Avid Xpress DV 3.5
Since its inception, Avid has been focused almost entirely on hugely expensive editing systems for broadcasters and film production companies. While Avid sells small handfuls of systems at the very top of the economic ladder, companies such as Adobe and Pinnacle are supplying thousands of software and hardware products to the growing numbers of home editors and freelance professionals.
Avid's sole software-only product, the Xpress DV nonlinear editing package brings most of the interface and functionality of the company's high-end systems to independent producers and advanced hobbyists.
Avid Xpress DV 3.5 is clearly meant to go head-to-head with Apple's Final Cut Pro.. Until version 3.5, Xpress DV was a Windows-only product. But now it ratchets up the competition with Final Cut by running on Mac OS X and providing full cross-platform compatibility for sharing media and project files.
What's more, this superb editing tool is bundled with Boris FX 6.1 LTD, Boris Graffiti 2.1 LTD, and, for Windows, Sonic Solutions DVDit LE.
Like all modern Avids, Xpress DV 3.5 is a highly refined editing tool. Its powerful logging, batch-capture, and media-management functions make it especially well suited for long-form projects.
Xpress DV shines somewhat less brightly when it comes to effects. While billed as a real-time editor, it provides real-time previews only. As with Final Cut Pro, all effects appear in real time only in a window on the computer screen and when you disable output via FireWire. Effects must be rendered before they can be viewed at full quality on a professional video monitor.
Avid Xpress DV accommodates eight video and eight audio tracks. Via nesting, you can expand video and audio tracks.
When it comes to color correction, Xpress DV's new color-correction tool is unrivalled in the current generation of software-based editors. Lifted from Avid's top-end Symphony system, this tool truly obliterates the traditional offline/online distinction, enabling quick and precise image sweetening.
Audio is another area where Xpress DV 3.5 excels, offering powerful gain and equalization controls. Particularly nifty is the Automation Gain Tool, which lets you ride gain on the fly while playing an edit.
Xpress DV imports and exports all the typical video, still, and audio formats, including QuickTime and MPEG. Perhaps the greatest limitation of this software is that it supports full-resolution DV only--there's no low-res draft mode to save disk space and no support for higher-end digital video formats such as uncompressed and high-definition video.
For DV editing, however, Xpress DV is a winner.
If you need a comprehensive postproduction package, consider Avid's Xpress DV 3.5 PowerPack. For several hundred dollars more than the basic package, it includes additional effects, better titling, and, most significantly, Avid's Film Scribe, which enables Xpress DV to generate frame-accurate cutlists for film-originated projects.
Avid Xpress DV 3.5 Features
Avid Real-time Architecture
Expert Color Correction Toolset
Customizable, Professional Tools
Streamlined Interoperability + Workflow
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