer all non-essential files from the internal to the external drive and use the internal for making movies. iMovie6 is still a great little program for making movies but I also use Final Cut Express for more complicated procedures.

I also concur with the suggestion of not buying HD camera but stick with mini-DV tape camera. If you can squeeze in a Sony VX2100 camera, you'll be set for indoor work with minimum of lighting equipment.