Final Cut Express to Final Cut Studio in 4 days

I liked Final Cut Express so much, I upgraded to Final Cut Studio within 4 days of purchase.

I had mistakenly thought that Final Cut Pro and Motion would have  to be purchased separately and each would cost a whopping amount of money. Realising that these apps came in a bundle and that I could buy the bundle at substantial discount via Amazon swung the deal. I bought Final Cut Studio for about £400 less than the official retail price from the Apple Store. I paid maybe £200 more than I would have done upgrading to Adobe Master Collection CS5 instead of Design Premium CS5.

I’ve been working my way through the “Exploring Final Cut Pro 7” booklet after work for about a week. Still quite a few chapters to go. Impressed with the functionality though I imagine a lot of what I’ve learnt so far could be done in Final Cut Express.

Was surprised to find that the Apple ProRes codec produces bigger files than the Apple Intermediate Codec. At least two possible reasons:

  • I don’t know what I’m doing
  • The ProRes codec is meant for professional users that work with much higher bandwidth material than me.

[Update: upon further reading, ProRes is designed to encode at  145 Mbs standard quality and 220 Mbps high quality. It’s not aiming to compress to MP4 levels but instead to offer an experience similar to editing uncompressed 10-bit HD material at a bandwidth similar to 8-bit SD uncompressed material – reducing the hardware requirements for HD editing. So, it WILL produce big files! AIC runs at a max of around 112 Mbps but captures less color depth . See here]

No matter. I’m sticking to my original plan of only keeping these Final-Cut-friendly files whilst I’m producing a video. It doesn’t take that long to produce them from the source material as and when required in my case.

I have also ordered a 2TB external firewire 800 drive (Western Digital) to use as a scratch disk.

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