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Apple announces Final Cut Express 4, slashes pricing

post #1 of 34
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Apple on Thursday unveiled Final Cut Express 4, a significant upgrade to its consumer-oriented video editing software based on Final Cut Pro 6, for a reduced price of just $199.

Final Cut Express 4 adds support for the latest AVCHD cameras, allows mixing of standard and high definition content on a single timeline, includes the ability to import iMovie '08 projects, and gives users access to hundreds of sophisticated FxPlug cinematic effects and filters.

"Almost a million digital filmmakers have made Final Cut their editing application of choice," said Rob Schoeben, Apples vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "With the introduction of Final Cut Express 4, Apple makes it easy for anyone to join the rapidly growing community of Final Cut editors worldwide."

The new Open Format Timeline in Final Cut Express 4 allows users to mix and match DV, HDV and AVCHD material (only supported on Intel-based Macs), all in realtime using the same industry-leading editing and trimming tools found in Final Cut Pro.

Supporting both 1080i and 720p HD resolutions, Final Cut Express 4 will automatically perform the necessary scaling, cropping and frame rate adjustments. When starting projects from scratch, the new simplified setup automatically configures everything based on the first clip dropped on the Timeline.

Final Cut Express 4 also makes it easy to import iMovie '08 projects and enhance them with advanced editing capabilities such as multiple layers of video and graphics, picture in picture effects and animated titles. It includes over 50 new FxPlug filters, including Soft Focus, Vignette and Light Rays, with hundreds more available from a rapidly expanding FxPlug developer community.



With enhanced audio controls, users can automatically raise any clip to its maximum level without distortion using the new Soft Normalize and Gain controls. Final Cut Express 4 also features LiveType 2, which provides an intuitive environment for creating dynamic and fun animated titles and includes an extensive library of animated fonts, textures, templates and effects.

Final Cut Express 4 is available immediately for a suggested retail price of $199 -- $100 less than the previous version -- through the Apple Store, Apples retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Owners of previous versions of Final Cut Express can upgrade to Final Cut Express 4 for just $99.



A list of full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Express 4 can be found at Apple's Final Cut Express website.
post #2 of 34
Very good deal on the upgrade
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post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Very good deal on the upgrade


Who's going to be the first to complain about the educator's price for it?
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post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

Who's going to be the first to complain about the educator's price for it?

You brought it up
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post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

Who's going to be the first to complain about the educator's price for it?

What exactly is there to complain about, I'd assume it's the standard 50% off software.

No?
post #6 of 34
Sweet! A new version that can import iMovie '08 projects and costs 1/3 less than the previous version. I can't wait to see what Apple is going to do with Aperture 2.0 and if it will go from $299 to $199. With prices this low people might move from iMovie to Final Cut Express and maybe even iPhoto to Aperture. Moving from iPhoto 6 and earlier to Aperture is a no-brainer for me, but iPhoto 7 might keep people from moving.
post #7 of 34
Those of you who are going to enjoy the reduced price for this can thank me. The only reason Apple did this is because I just bought FCE last month
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

What exactly is there to complain about, I'd assume it's the standard 50% off software.

No?


No. With the price difference between educator price and regular price, most would opt for the regular price so that one would be eligible for the upgrade price for the next edition.
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post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

No. With the price difference between educator price and regular price, most would opt for the regular price so that one would be eligible for the upgrade price for the next edition.

They would? Only if they weren't very good at math...

With Education Discount:
Final Cut Express 4.0 at 50%: $99
Final Cut Express 5.0 at 50%: $99
Total: $198

Without Education Discount:
Final Cut Express 4.0: $199
Final Cut Express 5.0 upgrade: $99
Total: $298

If one already owns FCE 3.5, then the 4.0 and 5.0 upgrades would total $198.

Am I missing something?
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

Am I missing something?

Yeah. On the Apple Store website the Academic version is $179. I don't know where the %50 number first came from, unless some schools/universities have special deals. I personally haven't seen %50 discounts on Apple stuff for a long time!

Go to Amazon and you save almost that much in taxes...
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post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Yeah. On the Apple Store website the Academic version is $179. I don't know where the %50 number first came from, unless some schools/universities have special deals. I personally haven't seen %50 discounts on Apple stuff for a long time!

