NAB 2011: Adobe Ups The Ante In The NLE Wars

HDVideoPro by Neil Matsumoto

Without an update in years, Final Cut Pro users were feeling frustrated by the lack of love Steve Jobs has been showing them. Adobe has capitalized on this by quietly but steadily improving its Creative Suite, especially in regards to Premiere Pro and After Effects. With the release of CS5 last year, they smartly targeted DSLR filmmakers, who want to be able to work natively with their H.264 files. Because of this, Adobe has been picking off Final Cut Pro users left and right.

But at NAB last week, Apple shook things up by announcing a new version of Final Cut Pro for a mere $299, which you can download in their Mac App store. Although it remains to be seen if many pro users will stick with Final Cut Pro, we should not forget the fact that Apple still owns nearly 50% of the NLE market.

At the show, Adobe released CS5.5 Production Premium, which improves upon 5 with some incredible new features. With its native 64-bit operating system support and its Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro, CS5.5 lets you work natively in almost every format, including RED, DPX, XDCAM, P2, and many others. (ARRIRAW seems to be the only exception.) The great thing about being able to work natively is that there is no need to transcode your captured files to an intermediate codec, unlike Final Cut Pro where you have to transcode DSLR’s H.264 codec into ProRes—a time consuming process. One cool option that Adobe is offering is to let users purchase a subscription to CS5.5 instead of buying the entire suite. For a one-year subscription, the cost is $85/month for one year but you can also go month-to-month for $129. This would be ideal for a small production company that is working with a small team of editors for one specific project. read more...

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