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You correctly surmised that your system is no longer top-of-the-bill. Nevertheless, you can edit H.264 material, like from the Canon, even if it is rather slow at times. However, ProRes is an intermediate format requiring much more from your disk setup, because the files are much larger than the native format that PR uses. This means that the load is shifted from the CPU to the disks and with only 2 physical disks, one of them a green one, your disk setup is showing the limits of what it can process.
You can't compare the performance of a player like VLC to an editing program like PR, because the former only needs to play the file, the latter needs to decode the long GOP structure for editing before playing it. It is as different as a falcon in flight and the taxidermist preparing a falcon. Of course the former is faster by a wide margin.
1080p is a nice format for your Super8 material, but your system will bog down under 4:2:2 colorspace. It lacks the muscle and the storage capacity to handle that and it requires an additional card like AJA or BM, none seems wise with your current setup.
What is your intended delivery format?
Hey, thanks for the response. Looking at what an upgrade would cost me, it is not in the cards until at least the summer. I'll have to make do for now. The question is, how...?
My intended delivery format is as high as I can get it. The specifics is a learning curve for me. I want to be able to (if and when the money comes in) to get a 35mm print struck. That would be best case scenario.
But of course, I do want to be able to have a digital projection in theaters that is not DVD quality, but 1080p. That is far more likely than an actual film print.
In another thread...
...I am talking about editing options and the topic of converting the original 1080p source files into small, more compressed/lower-rez versions for editing as proxies, came up. Hope I am describing this correcty. That might make sense until I am able to upgrade.