Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor



It’s not quite finished but my new 27″ Thunderbolt enabled iMac runs as sweet as a nut with my Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt raid attached.

My mammoth edit about Type one Diabetes is almost loaded with some residual filming still to do and how good are those Canon C300 pictures, every interview bar two was done with my C300. The other two were done with a Sony FS100 and a JVC HM650.

The 27″ iMac has 32Gig of RAM and a 768GB SSD drive, the iMac is up and running in about 5 seconds with all apps instantly available.

FCPX is now ready for serious editing and with the ability to add Keywords to specific footage it’s become way more accessible than FCP-7 ever was, no more trawling through the footage to find interviews, you just add a Keyword and a name…it’s that simple.

FCPX does still need some extra sound tweaks but it’s now head and shoulders ahead of FCP-7, Premiere Pro CS6 and Avid…in my opinion. Having USB-3 is also a major for ingesting you footage off card, I bought a Lexar USB 3 reader (CF and SDHC), mind you the upload speed depends on the transfer speed of your memory. NOTE : The SDHC part of the Lexar Professional card reader is far from satisfactory as it’s very footery to insert the card.

The good thing for me is having one computer for editing and one for Motion 5 graphics, speeding up the whole process and best of all having two edit suits with the older MacPro as a good back up if needed.



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

11 thoughts on “Installing my new 27″ iMac with Thunderbolt

  1. Wow!

    I have a Mac tower, but my next system will be like this….in a few years.

  2. You spent a hat of money just to use a Mac…and stil no BD drive included. That is innaceptable in 2013.

    HDW : Why would I spend extra on a BD drive when I can use my external Lacie BD drive, USB 3 or Thunderbolt would be an advantage, granted.

  3. Looks a really nice setup Phil and I’m interested to hear more about your FCP X experiences.

    We’re still running FCP 7 but we have the CS6 suite installed. We’re starting to test out Premiere Pro but so far I’m struggling with it and not finding it very intuitive.

    Re. your iMac, did you install extra RAM yourself or did you purchase from Apple?


    HDW : Hi Scott, I really like FCPX now it’s grown up and getting used to a lot of hidden useful features, the plug ins are worth moving over to FCPX alone. I could not go back to FCP-7 or mess about with Premiere Pro. I got the best spec iMac built by Apple including the 32G of RAM.

  4. Hi Phillip
    With your new edit bay I understand you are running Black Magic’s Ultra Studio Express + 2 x Apple LED monitors.

    Can you tell me if the monitors can be calibrated with the Ultra studio, If not do you think the quality of the apple monitors is such that for web delivery the colour is ok.

    Or do I need to get another SDI monitor for accurate colour adjustment?

    Thanks, really like your site

  5. I am also running FCPX now… it blows the competition away… and i’m editing features and music videos. I use a 27″ iMac also… installing RAM is very easy…takes just 2 mins. Easy access panel under the front. Bought RAM from Crucial…very very cheap and very reliable. The more RAM you have, the faster FCPX goes…i’m loving it.

  6. Well good for you! Nice to boast! Not all of us can afford that set up! (yet)

    HDW: You come here to be informed and educated if you think it’s boasting then you know how to solve it !

  7. Hi Philip.
    May I ask how your machine is setup regarding SSD/ HDD? Does your machine come with an SSD only that runs your programs, and your scratch disk and footage is set to and edited off your Pegasus Raid disk?

    My reason for asking is beacuse I am about to invest in such a machine as yours with Premiere installed and have been advised to buy the machine with an HDD only, as a fusion drive is not recommended by my dealer.

    HDW : I was advised that Fusion drives were not recommended running an editing system so I plumbed for the SSD only version (768GB).

  8. I have the exact same setup and have not been able to work with FCPX. Take a look at this forum and if you have a workaround please let us know.

    HDW : The graphics card is known to Apple for causing freezing and problems with FCPX, we are all hoping for an update to this soon.
    You have a Fusion drive, I have a 750GB SSD drive, the Fusion drive has not been tested with FCPX. I have the full 32G of RAM from Apple, you added extra 3rd party RAM, not the best idea to mix and match RAM.

  9. I just ordered the same set up minus that very cool R6. Also, I ordered the Fusion 1T. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. My question, will FCPX allow you to spread your work out over 3 monitors, or are you just limited to 2? I was looking forward to working on 3 monitors. Thank you.

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