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Avid is my VW, Final Cut Pro is my Mazda

 vw_mazda.jpg Now that all the hype and hoopla from NAB 2008 has died down I’ve taken the time to think about what I saw and conversations I had. For me it pretty much all centers around Avid as they had new products that were announced and new software to show, all done without a booth on the show floor. If you weren’t lucky enough to get into one of the Avid events then you might not have known about the new product announcements and you surely didn’t get to kick the tires. You would think that with new products to show then the show floor would have been worth the investment. Only the bean counters probably claim to know for sure but truthfully it’s got to be hard to measure.

One thing that struck me when discussing these new Avid announcements with a number of people in the days that followed were how many folks who were very interested (and very critical) of Avid were people who have never used Avid products at all. With all the Internet coverage and blog posts about Avid’s ups and downs over the years there has often been very vitriolic criticism posted in the comments. I’d often wondered if all these commenters were really Avid owners and users at all. When talking with folks during NAB 08 it seemed to be about a 3 or 4 : 1 ratio of those who talked critically about Avid to those who actually owned an Avid product. That’s only 1 current or former Avid owner to 3 or 4 who had opinions about the company and their products. If this is proportionally true to all the people who comment on blog posts and Internet articles about Avid developments then a whole lot of those folks don’t have any real investment in Avid products (or even Avid history) at all. To me this is quite surprising. Why be so critical of a company that you have never supported in the first place? I guess that’s part of the fun of the Internet, the ability to join in and post opinions on any and every topic whether it directly effects a commenter or not. I’ve done the same thing from time to time myself.  This has been said before but it is worth repeating, a healthy Avid with a competitive Media Composer product is a good thing for the Final Cut Pro user base. Avid innovations drive updates in Final Cut Pro and vice-versa. The best thing for both of these products might be for Adobe Premiere to gain a significant and threatening market share just to have one more ingredient into the NLE pot!

It was pointed out to me in a conversation with an Avid employee that Avid is the only NLE manufacturer that makes the “whole widget.” The software and hardware are all developed and sold by the same company. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Depends on who you ask. This kind of structure can mean that the whole product line works in a more streamlined fashion. It can also mean higher overall costs and a longer development cycle. But sometimes it reveals nice innovations. This is exactly the same kind of structure that Apple pioneered with the entire Macintosh business. They are the only major computer manufacturer who sells both the hardware and software and it has meant much of the same thing. Both higher costs than its Windows counterparts and first to market innovations are two common results. They’ve also lagged significantly behind the rest of the PC industry in a lot of areas as well. Why have such a closed system for your products? I’m no business expert but the advantages are probably two-fold. You rely only on yourself for development and innovations (and can be the only one to blame) as well as reap more profits from the products. One conversation with an Avid employee brought up the idea of 3rd party IO hardware support for Avid software. While technically it’s entirely possible, part of Avid’s business model is selling their own hardware which (hopefully) in turn brings more profit. It stands to reason that if AJA or Blackmagic sold the majority of Avid’s IO hardware then Avid wouldn’t be able to make as much money … or maybe none at all. Each and every company in the world is in business to make money so it’s hard to argue this point. I have no idea if a company like Avid could make money only selling a software product but it makes sense they can make more with the hardware components as well.

