It depends on the type of video you plan to edit. What model of camcorder is your video coming from?
For most consumer formats -- including AVCHD and DLSR video -- an i5 quad core with 4-8 gigs of RAM has plenty of power. I might also recommend an ATI or nVidia graphics card rather than an Intel graphics system.
I'm sure there are people who will eagerly give you really deep specs, loading you up with such-and-such graphics card, dual solid state hard drives and monitors, mega-loads of RAM and an overclocked processor. But it's simply not necessary. Premiere Elements 11 handles pretty much all consumer formats very efficiently.
Unless you're trying to buy some supersonic gaming machine (and you've got deep pockets!), a quad-core processor, a decent graphics card, a healthy RAM load and maybe a terrabyte of hard drive space is everything you need.
Of course, you'll want to work with the program and your media optimized. And, if you're interested in learning how to do that, you can always look up my book on Amazon.
I'm one of those folk, about whom Steve warned you of...
For video editing w/ AVCHD, or any H.264 material, here is the laptop, that I would recommend:
- i7 processor, newer and faster, the better
- 16GB RAM - I feel that 4GB is just about enough to run Win7-64, with little left over for programs
- 17" HD display is about as good as it gets. Some folk edit on a 15", but much below that, and it's just too hard to see.
- I feel that a 2x HDD I/O sub-system is minimal, though the newer SSD's seem quite a bit better at not restricting the throughput. With HDD's, the purpose is to spread the I/O load. Multiple HDD's, or SSD's are not quite so common in laptops in general.
- I would go with a current nVidia, or AMD/ATI chip, and NOT an Intel graphics chip. This is due to the lack of driver updates, which are critical for most NLE programs, like PrE.
Steve Grisetti wrote:
.......For most consumer formats -- including AVCHD and DLSR video -- an i5 quad core with 4-8 gigs of RAM has plenty of power.
I'm sure there are people who will eagerly give you really deep specs, loading you up with such-and-such graphics card, dual solid state hard drives and monitors, mega-loads of RAM and an overclocked processor. But it's simply not necessary. Premiere Elements 11 handles pretty much all consumer formats very efficiently........
I have three cameras that shoot AVCHD 2.0 or "1080p60". I was using a i5 Toshiba laptop with 8 gigs of memory. It worked OK, but could be sluggish at times.
I think Steve is right as long as you are editing "most" consumer formats, especially the interlaced ones with smaller files. I didn't find that to be so true with the "granddaddy" 1080p60 format that PrE 11 works so well for.
I wanted portable, big screen, fast and hopefully be able to burn Blu-Ray. I shopped for several months.
I found many feel the MAC Book Pro Retina to be the top choice. Many suggest the HP "workstation laptops". Some, including this forum's Bill Hunt, use specially focused laptop builders that assemble the computer and then "tune" it for editing. All were more money than I wanted to spend.
I accidentally tripped over the ASUS "gamer" laptops and found one that included all my dreams. At the time I bought it it was $1800. Yes, that's more than all the choices at Best Buy and Costco, but it has a big HD screen, lots of memory, a graphics card, fast USB ports, etc. It has a SSD that helps make 1080p60 editing even smoother. A 5 minute video takes about 5 minutes to render to final output - if I don't have many effects, transitions or multiple tracks.
It even has a Blu-Ray burner! It came with a padded backpack so I can walk to my buddy's house and play games or edit video or pack it as "carry on" for evening editing of the day's vacation video work.
If you add an external optical drive to a Mac Book Pro Retna, I paid about half price.
After 6 months, I continue to enjoy it. I've beefed up the software to include Premier Elements, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, some plugins, a second monitor and USB 3.0 external drives. Editing and organizing is more fun than it used to be!
Complete "deep" specs "eagerly provided":
ASUS "Republic of Gamers" G75VW-DS72
2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM Quad-Core
16GB of DDR3 RAM
750GB 7200 RPM HDD
nVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M Graphics (3GB)
17.3" HD Anti-Glare Led-Backlit Display with 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
Blu-ray Player and Burner
4 USB 3.0 Ports
SD Card Reader
Display (Monitor) Port, 15 Pin
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Bill, you are definitely right. If you're shooting in 1080p (rather than tranditiional 1080i) AVCHD, an i7 processor would be a very good investment. Fortunately, most 1080p cams can also shoot in 1080i.
As I said, it depends on what type of video you're shooting -- AND how deep your pockets are. A quad core i7 costs about twice what a quad core i5 does.
My previous laptop (well, actually this one, as the new ADK is not set up for Internet and e-mail yet) was an extreme "gamer," from a previous generation - a Sager. Back then, I could get everything that I wanted, and with a few tweaks, it has done yoeman work for 5 years now. Unfortunately, Sager went even more "extreme" in the gaming market, with some things, that just did not work well with my Adobe programs, like SLI only. That was when I went to ADK, and am very pleased, though that laptop is still in shake-down.
