Has anybody switched to FCP? Any opinions?
I have been editing with Media 100 XR 8.2 on a Mac G-4 1.44 OS 10.3 for 4 years, I also use DVD Studio Pro. I am thinking of upgarding to the G-5 and am considering a switch to Final Cut Pro at the same time. Has anybody made the switch? Is there a steep learning curve for FCP from Media 100? Are there any significant pitfalls in making the transition? Is FCP as good, better or worse than Media 100?
Thanks for any input,
Tried FCP last year. Way to much "stuff" in it that I don't want or need. Too many steps to do simple editing, titling and transitions. Maybe if your making a major motion picture, FCP is for you. I went through the tutorial twice and compared to Media 100, it's just too complicated. Got to a point in the tutorial when I was directed to click on/select/find the stopwatch icon. Guess what, no icon. Asked the wife if she could find it. She could'nt. Dumped the project and started over, following the instructions to the letter. Got to the stopwatch thing again. No stopwatch. Media 100 with Boris can be learned in a very short time by just about anyone. Unless you're familiar how FCP works, it's a lot longer learning curve than with Media 100. It might be a good idea to find someone who is using FCP and sit down with them and see how it works.
Just my 2 quatloos worth. Your mileage may vary
we bought 2 FCP licences in 2005 as a result of landing a multi-cam series for a tv network -and as a result of the brain fade at Optibase pre-Boris.
this was a hard decision after being with m100 since vers 2.
so i would say that for straightforward editing without any greater needs than playing to tape with off the shelf components, media 100 wins easily and training new editors up is as easy as shooting fish in a bucket
however with a few days of persistence,plus time spent on personalisations of the keyboard and with playout requirements like OMF with handles, vhs and dbeta at same time (admittedly a card feature) with timecode display and sub frame audio editing and multi-cam editing fcp is a brilliant piece of kit.
of course there are way way too many options with fcp and you would be best to spend some time with a reseller who can set it up for your specific uses. and walk you thru the abilities.
i look forward to what NAB holds with the Media 100 Mac platform. Why not wait until then to make your decision?
We switched to FCP about 10 months ago. It is a huge learning curve. Not so much with the actual editing, but with workflow and settings. If you are working in HD is a nightmare trying to figure out settings that are right.
But that said, for us it is totally a codec issue with the Media 100. I have gained many more clients with FCP than Media 100. We can accept off-lined projects and just reconnect digitized clips on our system with a click. The flow from FCP to DVD Studio Pro is great. The down and dirty chroma key tools are simple in FCP. All of the interns and assistant editors we get now know FCP when the walk in the door. They all learn it at college. We hate is Motion. It really sucks. We still use After Effects and love it. Also Boris Graffiti is superior to Live Type or the FCP text tool. Hands down.
We still have the Media 100 sitting there, but we are selling it. I am a little sad, been with it since 1997!
We switched nearly two years ago because of some pending projects which, combined with Media 100's waffling business seemed to make good sense. We've not looked back and now have 4 full up FCP 5.0 systems, 2 assistant stations, 1 loading station and 1 gfx/edit station (up from 2 media 100 systems).
While I personally loved cutting on M100 I almost never am the person doing the cutting..... you get the picture. I could hardly ever find editors who knew media 100 and was constantly strapped making the decision to either train or go with the best possible option out what sometimes proved to be a range of not so great options. We took a giant leap at the beginning of '05 and installed the first X-san system in a boutique post environment and that's proven to have been a great decision as well.
I remember having learned Avid and then making the switch to M100 in '97 and being incredibly frustrated by the learning curve then as well, everything seemed counter intuitive... I'm sure the same is true making the switch to FCP. Avid editors however have little problem jumping to FCP which is a great boon when you're looking for talent.
Good luck with the decision, I'm finally getting around to selling my two Media 100 systems including 1 with a p6000 card with analog BOB which comes with an sdi daughter card and sdi BOB. I'm also getting rid of my 601 card which comes with an analog BOB. All software and registration for both systems through version 8.01 available. I'm sure m100 is offering upgrades but you'll have to contact them to find out.
A lot of my clients will walk out of an edit suite that is running FCP since it is still considered a prosumer product. Image is everything in this business. That's why we just added an older Avid system. Now we have "bragging rights" with the Avid name. If I was going to add a FCP system (for color corrections, etc.) I would hide it and not let the clients even know that I had it.
I do like FCP, it just has the stigma of being a cheap (under $1000) system, so it obviously cannot be "professional" in the clients thinking.
[dsmastern] "A lot of my clients will walk out of an edit suite that is running FCP since it is still considered a prosumer product. Image is everything in this business. That's why we just added an older Avid system. Now we have "bragging rights" with the Avid name. If I was going to add a FCP system (for color corrections, etc.) I would hide it and not let the clients even know that I had it.
I do like FCP, it just has the stigma of being a cheap (under $1000) system, so it obviously cannot be "professional" in the clients thinking."