Which brings up the other idea that I think Avid is really going for with this “New Thinking” campaign. They seem to want to position themselves (or re-establish this position depending on your viewpoint) as a premium brand in the non-linear editing world. And I say, what is wrong with that position? Every market segment of pretty much every consumer retail product has premium products and premium brands. And they usually always cost more (hello Macintosh). Why should  non-linear editing applications be any different? TerenceCurren of the ProVideo Coalition recently used my favorite analogy by comparing the NLE world with the automotive world. He said (when speaking of Avid circa 2007) “since they were charging Mercedes Benz prices, they needed to be providing Mercedes Benz service.” This is something that Avid hasn’t always done. And Mercedes Benz has dealt with their own quality issues in the late 90s but returned to an above industry average in 2007. So I look at the Avid/FCP battle like I look at the cars in my garage (forgive me if I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating as it seems to be the best comparison that I can make to the NLE market and this Avid vs. FCP battle). When I need a utilitarian vehicle with more room, more doors and more versatility I reach for the keys of my wife’s Mazda. But when I want a more precise driving instrument that is faster and feels much tighter on the road then I jump in my Volkswagen. There’s a place in my garage for both and I suspect there is a place in a lot of people’s garages for two such NLE tools. For many there is only one parking slot and they need that versatility at a lower cost so the Mazda is an easy choice (the Mazda is Final Cut Pro if you aren’t following this analogy here) and they can’t really understand why anyone would spend the extra $$ on a Volkswagen when the Mazda will get you to the store and back at a much cheaper price. And of course there are a lot more Mazda owners out there thanVW. But for some, they can see and they desire the quality and value (and quirkiness) of the VW … and of the Avid products. Both Mazda and VW has been around a long time in the automotive market and there’s no reason to think that Final Cut Pro and Avid can’t both live peacefully in the post-production market as well.


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  • Sam

    The auto analogy doesn’t really work: Why would you drive a VW with no features — no radio, no GPS, no air conditioning, etc? Isn’t a Mazda almost fully loaded — Motion 3, Color, DVD-Pro etc., a better deal as well as a better mechanism? And what is this “new thinking” rubbish? Your unloaded VW still costs twice as much as your loaded Mazda. Your analogy crumbles further when you realize what you’re actually getting in FCS 2: Two loaded VWs for much less than a MINI Cooper.

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    I disagree entirely. I’m not driving a VW without those things you mention. I have a great radio, and cold AC. I don’t have a GPS and I don’t need one. A better deal and a better “mechanism” is all relative. The VW (Avid) will still edit everything that I need it to edit. As will the Mazda (FCP) but in a different way. Again, that’s where people always complain about Avid’s cost are missing the point. The market can hold both products, the VW and the Mazda, Avid and FCP. A premium auto isn’t right for some people but for others it is. It’s all relative to what you want and what you can afford to spend as well as the value you get in the product.

  • Allan

    Hmmm, an interesting article but there were a few parts I took issue with. First Mac vs Dell or HP on a feature by feature comparison are the same price if not lower, and for some reason this misconception irritates me. Avid’s ship on a pretty powerful HP workstations, or at least all the ones that I’ve come in contact with. Now to move away from the car analogy which while fun can be a bit misleading. I am an FCP user and will use it over Avid any day for a number of reasons, price not being in the top 5. However Avid has some very cool features that I wish FCP had, most notable script sync. But to the point of my ramble, I see the NLE market changing, Avid has always owned the middle to high mid range, with Autodesk and Quantel fighting it out for the High End. Final Cut surpassed Premiere in the low end and as it became a better feature rich product made large inroads into the middle. As I see the industry the upper middle is fading away and polarizing towards one end or the other, and that is why I think Avid will continue to bleed revenue and customers. I know shop owners who were just F*#$%d over by Avid at NAB. Lets say you bought your Avid Symphony DS last year and paid $80-90K for it and took delivery 6 – 8 months ago, now the newer bigger better one is $36K, hmmm, that would make me really really angry. I agree Avid did need to do something about their pricing strategy and now I would seriously consider buying an Avid Symphony DX as it now prices out at very close to what a high end FCP system costs. But lets not forget the other elephant in the room, RED. FCP works reasonably well with .r3d files right now and will only improve. Avid does not. Over the course of the next year more than a thousand RED Ones will be out and working in the wild on all manner of productions, and the Avid workflow is troublesome. There are a lot of producers who don’t understand the P2 workflow let alone RED, and FCP is the current path of least resistance. Once these producers are forced by format to use FCP and the get comfortable with it and understand the shortcomings and strengths they are less likely to move back to Avid. I think Avid makes a solid product and I agree that its existance is benificial to the NLE market as a whole but there are a few things they need to get on top of now otherwise their relevance will continue to diminish. I wish them luck because competition is good, but I think they will need more than luck…

