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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:03 AM   #196
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Re: Final Cut X Announced At NAB

I've posted our impressions of the FCPX Sneak Peak on our website

FCPX: Professional or Prosumer? Videoguys NAB2011 Report, More Than Meets the Eye Videoguys Blog - Videoguys NAB2011 Report, Part I: Apple's Final Cut Pro X Sneak Peak ? More Than Meets the Eye

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Old April 20th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #197
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Most individuals, small shops, big facilities won't move away from FCP. Generality the biggest factor in moving to another NLE is cost . . . and we can see how cost is driving this industry.

In 1989 linear online facilities began the move to Avid. Avid offline (it was poor quality for anything else) and fewer onlines rooms needed just for finishing. Avid Symphony finished off the online finishing rooms. All this was a MAJOR cost savings for facility.

In 1999 FCP appeared and, although it took a few years for FCP/FCS to become feature adequate, Avid facilities began to move to FCP due to incredibly low cost compared to Avid upgrades.

To move AWAY from FCP is a major expense and moving in that direction is against the industry's economic history. Avid has more more limited hardware support (although they're working on that) so it may mean addition input/output purchases. Premiere means moving from built in ATI cards to buying expensive nVidia cards to take advantage of Mercury Engine.

Add in the Thunderbolt factor as those are rolled out and key tie ins that FCPX may have to it. A wide installed base means manufacturers have incentive to support it and may result in far less expensive support for both manufacturer and the end user. Apple uses software to sell hardware and I don't doubt FCPX will take "special" advantage of Thunderbolt (and Lion OS as well) well ahead of other NLEs.

Even the potential weaknesses in the first releases of FCPX will be overcome. Avid had serious weakness compared to the linear online room and it won the market. FCP 1999 had serious weakness compared to Avid and it won the market. Cost was and is always the driving factor for most businesses.

Of course there are "unanswered" questions about FCPX. The "sneak peek" was NOT a two day workshop nor an "official" product rollout. From what I've seen so far, what WAS SHOWN, was something that, once learned, will increase efficiency and drive down cost. Baring an unmitigated disaster, FCP's market share will expand. This will, over time, include the highest end of the market even if it doesn't at first.

Every step of the way there have been radical shifts in the industry and an "old guard" which called the change "unprofessional" and in every case the change happened right on up through the highest end of the industry

Some of you may have no driving need to change . . . and you will certainly stay put. You're not the target market. The target is very large, it will probably be hit successfully, it will not be limited to "mid" market, small shops, individuals. It will probably be pervasive.

At $299, anyone with a Mac who is at least a serious hobbyist on up to major facilities will try FCPX. Some will move sooner, others as the features develop, but Apple's ecosystem is designed to move people to it as it will, whether now or later, do more for less.

I started working at facilities in 1980 and worked through all the above changes personally and have seen every facility I ever worked for fold and while the causes had some variation, the driving down of the cost of doing business was usually the lead factor.

Certainly it may be far less expensive to switch over a facility now . . . that's still more expensive that those starting up or purchase software that fits in with what they already have.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #198
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Craig I see your point but when you say cost you really mean cost whilst staying with a MAC. If you really mean cost you would look at all options. The difference in cost between a similar powered PC and a MAC will pay for a PC NLE or two. All computing has improved over the years and the major issues between the MAC and Win 7 for instance are in the eye of the beholder.

As you can tell I am not a MAC user or fan preferring to make my own with hardware I decide on rather than what Steve Jobs decides I will get. I do agree that Apple marketing is wonderful and that with the roll-out of FCP X there will likely be a need to also upgrade the hardware to take advantage or even make the new features work. Before spending money on a new NLE and new hardware it may be prudent to look at the full environment of computing platforms and software and see how they all perform/cost. After all MAC's are now Intel PC's with Apple software.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #199
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

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Craig I see your point but when you say cost you really mean cost whilst staying with a MAC. If you really mean cost you would look at all options. The difference in cost between a similar powered PC and a MAC will pay for a PC NLE or two.
Staying with an OS, any OS, is generally less expensive than moving. There would having to be a compelling drop in overall cost for a Windows user to move to Mac. Keep in mind though that the Mac market share in Post Production is far higher than the market in general. Avid, which was Mac only for a long time, had a lot to do with it. There are other reasons as well for that to be the case.

