Recommendations for best NLE and system <$5,000.00

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    • #40321

      Hi Chad.

      Here is your post from the other thread:

      I was a News Photojournalist for the past 5 years at a couple of stations. I have the passion to shoot the best video and put it together. I am very creative and use my right side of my brain more than my left. So what I am saying is my strenghts are being creative, shooting, and editing the video. I wish I could use all of this great information in these post to make the best computer for a NLE System, but I was not blessed with those talents.

      So, what I am looking for is a solution to my problem of trying to find the best NLE System with the best computer that will do the job. Right now, I have decided to start a video production business and my budget for this NLE System and Computer is below $5,000. I would like to put video on the website I will create, put video on the iphone to show people demos of my work as I am marketing my business, be able to edit HD and SD footage on the system making DVDs and bluray discs. I haven’t decided if I want to go laptop or desktop? I understand that the desktop will probably be more powerful than the laptop, but you can take the laptop anywhere to edit. Good example, if I have a client that wants a sample right there and then, I have the ability to do so on the laptop. I understand the importance of having monitors to hook up to the NLE System is important, I am guessing it is best to use a desktop for the monitors. Bottomline is, I just need a system to do the job and not get in my way by creating more problems that I don’t need. I would like to start out simple, build a good foundation, and have the ability to put more powerful parts in the computer. If I can think of anything else, I will add it. I may start my own forum for this question. All of your answers and postings will be much appreciated!

      Thank you,


      Oh one more thing, I have used Grass Valley NewsEdit, Final Cut Pro. and Tape to tape. Here are my impressions of some of the systems. It seams like Vegas is a good user friendly system, but I am wondering if it is powerful enough to do professional work versus prosumer work. I read in this forum that it may be lacking in some areas. Final Cut Express would not do the job, because I read something that it does not work with timecode or something like that. Final Cut Studio seems like it is pretty expensive, but not compared to Avid. It also seems High Maintence and picky of how to do things. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 seems like a pretty good system that has gotten rave reviews from some of my colleagues. I saw a Matrox Product Demo that was using Premiere and I liked that you could change the windows around, if you didn’t like where the bins were versus your source and record windows. One negative thing that I saw though was if you were typing something in the file search folder, you would have to type matrox in, if you were using anything matrox. I figured that they could make it a little bit easier and more functional for your work flow. Edius has my interest to, since I used Grass Valley NewsEdit, but I noticed it doesn’t seem like there are a lot people using it. Good Example there is no Forum for Edius. Again thank you for your responses, I hope this info helps.


      I am just getting started here, so I am going to defer to Composite 1 and others who are much more knowledgeable than I am, but I will be glad to tell you what little I might think I know.

      Lots of guys like laptops for editing, for the reasons you mentioned. However, my laptops always seem to get very hot. I use a cooling fan pad underneath them, blowing air into the intake port, but it does not seem to matter. If I was only working in DV/SD I would consider a laptop, but since you are saying you want to get into HD, I would strongly (strongly) recommend a desktop. Check the specs on the NLE you want to use. I am starting with Sony, and then moving to Adobe, and then I hope one day to move to Avid. Adobe is the highest processor requirement of the bunch. They wantup to 3.4 GHz for HDV, depending on the codec you use. However, for HD (different codec) they want less processor, and you can use a codec by Cineform called ‘NeoScene’ to convert so that a 2.8 GHz processor will work. The codec runs about $125 or something.

      It sounds to melike you are pretty sure of the direction you want to go, but you just need to get started, and don’t really have time to dig into all of the nuts and bolts yet. Is that right? (You can say no.) That is where I was about three years ago. I bought a Dell Precision 380, which died, and Dell replaced it with a T3400 (entry level workstation). I have beenextremely happy with Dell Gold TechSupport (business class: but avoid theHome and Home OfficeSupport like the plague), and would not hesitate to use them again. The only thing is that I would buy a tower case (taller box) next time, say with a T5500 or T7500, and get a biggerpower supply (PSU) if I had plans to expand as I went. And if you go that route, get aslong of a warranty as you can get: that is the real value of purchasing from Dell is the Dell Gold Warranty Support. For me as a beginner it made all the difference.

      If you know which way you want to go, but don’t have time to dig into all the details at this exact moment would be Safe Harbor ( They build custom NLE systems. I wouldwrite themand tell them just exactly what you just told me, and ask them for their recommendations; and then I would pray on it forat least a day, and sleep on itbefore purchasing. Then I would subscribe to Videomaker magazine (neat mag), or read everything in the online section about systems.

      I like Sony a lot. Other guys like Premiere. I guess Avid is the best, but as you noted, it is more expensive, and has a much higher learning curve. Hopefully you will keep reading, and then others will jump into this thread with you also, and help you learn.

      One question: does the $5k include a camera as well? Or just the NLE?


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