5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2010 5:34 AM by Tom Wolsky
Robert Stone Level 2 (260 points)
I am a longtime user of iMovie 06 HD (which is limited to 1080i) / I am still using that rather than "up"grading to the iMovie 08 or 09 as I prefer timeline editing and precision of frame by frame editing. I now have a camera that takes 1080p video (a Canon T2i) and am considering making a move to Final Cut Express in order to edit in the higher quality format. I actually bought FCE version 1 years ago but never used it much, so I could purchase an upgrade at reasonable price.

I have a few questions, please forgive me if they sound stupid:
1. Can FCE edit in full 1080p from the Canon T2i? I assume this is yes.
2. What are the export options - do a lot of people with FCE use Toast or other software and an external blu-ray burner to make blu-ray discs or do people mostly leave the edited video on a hard drive, and if so what are viewing options?
3. I have read a lot about FCE 4 vs. FCE 3.5 with 3.5 having some more included software and the upgrade mostly allowing AVCHD importation (which is of no value to me). Do you recommend going to 4.0 or 3.5?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Intel iMac; MBP 2.2, G4 2x800 MHz, PowerBook G4 1.5...mult...Apple][+, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Sony HDR-HC5 HD Cmcrdr, Rebel T2i, SD 750, SD 550, Epson V700 Perfection Scnr
  • MartinR Level 6 (14,870 points)
    Hello Robert -

    1 - Not directly. The T2i shoots H.264 and Canon does not clearly state whether it is AVCHD or their own implementation of MPEG4/H.264 video. Regardless, you will need to convert the video to QuickTime/Apple Intermediate Codec before importing it into FCE. You can probably do this with Clipwrap although results are not guaranteed. FCE can edit 720p/25 or 30 and there are some workarounds for preparing 1080p material for use in FCE.

    2 - FCE can export video for use with iDVD, DVD Studio Pro, Toast, plus many "computer or web ready" formats. If you want to do BluRay, you will need a BluRay burner, appropriate authoring software (Toast or DVD Studio Pro) and of course BluRay media.

    3 - +FCE4 is the only supported version on Snow Leopard.+ I do not recommend using earlier versions of FCE on Snow Leopard. FCE 3/3.5 included Sound Track and LiveType. FCE4 includes LiveType only, but it also includes new filters and support for third-party FxPlug filters & effects.
  • Robert Stone Level 2 (260 points)
    Thanks for some very helpful info! I am surprised FCE does not edit at 1080, though I understand it is difficult to tell the difference visually between that and 720 I would have thought it could support the higher standard.

    I am torn over whether to author blu-ray discs or just keep the media accessible / playable on a hard drive and access perhaps with Front Row or similar.

    The information about FCE4 being the only supported version on Snow Leopard is particularly useful since I'm running that on all my main computers now.

    Anyone have any guesses as to upgrade cycle / if 1080p will be supported in a future version? I just don't like the idea of losing even some quality in the editing process.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,605 points)
    Eh? Of course FCE edits 1080. Look at the presets. It will edit 1080p at standard video frame rates of 25 and 29.97fps.
  • Robert Stone Level 2 (260 points)
    Thanks so much, Tom. FCE being able to edit in 1080 makes sense since iMovie 06 (which I am still using) can do 1080i at least. I had thought FCE was limited to 720 max based on earlier reply which noted that workarounds (to downconvert to 720, I assume) were needed to import 1080 video to FCE. If FCE can work natively in 1080p then I'll be all set there.

    The question still remains about where to store the final video for access. With SD video and iMovie I would save a DV copy (for highest resolution to use "in the future") and burn a lower res version to DVDs for family distribution and viewing here. Now that I'm working in HD stepping all the way down to DVD resolution seems like a sacrifice, especially with an HD TV ready to show all the details. Are most folks out there burning to blu-ray or storing movies on hard disc / accessing with Apple TV, a Mac Mini or similar? Thanks again for any input.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,605 points)
    I don't have any statistics on numbers of people burning to Blu-ray versus storing on a media server. You might be able to find that on the Internet somewhere.