There were many things to love about this week's NAB 2005 but my favorite is Apple's new Final Cut 5.0 and the way it integrates Sony's HDV tape format. Quicktime 7.0 is H.264 compatible (allowing HD material to be processed at SD data rates) and, as Steve Jobs has said, "... this is the year of HD." So, it should not surprise us that Final Cut 5.0 is now a multiple format HD editing system (Including DVCPRO ahd uncompressed HD). The new software also includes multi-camera (up to 128 sources with realtime playback of 16 at a time) editing support and multi-track audio mixing capabilities (ala Logic Pro Audio - another Apple product).
Desktop video production is an arms race, and every few months one company or another will take the lead. This latest release has changed the landscape quite a bit, however. Editing a 10 camera shoot in post using the keyboard as a video switcher, then gently tweaking the edit is a giant leap forward at this price point.
Four Sony HDV cameras, an Apple G5 and Final Cut Studio will cost you less than a used Digi-Beta deck. Is the world ready for a $25,000 HD Television Studio? You won't have to wait very long to find out.