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Thread: Final Cut Express vs. iMovie?

  1. #1

    TheCustomer99's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 05, 2007
    Where the old Baker farm used to be.
    Final Cut Express vs. iMovie?
    Ok, I know Final Cut Express is better than iMovie but how? What exactly can I do in Final Cut that I can't do in iMovie?
    "Anecdotal thinking comes naturally, science requires training." - Michael Shermer

  2. #2

    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Irvine, CA
    I did some Google searching since I personally don't use iMovie (which obviously means I don't use Final Cut either) and found a couple of hits, but the following seems to be the best, concise answer you might be looking for.

    I've been working on my first Final Cut project on the new iMac since it came in on Monday, teaching myself how to use the new software along the way. I was hoping Final Cut would be as easy to pick up as iMovie, but was sadly disappointed in that regard: this is an application for which one really needs to read at least parts of the manual.

    I'd estimate that the new software is probably 5x as difficult as iMovie, but 15x as powerful and flexible. Some things that it does that iMovie can't include on-the-fly color correction, all kinds of interesting compositing (including chroma-keying), capturing a precise segment of tape using DV device control, and handling lots of audio and video streams at once. Some things it does better include transitions, organizing source media, slow motion (it generates extra frames to smooth things out), custom titles, and audio editing.

    There are a few areas where it's come up short: the manual doesn't explain how to modify motion paths. While iMovie includes several animated title plugins, I haven't been able to figure out how to do similar animations in Final Cut yet. It doesn't play back MP3s well (though a quick conversion to WAV works around that issue), nor does it integrate with iPhoto nearly as smoothly as does iMovie.

    Overall, however, it's nice to have the added power that the program provides, and I'm enjoying the learning process.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  3. #3

    EDIT-XTREEM's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 27, 2005
    In the mac store and at home on my iMac
    Take a look at this:

    it is a full comparison done by apple. I am a final cut pro editor so i can give you a bit of the breakdown. PM me if u have an questions.
    Mac Pro (Early 2009) 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 6 GB Ram, 640 GB Drive. Dell 2408WFP.

  4. #4

    CAMERA MAN's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 22, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Trust me I have used imove to its max and final cut express is far more advance when it comes to editing.

  5. #5

    yzmxer93's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 01, 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCustomer99 View Post
    Ok, I know Final Cut Express is better than iMovie but how? What exactly can I do in Final Cut that I can't do in iMovie?

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Mar 22, 2007
    it is better to learn Final Cut rather than iMovie if you have the chance.

    an example of imovie at its best:

    an example of Final Cut:
    (everything that is not part of the video was created with Final cut. such as travelling through space, having a split or quad screen, adding text effects, etc)

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Jan 30, 2007
    I'm fairly new to iMovie and have a copy of FinalCut Express that i'm about to install on my MBP.

    Was wondering about compatability between the two. Can i use clips imported in iMovie in FinalCut? I have quite a bit of footage already imported that i may want to do more with in the future when i'm up to Speed on Final Cut.

    As a general rule would importing in one application be preferrable to the other?

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