Apple Releases New Versions of Pro Apps

Apple has just released new versions of its major professional applications – Final Cut Studio 3.0 and Logic Studio 2.0.  The only reactions and reviews so far are based on very little experience with the new apps – playing around for a day or two – and from reviewing Apples sales literature.  But the early take is one of mild disappointment at the relatively bland additions and augmentations.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of several new flavors of Apple’s ProRes codec – especially a new 4:4:4:4 codec that supports an alpha channel at 10 bits and either 10 or 12 bit for the RGB channels.  This will allow Final Cut to handle high-end, effects-heavy work.  It probably doesn’t mean much for documentary productions (and outfits like Casual Dog Productions, LLC).  Our posst-production workflow uses ProRes 422 (HQ), and the increase in quality with moving to the new ProRes 4444 isn’t likely visible.

Final Cut now burns Blue Ray discs – but only barely!  The authoring tool in the suite, DVD Pro, hasn’t been updated at all, and can’t make Blue Ray Disc menus.  Many film and video post professionals think that Blue Ray is dead, will be replaced by on-line delivery.  Others point out the bandwidth limits and the rapid growth in BD sales over the last year…  Who knows?

There are a slew of other enhancements, but none too earth-shattering: better time warping (speeding & slowing clips), better markers – we can color code them now!  Motion, the compositing package, has supposedly been substantially beefed up.  Color still has its old, idiosyncratic UI.  But in all, some think a lackluster collection of relatively small enhancements.

But they dropped the price!  Now just $999 for the whole suite!

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