I do believe Thunderbolt is Apple's next hook. While the Mac might cost more, Thunderbolt may drive down the cost of what are the most expensive peripherals. Consider that on the low end a 13" MacBookPro now has PCIe capabilities for example. From a facility perspective or a business built around location production/post production workflows it may actually be less expensive . . . depending on the eventual costs of the Thunderbolt hardware. Apple's work with Intel to get the Thunderbolt head start was done to move hardware (computers of course). As Mac users upgrade to the new Macs, that market niche grows giving the hardware manufacturers incentive. People needing Thunderbolt will likely be high end users. That's what it's designed for.

Quote:
Before spending money on a new NLE and new hardware it may be prudent to look at the full environment of computing platforms and software and see how they all perform/cost. After all MAC's are now Intel PC's with Apple software.

Ron Evans
Right now only Macs have Thunderbolt. If you don't need it there's little reason to move to a Mac. If you need it or your a facility and see a cost savings in other hardware purchases so that the total cost goes down, you'd consider it. That Thunderbolt will not be limited to MacPros is major. That kind of throughput on an $1200 MacBookPro laptop will impact decision. That it will be on iMacs starting at $1200 may drive down costs for many as well. Again, if you don't need it, it's not a factor. If you need that throughput . . . it doesn't exist on Windows at all as of yet. It will probably take until the end of the year before the product diversity is developed enough to see the value and it certainly won't be valuable to any and maybe not even most, but it hits a market segment that has very steep demands . . . and this is "Pro."

Keep in mind Apple uses software to sell hardware. If there are facilities that use Avid Windows or Premiere Windows, it might motivate them to move to Mac . . . if they NEED Thunderbolt . . . and they won't even have to switch to FCPX. Of course if some take that route . . . they then get to have a look at FCPX for $299 if it gives them any advantages. It may not now. It may later.

Note that the key motivator for Apple's FCP was Avid's announcement that they were pulling out of the Mac market around 1999. That was going to be a major loss of Apple's desktop sales. FCP, through its first few iterations, wasn't even close to an Avid competitor. Small shops that couldn't afford Avid, bought FCP and made do. Bigger shops switched when FCP became competitive. Apple had made the decision they would no longer EVER be dependent on another company's software to sell Macs. This is really where their "ecosystem" model began to develop. Note that Avid decided to STAY with the Mac because they saw the potential competitor down the road. Adobe Premiere actually did pull out since it couldn't compete . . . but they came back because Apple's BIG Post Production market share was lucrative. Clearly these Avid and Adobe thought that enough people would chose Macs over Windows and they wanted part of that market. They could have just left it to Final Cut. That wasn't going to happen when around 50% of the Post Production market uses Macs.

As someone who has been both a senior editor and senior engineer at some large well known post facilities in my past life, there's very good reason why so many are Mac based. This was in the days BEFORE FCP began to dominate. You may even argue my reasons but the numbers are what they are. The Mac Post market share is large and Avid and Adobe want to be a part of it.

There's a score of other very high end Post tools ranging from Compositing to Color Correction to Motion Graphics that moved their tools TO MAC. One of the reasons is MAINTENANCE (obviously the market share is another). It's actually more cost effective for a facility to be uniform then have scores of customized PCs. Downtime is minimized. The computers have a longer useful lifespan. A good number of these facilities are NOT using FCP at all.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #200
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

At one time the selecting an NLE was an extremely important decision, I don't think it really is any more. At one time there were significant, potentially disastrous differences between NLEs, now not so much. I've started to think of NLEs in the same way I think of text apps, whether you write with TextEdit or Word you're doing basically the same thing. The cutting edge days are done for this stuff, the big problems have been worked out. There are probably at least a half dozen editing apps out there that would be more then adequate for what most people need to do. I'm glad that FCP is finally getting an update but the world is not going to change as a result of it.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #201
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

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Originally Posted by Mark OConnell View Post
I'm glad that FCP is finally getting an update but the world is not going to change as a result of it.
Apple's main concern is that they sell more Macs (increasing profit and some market share) and that will probably happen.

