Apple Wants You to Buy a Mac to Edit Video Professionally. I’m Just Saying No.

The best MacBook ever made (before 2020). The classic mid-2015 15” dual-graphics Retina MacBook Pro.

Apple is wonderful in many regards, but the company is notorious for locking features out of its lower-priced hardware in an effort to force users to upgrade.

My iPad 6th Generation can’t edit the wonderful Dolby Vision HDR video footage out of my iPhone 13 Pro Max. That’s actually acceptable, because those files need beefier hardware.

Where it gets dicey is that the latest iPads have processors with sufficient power to run advanced professional video editing apps such as Apple Final Cut Pro, but there’s no way that Apple will ever adapt Final Cut to run on an iPad.

That’s because they don’t want to undercut sales of their MacOS devices. And, well, okay. No fun, but this is America and they’re free to operate however they wish.

But now I’m faced with a decision. I traded all of my Canon full-frame photo gear and used the money to buy the 13 Pro Max for its beautiful video files. I can edit the HDR video on my desktop PC, but it’s time-consuming and awkward to transfer them from the phone, and the results are slightly sub-optimal. And because I cannot edit the files on my iPad, and I DO want to be able to edit video on a portable device while loafing on a couch in the evenings, I have two choices: I can either buy a Mac, or I can upgrade to a more powerful iPad.

I plan to trade up to a used iPad Air 4 that can handle the HDR files.

While Apple would prefer that I buy a much more expensive Mac, which I confess would make for a wonderfully smooth workflow, I can get it done with the Air 4, while saving about $600 compared to the price of a used MacBook of fairly recent vintage.

The new workflow will be less convenient. I’ll have to edit the HDR video files on the iPad using iMovie or LumaFusion, then save them in lossless h.265 format, then upload them to Google Drive, and finally, hop onto my desktop Windows PC and download them.

Once they’re on the PC I can open them in Adobe Premiere Pro and use its sophisticated professional video and audio editing features to complete the job.

I’m happy with this workaround, for now, if only because it lets me thumb my nose at Apple for its iPad feature lockout policy.