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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Subtle but distinct differences

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Member Since: May 26, 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9
CMPOB is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 17

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I want to move on from iMovie and am looking at Final Cut. Is there a way of defining the real differences between Express and Pro?

Basically, I want to edit up home movies and maybe composit some time lapse from a stills camera. I also want to be able post to a blog based website on a more regular basis. I'm thinking Express will probably do the job. I'm strictly amature, but do enjoy messing around with the good software.

Any guide links out there.?
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Mac Specs: 2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid

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For time lapse I've used iStopMotion. See my L.A. to Vancouver trip. There is no cross fades for that. If you want to do fades, then a video or slide show editor is required and even iMovie can do that.

Look at the specs between Express and Pro. Pro has features to use professional level import/export hardware. It also has the ProRes codec where Express might not. Finally, Pro comes with several other applications.

The pro users are expecting a new Studio version soon. I suspect it will be released when the new version of OS X will be released. Perhaps this Summer, or by a miracle, during the developers conference June 8th.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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Member Since: May 26, 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9
CMPOB is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 17

CMPOB is offline
Thanks for that, I've used iStopmotion and very good it is too. I'll look in more detail at Express.
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
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Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

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I used Premiere Pro 1.5 and Liquid Edition Pro 6.1 on the windows platform before switching to Mac, since I couldn't afford to get FCP, I bought FCE to hold me over (mostly, I edit graduation videos, slideshows, will be doing some video podcast work soon for where I work, and other misc. stuff) and to be honest, it has worked really wonderfully. For what I normally use it for (cutting video, adding audio, transitions, titles, slide shows, green screen) it's actually more then enough.

There are some things in FCP I wish were in FCE or available separately (DVD Studio, compressor); but I've used DV footage from a sony handycam and HD footage from a canon HF100 and FCE has worked wonderfully so far, and honestly I think you'll find it incredibly powerful (and possibly a bit intimidating if you've never worked with timeline based editing before). For home use, it's got a lot of features, and you can get some wonderful plugins for it if you want to extend its already incredible capabilities. There are quite a few free plugins (if you plan on doing slideshows with the burns effect (the basic method that stills are done in iMovie 08 (possibly other versions too, I just have 08)) you'll want to get a plugin to make it easier otherwise there is a bunch of manual stuff you will need to do. (check out: Auto Pan Zoom ) which is a free and very useful plugin to automate the process if you want the ken burns effect.

to kind of give you a feel for FCE - take a look at this video course on using it:

Izzy Video Learn Final Cut Express 4 | Learn how to shoot, edit, and produce better video.

it's a free download, and although it's meant to work with you stepping you through doing the things on the program, you can get a feel for it watching the videos.

The only real negative is DVD production - if you're just going for home use, iDVD is great - if you want a bit more control and possibly to distribute copies of, IMHO iDVD isn't so great. DVD Studio Pro looks awesome, but is only available with Final Cut Studio (an older version can be found on ebay but...) I ended up compromising until I could afford FCS and bought moviegate which gives me just enough added control over the DVD creation to make me happy. It's one of the few things I haven't found my "ideal" solution for.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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