I did not mention it above, as it is overkill for most users, and is way out of the price range for almost anyone, if they are not doing serious editing, and primarily with PrPro CS 6 and After Affects CS 6. Still, elements from it, can be useful for PrE, and general video editing - just not the full package.
Your laptop sounds like a great unit, and at a bargain price!
One thing that I would hesitate on, at this point in time, is the OS - I went with Win7-64 Pro (the only OS that ADK will build right now), but most laptops will likely have Win8 only, with no option to go with Win7-64. Win8 might well become a great OS, but I would hold off until at least SP-1 is released, and completely tested. I see that you were able to get Win7-64, and feel that is a big plus.
Thanks for sharing those specs.
Steve Grisetti wrote:
........If you're shooting in 1080p (rather than tranditiional 1080i) AVCHD, an i7 processor would be a very good investment. Fortunately, most 1080p cams can also shoot in 1080i.
You work very hard at helping a lot of people learn video. Your lynda.com work is terrific. I have one of your books and it is very well done. That said, you seem to frequently view video production from an old equipment point of view. People spending money on equipment and training today no longer use firewire, tape, VGA or interlaced. Instead they have 1080p60 HD TVs, SD cards and small 1080p60 camera/camcorders.
Why would you not want to shoot 1080p60? Anybody spending money on a new camera now, from a point and shoot up, will almost for sure get 1080p capability. Even the iPhone will do 1080p30. Why advise dumbing it down? Following your logic of "sticking to tradition", I would set my new 1080p camcorder/camera to VGA for faster processing. In the still photo world, consumers are trending toward RAW, ACR and Ligtroom. Their cameras are not set to .jpg.
In the quest to stay in business against the Apple iPhone, Panasonic, Sony and the others are putting things in cameras across the product range we have not seen before. I participate in a forum made up of video "gear heads" that strive for the highest quality of video capture. One regular there travels the world on business. In his off time he shoots video and posts the results on YouTube and Vimeo. Part of his "hobby" is trying new cameras. His current choice is the new Panasonic ZS-30 which is a pocket camera, with lots of zoom and 1080p60 capabilities. Mark's most recent example from China is https://vimeo.com/69798481 where you can watch in HD and even download the actual 1080p60 original for testing on your own viewing equipment. (No, he does not use Adobe products for editing!)
Like all the others on that and other related forums the goal is to capture the highest quality (or most video data) you can. Then, when editing now or in the future, you have the most to work with. In other words, don't shoot DVD quality when you can shoot HD quality.
Steve, perhaps you should buy (or borrow) a new 1080p60 camcorder, a 60" HD TV, shoot some teenagers playing soccer and play back the clips direct from the camera to the TV with an HDMI cord. You might not consider interlaced shooting ever again!
With due respect,
I want to add a few details in case that changes anyone's recommendation:
I want a PC, not a Mac.
I film with an iPhone 5.
My goal is not high quality output. This is just for a simple blog that maybe 5 people read.
My goal is quick computer response time. I cannot figure out why my current set up is so tortured by PE11, but since it is, it takes me DAYS to in PE11 what I can do in 45 minutes in Windows Movie Maker. At that rate, I can't post videos. So my goal is to get the edits done quickly and posted.
And let me ask one more question: Given that my current computer is so tortured by PE11, if I were to upgrade to PE Pro, would PE Pro likely tax my computer more or less? Is it more efficient than PE11 or more taxing? (I don't need more features; I need better response time.)
Nowhere have you written what your current set up is.
There could be a simple solution like installing more memory or cleaning up what runs in the background. There also a few things about project settings that might be at issue.
Unfortunately as progress marches along, newer software finds ways of using newer computer capabilities. Older XP and Vista era machines may not be enough to make current software run smoothly.
The Pro version won't run any faster.
Frankly, if WMM works so well for your simple projects, what part of PrE do you see that is appealing?
I have discussed my problems and my set up in other threads. I have tried many things -- all of them seemed to help a little bit or temporarily, but I'm still back -- pretty much -- right where I started: Playback is painfully slow, scrubbing doesn't work at all, every minor edit requires rendering, and rendering can take up to 15 minutes each time. Audio and video get unsynced. It freezes up constantly. I can't change defaults. I can't upload to YouTube. I can't bring in media from my iPhone without converting it first. Ugh.
Given that others seem to like PE11, I have hope that a different computer would run PE11 better.
<<Frankly, if WMM works so well for your simple projects, what part of PrE do you see that is appealing?>>
Pan and zoom. Simple as that. I can't find any other video editing software that lets me pan and zoom the way PE11 does -- and I have looked. If there is another, I would love to know about it.
>can't bring in media from my iPhone without converting it first
To solve that problem, you need to talk to Apple... they use a variable frame rate for iPhone video, and that causes HUGE problems for Premiere (Elements and Pro)
If you want to edit iPhone video "natively" you should look at Apple's Quicktime Pro
A possible fix in message #22 http://forums.adobe.com/thread/934466
..........Pan and zoom. Simple as that. I can't find any other video editing software that lets me pan and zoom the way PE11 does -- and I have looked. If there is another, I would love to know about it.