I don't know what planet you are from, but in my neck of the woods the whole "We have an Avid" thing is pretty tired. Everyone around here is installing a FCP setup.
I owned a Media Composer 4000, then a MC 8000 with film option, then a Media 100 xr.
I currently own a few Final Cut Pro systems, and I have to tell you that they are far from prosumer.
Maybe a little more education is due, if both you and your clients think the platform is not professional,
and needs to be hidden.
I purchased FCP back at version 2, but didn't really start using it till version 3.
I kept the Media 100 until I got up to speed on FCP, and at version 4 of FCP we unhooked the Media 100,
and had long since removed the old AVR Avid stuff.
I can tell you that FCP has really become a fantastic tool in it's current version, and will only get better.
I can edit multi-camera footage, 10-bit uncompressed, HD, and the footage looks fantastic using the AJA hardware that we use. Like you said, Image is Everything in this business!
As far as an opinion about switching from the Media 100 to a FCP setup...
The Media 100 is a great little tool, and the video quality is excellent.
But IMHO, FCP with something along the lines of a Kona 2 card and a fast raid, is that much better.
And FCP Studio bundle makes it that much more attractive. Motion 2 is much improved over version 1.
Soundtrack Pro is handy, and I use DVD studio pro all the time, as well as surround sound encoding.
I would still use the Media 100 until you got up to speed on the FCP system.
You could always just get the software and use base DV, then add capture hardware to suit your needs and budget.
Trust one thing though, that it will be much more expensive that the $1000 mentioned earlier.
As I said, I like FCP so I won't argue against it, but some of our clients can't wrap their thinking around it when they see it advertised in a Mac Warehouse catalog (actually what they see is the $495 upgrade price). They think of wedding videos on VHS, edited on Premiere (nothing against Premiere except that they dropped Mac).
We know some guys in this area with FCP on a G4 laptop that will shoot on a handheld DV camcorder, then edit in their van and give the client a VHS copy within 2 hours total.
It looks cheap, and that's why so many of our clients shy away from FCP and say that it is not professional.
Wonder if your clients would have the same reaction if they knew how cheap Avid Xpress software is?
By the way, I still have a boat load of Avid spares to keep your investment in that dinasour alive.
From Nubus xpansion chassis loaded with Avid cards to Mac CPU with Media Composer software.
I'll make you a good deal, and even throw in a Media 100.
I started with M100 back in '97. Quality was always great but for commercials the workflow essentially consisted of using it to capture footage so After Effects could work it's magic. Then once the spot was rendered out putting it back to M100 to dump to tape. The two video tracks were very limiting and the integration with Boris never gave me the same feeling of being in control of the situation as when working in After Effects.
Initially started with the first version of FCP as a backup when my M100 card had to be repaired. Eventually started using it more and more and discovered that so much more could be done inside it without the need to go to AE because of the number of audio and video tracks available. It does have lots of features but doesn't mean you have to use them all.
The M100 was finally retired last fall after earning me thousands of dollars but I found that FCP gave me greater options for the workflow that made the most sense for my production company. I have two workstations and it's on my laptop and have never regretted switching.
this is reminding me of a time back in the day when people used to fight over whether avid or media 100 was better... shortly after the idea "NLE" was introduced and accepted, we would get calls by people asking us if we had an avid... we would say no and never hear from them again. then after turning quite a few people away, we learned that people were confusing the term "non linear editing system" with "avid", much like when you ask for a "kleenex" instead of a tissue or if you have a "xerox" machine instead of a copier. they just had no idea.
so for fun then next person that called and asked if we had an avid, i said , "yes, we have an Avid Media 100 composer". they never knew the difference, or cared. they showed up with their beta tapes and walked out happy.
the next time someone sneers at your final cut system, challenge them and ask them what is it that they want, and i bet you your final cut with XYZ hardware can and will be able to do anything. you already know it does more than the media 100. Frankly, your client will be more impressed with your plasma monitors, HD deck, waveform/vectorscope, studio furniture and xserve raid with the blinky lights than care what NLE you are editing on.
im not that dissapointed that the #1 avid editor will refuse to work on my final cut system, his day rates are probably 2-3 times more expensive anyways!
also, my biggest attraction to media100 back in the day was the quality of the compressed codec...
the ability to edit broadcast 4:2:2 YUV native video on cheap ata drives... that was a great idea. why couldn't the same ideology be incorporated into the HD system? The only way to edit HD footage period is to spend thousands of dollars on drives. All we get is a "draft" mode which can never be used to online a video. Very dissapointing. And its not like it was impossible either... Panasonic did it and called it DVCPRO100. Yeah it is compressed, but at least i can edit hd video off a firewire drive to start off, making it an easy transition into HD. ok end rant.
dont be worried about buying a final cut system, just do it . throw an avid sticker on your monitor and keyboard for eyewash.
once you switch to fcp, you'll never look back and wonder how you stayed with m100 so long...