Final Cut Studio 3: 10 Features Reviewed

July 31, 2009

So last week we were treated to Christmas in July… Final Cut Studio 3 was released to the public, a month delayed. I ordered it the second it was available, and have edited a short film on it to test it out. My verdict? A ton of useful new features, some very helpful, but no radical changes whatsoever. I will rate 10 features a day for the next 10 days, until I’ve reviewed every new feature there is. Here’s the Breakdown, feature by feature, rated 1-10 on usefulness… the first 10 features (all from Final Cut Pro 7).

Picture 179

1. Easy Export: a fast, efficient way to export multiple versions of your project at once: perhaps a DVD version, iPhone version, Apple TV version, and Youtube version. In short… its awesome, and is a small, but immensely useful addition to the suite. Rating: 10

2. iChat Theater: While it may sound amateurish, its quite possibly the best new feature in the program. I’ve already been able to show rough edits of my shorts to friends and family who never would’ve been able to see it, and instantly get feedback. My only gripe is the fact that you have to be in Final Cut Studio for it to work… this means that you’re unable to see the reactions of those watching it without some use of expose. Rating: 9

3. New Speed Change Tools: The ease in, ease out features work well, just as expected. I feel like more could have been done in terms of usability… to me its just easier to keyframe rather than to use these new tools. Nevertheless, a welcome addition… I’m just bummed because it could’ve been so much more. Rating: 6.5

4. Alpha Transitions: This feature isn’t as useful for telling a story as it is for something like an action reel, or a promotional video. Due to this, I haven’t played with it much. I can say though that it definitely works as advertised though, and if the video on Apple’s website looks enticing to you, you’ll find it just as useful as you imagine it being. Rating: You decide.

5. Improved Markers: The colors are great, but my favorite part is how the markers will ripple with your sequence if you so choose. Very useful in practice. Rating: 10.

6. Automatic Transfer: Simply flawless. This was needed tremendously. That Native XDCAM support I heard about? This is part of it. That Native RED support I heard about? This isn’t part of it, and its a shame. The Native RED support is found in Color, and while that’s helpful, its would’ve been nice for it to be here too. Rating: 8, because of lack of RED.

7. New Timecode Window: Not much to say, it does what it says it does. Rating: You Decide.

8. CC Support: I’m finally able to offer Closed Captioning support, and its nice. Definitely was needed. Rating: 10.

9. Improved Tabs: The color coding is awesome, it helps categorize the tabs. FINALLY, they can be reordered… this should’ve been a feature a while ago. Rating: 9 (should’ve been here already!)

10. Global Transitions: I’ve made several hour long slideshows… where was this then? Great feature for slideshows, sports reels, and other promotional projects. Rating: 10.

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16 Responses to “Final Cut Studio 3: 10 Features Reviewed”

  1. well mike, what could we say? a lot of nice little things…BUT none of the things we really wanted or needed…ask your friend what happen to 64bit…or real… real time editing..very disappointing!

  2. PS….what about when snow lepoard comes out….do you think there will be an up grade or patch……or is that it for another two years or more….or maybe never… sucks

  3. I’ve got news coming later Digital Dreams, hang tight.

  4. well mike, that makes me feel a little better…..anticipation I love it….sometimes wanting is better then having…

  5. …you know you got to be right. there has to be something more coming..I can’t believe after two & a half years all we get is this…..especially when apple bragged & bragged about SL..and how it is going to make everything we do better…& faster…it seems the only thing it’s going to help is iCal and finder….

  6. Chribbe said

    Since this update of FCS didn´t bring the things we all wanted I started to rethink about the “FCP Rewrite”: Could it be that the FCP rewrite will be released as beta when SnowLeopard is out? Then at NAB next year it will go grand master.

    This would explain this lame FCP right before Snow Leopard. Apple pleases us with a this FCP update, then lets us be part of finalizing and optimizing FCP X thru a betaprogram leading up to NAB. Look at Safari, they always release it as beta and a couple of months later go full version. This could be the same.

    FCP can´t be like Aperture, it has to be full speed, no errors and bugs, include new QuickTime and all the new GPU processing, be 64 bit, have better soundediting, real “realtime” editing and Cocoa rewrite. All of this takes time and a whole lot of bugtesting. Then when we all tried and approved it they realese it at NAB. If I were Apple this is what I would do. Better involve people before they rule you out…


  7. Mag said

    All stuff that should’ve been done in a .x.point release

    Sorry i’m really not excited about this update. Not to mention no real UI changes have been done. Still the single panel windows floating and if you wanna re-arrange you have to move them all by hand.

    Even Color still sports the very old UI.

    And where is the Shake replacement (aka “Phenomenon”). Apple people can’t be real to think Motion is the Shake replacement? If so, what a joke.

  8. there is no more shake…apple got rid of it at all there stores……SHAKE IS DEAD!

  9. to all who want to know about shake:

    Alas, one more high-end video production tool quietly succumbed to neglect and the rampant industry “end of life syndrome” — after long being ignored by its foster parent, Apple. Apple has quietly discontinued the sale of Shake, which was for years the highest end professional compositing tool on the market.

    Shake was the kind of tool that once you mastered its very non-Mac nodal interface, the kind that makes Color easy to use by comparison, you found a wonderfully powerful compositor. I say goobye to Shake at Macworld’s Creative Notes blog.

  10. what’s up mike, anything new happening….?

  11. you know mike,to keep mac soda alive…you got to come and bullshit a little with us…..we miss you!

  12. lisa said

    mike, you are soooo pathetic. always making huge announcements, claiming you have an informant inside the apple company etc. final cut 3 with BIG speed improvements (quotation from you: “Now wipe the tears of joy”)..SURE…3G in macbooks…OF COURSE…and so on. the only true predictions you ever made were the kind of rumors which were on every apple related news site. please, don’t bullshit us anymore.

    you have no connections whatsoever, you have just the nerve to simply copy news from other websites and amplify them with your imagination. probably this whole website is just a sick joke to steal time from and make fun of people who are actually interested in the latest apple rumors.

  13. mike,where did you go?…did you abandon us?

  14. you know!…it seems this site is dead! R.I.P

  15. Easily be manipulated, ever made Replay?Bluetooth support and, UK Recommended very.Name traffic providers, improvement of mundane.The problems coming Apple Final Cut Pro, separate -seater Limousines Iraq truck driving.What determine these, against on that.,

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