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Old January 17th, 2002, 01:22 AM   #16
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While I can't compare FCP's rendering times to Avid's, you should note that Final Cut Pro 3 (released Dec) now features many real-time effects. Since this version now runs under Mac OS 10 (a Unix kernal) it can now take full advantage of dual-processor Macs which has made a significant difference in render performance for basic effects.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 07:38 PM   #17
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Sorry if I haven't been responding - I have written a number of responses but they have not appeared. The site seems to be getting stuck when posting. Or at least, that's what was happening earlier.

Anyway, Ken,

Thank you for sending me to 2-pop. I usually stay away from product specific sites. So what am I doing in the XL Watchdog? This place is a little different - independent and a wide range of opinions coming from many different directions.

BTW - I just ordered an XL-1s from ZGC. The works - 3x lens, CH-910, BP-945, VariZoom Stealth control. All products and retailers I learned about form this site. ZGC lived up to its reputation, Christine was patient, quick, friendly, and knows the products well. I'll be receiving the package tomorrow.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 07:45 PM   #18
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Drewid20,

So I guess it boils down to FCP3 is a good and "cheap" replacement or backup for the Xpress DV but for nothing else. Correct? Now the question is - which is better, cheaper and more flexible - Xpress DV or FCP3? My gripe with anything Avid is it's tight grip on how you configure the system.

I believe FCP3 claims to have "no rendering time" but I've heard that's only in preview mode. MC1000 is fast for rendering but it can still hold you up when it comes time a 1:1 rendering job.

Thank you for the comments. They help.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 09:25 PM   #19
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Hey, Ozzie--

Your replies went somewhere, but just not onto the board. I had about 10 emails indicating you had replied to this string, but when I got over here, you hadn't. Maybe it's a "feature" Chris introduced...Ha!

I clipped some text from 2-pop similar to your question:

(clip)
You are asking a great question, and it's a question many people are asking these days. The macro advantage of FCP is that it is hardware independent, format independent, and speaks fluent QT, which is becoming the defacto format of choice for post..

You can grow with FCP, all the way to HD if you want, and all the way to OfflineRT on a PB. You will only have more and better choices for upgrading to uncompressed RT and HD, because of the open standards in QT, and the open architecture in FCP. Mfgs are aggressively competing to give us more and better SD options all the time, cheaper. I'm not so sure you'll find that happening in Avid World, especially with DV Express. It's a pretty closed box, unless they have changed things lately.

As far as the job market goes, I see jobs open for "Avid" editors, but not so many for Express editors. I see more and more jobs open for FCP editors, but the revolution hasn't hit the post houses yet as hard as it has hit the street.

As far as interface goes, I like FCP much better than Express. I started on an Avid 1000, and always found the Express too limited and claustrophobic. But that's a purely personal thing.

One of the best things about FCP of course, is that it has 2-pop behind it :-).

I haven't used the Avid, so can't speak to it personally.

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Old January 17th, 2002, 10:41 PM   #20
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Ozzie,

I feel your glee. Really. I have most of the toys you bought and know how much fun you're gonna have. Personally, I really enjoy working with that 3x lens.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 11:08 PM   #21
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Ken,

I would be more gleeful if the client wasn't such a pain to deal with. Thirty years in the business and I'm having to control my temper. Part of the problem is that half of the "client" is in the UK - he seems to know little but demands everything is done the only way he knows how. If I hear "that's not the way we do it here..." one more time... agggrrr. Talk about micromanaging. They actually want to see a demo scene shot with the 3x "just to see what I mean by my style of shooting". 140 pages averaging two hours of dramatic material in 18 days, 20 actors, 9 locations, interiors, exteriors, night, day, dawn. And all this for a fifth of what it should really cost. I've figured we need to shoot no less than 12 pages a day to get this done.

My "style of shooting" as they have begun to call it is to employ the 3x 90% of the time. To light for one shot and block the actors into that shot. Few setups with lots of action within the frame. Then I get the question - "who's your focus puller?" I don't think these folks know what a wide angle lens is like. I WANT deep depth of field. I don't want to rack focus. Not in this production.

Asked to shoot a demo of what I mean by wide angle. The last time I was asked something like that was in graduate school when part of my thesis was a writing and directing a half hour show. My advisor asked me how I planned to shoot it. I explained but he never asked for a sample.

