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).
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.