Go to Amazon and you save almost that much in taxes...


With new updates, Apple is weaning the educators off of the 50 percent discounts of the past.
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post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

What exactly is there to complain about, I'd assume it's the standard 50% off software.

No?

Apple has been slowly eliminating the nice education deals. Every past version of the OS had an education discount of $69 and normal price of $129. Leopard had an education discount of $116 and regular of $129. You could buy it from Amazon for $109.

Now, with FCE, the regular price is $199 and education is $179. The price went down by $100 for non-education and up by $80 for education users.

Apple has also gotten rid of all education discounts on iPods. This happened about two years ago.

It's great that the prices are dropping for most people, but they prices are actually increasing significantly for education users. This strikes me as stupid since education is where people are learning to use computers and also happens to be an incredibly cost aware group.

Is it true that education versions are not eligible for the upgraded price later?
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

With new updates, Apple is weaning the educators off of the 50 percent discounts of the past.

Weaning always made me cry...
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post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Yeah. On the Apple Store website the Academic version is $179. I don't know where the %50 number first came from, unless some schools/universities have special deals. I personally haven't seen %50 discounts on Apple stuff for a long time!

That makes a lot more sense then. It does seem silly that by saving $20, you lose out on the opportunity for upgrade pricing in the future. I'd probably opt to pay full-price then (although I get a corporate discount which is fairly generous on Apple Software: My copy of FCE 3.5 ran me $248).

Quote:
Go to Amazon and you save almost that much in taxes...

Well not those of us who live in Washington
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Very good deal on the upgrade

The upgrade pricing is the same as it was the last two times. The initial buy-in pricing is $100 lower though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

What exactly is there to complain about, I'd assume it's the standard 50% off software.

No?

Just go check for yourself, it's not that hard. I just looked and the edu pricing is $179 like the others were saying. The edu pricing has been complained about with the Leopard software, and it's looking like a trend given the reductions of edu discounts for hardware too. I don't think it makes that much sense to have a high academic pricing, though Final Cut Studio academic is still $699 rather than twice that. Maybe we can expect that to go away after the next update.
post #16 of 34
Glad to see any update to the product. Reading about Final cut pro update earlier, and thinking that FCP has been updated twice with no FCX upgrades. Guess this is it.

I also think they had to do something since those of us who wanted to the editing power of imovie 6 still feel left out of imovie 8 - so they dropped the price of FCX to give us a nudge? (of course FCX is still a big learning curve. I've had it for a few months now and still a long way form being an expert...)
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

Glad to see any update to the product. Reading about Final cut pro update earlier, and thinking that FCP has been updated twice with no FCX upgrades. Guess this is it.

I also think they had to do something since those of us who wanted to the editing power of imovie 6 still feel left out of imovie 8 - so they dropped the price of FCX to give us a nudge? (of course FCX is still a big learning curve. I've had it for a few months now and still a long way form being an expert...)

FCE 3.5 was released last year, about mid-year. It was a real update with real feature improvements. Usually FCE gets an update several months after the regular Final Cut does.

This thing finally supports AVCHD, a format that's had inexpensive consumer cameras for about a year now.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

(of course FCX is still a big learning curve. I've had it for a few months now and still a long way form being an expert...)

Curious to know how you've gone about even being an amateur. I had Premiere Pro down moderately well and because the interface is similar, can do basic editing with Final Cut, but I'm having a real difficult time getting myself around even some of the intermediate functionality of the tool. Filters with keyframes for example. I'm also utterly lost when it comes to doing anything with Live Type (which to be honest was my primary reason for jumping from iMovie to FCE).
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

Curious to know how you've gone about even being an amateur. I had Premiere Pro down moderately well and because the interface is similar, can do basic editing with Final Cut, but I'm having a real difficult time getting myself around even some of the intermediate functionality of the tool. Filters with keyframes for example. I'm also utterly lost when it comes to doing anything with Live Type (which to be honest was my primary reason for jumping from iMovie to FCE).

I found that a decent book helps. I've never really been happy with Apple's documentation, but they did include a 45 minute walk-through video with FCE 3.5 that quickly goes over the basics.

