Creative Planet By Oliver Peters Final Cut ExpressOctober brought the release of Apple's long-waited Leopard operating system, formally known as Mac OS 10.5. Although most working editors are treading lightly--waiting for the right time to upgrade--Apple also sweetened the pot with the release of Final Cut Express 4, which is ready for Leopard. Professional editors working with the full Final Cut Studio package or Avid Media Composer may tend to view Express as a watered down "lite" version. Nevertheless, Final Cut Express 4 is an extremely powerful package for its $199 price tag. Since it's built on the same code as Final Cut Pro, all of the Express tools are simply a reduced subset of the full FCP feature set. Final Cut Express is actually the ideal application for new editors who are interested in learning Final Cut Pro. It supports DV, HDV and now AVCHD--the newest prosumer, compressed high-definition video file format. Anyone finishing and mastering in these formats--without the need to rough-cut first at a draft resolution or master to a higher level format--will be perfectly happy with Final Cut Express as their main editing application. This covers the majority of video users, including educational facilities, corporate video units and indie filmmakers. read more...

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