East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

Gear: Computers and editing

Video editing software

For me one of the most important things is Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s video editing software. it is incredibly fast to work on. Many things are automated and everything is streamlined. I did use Premier for a while, which is Adobe’s video editor. Some users prefer this, personally I absolutely hated it. I found it even worse than when I worked on Final cut pro 6 back in 2008, which is a system very similar in workflow and design to the current Adobe Premier. Adobe does give more advanced features and much stronger connectivity with it’s fantastic selection of products though, which is something I’m okay without for now, although I do miss Audition sometimes, which is Adobe’s superb audio editor.

For advanced colour correction and grading, check out Adobe Speedgrade which is not cheap but may be a good option if you plan to go with other Adobe products, or DaVinci Resolve Lite, which is free. Unfortunately Apple discontinued their great grading software, which was simply called “Color”, and instead gave us some very basic but usable controls right inside FCPX, which does save time not having to switch between software, but could be much improved.

Photography software

I absolutely love working with Adobe’s Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC for photography work (they are useful for some video work too, for example, when working with RAW video from some cameras or when you want to grade a video file with the high quality tools Photoshop has). They are now both super cheap, from about £8 per month for both of them together, although adobe keep changing the offers, luckily for us they seem to be getting cheaper as time goes. I’m also very glad I don’t have to pay Adobe some £47 per month (Around £562 per year) for the entire Adobe suite, which in my opinion is far too expensive.

This really depends on preference and needs. I’ll keep this short and to the point. This is just my opinion, others might have different opinions. For complaints about this chapter, please write to: Just joking guys! Come on, don’t take it personally.

Hardware and operating system

This part might seem a bit inconclusive, which is why I'm going to start it with a conclusion, especially because this is a guide to the ultimate gear, not a "how to save money" guide, so I will simply conclude: Go to the Apple store, get yourself a damn Macbook Pro, iMac or Mac Pro. Enjoy. 

For those who would like a bit more detail and a more fair comparison of the options, read on.

If you want a system that works well, expect to be paying £500+ for a decent Windows PC (including a screen) or laptop, or £1100+ for a decent iMac or MacBook Pro. There are cheaper options that will work in a pinch, but

Let me first of all say I am not an apple fan boy, and honestly I have zero respect for any huge company that does not make a big effort give back to the community or the world (people without food and water, etc.). Unfortunately we don’t live in a world with enough of that. A google search will tell you these companies have donated to charity, but amounts very small compared to their profits that I honestly feel they could and should do more.

Okay, so, personally, I have had lots of trouble when working with windows over many years, lots of annoying pop ups and various big and small issues. As an example, I recently spent a month with a rental machine in Israel. I had to use the operating system in Hebrew because it ”only” had Windows 7 Professional, which does not allow language changes like the more expensive versions do. Luckily I wasn’t working, I was only there on holiday and I didn’t have to use the machine very much. My point is, there’s a reason why many pros use Macs, and once you go Mac, you never go back. - Or at least that’s what a lot of users will tell you.

Macs cost more, but considering the time they last, the time they will save you as a professional and the overall superb computing experience, I think the price is.. sort of.. worth it. They are of course not without fault, and for some users the price is too high or they simply prefer Windows, this is fine, get a Windows machine and spend the money you save on a lens.

At the end of the day I really don’t feel either company cares much about its customers, and I’m not basing my decision on any sort of “brand loyalty”.

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