Ever since I first used one of the original MacBooks in middle school many years ago, I have always wanted a Mac of my own. When I was a Junior in high school, I finally was able to save up my hard earned money from working at the grocery store to buy one. I ended up getting a baseline MacBook Pro. I got this right around the same time as I started getting into cameras. At the time I had a Canon T3. The computer handled the 12 megapixel stills and 720p video with ease. Once I upgraded to the 60d which has a slightly higher megapixel count and 1080p video the computer started to get a little bogged down but I could make it work. Then I found out about Magic Lantern. My baseline MacBook Pro was not having it. The raw stacks would take a ridiculous amount of time to render which made the workflow unusable. I did some research and found out that the model that I had was one of the last with user upgradable hard drives and ram. A couple months later I go a 240gb SSD and 16gb of ram. It was a relatively cheap upgrade, about 350 dollars at the time. I saw a huge boost of performance but there were still a few things I couldn't do… A year or so later when I got my FS700, I really was having trouble working with the higher bitrate AVCHD codec in videos over a minute or so long. At that time I started to bite the bullet and look for a new computer.
I really wanted to move up to an iMac since I left my MacBook stationary most of the time. Right as i was starting to look into iMacs, Apple released the 27” Retina model. I was hooked that this was the machine for me, but it was a little out of my price range at the time. After about a year of waiting, I was ready to purchase. Coincidentally, Apple had also released a newer model with a bit better specs for the same price.
My main goal was to get something that was a little more future proofed than my Macbook was. I maxed out the specs on the top end model; 4ghz Processor with turbo boost to 4.4ghz, 8gb ram (side note: its way cheaper to upgrade ram yourself if you buy separately. I got 16gb extra for like 100 bucks for a total of 24gb), 4gb graphics card and an internal 500gb SSD (another side note: external media is the way to go, check back for part two where I go over what I use for that).
So far, I have had absolutely no issues at all editing on this machine, I currently have a new recorder for my camera on the way so I can shoot 4k (you guessed it: stay tuned for part three). I recently edited a big project with a ton of RED footage for a contest that The Berrics put on and it was a joy. I ended up rendering the whole project at times in seconds where as a similar project would have likely taken 10+ minutes on my old MacBook. I really couldn't recommend this setup any more.
As always, leave any questions and comments in the section below and stay tuned for parts two, three and four.