  • Larry T

    Avid is an unfunny joke. How can they consider themselves a premium product when they are behind the curve in support for all upcoming file based workflows? Their new thinking is just a repackaging of old thinking. Why on earth do they think that anyone will buy hardware that only works with ONE application? The world is a cross platform multi-application space. No facility can afford to be only Avid or only FCP etc. My facility might be willing to upgrade our 11 Adrenalines to nitris DX’s if we could use them for all of our Quicktime based apps. Even if that meant a dual boot scenario. There is absolutely NO technical reason why Avid can’t create hardware that will work in this manner. If they want to stay in the hardware game this is a must!

  • Peter M.

    Okay…now I’m REALLY confused! I’m still waiting for some Divine Guidance….anything…that will tell me which system to buy. I’m still editing with the old SoftImage DS before AVID acquired them. My system is awesome! The quality is incredible, but the technology is quickly being left in the dust.

    Are there any old SoftImage DS owners out there who upgraded to a newer AVID or FCP? If you did, who was the lucky winner between the two? Also, the comment about the massive price reduction in the AVID Symphony makes me wonder what the Adrenaline is going for?
    I must say, between AVID and FCP, I’m leaning towards AVID, but I’ve had a couple colleagues recommend that I take a good long look at Final Cut Pro, first.

    Finally, if anyone out there understands my old SoftImage DS 3.01, perhaps you can tell me which system would be better for me.

    I hope that one day, my Hail Marys will be clearly answered.

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    Peter, It’s a big question. I don’t know what SoftImage is like but here’s my thought:

    If you can only buy one system that has to do everything, edit: offline and online, graphics, animation, dvd authoring and audio mix, Final Cut Studio is the obvious choice. If I am a creative offline editor (I answer I as this is what I would do) doing long form, features, music videos and concerts that don’t require a lot of gfx work and usually go to online then Avid is my choice, especially with the new updates coming this summer. The media management of Avid and the advanced trimming trumps FCP for the complex long form stuff, at least for me. But if I am running my own shop where I have to do a little of EVERYTHING then Final Cut Studio with a good AJA card and the right drives would then trump Avid as the price performance for a system that can do everything can’t be beat.

    The perfect world? Have both. The ability to choose a system based on the job at hand is what I truly love about have both tools available at an affordable price. Yep, Avid is more but it is still very affordable for a lot of editors and shops out there. The best of both worlds is really a great place to be. And you can learn them both without much difficulty. They are different but they are both NLE apps with 3-point editing. They aren’t THAT different for an experienced editor to understand.

  • William Bolden

    ” THE WHOLE WIDGET “??? C’mon!!

    What OPERATING SYSTEM does Avid produce? What HARDWARE does Avid make? What INTEGRATED CIRCUITS has Avid designed to make their computers faster? What revolutionary serial protocol has Avid invented? What open source project has Avid reinvigorated? What programming language has Avid pioneered?

    Did such crap really come from an Avid employee???

    Avid is desperately trying to stay viable. This kind of pitiful hogwash just shows how desperate they are!


    For those who don’t know, Apple has (and continues) to do all of these things, and much much more:

    OS: AppleDOS, System 1-9, NeXTstep, OpenStep, Mac OS X
    Hardware: Apple I,II,III, Lisa, Macintosh, NeXT, Cinema Displays, iPod, iPhone, etc.
    IC’s: Look on the logic boards – Apple has created many of the chips they use. At NeXT, they created an entire I/O subsystem.
    Serial Protocol: FireWire
    OpenSource: GCC, Darwin Streaming Server, many more
    Prog.Lang: Objective-C

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    William, while Avid might not manufacture the mechanical of the hardware you can certainly say they produce the “whole widget” …. at least more-so than any other NLE manufacture outside of the super high end systems. The software and hardware operate together, that’s the way it was designed. We’re not talking about OSs and logic boards and things like that, we’re talking about the NLE software operating with IO hardware. That’s the basis of a video editing system. The computer it runs on is very important but a bit secondary in this particular conversation.

