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

what are the benefits of upgrading to final cut?

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Member Since: Jun 18, 2010
Posts: 1
mkc is on a distinguished road

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Hi guys,
this is my first post,
I'm getting a new imac in a couple of months and i'm going to use it mainly for video editing. I have a little experience with editing on pc software, but would still class myself as a novice, especially as i will be new to mac's! I'm just wondering whether to get final cut express straight away, but don't really know what the differences are. what sort of things can it do compared to imovie, and will it be a too complex a piece of software to start with?
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Member Since: Dec 27, 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 126
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Mac Specs: 21.5" iMac, 3.06GHz duo, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive, NVIDIA 9400M| 8GB iPod Touch

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Well there is definitely a learning curve with final cut, but it's a huge leap forward from iMovie. You can do green screen, livetype, and many other effects that aren't achievable in iMovie. You might want to look into Apple - Final Cut Express
instead of the full final cut package. Just remember that you can always ask questions around here! By the way, what did you use for editing on your PC?

How do you like them Apples?
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
Nethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

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Hi! Welcome to the forums.

In terms of whether to get FCE or not is really based upon what you plan to do (which you haven't really told us ). My personal preference is FCE/FCP/Premiere/etc. over iMovie, but that is due to my needs and my preference for what I like to work with.

iMovie is very powerful, but also very different from "standard" NLE applications such as FCE, FCP, Adobe Premiere, Avid products, etc. iMovie is more geared to the home enthusiast, although powerful, it is no where near as flexible as a tool such as FCE.

iMovie doesn't use timelines, has limited transitions and video effects, limited titling capabilities, etc. compared to FCE (iMovie is more targeted to the home user where FCE can be said to be targeted to the high end home user/prosumer/pro that doesn't need the extra features of FCS).

To me sequences (aka timelines) are invaluable tools, since iMovies editing design is quite different when it comes to editing I personally prefer to not use it.

If you are going into video professionally eventually, FCE would be closer to what you would use then iMovie. Also, if you're comfortable with FCE, there is very little learning curve for moving from FCE to FCP in terms of general use (advanced features are a different story).

If all you plan to do is hobbiest home movies - you can probably just use iMovie and have a good time. If you want more control, more power, more features, plan to go into video professionally, etc. then FCE may be a better choice as what you learn in FCE is more applicable in terms of workflow to higher level apps then iMovie is. It would also reduce the future learning curve if you plan to use FCP or Premiere or some other "pro grade" application to edit with vs iMovie.

FCE will provide a bit more of a challenge to a beginner then iMovie, but if you have used an editor that uses a timeline for clip layout it may feel more familiar then iMovie. You may want to look at Izzy Video - Learn How to Shoot, Edit, and Produce Better Video at his free FCE tutorial - it will give you an idea of what FCE is like, and may help answer your question of which will be better for you.

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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Member Since: Mar 25, 2010
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We first got our Mac's to make home videos of the kiddos when they were born. We had little intention of getting into any type of video editing BUT we quickly learned that as powerful as iMovie was it had major short falls for what we wanted to do. Like stated above putting any text or titling was very limited and ended up looking kind of junky. I fought alot with getting the music exactly how I wanted it and ended up having to use several other programs (audacity and MPEG streamclip) to get what I wanted.

In the end, we upgraded to Final Cut Express 4 after about 4 months and after the still continuing learning curve I love it! There are so many more tools and plug-ins for this software that even though I want FCS3 I cannot justify it because I am still learning new things in FCE4...2 years later!

Start with'll get it free with your mac. Once you've got the hang of that you will know if it is what you want. If it isn't upgrade to FCE. My parents are completely happy using iMovie...I'm not. Depends on your specific needs! Good luck and have fun!
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