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Final Cut Express
has taken the knife to Final Cut Pro to bring us Final Cut Express.
Is there any meat left on the bone?
Apple is introducing
a trimmed down version of its highly-regarded video and effects application,
Final Cut Pro 3, priced at £240 (inc VAT) instead of £750,
and going out under the name of Final Cut Express.
Apple clearly hopes that users will see this as a logical, and affordable,
upgrade from its iMovie editing program that has been bundled free with
FireWire equipped Macs for the past few years. And, of course, FCE is
a direct competitor to Adobe Premiere 6.5 - further putting under strain
Apple's relationship with one of the most committed supporters of the
Tempting folk into owning a piece of Final Cut Pro at a third of the
price, Final Cut Express may just turn out to be a money spinner for
Apple - and possibly the death knell for the Mac version of Premiere,
unless Adobe takes a long, hard look at Premiere and gives it a serious
Two things give Adobe some hope. The large installed user base of loyal
Premiere users can upgrade to the latest version for less than £135.
And, Final Cut Express, unlike Premiere and Final Cut Pro, only supports
DV format material captured via a FireWire connector. Adobe Premiere,
in contrast, works with the many video capture cards installed in Mac
editing systems, and either digital or analogue sources.
Final Cut Express has a privileged pedigree - born of the Emmy award-winning
Final Cut Pro 3, and making it a special program. Yes, some of the advanced
features of the flagship application are missing, and there's no batch
capture, key-framable effects or After Effects plug-in support, but
we reckon that most users won't miss them - at least not at this price.
For £240, Apple has put the core of its professional NLE application
in the hands of budget-conscious hobbyists and semi-pro users. Having
said that, professionals with a DV-based studio will be hard pressed
to ignore Final Cut Express, least of all because of its full-featured
editing ability, real-time previews and animatable motion effects. And,
to top it off, Express projects open in Pro. Overall, it's difficult
not to be impressed by Final Cut Express - it is such a well rounded,
powerful editing and effects application in its own right.
Read the full
review in June 2003's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in June's
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