Apple on Thursday unveiled Final Cut Express 4, a significant upgrade to its consumer-oriented video editing software based on Final Cut Pro 6, for a reduced price of just $199.
"Almost a million digital filmmakers have made Final Cut their editing application of choice," said Rob Schoeben, Appleâs vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "With the introduction of Final Cut Express 4, Apple makes it easy for anyone to join the rapidly growing community of Final Cut editors worldwide."
The new Open Format Timeline in Final Cut Express 4 allows users to mix and match DV, HDV and AVCHD material (only supported on Intel-based Macs), all in realtime using the same industry-leading editing and trimming tools found in Final Cut Pro.
Supporting both 1080i and 720p HD resolutions, Final Cut Express 4 will automatically perform the necessary scaling, cropping and frame rate adjustments. When starting projects from scratch, the new simplified setup automatically configures everything based on the first clip dropped on the Timeline.
Final Cut Express 4 also makes it easy to import iMovie '08 projects and enhance them with advanced editing capabilities such as multiple layers of video and graphics, picture in picture effects and animated titles. It includes over 50 new FxPlug filters, including Soft Focus, Vignette and Light Rays, with hundreds more available from a rapidly expanding FxPlug developer community.
With enhanced audio controls, users can automatically raise any clip to its maximum level without distortion using the new Soft Normalize and Gain controls. Final Cut Express 4 also features LiveType 2, which provides an intuitive environment for creating dynamic and fun animated titles and includes an extensive library of animated fonts, textures, templates and effects.
Final Cut Express 4 is available immediately for a suggested retail price of $199 — $100 less than the previous version — through the Apple Store, Appleâs retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Owners of previous versions of Final Cut Express can upgrade to Final Cut Express 4 for just $99.
A list of full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Express 4 can be found at Apple's Final Cut Express website.