There are few paradigm shifts. Avid causing people to move from linear to NLE was a paradigm shift. On the other hand Apple's FCP was a market shift dropping the price of NLEs radically

Thunderbolt (and maybe FCPX's use of it) may be more important than other aspects of FCPX which, for many features, either match or makes some workflow improvements (maybe) compared to other NLEs. That's really not all that radical.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #202
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Hi Craig,

Sony is releasing a VAIO laptop with Thunderbolt fairly soon and is designed to compete with the MB Air (2.3 lbs, i7, SSD, Intel wireless display, AMD 1GB gpu, 8-16hr battery).

I agree with Ron about Apple/Jobs 'deciding what customers get'. In the Mac Pro, there are only 4 PCIe slots and only 8 ram slots. My HP Z800 has 12 ram slots and 6 PCIe slots (and one PCI). I see many high-end users (Smoke, Resolve) who must purchase another Mac Pro or a PCIe Expansion just so they can use both programs on a single Mac Pro. There is absolutely NO technical reason why Apple put only 4 PCIe slots. They do it to screw over their customers and force them to buy more Macs. This IS why I don't like Apple at all.

Back to FCPX: if I used a Mac Pro all the time, I would definitely buy FCPX. However, having used Premiere CS5 over the last year with its GPU acceleration, only way I'd change is having better GPU and playback acceleration. Also, the new AE CS5.5 has the coolest stabilization ever seen. With a decent camera (ie NOT DSLR), one doesn't need a dolly, jib or steadicam as much anymore. Heck, I don't need to buy the Kessler slider anymore after seeing how this works.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #203
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
If that is how close you have to be then all NLE's I know fit the bill MAC or PC. Very little difference between the timelines on FCP, CS5, Vegas, Edius etc especially as most will allow color changes for tracks features , window layouts and short cut key functions. For the most used functions they can all be set up the same. I know I am on a PC but I have Vegas and Edius set up to work the same way so that I can just switch between them without thinking which one I am using. My Shuttle Pro V2 works exactly the same way for both . Window layouts across my two 24" monitors the same. One just does audio better, the other does multicam better with wider file format support and realtime speed.

Vegas and Edius work with native file formats and will run realtime from the timeline. Edius is more capable in this regard than Vegas.

Big advantage there over FCP !

Ron Evans
I hear what you're saying.

But multicam is barely important to me. The issue being while setting up a bunch of cameras is cheap and easy these days, the TIME required to manage, understand, log and futz with multiple cams mean production costs typically SOAR over traditional work. (Yeah, if you're working with volunteer crews and borrowed equipment, it's trivial - but I don't. For every camera I need an Op - a support package, increased craft services, more data storage cards, and a HOST of other cost-increasing crap.) And the GIANT problem for me is that in these days when everyone wants everything for next to nothing - Multicam usually increases the WORK by a factor of 10 while it virtually NEVER increases the budget by anywhere near the same amount.

So no thanks there. It's a tool I use rarely and hope to keep it that way since in my view, multi-cam shoots are generally a bottom line KILLER - not an enhancer.

As to the other aspects you mention, you've clearly established a workflow and hardware array that works well for you.

As have I.

They are different. But that's not very important at all.

For me, I value most the compatibility of working with the top industry standard. It means I have fewer hassles in post and delivery. Thats NOT to say any other system is inferior. Not at all.

But just as it's more difficult to get parts for an exotic car than a Chevy - it's equally a bit more difficult to work with broadcast stations and ad agencies and graphic artists and remote clients when you're using software that a smaller fraction of that industry uses.

I posted a story about that point in another thread. I was having trouble understanding the mostly arcane HD TV specs of an NBC affiliate for spot delivery a couple of months ago . I called the station editor and once he learned that we were both working in FCS he told me to "Ignore the published specs and just change these 3 settings burried in the menus — that's what I do when I do the station's promos."

