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Icemanwbs

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Jul 31, 2018
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Does anyone have suggestion for a computer/laptop that i can purchase for strictly video/photo editing? Not looking to spend a lot, but also want something decent.
 

McCloudSpark

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I did a bunch of searching a couple of weeks ago and concluded that I would have to spend a minimum of $1200 USD to get a machine (laptop) capable of doing reasonable video editing. If you google "best computer for video editing" you will get lots of suggestions.
 

Northwood Mediaworks

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I think you can get something for less than $1200 but you need to be prepared to spend on the software, not just the computer. If your budget is really strapped, go PC, and you will find quite a few free software NLE's (video editors) that will do the basics. If you have some money to spend, get Sony Vegas (PC) or FinalCut Pro X (Mac). The main thing to remember is that editing/rendering video is resource intensive, so CPU and RAM are your main criteria to consider. i7 and 8Gb of RAM would be a minimum, but you can work on much less, it just takes longer to get to the final product.
 
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Dodge DeBoulet

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Computers/laptops are mostly commodity items these days, but there are specific features you should look for related to video editing. Some basic guidelines for HD video editing include:

  • SSD for storage: 500GB to 1TB; SATA interface is OK, but M.2 preferred at 4x the bandwidth)
  • Minimum quad-core processor (high-end Intel i5 or i7)
  • 8GB RAM (the more the better)
  • Discrete graphics (AMD Radeon or nVidia); modern NLEs use the graphics processor for rendering
A display that can be color-calibrated will be useful if you're anticipating doing anything commercially.

As far as the software is concerned you can get an amazing commercial-grade NLE called Davinci Resolve from BlackMagic Designs for FREE. The free version has a couple of limitations (none that should affect the ability to edit video from a Spark), but the $300 commercial license removes those limitations while remaining a great value compared to other commercial solutions.

My video editing is strictly for my own use/pleasure, and I'm currently using a 2+ year old Lenovo T460p notebook with an Intel Core i7-6820HQ CPU, a 2TB SATA SSD and 32GB of RAM. The graphics processor is an nVidia GeForce 940MX (the low end of the spectrum) and is quite adequate for decent performance rendering the 1080p/30fps video, titles, transitions, etc. that I produce with Davinci Resolve. I have a 4K Lenovo ThinkVision X1 27" display as my primary, and a pair of Dell 24" WUXGA (1920x1280) as secondaries.

If you're handy, you might consider building your own PC. You can easily build a system that would blow my notebook out of the water for around US$1K, and be able to upgrade it incrementally as your needs change. If I ever invest in a drone that supports 4K, that's a very likely path for me. Laptops don't offer that flexibility.
 
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Icemanwbs

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Jul 31, 2018
Messages
49
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57
Computers/laptops are mostly commodity items these days, but there are specific features you should look for related to video editing. Some basic guidelines for HD video editing include:

  • SSD for storage: 500GB to 1TB; SATA interface is OK, but M.2 preferred at 4x the bandwidth)
  • Minimum quad-core processor (high-end Intel i5 or i7)
  • 8GB RAM (the more the better)
  • Discrete graphics (AMD Radeon or nVidia); modern NLEs use the graphics processor for rendering
A display that can be color-calibrated will be useful if you're anticipating doing anything commercially.

As far as the software is concerned you can get an amazing commercial-grade NLE called Davinci Resolve from BlackMagic Designs for FREE. The free version has a couple of limitations (none that should affect the ability to edit video from a Spark), but the $300 commercial license removes those limitations while remaining a great value compared to other commercial solutions.

My video editing is strictly for my own use/pleasure, and I'm currently using a 2+ year old Lenovo T460p notebook with an Intel Core i7-6820HQ CPU, a 2TB SATA SSD and 32GB of RAM. The graphics processor is an nVidia GeForce 940MX (the low end of the spectrum) and is quite adequate for decent performance rendering the 1080p/30fps video, titles, transitions, etc. that I produce with Davinci Resolve. I have a 4K Lenovo ThinkVision X1 27" display as my primary, and a pair of Dell 24" WUXGA (1920x1280) as secondaries.

If you're handy, you might consider building your own PC. You can easily build a system that would blow my notebook out of the water for around US$1K, and be able to upgrade it incrementally as your needs change. If I ever invest in a drone that supports 4K, that's a very likely path for me. Laptops don't offer that flexibility.
Yes, this would be simply a machine used strictly for editing and uploading to youtube. Non comercial stuff, just as a hobby.
 

Northwood Mediaworks

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Its all down to budget. As Dodge mentioned, getting a graphics card that can support GPU based rendering from your software is a definite speed booster when outputting your final product. One needs to do one's homework carefully on that, there are some that support, many dont. And depending on your software choice too.
 
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Dodge DeBoulet

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Yes, this would be simply a machine used strictly for editing and uploading to youtube. Non comercial stuff, just as a hobby.
What's your budget? "Not looking to spend a lot" is somewhat subjective. My T460p with an aftermarket 2TB SSD and 32GB RAM totaled around $2K (2.5 years ago, of course). A serious desktop that maximizes performance and rendering speed could easily cost twice that.

You should be able to find a used or reconditioned 1-2 y/o gaming laptop (likely to have discrete graphics, 8GB or more RAM and an SSD) somewhere in the US$500-1K range. Video takes up a lot of disk space; if the laptop comes with a smaller SSD, you could copy inactive files to an external hard drive to keep high-speed SSD storage available for active projects.
 
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Dodge DeBoulet

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Dec 27, 2018
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181
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Maine
I think you can get something for less than $1200 but you need to be prepared to spend on the software, not just the computer. If your budget is really strapped, go PC, and you will find quite a few free software NLE's (video editors) that will do the basics. If you have some money to spend, get Sony Vegas (PC) or FinalCut Pro X (Mac). The main thing to remember is that editing/rendering video is resource intensive, so CPU and RAM are your main criteria to consider. i7 and 8Gb of RAM would be a minimum, but you can work on much less, it just takes longer to get to the final product.
For home/casual use, I think a Mac is fine. What's sad, though, is that Apple used to own the professional marketplace when it came to video and image editing. It really seems like they've abandoned supporting high-end graphics processing over the last few years, and now that they're dumping Intel processors in favor of their own, I only see that trend getting worse.
 
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Icemanwbs

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Budget would be in the $500 US range. Like I said it's only a hobby, but would like the uploading to youtube/Instagram to be simple but also look good.
 

Dodge DeBoulet

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Something like the Acer Aspire E (Amazon Link) @ US$599 checks all the boxes. I'd prefer to see a bigger SSD, but as long as you have something for near-line storage such as an external hard drive, you should be fine.

I'm not a big fan of Acer, personally. I tend to stick with Lenovo, but my business relies on my computer and their T-series laptops are about as business-class as you can get.
 

peejay

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Jul 16, 2017
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on the software side: as mentioned earlier: DaVinci Resolve free is GREAT! not only for video editing, but most important: color grading [it's a commercial-level beast, and all for free].
you can also search for discounts - I used DaVinci earlier, but got Vegas 14 for something under 100$ - often when new version popups, they are selling older for cheap. Vegas is also cool, and IMO it's less resource-hougry. color grading is easier in Resolve, but at least I can use both now :)
 

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