Note: If you have any of these programs, or have a professional-level editing application installed on your PC — like Premiere — please stop reading.)
Note: If you are currently loving (or hating) Apple’s iMovie, definitely keep reading
On Photographers and Video Editing
In 2011, if you are a serious photographer you are getting involved in creating motion content, whether you want to or not. I’m presuming you want to, and so sooner-than-later you will likely end up working with a high-end video editing program, like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier. Or as a director or producer, you be overseeing people working in such programs, so you’ll want to have an understanding of them.
Career issues aside, you will want to at least have the editing skills of your clients, such as Mac users using iMovie like gangbusters to produce home movies of all manner.
The Limitations of iMovie
When researching “Adventures in Motion,” a number of photographers tole me:
• The tools don’t matter — it’s about the story.
• Start out simple — use a program like iMovie, at first.
This is totally true, and I made a ton of little movie projects in iMovie, like “Milonga de Sal y Pimenta.” I had a blast, I learned a lot, but then I got totally stuck.
I won’t bore you with the technical limitations of iMovie, but trust me, they are very real, very frustrating. iMovie is geared to be so lighthearted that you just can’t force it to be serious. In iMovie I couldn’t even make a this simple movie or even this quick experiment.
For serious photographers, one of the biggest downfalls of iMovie is that it keeps you from progressing into the more complex aspects of editing that — actually — are very basic.
“FCE = 40D” Explained
The working title for this post was “Final Cut Express Rocks!” but I decided to go more cryptic, with “FCE = 40D,” which is shorthand for this non-techie analogy of why you should buy FCE:
Think of it this way: You are making great images with your easy-to-use ELPH (iMovie), but you want to get more serious about your photography. So you realize it’s time to buy the Canon 5D Mark II (Final Cut Pro). However, even if you do have the extra $800 bucks for the 5D, the fact of the matter is that it’s overkill. What you need is is a used Canon 40D! (Final Cut Express)
Besides the fact that the 5D is video-enabled (which will actually distract you from learning SLR basics), from the point of view of still photography fundamentals, the 40D and the 5D are the same camera. They really are. There are tons of things you can do with the 40D that you can’t do with the ELPH, but there is nothing in still photography you can do with the 5D that you can’t do with the 40D.
So it is with Final Cut Express. If you working in iMovie, upgrade to FCE as soon as you can. From your point of view, it will just like working in Final Cut Pro — overwhelming and exciting.
My (Stupid) FCE Quandary
After I got held back by iMovie, I began a long, nueratic process of trying to compare FCP and FCE, not wanting Continue reading “FCE = 40D = Buy Final Cut Express”