whats the difference from Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ilovetobuy, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. ilovetobuy macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2009
  2. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
  3. elvirav macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2006
    California, off and on.
    I own both, and I'd say for hobbyists (like me) who don't do super lengthy or super sophisticated video, that for editing on its own (not other things that need to be done in Motion, etc.) there isn't a huge difference. You are limited to a few codecs when editing in FCE (but the codecs you can use are pretty good ones) but on the surface, for hobbyists, FCE seems very close to FCP. (This has been a source of amazement for many software reviewers, who can't believe that Apple gives so much away in this consumer product.)

    If you want or need the other apps (which are great—I'm just starting to learn Motion and it's wonderful) or if you want to go pro, then you would definitely need Final Cut Studio. But if you're a hobbyist, or someone who is interested in using Final Cut but isn't sure about investing all that money yet, then you can get a pretty clear idea of what Final Cut Pro is about by using Final Cut Express. The interface differences (at first glance) between the two are not glaringly obvious, so if you get used to using FCE and decide to jump up to FCP, you won't be re-learning everything. :)
  4. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Like he said.

    FCE can do many things (ex. Green screen work, layer video, great editor).

    FCP is part of a bundle and is aimed at people making a living in film. However, FCP and FCE are 95% similar in terms of interface and usage. FCP just offers more 'Pro' options.
  5. akoj macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Does Final Cut Pro support different codecs than Express? Does it support .mts files in AVCHD format?
  6. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Neither support AVCHD (.mts) codec; instead, when you upload AVCHD video, FCP/FCE converts it to ProRes or AIC. Those are both Apple's own codecs that will work easily and smoothly in Final Cut. So basically, a AVCHD device will work in FCP/FCE.

    The reason for doing so is that AVCHD is a very compressed format, so it will take a strong machine to edit smoothly. So, Apple automatically converts AVCHD to their own less compressed format that will run smoothly on any computer.
  7. mbell75 macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    This still makes no sense to me. Wouldnt a more compressed format be easier to edit? Seems to me, less compression means more data and more data should be more difficult to edit.
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    No, because to edit AVCHD natively, the machine would have to decompress/decode the video on the fly. AVCHD is a very CPU-intensive codec compared to AIC or ProRes. Basically, AIC/ProRes sacrifice disk space for speed. Since there is very little for the CPU to decompress/decode with these codes, it's much faster.

    Think of this as playing back a 1080p H.264 video from Apple Trailers. If you looked at your CPU utilization in Activity Monitor while doing so, you'd see that the CPU(s) are under a relatively stressful load during playback. Same idea with editing a codec like AVCHD natively, except it's an even bigger strain on the CPU.

Share This Page