  • Bobby

    Peter M.

    The best NLE for you moving forward is DS! It is the best NLE as a whole than both MC and FCP.

  • Jeff D

    I want to second Bobby’s notion that Avid DS should be Peter M’s next NLE. I’ve been editing on DS for a year and a half and I have not looked back. It can do everything and it does it all very well – editing, compositing, motion graphics, even audio. From what I’ve heard, if you can hang on until version 9 comes out in late 08, you won’t be dissappointed.

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  • Mark

    It’s a shame that Avid gets such a bad wrap on these blogs. I use both Avid and FCP on a regular basis, and have for the last 6 years. If I had my choice I would pick Avid hands down. It is a streamlined editing system. FCP is great, but it’s bloated and slow. If I have a job that I have a lot of time, and I know the client won’t be there, I may choose FCP to do the job, however if the client is going to be sitting there with me, and I need to make immediate changes to an edit to view in real time, there is no substitute for the Avid architechture. It’s just the basis for how the avid deals with media. It’s streamlined, and efficient. In this business it’s about getting the job done and done quickly.
    It’s the best editor on the planet. I haven’t met a single experienced avid editor that says that FCP is faster. (there may be one out there, but I haven’t found him or her)

  • Scott Clements

    Most Final Cut Pro users are a younger lot, who came into the business in the late 90s/early 2000s. They are anti-Avid, because they were not allowed into that exclusive club. Avid’s absurdly expensive systems created an elitist system that shut out many talented people. That’s why non-Avid users are so anti-Avid. Final Cut Pro democratized the editing world. In my opinion, any notions of Avid being a ‘better’ system are romantic nonsense, akin to the notion that shooting film is ‘better’ than using today’s highest end digital cameras. The main reason Avid and Film still exist is unions. Unions want to protect their members, thus keeping everything as expensive and proprietary as possible. This is great for the members of the union, but horrible for everyone else. I hope Avid goes down in a big ball of flames, for screwing over the little guy for so many years. Final Cut Pro saved my life. And while I’m at it, I hope Kodak dies a painful death as well.

  • Larry T

    “It’s a shame that Avid gets such a bad wrap on these blogs…”
    Are you kidding me? The only shame is that AVID still does not get it! They want $10k for a Mojo DX. It does nothing but stream data from the cpu to i/o. No hardware acceleration. And it doesn’t work with any Quicktime based applications. What is the use of this product?

  • Shawn

    I work in a post house on the receiving end of both the Final Cut and Avid outputs. We use EDLs, which don’t seem to differ too much, but when it comes to pull and optical lists, the Avid always puts out a better product. Final Cut has limited options, which kills what we are doing on this end. We have nothing against Final Cut, nor do we care about the cost of the systems. But, when we hear that the project is Avid, we feel a lot better about what we will recieve. The change lists coming out of Final Cut are tragic, at best. Maybe there’s just an unfortunate corralation between the inexperinced editor, and the tools they can afford.

  • ramon aguayo

    The problem is not how many thing`s you have into the car, the thing is what are you going to work on?, news,reality, tv production, documentary. As the NLE become more complex, you need a more complex operator.The fine example, is the Avid Liquid, to many thing’s for people that need just to edit, or not enough for someone that need’s to impact into the client eyes . I’ m broadcast guy , i need speed , assurance and most than everything. Solid data manage, when you jump over 2.5tb. you need to control to many enviroment’s .

  • Paul P. Soucek

    I am not aware of any confluence between the unions and AVID or Apple or anybody else, and I found the suggestion of “keeping everything as expensive and proprietary as possible” ridiculous and insulting.

    The whole “digital era” was blustered by companies to studios/producers as a quantum leap time-saving process.

    It still takes time to make movies and the reality is that a lot of the technology has basically expanded the pallette and thus takes MORE not LESS time.

