Leaving FCP: NLE options from Avid and Adobe

With Final Cut Studio quickly going the way of the dodo and FCPX’s price edging up without any firm release date for new features, it’s no surprise people are looking to leave the Final Cut stable. In what is politely termed ‘related news’, its main competitors have both launched cracking deals.

Avid media composer 5

Avid have extended their crossgrade offer, which allows anyone on any version of FCP to pick up Media Composer 5.5 for £699, until 30th September, while Adobe have announced that unsatisfied FCP and Media Composer users can pick up CS5.5 Production Premium and Premiere Pro CS5.5 for half price – also until 30th September.

These two NLEs have a fair bit in common: they’re both cross-platform; they both handle ProRes and .R3D footage natively, and they both support the full EDL/XML/OMF gamut. However, there are some key differences between the products, and with all these conflicting deals doing the rounds, we thought a quick round up was in order…

Avid Media Composer

Having been around since the dawn of time, Avid is one of the most respected editing platforms in the industry, ideal if you’re regularly asked to deliver work in multiple formats. It also has spot-on integration with all of Avid’s audio tools – as you can even cap and edit audio in Media Composer projects using Pro Tools hardware and the Avid Artist series of controllers.

Other key features include:

  • AMA (Avid Media Access) Support, which includes support for Sony’s HDCAM SR Lite codec, enabling realtime editing of HDCAM SR Lite footage.
  • Phrasefind, a great feature which uses Avid’s (pretty advanced) speech analysis tools to  let you search clips based on lines of dialogue rather than keywords or metadata.
  • Local language UI – a real help for anyone whose first language isn’t English, this feature lets you view sections of the UI in (a limited number of) localised languages.
  • Support for the Avid hardware range including Mojo and the Nitris DX AVC-Intra interface, meaning you can build your workflow around a single, reliable platform (although it also supports third party devices like AJA’s Io Express and Matrox’s MXO2 range).
  • There’s a Suite option, too. Comprising Media Composer 5.5, Boris Continuum 7, Sorenson Squeeze 6.0.4, Avid FX 5.8.3, Smartsound SonicFire Pro 5.5.2 and Avid DVD 6.11, the Production Suite gives you the all-round toolkit of a program like Premiere without having to leave your Avid workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe’s Creative Suite software includes tools for almost every creative discipline – print, the web, photography and video – so if you often work in mutliple media or collaborate with people in different disciplines, this is the NLE for you, as the interoperability translates to massive power and huge time savings.

In the past, the original Premiere took a lot of flak as a standalone editing app, but  since then its come a long way. And with 64-bit capabilities, native support for solid state workflows and the mighty Mercury Playback Engine offering GPU acceleration for effects, realtime keying and impressive speed and time remapping effects, Premiere Pro 5.5 is well on its way to becoming as essential as other Production Suite apps like After Effects and Photoshop.

Other key features include:

  • End-to-end metadata workflow making it easier to track your assets.
  • Output to multiple screens/devices using Adobe Encoder 5.5.
  • Audition, the successor to Soundbooth now ships with Adobe’s Production Premium CS5.5 suite, and offers sophisticated audio for post tools that are designed specifically to work with your NLE.
  • Support for a huge range of third party hardware, including top end kit from manufacturers like AJA, Matrox and Blackmagic Design.

Still not sure? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you. In the meantime, head over to Jigsaw24.com to see our full broadcast range.

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