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  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 (18,615 points)
    The 50% slider is only for specially compressed formats like H.264.

    It has no effect on AIC, DV etc.

    I suppose that using a PPC app on an Intel machine could be causing that slowdown, though it does appear to be excessive.

    If an FCP/FCS upgrade is too expensive you could consider Final Cut Express 4 which will give you most of the functionality of FCP at a fraction of the price.
  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)
    Your version of FCP will qualify you for the FCS 3 (aka FCS 2009) $299 upgrade. This gets you intel versions of the whole suite. Be aware that you will need to be on OSX 10.5.6 or higher (which it appears you are.)

    Otherwise, look for a copy of 5.1 on ebay. I have no idea what their price may be.

    Overall, given the uncertainties of buying used software (is it legit?) and the reasonable upgrade price to FCS3 (and all the improvements it has over 5.1) I'd highly recommend going with FCS3.

  • Richard Potter Level 1 (10 points)
    Well, I'm running an academic version. So I don't think I can upgrade to FCS 3, correct?

    I'm still working on the PhD, so money remains enough of an issue that I can't afford even the academic studio suite right now. (Nor do I want to run into the non-upgradable issue again...) So the choice seems to be between slow render times, 5.1, or FCE.

    Thanks for all the help!
  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 (18,615 points)
    What about iMovie?

    You already have it and it's a pretty good app.
  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)
    If you do decide to go the FCP 5.1 route, make sure it is the full retail version (not an upgrade) and it comes with all the paperwork including the serial numbers.

    Before you spring for FCE, you'll want to very carefully verify it has the capabilities you need. It is very limited in formats.

  • Richard Potter Level 1 (10 points)
    So I can't even upgrade to 5.1 from my version of 5.0.4? Is that because it's the academic version? That's very frustrating...

    iMovie, huh? I've never used it and admit to a "shame" factor that has prevented me from even considering it. It seems like a big step down, and my understanding is that it is very limited in capabilities. For my "real" projects, I tend to use a good bit of cropping, split screen, filters, etc. But perhaps for the purposes associated with the Bloggie footage I could get by, especially if the render times were faster. Is there any way to edit a complex project in FCP and then create the export in iMovie? if not, would I still use MPSC to prep the Bloggie clips before importing them to iMovie?

    Thanks for the tip on FCE. My understanding is that doesn't have proRes which is a big negative for when I get done with school and back to steadier production of those "real" projects. Do you happen to know of ny online comparison of features and formats between FCE and FCS?
  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)
    You are correct. Academic versions are not upgradable. Period.

    This didn't seem like such a huge negative when the Final Cut Production Suite HD was ~$500 vs $1300 for the Retail version. Now that full retail for FCS is $1000 and the academic version is something like $800, there really is no reason to go academic if you were just starting out.

    I have seen comparison charts in the past. You might try googling and see what you come up with.

    If this work is relevant to your PhD, is there any possibility you can get a grant for the software?

    In any case, if you want to work with ProRes, you need FCP v6 or higher - plain and simple. No way around it.

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 (18,615 points)
    iMovie is just a tool like FCP.

    If it does the job OK, that's all that matters.

    FCE 4 has the Apple Intermediate Codec which is a sort of forerunner of ProRes.

    Whilst theoretically not as good, it's quite likely that you would never spot the difference.
  • Richard Potter Level 1 (10 points)
    You're right, of course, Ian. If it gets the job done, it's good enough. Since I'm not planning on delivering to TV anytime soon, I don't see how I'll miss the ProRes.

    You nailed it, x. I bought the academic version at $600, figuring I'd be out with a job before I had to upgrade. The academic version is actually going for $900 these days - a ten percent discount that surely isn't worth the loss of upgradability. As for a grant, the short answer is "not likely". Money is tighter than ever in academia, and most grants in my field - communications research - specify that they are not to be used for goods that will be possessed by the researcher after the project. I'll be lucky to get a grant to extend my field research travel, which is why I'm using the Bloggie for online posting in the first place...

    Hopefully iMovie or FCP 5 with slow exports will be sufficient for now. If I can turn the blogging into some freelance journo work, then perhaps my options will expand...

    Thanks again for all the valuable and prompt feedback!
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