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Real World Computer Performance Needs for Editing Canon Raw Video?


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Hello, Everyone.


I am debating whether to jump into the Canon 5D Mark III Raw video capture world, but as I have been researching the topic and equipment further I am now wondering what kind of real world computer performance in necessary in order to edit Raw video?


I have a Mac Pro (2009) with 16gb RAM and four internal HDs (500GB for OS and three 2TB for storage).


Until now I've only edited ProRes in Final Cut 7 on my machine, and I've never had a performance problem.  Moving into Raw shooting, however, I wondering if this will change my computer performance needs dramatically.


I'm planning on editing either in ProRes or Cineform in Final Cut 7, but I wasn't sure if the higher quality files and larger sizes of shooting Raw would force me to change my setup dramatically?


I will most likely need an external backup system to handle the larger storage needs, but I was wondering if investing in a RAID system is necessary?


I was also wondering is there were any dramatic performance need difference between editing with ProRes vs. Cineform?  Does one require more power to run smoothly?


I was also wondering where my money would be better invested in updates?  If I want better performance would it be smarter to add more RAM?  Or would I be better served by buying a RAID system?



Any input on how others shooting with Raw feel is greatly appreciated.  Please don't hesitate to add comments and insights beyond the scope of my initial questions here.


Thanks so much.  I look forward to your responses.

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Not sure what the raw workflow is for a 5D MK III.  I have a 50D and do full HDD on that every once in awhile.  First of all you need copious amounts of high speed compact flash storage.  I have a 64GB card.  I am an amateur.  I don't know how many a pro would need if they were shooting a commercial or music video.


What happens first when you get to the computer is you have to copy all the files from compact flash to your HDD or SSD.  That takes a while so USB 3 transfer and a fast card reader help there.  Once on your computer you have to convert the RAW file to DNGs.  Each clip comes as one file with the extension RAW.  You have to convert it to a series of DNG files.  To be honest with you I don't know if that operation is CPU intensive or just HD/SSD intensvie.  Obviously if it is disk intensive then using a SSD will solve your problems.  If it is CPU intensive then we will need to know what CPU you have.  I get along okay with a HDD and a first generation Core i7 with 9gigs of RAM but I am not doing anything too lengthy and on a schedule.


The next step is to color balance/grade the DNGs and convert them to JPEGs or TIFFs.  First you have to load all the DNGs in a series into Camera Raw.  That takes FOREVER.  I guess that is a HDD bottleneck.  Then you color blanace/grade one frame.  That's pretty quick and painless.  That step is where you really have fun with raw.  Then you have to apply all the changes to all the other frames.  That takes FOREVER.  Then you have to save all the changes.  That takes FOREVER.  After that you are left with a folder full of 2 megapixel jpegs.  Import them directly into Premiere and toss them on the time line.  That part takes no time at all.  They play back at full speed no problem.  Once the JPEGs are created everything zips along.


So bottom line I don't know if the bottleneck is HDD or CPU.  It's painful though.  It's not like the system freezes or anything though.  You just have to open and apply changes to hundreds of individual files.

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