Bingo. Problem solved. Attention back to something like customer service the REALLY matters in growing a business.

I've been a huge supporter of users groups over my entire career for exactly the same reason. Access to others with the same tools is INCREDIBLY important to me because the informal network of fellow users solves REAL PROBLEMS and it's in operation at night, and on weekends.

That has real business value to me. Tho I understand that you may see it differently.

For what it's worth.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #204
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Correct me if I am wrong but I do not think MAC's or most Mac's have eSata. That already gives a high speed interface for most applications on a PC at 3Gbps and some at 6Gbps just a little below Thunderbolt. Been on my PC for a couple of years with external drives effectively running as fast as the internals. Thunderbolt will be available general on the PC with the next Intel chip set so by the end of the year will be on everything I am sure.

Times are definitely changing in all categories. There was a time when true professional facilities really could deliver a product that was better than a one man outfit or an amateur. In the main that is no longer the case. For high end cinema or high end broadcast that is still true but for the most part an amateur can deliver the same stuff as someone who earns his living in video. This as a result of camera technology, computing technology and software. All have come down in price to the point that the equipment is not the bottleneck. It's talent. Once this point has been reached the type of equipment/software is not important it is the content delivered that counts. If there is one thing I agree with in this thread is that Apple are furthering this trend with the price of FCP X. It used to be that tape was the delivery format so having access to the correct decks and knowledge was important. Expensive facilities that created the divide for the pro facilities. Not anymore. Its files in a standard digital format or a disc both easily produced on a home computer.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #205
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Steve, an Air competitor with Thunderbolt is OK but they'd really need a full laptop and desktop solution to compete.

The HP Z series in general is excellent. There are high end facilities that have several of them.

There are certainly individual computers better than various Macs. Every single component of FCP Studio (current) has a competitor that's better. Most facilities but together systems based on some totals and they live with some shortcomings for an overall improved workflow. That's what Apple focuses and wins on. It's why they have the Post market share they do.

Now if HP had Thunderbolt and if Avid or Adobe built turnkey systems with them and used a codec that was accepted by everyone (if DNxHD were as widely used as Apple ProRes for playback for example) they'd be able to compete . . . maybe.

You can always find any single piece of the Apple system and point to better. That's not how many if not most purchase decisions are made.

If 50% of the post market is Mac and 50% is Windows, HP only has a portion of that Windows market. You need to look at one computer for Thunderbolt (a Sony AIr competitor) another for more PCIe and RAM slots, a $4000 encoder if encoding to ProRes is important (Telestream Episode Engine). You can certainly extol Adobe but apparently many Windows facilities are Avid based even if they're using Adobe After Effects. Avid has hardware restrictions on input/output cards and is more expensive per seat and per upgrade. Adobe has Mercury with nVidia. So what whatever facility you build you either have a hodgepodge, and the troubles of moving projects around if needed, or you go with one and accept the limitations.

It's not about parts being "better," it's about easy system integration and Apple has lead with that. Thunderbolt will probably be across their entire line. You can pull a device from your MacPro and put it on your iMac or your MacBookPro all with the same NLE software for example. Lion will haver server built in so now any Mac in your system can be designated to that job if need be. Interchangeability of the parts makes it easy for a facility.

Of course an individual can put together whatever system they want and a killer HP Z800 with Adobe CS5 with a good nVidia card might be great but a MacPro with Thunderbolt and FCPX might be competitive and integrate better. The aforementioned HP system would blow the socks off of FCP7 for sure . . . but Apple is changing all that with a much larger market sharing making it easier to move that portion to newer systems and software.

One might hate the tight control and limitations of everything under one roof, computer, parts, NLE, etc. Apple is certainly a closed system but large numbers of very well versed technical people buy them and build facilities or small shops who may need to work with such facilities right from content creation to delivery. Someone might have a bigger better tree but Apple knows how to grow an effective forest.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:41 PM   #206
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Ron, any desktop Mac can have an eSata card added.