    As a colleague of mine who exited the business after frustration with “The Great Digital Lie” said, “I don’t want to be mixing Reel Six while they’re watching Reel Five in Milwaukee.”

    As a longstanding member of several unions I will say that they exist for a reason and to diss them demonstrates complete industry naivety.

    I try to protect my crews and if there wasn’t a union backbone the studios would have as all working for free or the occasional cold, bad pizza.

    My rant is not about AVID versus FCP, but about the disrespect expressed for craftspeople in the industry who deserve to get paid decently, in spite of the fact that “Hollywood will trip over a $50 dollar bill to save a nickel.”

  • http://www.replayvideo.net BIll Moede

    I use Final Cut. I could not even afford to think about Avid when I finally upgraded from my Panasonic Post Box about 8 years ago. I have used Avid systems, and I see nothing to convince me that I can work better or my final product will look better if I spend 10,000 more on my edit gear and software.

  • http://www.practicali.com Steve O

    just food for thought.

    I spent several months training Avid editors at a national TV network in NYC, FCP. I taught at least 12 of them. the one comment EVERY one of them said at some point is ” FCP is just so much easier the avid” . exact words, rest my case.

    Avid $crewed their customers over at every chance, now they reap the benifits. two NABs ago I knew some one who was ready to drop $50k each on 2 Avid systems to upgrade them and the Avid booth person blew the guy off and said go see a local dealer. the guy was ready to write the check there…. needless to say they are now using FCP.

    lets get real, Avid is a creaking 20 year old interface that is badly showing its age. I’ve worked on MC’s and it was miserable.its a very linear workflow on a tool thats supposed to be _non_linear. Avid is a great simulation of editing tape with a high end end controller on a computer.. NEXT !

  • Richard Gross

    I’m enjoying this discussion and the postings. Like many, however, I have an immediate problem. We are a college in the Middle East opening a new school of communications that will include both a film and journalism program. There is an advocate for both Avid and FCP. A little logjam-breaking, please.

    It has long seemed to me that Avid is a bit of a dinosaur (Microsoft vs. Google) prohibitively expensive (though some here like that, equating quality with $$$), more difficult to learn and, most importantly, limiting to students once they leave school since they will have to work in an Avid environment of which there are few in this part of the world. And, it is one intent of our program to train Western-style communicators to work in this part of the world.

    So, to me, FCP seems tailormade for such young filmmakers/documentarians/journalists.

    My question: Am I correct and if yes/no, why? I and a generation of students could benefit from some good direction here. Thanks to you all.

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    Richard, I think if you look at Avid’s new pricing you will see that making an Avid investment is much less risker than it used to be, especially with the educational pricing. It seems to me the best course would be to offer both. That’s part of what an education should do .. offer a choice and let the student decide. FCP is more like those little Swiss Army knives, it does a lot of different stuff. Avid is more like a larger hunting knife ….. it doesn’t do as much but when used for what it is designed for it works very well. Which is right? A hard answer as it depends on your usage. That’s why having both options at a school would be ideal.

  • richard gross

    Thank you, Scott. That would be my preference as well. But, what if we could have only one NLE system?

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    Richard, if I can have only one system I would say it totally depends on the type of work. It seems to me though that with Avid education pricing at $295 there really is no excuse not to have both in a school. I think you would owe it to your students to teach both. Put two boot drives in a machine and you’re good to go!

  • richard gross

    Thank you, Scott: There is a problem, though. We do not get educational pricing. Avid has no local office and there is a lone distributor. The cost is full retail, incredibly more than $295. About the work: digital reporting and editing for journalism/broadcast, television in-studio and very basic cinema.

  • Scott Simmons

    Robert, you should check out companies that specialize in education pricing like journeyed.com.

    You can get the educational pricing on Avid right there. There are a number of companies that sell software at educational discounts if you can’t get that from your reseller.

  • richard gross

    Thanks for the tip, Scott!

