I have recently updated to Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection to work in conjuntion with Final Cut Pro. I've been working with a Canon XL-1s, taping with mini-dv format in Standard Definition up to this time but am thinking of buying the Panasonic AG-AC160 AVCCAM and upgrading to High Definition.
I'm working on a Mac Pro and have been using a View Sonic computer monitor and a Sony Video Monitor that I've had for years -- left over from the old analog video tape days, but it still seems to do the job well.
I'm learning Premiere Pro CS5.5 and the suite seems to be working o.k., so that is not a problem at this time.
My question is: If I start working in high definition, do I need to change my computer and video monitors in order to get professional results from my editing software? I have done documentaries and want to do them in high def and have the best video for podcasts and mobile applications.
I don't want to spend another gazillion dollars on monitors if I don't have to, but I do want to provide the best video that I can and I will buy what I need.
Thanks for your suggestions and any info you can provide.
Small Town Gal
If you go HD, the Sony Video Monitor will need to be replaced, as it's a SD only monitor. You can get a decent HD monitor (24") for around $200. The important thing is to make sure that the monitor can be calibrated, in order to get your colors correctly displayed.
If you're using the Viewsonic monitor as the main display (ie, to view the NLE software), you'll be fine with it.
Thanks for your help. I have one more question. Do I actually need two monitors or will the computer monitor serve as a video monitor? I'm used to the old analog process of viewing the final video on a video monitor, but with HD, I would think that the computer monitor would give the same result as a separate video monitor. My ViewSonic would work, I'm sure, but it's a bit small for the HD format and I would like a bigger screen to work on. So, can I just use the computer monitor for editing and viewing the final product?
For Harm Millaard, I just think that HD will produce a better final product in small formats viewed as podcasts or on mobile phones -- plus almost everyone wants everything in HD now, and for some of the things I will be doing, it will undoubtedly give a better product. I want to upgrade my camera anyway, so I want to go to HD.
Small Town Gal
You can use a single monitor to edit and preview, as I do it all the time on my laptop. It obviously won't look as good, since the video is being scaled down dramatically, but once you get used to how it should look, you'll be fine. Once you've exported the final video, you can use a media player to view it full screen, just to make sure everything looks correct.
With that said, you can get a cheap monitor any time afterwards to view the final video (which I call "preview").