Accelerated Editing: Taking advantage of new features in Avid’s Media Composer 5.5 and Pro Tools 9

HDVideoPro by Mel Lambert

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Or, more prosaically, we often can extend our creative skills through access to slightly more advanced tools than those with which we're currently familiar. Video-editing software falls comfortably into this category, especially if we have aspirations to move into more sophisticated productions, for which additional tracks, processing and finishing options are on our immediate horizon.

If Adobe Premiere, Avid Pinnacle Studio, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Sony Vegas and similar fare define the entry-level sector of the market, then the high end is probably dominated—with apologies to Apple's Final Cut Studio—by Avid Media Composer, which is the NLE of choice for a large number of film and video projects. And with the recent introduction of Media Composer 5.5, Avid has wrapped into the product a number of new features and functions of direct relevance to the HDVP community.

"Our recent upgrade added a number of important advantages for videographers and independent filmmakers," considers Angus Mackay, Avid's segment marketing manager for Media Composer. "One of the most important features is that the software can now directly work with native formats from a broad cross section of video recorders, without the need to first transcode the files."

Using Avid Media Access, or AMA, a plug-in architecture that was first introduced with version 3.5 and steadily augmented in subsequent releases, Media Composer can directly ingest Sony XDCAM, XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX, plus Panasonic P2 (DV, DVCPRO and DVCPRO 50), DVC PRO HD and AVC-Intra, HDCAM SR Lite, Material Exchange Format (MXF), GFCAM, Canon XF (MPEG-2 full HD), RED 4K and QuickTime, which adds compatibility with ProRes, H.264 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II/7D videos. read more...
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