  • Jane G WIlson

    I think I could better understand the pros and cons if the editors here would specify what it is they are editing…News segments? Full length features? Commercials for local broadcast? for National broadcast? And what kind of volume of work is done? Do your machines run 16 to 24 hours a day 5 to 6 days a week? What kind of wear and tear? Which system would hold up better and for a longer duration before having to need service or be replaced?

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    Jane; I can speak for myself … I’m editing commercials, corporate, music video, some narrative that goes to broadcast, cable, internet, dvd …. really lots and lots of stuff. The machine at work can run 18 hours a day some weeks and only 8 hours a day others. I think the lengths a machine runs isn’t relevant to the software you edit with. They are both workhorses. If you have 2 shifts running constantly on one machine then in my mind the question is media management. How well are the editors and assists managing all that media? Care must be taken. Avid is better at media management but again, it’s such a personal choice it’s hard to recommend these days. You have to kick the tires yourself.

  • tnpm

    Here’s one area that is missing from all comparisons of the 2 edit systems. Interface ergonomics. FCP has amazing software capabilities. But it’s ergonomic design is lacking. Keys on FCP are “tool selectors” where as keys on the Avid are tools. For example Slip, on FCP I select the slip tool, then move the clip with my mouse or my arrow keys. On Avid, I place my cursor over the clip I want to slip and hit the slip keys on my keyboard. “Extend Edit”, on FCP I need to select the edit to be extended, place my cursor to the place I want to extent to and hit the “E” key, on Avid, I set an in or out point and hit extend. On the surface this doesn’t seem like a huge difference. But when you consider how small the area to be selected on the FCP interface are, and consider that the is a repetitive motion after 12 hours of editing each day, the overuse of the mouse can become incredibly fatiguing especially to people prone to Carpal Tunnel. Same with navigating the timeline, since FCP’s cursor is always an active editing tool, you can only move the cursor on a very small area on the timeline’s top margin. Avid, the cursor moves anywhere on the timeline itself, because the cursor is completely non-destructive in its natural mode. FCP requires a couple more steps for a number of functions whereas Avid requires a few less. Overall, the ergonomics of AVID are better here in my opinion. Same goes with keyboard mapping. I know you can change FCPs mapping, but I’m talking more about the design philosophy of each system. AVID clusters its commands, think about the mark in / mark out, delete in delete out area. Made more as a control panel where FCP keyboard layout assigns tools based more on “E” for extend, “S” for slip, not necessarily clustered for usage, more assigned for memory / recall. Finally FCP doesn’t really offer you a truly customizable interface. There are about 6 or 7 tools that I click on, the rest I remap to keys on my AVID. On FCP you have a very tiny area on the interface to map these tools. Very fastidious small area that after time, taxes your mousing hand. There are a number of AVID capabilities that FCP doesn’t have mainly concerning a more robust editor workflow / media management. In closing I think FCP is a design / editing tool, AVID an editing tool. I prefer AVID by a wide margin based solely on interface ergonomics and design. I edit up to 16 hours a day and the ergonomic flaws of FCP’s interface and workflow are hard to overcome.

  • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

    Great comments tnpm. Someday I am finally going to publish the “keyboard manifesto” which agrees with many of the things you are saying!

  • Pat Krawec

    I too work with AVID and FCP.

    Avid is what all the production companies and TV stations I freelance for use (back when I was with the CBC there wasn’t even any Macs in the plant) and FCP is what is running at the media arts centre where I also work.

    I gotta say Avid is the system for me for the same reasons listed by tnpm. FCPs mousey ways are good for beginners who like to point and click but if one has massive amounts of complex stuff to cut Avid will save you days.

    Also in FCP one has to render FX in order to view the clips in real time but as soon as you shift them by even one frame you have to render the whole section again (now this may be due to my ignorance but I haven’t found a way around it, tips anyone?).
    With Avid I can layer six tracks of video w/ 2 effects on each and still be able to watch it in real time w/o rendering.