Enough ranting. Glee? Oh I only wish I had the time for glee. But if I pull this one off I'll be very happy with my new toys. Don't worry, it'll be pulled off just fine. I just have to keep taking deep breaths and counting to ten.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 12:02 AM   #22
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Sorry about the system hiccups earlier today.

Ozzie, are you committed to a Mac editing platform? If so, I heartily recommend FCP version 3. ProMax (another Watchdog sponsor) is the biggest Mac & FCP integrator in the world and they can build you a fine system.

If you can go with a PC, don't overlook the Canopus real-time DV editing systems (www.justedit.com) -- that's what I use. Canopus is *true* real-time editing and output, while Final Cut is still not real-time and I doubt the Avid ever would be. I've seen the Avid demo and was not impressed. That's heresy to some people, but I call it like I see it.

Let us know how you like all your new toys,
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Old January 18th, 2002, 01:27 AM   #23
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Chris,

On the contrary, we're PC based. We own a G3 and an old Power PC (?) Mac that runs our ancient Avid MC8000.

I've seen Canopus advertised but I really don't know much about it. The problem with all these editing systems is not how good they are but how easily you can find good editors to work on them. When we bought our first Avid we considered a Media 100 but most of the editors we knew and liked had made the switch from CMX or film editing to Avid. So Avid it was. The same is true with FCP3. Canopus might be a better product but is there a big enough pool of editors I can call on to work it?

FCP3 is the sensation of the moment. Everyone wants it, needs it, can't live without it. Great Avid editors, and I'm talking multiple Emmy winning editors, are being forced to switch from Avid (just when they had mastered it) to FCP3. Only because thats what's hot at the moment.

I mentioned in an earlier post that we've been trying to rent one of our Avids. I got a call from a young producer who wanted to hire one of our top notch editors and he recommended the editing be done at our place. When the young producer for MSNBC came over to the office, I showed him our fully equipped MC1000 with 1:1 compression (or lack of). I showed him the less expensive Xpress. But he was eager to see our Final Cut Pro system. We don't have one. My editor friend didn't get the job and it went to some less experienced but FCP proficient editor.

Such is the business. The only thing that really appeals to me about FCP3 is the ability to compress 40 minutes of material into 1 gig and do some real editing in a Mac laptop.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 04:18 PM   #24
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It seems FCP is primarily a business decision ... if that's what people want, we go with it.

While I am nowhere near qualified to state relative processing-time and other technical parameters about the various systems, I can say that FCP has performed its job flawlessly for me, putting a state-of-the-art NLE system on my desk which has worked 24/7 from Day 1 without technological drama.

The people I serve have saved lots of money, I have made my fair share, those are all quantifiable facts. And it works. That's my definition of performance.

Is it as good as an Avid? That's not a question that gets asked much around this shop.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 04:35 PM   #25
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That's as good an aswer as any one can give. It is definitely a business decision and if FCP has served you and your clients well, then it's well worth the $999 for the software as opposed to $40k+ for Xpress.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 05:43 PM   #26
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I definitely agree Ozzie, and that is more important than processor speed statistics or other data. (although Apple may be stretching it a little to call it a 98% discount on a $50K rig)

Also important is the point raised here about finding a population of qualified operators...I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly, which is one reason I picked FCP, both to assure myself of readily availble assistance if I get too busy and to assure myself of gainful employment if things turn into a pumpkin where I'm at and I need the work. To say nothing of the coaching and camaraderie of a large installed users' group.

One thing to consider re: losing the MSNBC gig....when I worked in a pre-press facility we had purchased a Windows machine which we needed for one client (we were an all-Mac shop, as you may expect in the printing business) who insisted on designing all his print jobs in CorelDraw! (YUKK!!!) Well, that machine paid for itself right away, and kept paying dividends each time we got a job from this client, who we would have lost if we didn't add that piece to our repertoire.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 11:56 PM   #27
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Mike,

I'm going to print out your last message and post it on out bulleting board. Every time our monthy lease payments on our Avids come due I'll make my partner look at the message. Eventually it'll sink in. No body seems to be renting Avids, not even at bargain rates. Renting an FCP3 system for a couple of weeks will pay for our monthly lease on the MC1000. Yeap, it's all a matter of business.

