Should I use iMovie, Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dubcat, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. dubcat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    #1
    Hi - I understand the latest version of iMovie does support HD AVCHD's. So, with that in mind I would like to understand which of the apps listed in the title I should go with (iMovie, FCE, FCP). All I want to do is edit movies of my kids for burning to blu-ray (i know i have to use toast 10 for this). I would like:

    • nice transitions (but mostly will just use fade in/out and wipe),
    • a few titles at the beginning and sub titles now and then,
    • the ability to use mp3 files as background music and mix the video soundtrack with the music soundtrack,
    • ability to create chapters in both dvd and blu-ray

    Which software would be best for me? Also, do i need anything in addition to toast 10 and the above editing software to be able to author blu-rays with chapters and nice backgrounds to the menu/index bit of the disc?

    Cheers,
    Dub
     
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #2
    Well, it all depends on how well you (or your kids) can edit video. The newest version of iMovie (part of iLife) does have a little bit of a learning curve -- especially if you're used to timeline-based editing. It's just not as intuitive, in my opinion. It could be good for short clips that are 30 seconds in length, perhaps. But if you guys are wanting to make something with a little more "oomph" to it, I'd recommend Final Cut Express.

    FCE has all the great elements of Final Cut Pro for a fraction of the cost. It's timeline-based, and although it looks a little intimidating at first, I think it'll give you the most control and ease of use.
     
  3. dubcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    #3
    Ziggy - thanks for the reply. Am i right in assuming that final cut studio is overkill and may be overly complicated for me? Put the cost aside for a moment.

    Cheers,
    Dub
     
  4. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #4
    Apple needs another video editing application more powerful than iMovie yet more "pick up and play" than Final Cut Express. But Apple doesn't make that. So both Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro (part of the Studio suite) take a little bit of playing around with to get the hang of everything that they can do. Even then, just going with Express will still be more than enough -- going all the way up to Final Cut Studio would be overkill. Keep in mind that's what Hollywood uses to edit motion pictures!

    Express would probably be the perfect middle ground.
     
  5. dubcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    #5
    Ahh ok if hollywood is using pro then it's definitely overkill for me :) Express it is. I just read that Final Cut Pro 7 can author to an external Blu-Ray burner. I wonder if Express can do this too - since it would save me from having to buy Toast 10 :)

    Thanks for your advice - it has really cleared things up for me. I'll look at the web to find out what specific differences between FCE and iMovie are - but at least i know i dont have to research studio/pro any more.
     
  6. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #6
    I think for what you need you should go with iMovie. You can always play with iMovie a little bit before you get FCE so you'll know if you need something more or if iMovie is enough.
     
  7. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #7
    Agreed. You may want to get a feel for what you'll be doing before making the purchase. iMovie can do exactly what you are looking for, but the question is whether or not it will do so based on how you are wanting to create. The only way you'll know for sure is by playing around with it.
     
  8. dubcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    #8
    Ahh ok - thanks guys, makes sense :) I can buy FCE for only £55 with my brothers higher education discount but i guess you are right it still makes sense to try iMovie first. iMovie has HD support now right? I'm buying my mac this week so it should come with the latest version.

    Do you know if it can export directly to AVCHD and whether it has any kind of authoring features for blu-ray and burning to an external blu-ray writer? If not is toast10 the only way to go?

    Cheers,
    Dub
     

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