    • http://www.scottsimmons.tv Scott Simmons

      You shouldn’t have to render that much in FCP and you can shift a rendered clip around a bit but FCP’s media and render management isn’t anywhere nearly as good as Avid’s so it has a lot of trouble tracking renders.

  • Eric Meek

    FCP for beginners? lol, Considering Frances Ford Coopella’s next film is done in fcp as well as many others, beginners is not the word i would use. People can say this and that but what it comes down to is you can get the same results form FCP as AVID for WAY less. Cold Mountain and Coppellas new one proves this. AVID may be faster here, or have different keyboard command there but in the end FCP does it as well. Take 2 professional editors give one an avid and the other FCP youll see they both turn out amazing work and thats why FCP is so popular. Your getting professional control at way less money. Avid may be better at somethings but FCP is better at others. Some love the drag and drop editing. Some hate having to jump into the clip to do things. I think Avid is cumbersome for the reasons listed not better. Buts thats me. Im comparing software to software. Dont forget, Macs can run Avid too. You dont need Proprietary Avid equipment. So when we compare Software to software, i see 999 for FCS 3 and 2500 for Media composer. There is no choice. If you can afford Nitros Or Mojo, fine. But as far as software to software, FCP takes it hands down. If i was running them both on a quad core mac pro with just 8gb of RAM than im buying FCP. Why spend 2500? If your buying a whole setup like a mac pro 8 core with 32gb of ram aja card etc than it may be worth thinking about which to get since your spending enough to buy a small country but if your just getting the software, fcp is the way to go. Avid is preferred in Hollywood but as the younger editors transition into Hollywood from independent projects they bring FCP.

  • Joshua

    It seems such a shame that so many FCP-using commenters don’t understand the importance of competition. This strange parent-of-a-high-school-football-player superiority complex is remarkable coming from the Apple camp–I mean, they’re basically saying they want FCP to have a monopoly on the market (btw, kudos to the Mac community for being totally cool with businesses monopolizing a market–I was worried they might have developed principles after the collective indignance of the 90s). I try not to generalize, but it falls in line with the rest of the Mac mentality: competition is not a factor or a goal. Market health is not a factor or a goal. The only thing of any importance is being the best, and straddling the top of the mountain while sneering down at all below.

    Heaven forbid anyone tells them that FCP development responds to competitors’ innovations.

