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Chapter 1. Essential Equipment > Editing in DV (NTSC and/or PAL)

Editing in DV (NTSC and/or PAL)

The most basic Final Cut Pro setup requires only a G4-based Mac with an AGP and built-in FireWire, a computer display, a mini DV or Digital 8 camera, and a FireWire cable to control the camera and capture its audio, video, and timecode information. I cannot stress this enough: Check with Apple's Internet site, www.apple.com/finalcutpro/qualification.html, for a list of compatible devices. It's updated from time to time. You access it through the Final Cut Pro area or from the FAQs in Apple's discussion group area. If you own a VHS camera or need to work in this format, solutions are available. If your camera or videotape recorder (VTR) is not on Apple's qualified device list, another way to check whether a proposed camera or deck will work well with Final Cut Pro is to ask in the various forums dedicated to Final Cut Pro users (see Appendix E). Someone is usually available who has already tried or is currently using any given deck or camera you might be interested in using. Sometimes, certain devices need a bit of a workaround to use, and it's best not to be the first one to try it.

As an alternative to this simple setup, you could add an analog-to-digital or DV converter and capture footage from an analog source such as a VHS machine or camera. This analog converter might not be necessary if your DV or Digital 8 camera can serve to accomplish digital-to-analog (D/A) and analog-to-digital (A/D) conversions for you. Most DV decks' and cameras' analog inputs and outputs allow for A/D and D/A conversion, which would forego the use of a capture card or an external A/D-D/A converter. However, remember that you will be tying up your DV camera for this purpose, and you won't be able to capture or record to tape without it. I advise that you use either a deck or an A/D converter to capture DV footage from an analog source, especially if you need to keep that camera working while you are editing.


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