What video editing software is best for me?
October 29, 2008 1:42 PM   Subscribe

What video editing software is best for me?

I've got a Macbook Pro (2.4 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, OSX.5.5), and I'm looking to edit HD video (from this camera). I'm fairly new to the Mac, but on Windows I was very proficient in Adobe Premiere. I've never worked with HD.

Looking through the Apple site, I see a bunch of different versions of Final Cut (Pro, Express, Express HD, etc) and I'm not sure which, if any, would be good for me -- considering I'm a Premiere guy. Is there anything about Final Cut that would make me want to switch to it in my situation?

Also: Does my Mac have the specs to edit HD footage well?

I'm doing prosumer level work -- nothing too fancy.
posted by nitsuj to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If I were you I would look closely at some stills and decide if you aren't better off averaging down to SD. MPEG4 is not all that HD, and sometimes looks worse than VHS.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:08 PM on October 29, 2008

Response by poster: Are you suggesting I down-convert my footage to SD?
posted by nitsuj at 2:11 PM on October 29, 2008

Best answer: I think Final Cut Express would suit you just fine, and I'm pretty sure your cam is supported. You should double check, though.

I went from Premiere to Final Cut Express years ago, it's a smooth transition.
posted by shino-boy at 2:22 PM on October 29, 2008

Best answer: First off, your Macbook Pro is fine for editing in HD.

I'm not that familiar with Premiere, but I can say that FCP is quickly becoming the industry standard for professional editing (aside from Avid), this means that Apple is quick to support all the latest flavors of "HD". Another thing to consider is workflow. If you are doing any editing that might require the services of a post-house, you'll definitely want to seriously consider FCP over Premiere, as most professional post-houses are using FCP and/or Avid.

If you're not looking to do anything fancy I'd recommend starting with FCP Express HD so you can get a feel for the interface and see if you like it. FCP Express supports the codec you'll be working with, so you'll have no problem editing in your native format. I will say that editing in these compressed MPEG formats can be a bitch because you'll be dealing with a ton of rendering, but once you start working with the software you'll get a better idea of what works for you and what doesn't.

Happy editing!
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2008

Final Cut Express is the way to go.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 2:49 PM on October 29, 2008

FCP will do this. FCE will do this. iMovie should do this (although it's a bit too mickey mouse for you likely.)

Oh yeah, If you're familar with Adobe Premiere it's available for the Mac as well.

I'm a professional editor by trade (and a cert'd instructor.) Any/all of these are good tools. Decide what you want to spend and where your comfort level is. If you're just going to cut around some stuff, don't spend all the money.
posted by filmgeek at 6:32 PM on October 29, 2008

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