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DSLR Support coming to Apple’s Final Cut Pro

07 Apr Posted by Matt in News |
DSLR Support coming to Apple’s Final Cut Pro

Apple’s Final Cut Studio, which includes the industry-standard video editing software Final Cut Pro, has suffered a lack of attention from the Cupertino computer giant in the last couple of years.  The current version of the software, Final Cut Pro 7, was released in July 2009, and a lot has moved on in the video world since then.

Apple Final Cut Pro 7

Final Cut Pro 7

Fortunately it appears that despite fears they were neglecting their professional customers, behind the scenes Apple has been hard at work giving Final Cut Pro a pretty radical overhaul.

We firmly expect the new version of Final Cut Studio to be released on April 12th 2011 at the FCP User Group Supermeet in Las Vegas.

This release is widely expected to be more than a bit of spit and polish slapped on to the existing version, but will it be a tempting enough upgrade for existing users?

What can we expect from Final Cut Pro 8?

When the last release of Final Cut Pro came out in 2009, the interface was already starting to look dated.  The last two years haven’t improved things, and short of sticking it out so long that FCP starts to gain some retro charm, we’re expecting Apple to freshen up the look for 2011′s Final Cut Pro 8 user interface.

Perhaps the most interesting expected new feature for DSLR users though is that Apple are expected to vastly improve native support for DSLR video formats.

Even two years ago DSLR video was a small niche, and Final Cut Pro 7 was primarily targeted at users who shot their video on tape, but now it’s big business and even professional broadcasters are using DSLRs for capturing HD content.

Canon led the way for professional HD video recording on digital SLRs, and produced a plugin to allow Final Cut Pro’s built-in Log and Transfer function to import H.264 encoded videos directly, though it’s not an ideal solution for many.  The EOS Movie Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro is a free download, but out of the box support is limited to users of the EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, and EOS 60D.  The plugin, whilst faster than other alternatives, also relies on transcoding the files to Apple’s ProRes format.

Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera

Nikon DSLR users have had a tedious time using Final Cut Pro

For users of Nikon or other non-Canon brands of HD video-capable DSLRs, the current process is much less slick and involves some tedious transcoding.  If this sounds all too familiar then an upgrade to Final Cut Pro 8 could be worth it for this feature alone!

Aside from the specific benefits for DSLR (and other digital camera) users, Final Cut users will be hoping for improved stability, 64 bit processor support, and the same kind of hardware acceleration that Apple’s consumer video editor, iMovie ’11, already enjoys.

In-keeping with Apple’s current fashion of integrating technologies and user interface elements from their iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the upcoming Final Cut Pro release offer a dedicated full-screen mode too.

Of course we won’t know for sure what the new version has in store until April 12th, and whilst there are people around who have experienced at least a pre-production version of the software, they are all subject to a non-disclosure agreement from Apple.


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