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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #1
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Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors

If you are a Final Cut Pro editor, unless you've been living in a cave up in the hills, you have heard all the hype about FCPX, the next generation of Final Cut Pro. I'm intentionally not calling the product Final Cut Pro ver 10, because it isn't a next version of Final Cut at all. It is a completely new application. They could have called it Norman or Wolf or Orange, because it is a brand new editing app called FCPX. When it ships it will be version 1.0 of FCPX, and with it will come all the bumps, hiccups, work-arounds and compatibility issues that every 1.0 software release encounters.

This is not to knock Apple or FCPX. I raved about the FCPX Sneak Peak in our NAB report. Videoguys Blog - Videoguys NAB2011 Report, Part I: Apple's Final Cut Pro X Sneak Peak ? More Than Meets the Eye And, like millions of you, I will buy and download it from the App store as soon as it is released. But, I do not have any illusions or false hopes about what to expect. It's going to be a fantastic new tool to play with but I would NEVER expect it to replace Final Cut Pro right out of the gate. I do not expect it to work with my capture hardware, my plug-ins or even my existing projects. Apple's silence says it all for me. Apple won't say they'll work so why should anyone think otherwise. That is simply an unreasonable assumption. As great as Apple is, and as brilliant as their engineers are, you simply can't expect it to be able to replace or even improve your existing video editing workflows on day one. I'd love to download FCPX and to have my MXO2 Mini, and my Boris and Red Giant plug-ins work, but my gut tells me different - IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

[i]So what is a poor FCP editor to do? We suggest you follow these 4 easy steps:[i]

Step 1: Purchase and Download FCPX when Apple makes it available.

For $299 I think it's a pretty safe bet you are going to find enough goodness in it to justify the expense. In fact, I'm pretty sure many of you will LOVE it. But I can also guarantee that a sizable amount of Final Cut Pro editors will hate it. You won't know until you try it, but don't expect it to take your current NLE workflow to the next level, not right away. Be prepared that most, if not all of your 3rd party hardware, software, plug-ins and other parts critical to your current FCP workflow, will not work correctly upon initial release. I'm sure they will eventually, just not on version 1.0

Step 2: Keep using the current and final version of Final Cut Pro.

Even though it's the last version and we know we'll be saying goodbye to an old friend, it doesn't magically stop working for you just because Apple launched a new NLE called FCPX. If your current FCP workflow is getting the job done, you have no need to switch to FCPX or any other NLE at this time. But, let's be honest, as much as we love Final Cut Pro, we know that there are some things that other NLEs now do better (including FCPX). Since Apple has moved on to FCPX, we will never see stuff like native format support for AVCHD or other HD formats, we won't get true 64-bit computing or GPU acceleration or the ability to fully utilize all the RAM and cores in our current Mac Pro. Yes, FCPX will have it, but it's not going to happen for Final Cut Pro and we know you have a lot of time, money, equipment, and other resources invested in Final Cut. So what other options do you have?

Step 3: Consider your alternatives. Give Avid and Adobe another look and consider adding one (or both) while they are looking to entice Final Cut Editors like you with special promotions.

---- Avid Media Composer 5.5 ----

Check out Avid Media Composer. Download the trial version here. Media Composer 5 Free Trial If you like it, Avid is now offering a Final Cut Owners the opportunity to "crossgrade" to Media Composer for just $975! - Avid Media Composer 5.5 Crossgrade for Final Cut Owners But Hurry! This offer expires June 17th, 2011. You don't have to give up your current Final Cut Pro, you just have to prove you own it. Even better ,you don't just get Media Composer, you get the full Production Suite of 3rd party software!!

I know many of you left Avid for Final Cut. But remember why you left Avid. You left because it was too expensive and it didn't support affordable 3rd party I/O hardware.

Well a lot has changed over the past couple of years. Avid now supports 3rd party hardware. Although it's limited to the Matrox MXO2 Mini, MXO2 Mini with MAX and the AJA Io Express, Avid has said repeatedly that they are committed to becoming even more open and that support for the rest of the Matrox & AJA hardware is just a matter of time. It's no longer a question of if, but when - and I think FCPX has sharply accelerated that timetable.

---- Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium ----

Check out Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5. Download the trial version here. Adobe - CS5.5 Production Premium If you are a video editor you most likely own and use Adobe products all the time. Photoshop and After Effects are two tools most editors and videographers depend on, day in and day out. Like Avid, Adobe is going to make you a fantastic offer to Final Cut owners on their point-product upgrade to Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Since you already own one of their point products (Premiere, Premiere Pro, After Effects CS or Photoshop CS) and you own Final Cut, you can upgrade to the full Production Premium for just $799 now through June 30th, 2011. - Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Upgrade for FinalCut Pro Owners

Now lets talk about Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and how far it has come over the past few years. This is not your father's Premiere, or the Premiere you may remember from even five years ago. Premiere Pro is a screaming fast 64-bit, multi-threaded, GPU accelerated, native format eating, video editing monster. No other NLE before or since taps into the power and performance of today's computers like Premiere Pro CS5.5 and the Mercury playback engine. The Mercury Engine allows you to work with multiple layers of HD footage in their native file formats in real-time. AVCHD, DSLR, RED, P2 are all no problem. Mix & match them in your timeline, with multiple layers of video, filters and effects. Hit the spacebar and watch it play. Full speed, full resolution. If you have an AJA Kona card or Matrox MXO2 you get full speed, full res, HD output straight from the timeline.

Step 4: Edit, make videos, make money!

Competition is good. The big winner is you. Thanks to FCPX you now have more affordable options than ever. We don't have to crown a champion in this NLE war, because you, the editor get to wear the TRIPLE CROWN!

Do the math. FCPX $299, Avid Media Composer 5.5 $995, Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium $799. For around $2,000 you now have the ultimate collection with all of the very best tools available on the market, all working side by side on your Mac Pro, or MacBook Pro or one of those sexy new iMacs with Thunderbolt. As for your old reliable FCP - it still keeps on chugging. Now you can use whichever tool is best for the job, and you can work on projects no matter who started them or what NLE the client or producer thinks is best. You won't ever loose a job or miss an opportunity because your edit suite has no limits or boundaries. Any format, any NLE, any project - you have no technical limitations - the only thing stopping you is you're own creativity and imagination.

Videoguys Blog - Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors
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Gary Bettan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 8th, 2011, 12:24 PM   #2
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Re: Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors


good post outlining our options.

as a mac guy, i need to know how avid plays on an 8 core mac pro/cloverdale?

thanks in advance for any info you care to share.

be well

smalltalk productions
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Old June 8th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors

Avid runs great on an 8-core mac. It's not a native 64 bit application, so you won't take full advantage of all those cores, but it will access huge quantities of RAM.

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Old June 9th, 2011, 07:06 AM   #4
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Re: Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors

Dear Gary,

Thank you for your nice, informative, post!
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old June 16th, 2011, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors

I agree with Dan - you wrote a GREAT, unbiased piece.

I just wish Avid had a cross-grade for CS5 owners, not because I want to switch but I want to know multiple NLEs. For freelancers, its a must to know Avid or FCP and almost a must to know multiple NLEs.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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Re: Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors

Thanx everyone for the positive feedback.

I don't think your going to see an Avid crossgrade for CS5 owners, but I do think you are going to see a ton of used FCP retail boxes on ebay very shortly ;-) So if we can get Avid to extend the program......
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