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Apple Releases Final Cut Studio 5.1

by Jay Ankeney~ April 24, 2006


Apple's big news for NAB2006 is the release of Final Cut Studio version 5.1, which is now the "universal version" of their post-production software suite. That means Final Cut Studio version 5.1 now runs natively on the existing Power Mac platform using PowerPC chips, and also on Apple's new Intel-based Macintosh systems.

"Final Cut Studio version 5.1 includes new Final Cut Pro version 5.1, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 2 and SoundTrack Pro 2," said Kirk Paulsen, senior director pro applications marketing for Apple. "Most importantly, Final Cut Pro editing software now has 24P support for the Sony XDCAM HD camera, JVC's GY-HD100 U ProHDV camcorder, and Canon's 24f from their XL-H1 HDV camcorder."

For many people visiting the Apple booth this also will be their first chance to get their hands on Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops. They will be able to see performance demonstrations of the MacBook Pro running some applications at speeds equaling a comparable desktop system, as well as completely uncompressed standard-definition video being edited on the MacBook Pro for the first time.

Apple feels the MacBook Pro will enable producers and editors to take their work into the field without compromise, letting them edit with either the DVCPRO HD codec or with native HDV wherever they are.

Even 2K productions can now be edited using Final Cut Pro on a Power Mac G5 Quad platform with the help of new video cards including AJA Video's KONA 3 v2 and Blackmagic's Multibridge Extreme version 5.5, which leverage the new PCI Express architecture on the PowerMac Quads.

Apple demonstrations will show the full range of scalability of Final Cut Studio, from HD to 2K productions.

"We will be showcasing the whole range of formats that Final Cut Studio now supports, from 24P HD all the way up to 2K," Paulsen said, "and the fact that we now have the tools to deliver those formats by outputting them in a variety of high-quality output options from DV for the Web to streaming for podcasts."

At the Apple Classroom, several industry experts are demonstrating the new capabilities of Final Cut Studio version 5.1. Presenters include Jeremy Coon discussing his editing on "Napoleon Dynamite," Brian Connor deconstructing a shot from "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" that he created with Shake, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet talking about his work at the Torino Winter Olympics using Apple's Aperture software, the application that is to professional photography what Final Cut Pro is to filmmaking.

Visitors also can see extensive demonstrations of new third-party developers' tools that enhance the production and distribution of both audio and video podcasting.

© 2006 NAB