Final Cut Express is technically the stripped-down version of its big brother, Final Cut Pro (FCP). Final Cut Studio (FCS) at Rs.78,000/- is designed for the pro editor, and it’s a combo package of Six pro-line softwares: - Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, Color, and Compressor. It is the one-stop suite of video editing applications that are meant for professionals. For the amateur however, all of that is overkill. Final Cut Express (Rs.12000) has almost all the features of Final Cut Pro, but comes without the rest of the applications in the suite. After FCS2, Apple stopped shipping FCS series; instead they started online shipping of Final Cut Pro X, Motion5 & Compressor4 (i.e. to be purchased/downloaded from AppStore).
List of things Final Cut Express Can’t Do:
1) No Cinema Tools. This means no EDLs, no Reverse-Telecine, no advanced 30 fps to 24 fps pulldown. If can’t do all these, you never intend to create a print of your project on actual film for a theater projector, you won’t miss these features.
2) No Multicam editing. This means if you’ve shot an event with multiple cameras, you can’t switch from one shot (angle) to another shot (angle) of an action in real time. FCP can easily do that upto 128 camera angles.
3) No Batch Capture. If you have one long tape, and you know you only need 5 small chunks of it, and you know the exact timecode in and out of those 5 small chunks, batch capture would let you import only those chunks. In Express, you can import an entire tape, and then delete the parts you don’t need, or manually surf through your tape, and only import what you need manually, or type in one timecode to import from, but you can’t put in all 5 in and out timecodes and then hit ‘go’ and make yourself a coffee/tea.
4) Timecode. In Express, you can see your live-updating timecode in the timeline window, but you can’t (to my knowledge) burn in the timecode so it shows up in an exported video file.
5) Undo. In Express, you can hit undo up to 32 times; in Pro, you can hit undo up to 99 times.
6) Compatibility with iMovie. Express can import iMovie projects. This feature is not avalable in pro (presumably, apple thinks people using pro would rarely start a project in iMove).
7) FCE 4 does not include Soundtrack Pro, Motion and Color for dedicated tasks like Audio Mixing & Correction, 2D/3D motion graphics and advanced color correction & grading respectively.