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Studio apps rock; FCP still could use a bit of work
on May 20, 2007
Final Cut Studio is a fantastic suite of products, and the package just got sweeter with the release of FCP Studio 2.
Motion 3 and Color are the standouts, in my opinion, providing unprecedented power for their respective capabilities in anything remotely approaching this price range. In addition, the whole suite provides a level of interoperability that's unparalleled, and blows away any competition in the industry today.
Given the suite's fantastic breadth and depth of functionality, however, the newest iteration of the core application of the bunch, FCP6, does come off as a bit disappointing by comparison.
While the Open Timeline and ProRes 422 are notable and worthy enhancements to the FCP canon, the app nevertheless continues to be hampered by some long-standing Achilles' heels, including various media management and UI issues. While everyone has their individual list of pet concerns, few knowledgeable users would argue that notable limitations don't exist.
Especially considering the two-year "hiatus" from FCP's last major release, this is an unexpected bit of a letdown. Clearly, the hard-working Apple team focused the bulk of their efforts on the other apps, and the results do show there (as noted above). [It's also worth noting that seasoned editors who've had experience on other platforms besides FCP, and who are accustomed to more demanding workflow situations as a matter of course, tend to be more mindful of shortcomings than the majority of users who may have used nothing but FCP, simply by virtue of a greater spectrum of experience.]
However, none of this is to take away from the FCP Studio apps' overall high level of quality, tremendous synergy, and unbeatable price point. For the money, it is hard to imagine a better value in the world of post-production today.