  • http://www.inter-medio.com.ar Claudio

    Hi everybody, here in latinamerica things are quite diferent because most proyects have litle money for production, so FCP is far,far, winning. I’ve worked with MediaIllusion and Flame on SGI Hardware and all the stuff: Amazing!!! Unique!!!! I don’t like DS but perhaps it is because I don’t like PC’s(Windows), I have only a few ours on it perhaps with more training it becomes comfortable.
    In the TV marquet here, every channel use hi end mixers, switchers and consoles, they use live equipment for post and the design process is done by a crew of young creative guys on simple home PCs runing AE and 3DMax, when they need NLE they only use Flame, Inferno, Smoke. But I believe there are always an Avid arround there. An engineer from one of the bigest channel here told me that in general the argentine television producers don’t use Avid because of their network, they only trust in SDI and harware becasuse of the the deadlines. I have worked with TV Directors from Argentine that really hate working with NLE in general, not just avid, and always post his product on a VTR suites with full live air consoles and trained operators. The first time one of them felt confortable was with FCP and I think it was because he understood the process that I took to the final process, that let him feel that he was controlling the proces like in the VTR room.
    Now on posthouses everybody wants to have everything available, all tool are usefull. But here Avid is used for long feature Film (not Digital Material, FILM, 35 mm FILM). Flame, Inferno, Smoke, Mistica, Hall, Henry, Quantel for FX or publicity Spots. Even the internal Channel Spots are produce at post houses with those type of tools, there was only one channel that makes its own spots till a few years ago, and left this becasue it become cheaper for them to make them outside. There is a tool that is winning the film market and TV spots here that is Scratch, one of its owner is Argentine and perhaps this is helping to sell this equipment here, since many friends told me that is nice but nothing extraordinary, Just do the work.
    Now, every channel, every post house, every 3D and FX dedicated house, every producer, every little freelancer or little posthouse: use Final Cut Studio. It is really incredible how this Machine is present everywere. I have a G5 myself and an SGI, next week I will be selling my equipment and bying a new MacPro dual octo. Because for the first time of my life I have the oportunity to join a tool like FCS with Smoke, for an amount of money that I can afford and make sense in my market. Also when I first bought a Mac I really start earning money because I could accept the 80% of the work, giving an overall price performace that benefits my client. And Now that I am selling it I have dozens of people making offerts. For low money markets or creative enviroments that need flexibility, there is no doubt: FCS and Mac, with all the graphic and desing stuff at same workstation(and now SMOKE!!!) is the best option. There is a fact, you won’t crack before ending (perhaps a DS is finest tool), it lets you finish almost any work available at any market.
    If I have to choose I would say that I am waiting for SGI to come Back with a renewed MediaIllusion or Inferno or even a Jaleo. I think that there is nothing better than really stable horse power with dedicated graphics and Video on Strong Arrays and networks. That was SGI. Come on everybody, you must admit that they were the leaders, and the truth is that they don’t to come back because this market is a low budget for them.
    There is a final reflection and perhaps it is influenced with the matter that I have studied Fine arts at my university degree, I mean I have not studied at a media or postproduction university or something similar. I have learned working, and obviously there are things that I do better than others like color correction, modeling and composition. My reflection is: The better software is the one that when you completly dominated it, you can forget of its interface, with your eyes on the monitor and your hands moving arroung without thinking. Thats is the truth, I had achieve this on Avid Media Illusion, Shake, Matador, Softimage(this one is perhaps the bestone), Maya, and Final Cut. But not on Avid Xpress pro for example, I think Avid must renewed it interface, it is too complicated and butoms and tools are very little, the timeline is old, nobody works without druging tools anymore, because one of the greatest things of the workstations since they have evolved is that you are creating in abstract with a total overal control of the elements. Somebody says here something about the Avid’s hotkeys, and I believe you don’t get the idea of the new concept in postproduccion that is to enlarge the creative tools the more that is posible towards creativity. In past years flexible technologies were poor in stability and strongness, so nobody at the production market would take the risk of working on PC or Mac or even transfer to QuickTime. Now this type machines and concepts has won because finally this more flexible platforms are stable and strong enough to do the job and that’s it. I give and example: imagine there is a photograph or artist that was valued by the production and invited to work in a spot from a great client(Money,Money), well, this guy have a Mac at his home and at his studio, so he allready knows what to do with its tools, and also he will bring and take Quick Times during the process with his 32GB pendrive or even with his ipod. Have you try to do this as quickly as a mac can do it on an Octane. Ja, Ja!!!! Now you got the idea. With Avid is similar. There are three things that nobody like here(in my country, perhaps in your country their products are better) about Avid: 1) Harware PC, because of windows, you must admit this, if not try to make an NFS between diferent OS’s networks and stations. Or just work too many ours on the network with fully populated arrays, etc, etc, windows always fails!!!!! 2) Ask for help to your Avid dealer becasue you need 1Gb more of RAM(just a joke, but its true) just to finish a work. With avid you will need to sell your VW for cheap, and on mac the most probably is that someone will lend it to you or you will find what you need at a supermarket. Ja. Ja!!!
    3) It’s media management is terribly isolated, I really hate this. You can’t acces the media in the array, you are always exporting and importing for ours and ours and GBs and GBs. You need to have the full line of the hole Avid product to achieve what you can just do with Quick Time and an USB Disk.

    So thats it I prefer your’s wife Mazda, women had always been quite more intelligent than us, we must admit this.

    PD: Sorry about my english i’ve tryed my best. And also i don’t to be rude in any manner, finally i think that the best tool is the one you like.