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Tips on Choosing a Computer for Video Editing
Two important questions to ask are:
- What is your video editing need?
- What is your budget?
What is Your Video Editing Need?
What are you going to use the computer for? Are you going to edit stuff for broadcast (CNN? BBC? National Geographic?) or are you going to edit a home movie or just prepare a web video to upload to Youtube?
If you’re just going to upload to Youtube, you don’t have to worry about buying a high-end system. Chances are that an entry-level system with a little additional hardware will do the trick.
Is it going to be for a one-off use?
If you’re going to edit just one project, just one special event, and have no intention to edit anything in future, it doesn’t make sense to acquire a new system unless you have a fat back account. It makes more sense to borrow someone’s computer or even rent a system to complete the project.
What is Your Budget?
If you’ve a low budget, you should start looking at your existing computer. Is it ready for video editing? In most cases, all you need to do is add a Firewire card, boost your RAM, or throw in an extra hard disk.
If you have the budget to buy a new computer, ensure it has a firewire port. You could buy one with a motherboard with a built-in firewire port like I did.
Most new computers are powerful enough to edit Standard Definition Video. If you’re going to do High Definition stuff, then it’s a different ball game.
Read this article on how to optimize your computer for video editing at:
Do You Need A Mac or PC?
It doesn’t matter whether you use a PC or Mac. Each has its pros and cons. Most video editing programs are made for PC though. If you’re starting out, go PC to test the waters. Switch to a Mac when you’re tired of PC’s shortcomings.
You certainly would not want to splash cash on a Mac if you’re not going to make any money out of your video
At the end of the day, what matters is the CONTENT of your video. If you upload a great video to Youtube, nobody is going to ask you if you edited it on a Mac or PC. A layman doesn’t care what computer you used to edit your video. He’s only concerned whether the video appeals to him.
A Mac or PC is just a tool. Videomaking is all about ideas, creativity and content. Don’t blame your tools. Renovate your ideas!
What Software Do You Need To Edit Video?
Most beginners believe they need cutting edge software like Premiere or Final Cut Pro to produce good video.
The truth is no Premiere or Final Cut Pro can transform a badly-shot video. Why don’t you learn to shoot good video first before thinking about these programs?
Yes, Premiere and Final Cut Pro are versatile softwarewhich boast Hollywood-style features. But do you need all these features when you’re starting out? Even Hollywood doesn’t use them in most cases.
All you need with a video editing program is cut your video footage, add soundtrack, titles, some transitions and you’ll have a great video.
I’ve done great stuff with a budget program like Magix Movie Edit Pro.
If you’re interested, there is a free tutorial at:
If you’re a newbie, why don’t you try out the built-in Windows Movie Maker or iMovie first to test the waters.
Or use the video editing program that came bundled with your firewire card or DVD writer.
Video editing software technology has improved by leaps and bounds. Even an entry-level software, without the bell and whistles, can do the job for you.
Don’t go with the hype. Go with what you have first.
Good luck in your video editing adventure!