Final Cut Pro versus Final Cut Express

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
My business has presented us with the oppurtunity to start making training videos. We want to use an application that is beyond iMovie and so Final Cut has become the obvious choice.



We were considering trying Final Cut Express versus Final Cut Pro because we are looking for a version with as little learning time as possible. But recently we spoke to a friend who is very Mac savy and stated that he believed that it Express is nothing more than a stripped down version of Pro and we might be better off going with Final Cut Pro HD instead.



Has anyone here had experience with Final Cut Pro HD and Express? What do you think?



I was curious as to what you all thought about this subject. I wasn't sure where exactly to post this, so I'm trying multiple forums.



Thank you.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Well the first question is will you be using just DV or are you going to be using other formats. FCE will only do DV where FCP does almost everything as far as formats.



    I'll assume you are just going with DV here. I currently use FCE 1.0 myself, I have also done a lot with FCP 3. The difference between the two is very slight besides the lack of supporting formats other than DV. There are some advanced features that I really never used in FCP and I didn't miss anything when I picked up FCE. With FCP 4 you do gain things like Soundtrack and Livetype which might be beneficial for training videos, but you can get pretty good results with the built in titling software and GarageBand. So that is probably the biggest difference between FCP 4 and FCE 2. You really aren't going to loose a lot in the actual editing part of the program.



    As far as the learning curve between iMovie and either FCP or FCE are going to be about the same. It will take awhile to learn both and they are both equally challenging for the most part. The interface is basically identical in so once you get one down you should be able to go in between fairly easily with only slight differences in menu layout or where a certain function is stored. I personally spent probably 15 to 20 hours on FCP 3 just playing around with footage and playing with all the menu options to see what happens with each. I basically noticed only one or two differences in FCE. The process will be considerably different than what you are used to in iMovie but once you get it down you probably won't use iMovie again.



    So I would suggest starting out with FCE because you can always just pay the difference and upgrade to FCP if you think you need the extras like Soundtrack. If you do upgrade what you learned with FCE will transfer easily.



    Hope I was able to help.



    - jh
  • Reply 2 of 4
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    One nice feature in Final Cut Pro is the ability to make effects graduallybecome stronger, ie a shot that gradually gets more blurry. In Final Cut Express, you can only apply an effect at the same strength for the whole shot.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo

    One nice feature in Final Cut Pro is the ability to make effects graduallybecome stronger, ie a shot that gradually gets more blurry. In Final Cut Express, you can only apply an effect at the same strength for the whole shot.





    Yup that's because FCP has better keyframing facilities. If the $1299 budet wasn't too much for the company I'd go that route. Yes I'm aware that FCP is $999 but the Production Suite is a great deal even for business using the program for internal projects. Everyone needs motion graphics and DVD burning is essential as well.



    But if the budget is closer to $299 then FCE will work just fine.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Yup that's because FCP has better keyframing facilities. If the $1299 budet wasn't too much for the company I'd go that route. Yes I'm aware that FCP is $999 but the Production Suite is a great deal even for business using the program for internal projects. Everyone needs motion graphics and DVD burning is essential as well.



    But if the budget is closer to $299 then FCE will work just fine.




    It's also frustrating in FCE how motion keyframes aren't visibly represented in the timeline, if you want to change something, you really don't have a choice but to reset the motion parameters and try again.
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