It's certainly been an issues with MacBook Pros though once Apple eliminated the Express port on the 15" MBP and left it on only the 17" MBP by late 2008/early 2009. I'll bet that's why MBPs got Thunderbolt first. Now all MBPs including the 13" MBP have Thunderbolt. iMacs were also at a disadvantage but that's about to change as well as they get Thunderbolt in the next few weeks (supply constraints indicate the update is imminent).
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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #207
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

Slightly off topic, but I wanted to put this out before we get into a platform war...

To quote my friend, whatever gets the job done. I know, we love our NLEs of choice, and many of us probably won't ever change the other's mind, but I was chatting on Facebook with a friend who uses Vegas and Final Cut Pro (whichever is available to use), and he summed it up best with "Whatever gets the job done."

We can debate endlessly about which features were already present on what NLE, and the like, but ultimately, when I watch something on TV or a movie, I don't ever think about how it was edited, just that the editor and director (and their team) did a great job with the cutting.

It's similar to camera arguments... I am always surprised to learn a "lesser" camera is used to shoot a movie or show, and it blows me away how the right kind of talent (and crew, plus lights) can make even a so-called lesser camera look like 35mm or a RED.

One final thought... I was always surprised, when I taught film, to learn that some of our students were using plain ol' iMovie (this is circa 2004-07) to cut their little shorts, and it showed off their talent, not their NLE.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #208
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

And not to add to the Windows vs. Apple debate, but a great friend of mine, who goes with fantastic Windows laptops and does some serious editing, recently got a virus and it's threatening to destroy/erase everything. He also has a Mac and told me she's considering buying Final Cut Pro X and moving to that platform from Adobe CS4 (which is/was on his PC laptop).

And this isn't a person who just carelessly downloads free music or anything; a client emailed him and the message had a virus, and it's wreaking havoc, even with the antivirus installed. I believe he had it off because the antivirus tends to slow the system down.

That's ultimately why I won't switch to Windows; now, if FCP wasn't being supported anymore, I'd likely switch to Premiere Pro CS5, since it's familiar and much easier to use than Avid.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #209
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

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And not to add to the Windows vs. Apple debate, but a great friend of mine, who goes with fantastic Windows laptops and does some serious editing, recently got a virus and it's threatening to destroy/erase everything. He also has a Mac and told me she's considering buying Final Cut Pro X and moving to that platform from Adobe CS4 (which is/was on his PC laptop).

And this isn't a person who just carelessly downloads free music or anything; a client emailed him and the message had a virus, and it's wreaking havoc, even with the antivirus installed. I believe he had it off because the antivirus tends to slow the system down.

That's ultimately why I won't switch to Windows; now, if FCP wasn't being supported anymore, I'd likely switch to Premiere Pro CS5, since it's familiar and much easier to use than Avid.

heath
My business partner with his Dell desktop and laptops has never used anti-virus and has never had a problem (when I first learned he didn't use 'protection' hehe, I loaded up 3 programs to scan everything). He gets more email than several of us combined from his multiple businesses.

And on my HP Z800, I do not use any anti-virus on my 'work' partition and have not had a problem.

The emails with a virus are usually easily noticeable. Just opening an email does nothing; so, you would have to click on a link or download something without looking at what you are downloading (if it ends in '.exe', it is bad).

The common misconception that Macs are 'safer' is just not true anymore. The number of flaws and weaknesses in OSX are exponentially higher than Windows 7 x64. I know a woman who switched to an iMac because she thought it was 'safer' and last year, a keystroke spyware program was found after she realized her email accounts had been used by someone else in addition to mysterious credit card charges.

I know what someone will say to rebut this - hackers/attackers focus on Windows PCs and have not focused on Macs due to the much smaller market share. However, Apple's market share is growing fast and its just a matter of time before you must use anti-virus software, especially since Apple doesn't fix most of their weaknesses.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #210
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Re: Thoughts on new FCP X Sneak Peek

I don't mean to get off topic with the virus story, but that's why I personally stick with Macs. The reason I wrote it is because we started to discuss switching NLEs, which could also lead to switching OS's.

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