By the way, which is the world's second largest liquor company? Which is the first?
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Old January 19th, 2002, 05:58 PM   #28
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ozzie Alfonso : Drewid20,

So I guess it boils down to FCP3 is a good and "cheap" replacement or backup for the Xpress DV but for nothing else. Correct? Now the question is - which is better, cheaper and more flexible - Xpress DV or FCP3? My gripe with anything Avid is it's tight grip on how you configure the system.

I believe FCP3 claims to have "no rendering time" but I've heard that's only in preview mode. MC1000 is fast for rendering but it can still hold you up when it comes time a 1:1 rendering job.

Thank you for the comments. They help. -->>>

It looks to me that FCP3 is better than the Xpress DV 2.0. I think you are correct that FCP3 has realtime previews but you have to render them in the end. Xpress DV 3.0 is comming out I think in Feb. with the same real time preview and 3.0 will now be able to take advantage of Dual Processors as well. It looks like FCP and AVID are going to try and one up each other from here on out. I personally got the Xpress DV system because I dont have alot of money being a Senior in College. The system cost me around 3300 for a very nice system delivered to my door. The equivalent FCP machine would have cost me about 1500-1800 bucks more. Now for a production company that much might not mean much but for me it meant ALOT. I think the 2 platforms are very close and perform very well but I wouldnt compare either of them to a Media Composer. In the end it comes down to 3 things. (1) What your client wants. (2) How comfortable and efficent you are @ either platform. (3) How much money you have.
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Old January 19th, 2002, 06:28 PM   #29
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<<<-- Originally posted by Drewid20 : <<<-- Originally posted by In the end it comes down to 3 things. (1) What your client wants. (2) How comfortable and efficent you are @ either platform. (3) How much money you have. -->>>

I think you answered my question as to the cost of the Xpress DV. If you bought a computer, monitors AND the Xpress, I'm guessing the Xpress DV software is under $1000? Is Avid still selling the software bundled with the hardware? If so, are trhey more open to alterations, additions, etc. to the system?

Replying to your three points:

1. The client will either not care or insist on a particular system. It used to be that if you didn't have Avid you were not a "true pro." Now money is a little tighter and if they can be sold the post for a little less and we can still make a profit, FCP3 is just fine.

2. With us it's a matter of how many good editors have become proficient with FCP. It took a long time for editors to master Avid (some never have). It's going to take as long for them to master FCP. We've found there are three kinds of Avid editors - true editors that come from film and have never quite mastered Avid; techies who are masters of everything Avid makes but who are mediocre editors, if at all; and really good editos who have mastered Avid's Media Composer - I know only 2 out of more than 20 editors I'm familiar with.

3. Money?
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Old January 19th, 2002, 08:30 PM   #30
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Howdy from Texas,

<< FCP3 is the sensation of the moment. Everyone wants it, needs it, can't live without it. >>

Purely the result of an adequate product with inadequate competition, and a superior marketing campaign. Apple did more to create the sensation that its loyal users did. I've used FCP, and was only marginally impressed. FCP3 is a let-down to me because it *still* isn't real-time. Nice color correction tools, though. And they finally fixed their broken titler.

You guys might be making a mistake if you overlook Canopus. They spent all their money on engineering, not marketing. While FCP and Avid Xpress DV require rendering, the Canopus DV Rex RT Pro and its little brother, the DVStorm, are *render free.* Not only real-time editing within its own editing software as well as Adobe Premiere 6, but real-time output to DV as well. Nobody else offers that, and it's an enormous advantage. While you guys are working on an offline low-res draft, a Canopus system is producing a final edit with no waiting. Plus, the Canopus DV codec is widely regarded as the best in the business, and it's the only DV editing system that'll give you clean keys, plus real-time color correction over an NTSC monitor.

The biggest challenge facing Canopus is their own marketing department. This company is the best-kept secret in the business, but hopefully that will change this year, thanks to a new marketing staff. Avid used to sell systems built around the excellent Canopus DVRaptor card; that partnership has dissolved now because Canopus is rightfully going after the Avid market. Their hardware is certainly up to snuff for the pro market, their large base of satisfied and dedicated customers is firmly established, and the press so far has been nothing less than enthusiastic.

I think you're going to hear a lot more about Canopus this year, especially around NAB. They're at the top of the hill of the PC-based DV format NLE's, and the most serious competition they have currently is Final Cut Pro's superb marketing and Avid's reputation. In my book, engineering ultimately beats both, and Canopus has it. Hope this helps -- www.justedit.com
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