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Final Cut Express HD

Powerful DV and HDV editing for everyone By Stephen Schleicher

Not a powerhouse post production company?  Editing wedding videos, high school video yearbooks, or content for your local access channel?  Got a FX1 for capturing HDV footage and need to get it edited?  Donít have the funding for the Final Cut Pro Suite, but you want nearly the same editing experience?  Then my friend, you need to get yourself the latest version of Final Cut Express. 

Who would have thought five years ago that DV editing would be in hands of nearly everyone?  Last week, while testing a new camera, I ran into some 14 year olds who were recording themselves at the local skateboard park on a Canon ZR series.  When I was 14, I was lucky if I could afford a couple of rolls of 8mm film and a tank of gas, let alone the funds to process and edit the footage when I was done.

Now, with sub $5k HDV cameras hitting the market (like the Sony FX1), Apple has positioned itself to make affordable high-def editing a possibility. Final Cut Express not only allows you to edit the DV footage of today, but when you decide to buy your HDV camera Final Cut Express HD is there for you.

What makes Final Cut Express HD such a valuable product for the DV/HDV editor is that the interface, keyboard shortcuts, and workflow is nearly matches Final Cut Pro 5.  Apple made a great decision to duplicate the interface and workflow, because they realized that eventually, you the indie editor will want to upgrade.  And because you already know the system, migrating will be the easiest thing youíve ever done.

If you are editing HDV footage, Apple allows you to capture and edit using Apple Intermediate Codec.  While it is not true HDV native editing, it is close enough and delivers a stunning picture that you wonít notice any difference.  To preview your HDV timeline, you can either monitor it on your HDV camera LCD panel, or preview everything full screen on your Apple Cinema Display.  Final Cut Express HD supports both the 1080i and 720p HDV formats as well as any DV25 footage.

I mentioned migration from Final Cut Express HD to Final Cut Pro 5 a moment ago, and when you are ready to make the leap, youíll be happy to know you can open Final Cut Express HD projects in Final Cut Pro 5. Why is this cool?  Depending on the size of your company or school, you can have many inexpensive Final Cut Express HD systems for editors to work on, and if they need to tap into the power behind Final Cut Pro 5, all they need to do is transfer the projects and files to the FCP5 system and continue to work.  I can imagine a high school video production lab, or even a public access station that generates a lot of content using this method to maximize their editing capabilities.


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Related Keywords:final cut express, hd, hdv, editing, apple, dv, review, schleicher

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