MARCH 23, 2004
Final Cut Express 2
DV- only system for everyone?
Stephen Schleicher
Page 3 of 3

The other major difference between the Express 2 and Pro 4 system is in the Motion tab for individual clips.  In the Pro version you can set keyframes within the Motion tab.  In express you set keyframes in the Canvas window.  Not that big of a deal, and actually a bit of a bonus over the Pro system.

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You can also create Bezier handles on your keyframes for smoother motion and to create dynamic motion paths.

I havenít mentioned too much on the audio side, but I should point out that Final Cut Express 2 does have the Voice Over Tool and does include many of the audio filters and effects you will need for most enhancements/fixes you will need to do to your clips.

For music tracks, you can purchase SoundTrack or GarageBand as a separate application and use the two systems together. 

When it comes time to output the final edit, Final Cut Express 2 allows you to print your sequence or individual clip in the Project window directly to DV tape, and if you need to loop the sequence multiple times, you can do that as well.  You can also import your Final Cut Express project to iDVD or DVD Studio Pro complete with chapter markers (with comments and durations), or exported to any QuickTime format for streaming distribution.

Final Thoughts
So what is my final conclusion?  Is Final Cut Express really for everyone?  In a way, yes.  If you are doing serious DV work and donít need the flash wiz bang features found in the Pro system, then this is the product you need.  It gives you all the power you will find in Final Cut Pro, but without the overhead.  If you are a user who doesnít need the motion graphics capability of LiveType, are not working on uncompressed video projects, and donít need the 24fps capabilities of CinemaTools, then a great deal of money can be saved by using Final Cut Express 2.  At $299, Final Cut Express 2 is a steal and a great step in the right direction for DV producers and editors.

When not working deep in the labs of the DMN Central Division testing the latest and greatest software/hardware products Stephen Schleicher can be found at the local university teaching a few courses on video and web production. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also visit him on the web at


Source: Digital Media Online, Inc
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