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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #1
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What is the big difference?
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Old May 9th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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I don't have FCE to compare, but my friend said the log and capture window doesn't allow for timecode input. I'm a big fan of FCP's log and capture window with the ability to type in the start and end timecodes. The keyframe editing is also lacking compared to FCP, but that's just what I've heard.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 01:50 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with the latest versions of FCE, but the earlier ones didn't have a 3-way colour corrector. If you find yourself needing to do a decent job of colour correction, then FCP would be the way to go.

There used to be a comparison chart giving all of the features of FCE vs FCP. It's probably still somewhere on the Apple website. Just look it over and figure which features suit your particular needs and decide accordingly. (And, if you are working with HD/HDV footage rather than DV, pay particular attention to the sections outlining which codecs are supported by each one.)
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #4
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There is no support for Native HDV, DVCPRO HD, XDCAM HD or ProRess 422.

There is no 24 Frame editing at all.

To cut in HDV, you transccode to the Apple Intermediate Codec.

No 3-Way Color Corrector.

No Secondary Color Correction.

You do get Soundtrack and LiveType. But no DVD Studio Pro, Color, Soundtrack Pro, Motion, Compressor, or Cinema Tools.

Trust me when I say (and I used FCE before FCP) that the Final Cut Studio is more than worth the money. It does more than a Symphony Nitris from Avid will do and that costs over $60,000.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #5
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Hi Mike and welcome to DVinfo. I think the gap will probably widen quite a bit with the introduction of Final Cut Studio 2 soon. I saw the demo of the new "Color" application at NAB and was really impressed. FCE doesn't have anything like this. You also get a lot of other stuff with Final Cut Studio, like DVD Studio Pro and Motion. Remember, you can no longer buy Final Cut Pro all by itself, it's only available as the full Suite. Maybe we will see a new release of FCE which adds some more features though?

Also, it appears there is no longer any upgrade path from Final Cut Express to Final Cut Studio as there used to be. So if you decide to go the FCE route, make sure it will meet your needs for a few years since the $299 price (which is very reasonable however) won't help offset the cost of the full FCS version.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:46 AM   #6
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More differences:

No batch capture

No ability to create or export EDLs

No Media Manager

As stated, FCE is a DV/HDV app only

No ability to capture video or audio only

No ability to create an MPEG2 right out of the program; no Compressor
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Donovan View Post
What is the big difference?
A simplistic answer would be making this type of comparision:

Photoshop CS3 vs. Photoshop Elements. They both "look" the same, but the Pro version has tools not available in the Express version.

I got FCE when I bought a new computer 3 years ago and have upgraded along the way (currently have FCE HD, v3.0) and it made the transition to FCP 5.1 eight months ago a smooth one. If your budget doesn't allow for FCP, and you aren't going to use the high-end features of FCP, it's a nice way to get used the workflow in FCP and still has alot of the functionallity of FCP. Are you looking to buy one or the other, or looking to upgrade? I'd consider selling FCE, still have the box and original installer discs.
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