Laptop for video editing??

  Spurs442 10:20 12 Jan 2009

It's time for me to get a new computer. I do wedding videos on an occasional basis.....usually invloves inputing about 4 hours of footage into my PC to produce a final edit of about 90 mins.

My current PC, bought in 2004 is a Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo 600. It has a 250GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and a 3.2GHz processor. Not sure what spec the graphics card is.

Thing is, a laptop would be really handy in terms of portability, saving space etc. Would anyone recommned a laptop for video editing? I know the new laptops would be fine in terms of hard drive, processor speed and RAM (probably far better than my PC), but the thing that worries me is the graphics card. I've heard graphics cards on laptops aren't great. Would it significantly affect the quality/performance of my videos??

Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.

  ravingdave 11:40 12 Jan 2009

Spurs442, it depends whether or not you use the graphics card to import your video. If you have a mini-DV camera then you can capture the video using a firewire interface, and so it doesn't matter what graphics card you have (although you'd need to check the laptop has a firewire input as this is not usually standard). Similarly if you have one of the newer hard disk camcorders, then you simply copy the video files straight onto the hard drive without going near the graphics card. It's only if you are using your graphics card to capture the analogue video signal that the quality of the graphics card becomes relevant.
The quality of the edited output will not be affected by the graphics card, assuming you are using some kind of video editing package like Nero / uLead and then burning to DVD, although perhaps the performance of these tools in the video editing process may be affected by quality of the graphics card.

  Spurs442 11:57 12 Jan 2009

Okay, that sounds mostly like good news.....I currently use a mini DV camera via a firewire port. I use Pinnacle at the moment for editing and burn to DVD, so you reckon the footage quality would not be compromised then?? You mentioned the performance of the editing tools may be affected by the graphics you mean thay may just be a little slower??


  ravingdave 12:16 13 Jan 2009

As you are capturing using firewire, then the graphics card does not have any bearing on the captured quality. Similarly Pinnacle will be editing the captured digital video directly, before burning the finished article to DVD - again with no involvement of the graphics card. As you say the only impact of the quality of the graphics card may be in the performance of the editing tools, but that will depend on whether Pinnacle software would make any use of additional features on a high quality graphics card. It may be that there is no performance impact at all. The key thing is that your video path from Mini-DV to PC to Pinnacle to DVD is purely digital and does not rely on the graphics card at any stage, so the quality of your finished product will not be compromised.

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