I have a lot of fun with Pan and Zoom too. I don't know of anything else that does it nearly as well.
I did a video of a spring visit to Grand Canyon NP where my personal goal was to experiment and learn (new to me) techniques with RAW photos, HDR processing and Pan and Zoom presentation. I've been overwhelmed that my views have grown past 1200! I might only know about 50 people world wide!
One of the lessons learned was that Premier Elements 11 (on a strong computer) can add RAW photo files as media (mixed with video clips) without any pre-processing or computer slow down.
I'm watching your Grand Canyon video right now. Awesome music!
I film by myself (no photographer) with the camera mounted on a tripod while I ride a horse. Without PE11, I'm a speck in the distance. With it, it's like I have a videograher.
Here's an example: https://www.facebook.com/LifeWithOden/posts/414538675331203
I'm glad to hear you say that the P&Z feature on PE11 is unique, because I'd hate to think I'm beating my head against a wall when I could switch to another program.
I don't need many features: split, trim, text, occasional slow motion, occasional snapshot, scrub, simple transitions -- any editing software and any computer should be able to do that. But once I experienced P&Z, I was hooked.
ETA: The one difficult thing I do is start with a 60 minute video, which I trim down to 5 minutes. I know that's a big video to start with; but WMM has no trouble with it on my computer. I don't know why PE does.
Would still like opinions on whether upgrading to Pro would help me.
>Would still like opinions on whether upgrading to Pro would help me
1st, PPro takes more computer to run effectively, so a hardware upgrade might be required
2nd, go back and reread #11 where I replied to your #8... no version of Premiere works well with variable frame rate iPhone video... that is an Apple video, and you may need to use Quicktime Pro for effective editing
Oh, yeah. I do have QuickTime Pro. I always bring the video into either QTP and convert it to a video resource or Windows Live Movie Maker and convert it to a .wmv before bringing it in to PE11. So at that point, PE11 doesn't know it's iPhone 5 video, right? So my problems aren't about the iPhone...right?
So at that point, PE11 doesn't know it's iPhone 5 video, right?
Close, but not quite exact. QT Pro will convert the variable FPS to a constant FPS, and that is the key.
Wait. I need to understand this. Once I save it through QT Pro or Windows Live Movie Maker, have I "overcome" the problem of it being iPhone video or not?
If not, perhaps I'd be better off shopping for a different camera instead of a different computer. (I've said all along there's nothing wrong with my computer.)
With QT Pro, you will have solved (or should have), one of the issues with phone-camera footage - Variable Frame Per Second. In most cases, that should do it.
Exactly WHY camera-phone mfgrs. went with Variable FPS is a mystery to me, other than they never anticipaed that anyone would ever want to edit it - just post it directly to some social media site. That happened some years ago, when many video camera (and stills camera mfgrs.) mfgrs. came up with schemes to create video, that was tough to edit - they never expected any customer to bother to edit - just shoot it, and post it, and created many problems, for those, who do wish to edit.
Since we are in a video-editing program forum, we see those, who DO wish to edit. The individual camera forums will see all users.
PS - iPhone is not the only device to use that Variable FPS. Others do, as well. The footage works/displays fine ON the device, just not when one wishes to edit the footage. Will PrE add support for Vairable FPS? Time will tell.
Are you saying PE Pro can handle iPhone 5 VFPS clips?
If so, that might resolve my problems. I just want to verify that that is right.
No. PrPro has the same issues with the Variable FPS, that PrE does. However, many using it have found that by using Apple's QT Pro, to Export that iPhone footage with a Constant FPS does allow them to then edit that material. That is why I recommend that a person shooting with a phone-camera, that shoots with Variable FPS, try that conversion method - it works well for many.
Here is a video tutorial with someone successfully editing iPhone video in Premier Elements 9. What am I missing? Why can he do it so easily?
I ask because my granddaughters both got new iPods and are taking video. As the grandpa I gotta know how to do it!
You got me. But...
For one thing, he is using a iPhone 4GS and PE 9. I am using an iPhone 5 and PE 11. No idea whether that makes a difference.
The project setting he uses -- Flip Mino 29_97 -- is one I haven't tried, and I *will* try it tomorrow. It would be nice if that were the magical missing link. But I won't be holding my breath.
Where he chooses Add Media from Cameras or Devices and loads it straight from the camera -- PE11 crashes every time I try that.
Another difference -- he loads two clips which total to 17 seconds. My videos usually start at an hour, and I edit them down to 3-5 minutes.
Also, I record outside, which means there are variations in the light (as clouds pass overhead and as the shadows move). I have read that variations in light make the variable frame rate have an even greater effect or range (not sure what the correct lingo is).
If somebody resolves this, I'd sure like to hear about it.