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If you have a PC with the power and software that can adequately edit video, then I would agree with chrisColorado on staying with the PC. If your computer is entry level, however, then it will require certain amount of experimenting with hardware and software to produce a PC that will process video unreliably and quickly. In the video business, time is money. If it takes many hours to render your movie projects into a format for burning on a DVD, that’s less time you have for each project.
I use a Power Mac with quad processors – liquid cooled system. For one hour of video, it takes about a little over an hour to render, compress, and burn it to a DVD. The question is – how fast will your current PC process a movie to a DVD? If it takes an hour or two, then stay with the PC.
If your current PC is not up to the task, you should consider at least an entry level Mac – the 13″ Macbook 2.5 gigahertz. It costs $1,200-$1,400 – you can get a teacher’s discount. Last month, my wife got the Macbook (not the Macbook Pro) with the 2.5 gig intel dual processor. It performs almost as fast as my G5 Power Mac – which cost $2,500 new. If you get a Mac, you then download for free the iMovie6 program which is a better editing program than the current iMovie version. If you get real good at editing, you move up to Final Cut Express, then to Final Cut Pro.
Understand that the Mac is a turnkey video system. It comes with the basic video processing software. The operating system is more stable than XP and lots more stable than VISTA.
Regarding camera equipment – I would suggest getting a camera that uses DV tape. Also, I would not get high definition (HD). For the cost of an entry level HD camera, you can get a camera with more features using regular DV tape. In addition, most clients today don’t have HD equipment to view HD, so I would not waste my time yet on HD. Wait until HD becomes the norm in the next few years.
One line of business that can help you learn editing is the business of converting VHS tapes to DVD. You don’t need a video camera but you will learn to edit video, create DVD menus, and burn video on DVDs. You will need a converter box if you have a Mac. For PCs, you’ll need a video card with RCA inputs and/or S-Video input. All of the advice above is good and would follow the links provided.