I had also bought and flipped though this book:
Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Express HD (Apple Pro Training) (Paperback)
by Diana Weynand (Author)
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

That makes a lot more sense then. It does seem silly that by saving $20, you lose out on the opportunity for upgrade pricing in the future. I'd probably opt to pay full-price then (although I get a corporate discount which is fairly generous on Apple Software: My copy of FCE 3.5 ran me $248).



Well not those of us who live in Washington

That's OK. You make it up in property taxes.
post #21 of 34
Soundtrack is no longer in final cut express! that sucks. and the student price went up. This is a big deal when you are looking at this for 100 students for the video and audio classes.
post #22 of 34
I bought final cut express education in england. i now go to school in america can i buy the upgrade for $99? because there is no way i am shelling out $179. If i buy the upgrade will it work.. or am i just not supposed to buy it? this upgrade seems pretty small really so i dont know if ill bother!
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Very good deal on the upgrade

I good deal yes but not a great deal. With the price drop to $199 the upgrade should have been change to $79. That would then be a great deal.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
* Upgrade information: Requires a previous commercial version of Final Cut Express (version 1, 2, 3, or HD 3.5) for installation. Academic and not-for-resale versions are not eligible for this upgrade.

Apple's education discount has always been screwed up because they apply it equally to institutions as well as students. The non-upgradable thing makes might sense with students because they are supposed to graduate and should move up to the regular version after that, but it makes no sense for institutions. The university where I work is often able to negotiate cheaper prices for software from Apple, but not always, and something like Final Cut Express that is not so commonly used gets left out.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

With new updates, Apple is weaning the educators off of the 50 percent discounts of the past.

Actually I just checked the Apple Education store and it is only $69 or 65% off the regular price of $200

I think it is a good deal but LiveType is really showing it's age and needs to be replaced with Motion Express.

Also the previous version of Final Cut Express included Soundtrack 1.5 but that is no longer bundled with it.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Actually I just checked the Apple Education store and it is only $69 or 65% off the regular price of $200

For "Final Cut Express 4?"
What Apple Education store are you looking at?
Maybe I can pick up a new MBP for $799!
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post #27 of 34
im looking at the education page now... its $179 to buy no upgrade is avaliable.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

For "Final Cut Express 4?"
What Apple Education store are you looking at?
Maybe I can pick up a new MBP for $799!

Sorry, I was looking at institutional pricing not individual pricing.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Sorry, I was looking at institutional pricing not individual pricing.

Bummer...
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post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Sorry, I was looking at institutional pricing not individual pricing.

You got a link you can share for institutional pricing?
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

You got a link you can share for institutional pricing?

Sorry, unless you are a recognized educational institution you can't get that pricing.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Sweet! A new version that can import iMovie '08 projects and costs 1/3 less than the previous version. I can't wait to see what Apple is going to do with Aperture 2.0 and if it will go from $299 to $199. With prices this low people might move from iMovie to Final Cut Express and maybe even iPhoto to Aperture. Moving from iPhoto 6 and earlier to Aperture is a no-brainer for me, but iPhoto 7 might keep people from moving.

I'm hoping Aperture comes out with much better books then current. I would like leather for clients as well as larger sizes. If Aperture is for pros, why make us print somewhere else?

Rich

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post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiocollective View Post

Soundtrack is no longer in final cut express! that sucks. and the student price went up. This is a big deal when you are looking at this for 100 students for the video and audio classes.

Maybe that's why it's cheaper, one less app to maintain. I wonder the intention is to use Garage Band instead.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Maybe that's why it's cheaper, one less app to maintain. I wonder the intention is to use Garage Band instead.

Maybe the AVCHD codec forced Apple into a situation where they had to rethink Final Cut Express. According to Steve, AVCHD was difficult to work with in iMovie and couldn't be done in FCE, which is why iMovie '08 is a brand new application. FCE had to be updated to support AVCHD and be able to import iMovie '08 projects so they looked at it with fresh eyes. As far as Soundtrack is concerned, Apple might have cannibalized some audio features and absorbed them into FCE so we have access to their functionality without needing a separate application that has nothing to do with video.
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