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Share your editing experience and questions


I'm considering buying a MAC for video editing, and either Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro. Is Final Cut Pro just more powerful than Final Cut Express or are they totally different to use? I'm wondering if what I learn from Final Cut Express would transfer to Final Cut Pro if I eventually switched?


New member
First of all, I use FCP, Adobe Premiere, and Avid. (Learned on Avid and then went on to FCP.) FCE and FCP are somewhat different (FCE is geared more towards the hobbyist or prosumer, while FCP is an industry standard application that is used in everything from spots and commercials to feature films ... for instance FCP uses the more "professional" ProRes codecs and FCE doesn't). If you have never edited before, then by all means go with FCE and learn the basics. All or nearly all of what you learn will transfer over, and you will be familiar with standard editing concepts and the interface if you ever want to upgrade to FCP. The only down-side to the FCE and FCP applications is the price of the dongle ... namely a MAC computer. (There have been recent grumblings about FCP getting a bit long in the tooth: It hasn't been upgraded in a while, it is only a 32 bit application, and the word is that a lot of FCP development team was laid-off by Apple. The grumblings got so loud that a week or so ago, Steve Jobs felt compelled to personally e-mail one editor and tell him that Apple wasn't going to abandon its editing products and to expect some big improvements in its professional and prosumer applications.)

If you are willing to go with a PC, then I would suggest looking at either Premiere Pro CS5, or Sony Vegas, or Edius. They all have their pluses and minuses. However, the new Premiere Pro is creating a lot buzz, especially if used with the right nVidia video card-w-Cuda technology. Of course, there is always Avid. It is very expensive and very picky about the hardware you use. However, it is really "the industry standard." The new Avid Media Composer 5.0 is due out in a month or so.


New member
... I see that they use ProRes Is that a software package?
I suppose in a certain sense it is. Basically, it is an intermediate codec developed by Apple for use with its "pro apps" such as FCP. As you know, your 7D outputs a H.264 file. That codec was never intended as either an acquisition or editing codec. Essentially, it is a delivery codec. While it may be possible to play native H.264 files in FCP, once you add a layer or two or any sort of effect or transition, it comes to a grinding halt. (That is not true with either the new Premiere Pro CS5 with a Cuda enabled card or Edius.) So, most people who use FCP will transcode native H.264 files into one of the various ProRes flavors. The benefits are that the new ProRes file will typically have a 4:2:2 color space (as opposed to the 4:2:0 color space of a H.264 file ... thus giving you a little more latitude for color correcting/grading) and the new ProRes file will play in real time on FCP, like "a hot knife through butter."


I use Premier and Nuke for my editing and adding it any type of minor effects and corrections. I am curious of using Sony Vegas Pro. Perhaps I should just get the hardware and upgrade to Avid.