Avid Media Composer 5 Review

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Production Apprentice

I’ve been an Avid editor for the past 11 years and Media Composer is the only edit system I use on a day to day basis.  Being an editor for a full service production company, one day I’m cutting a sizzle reel for a pilot episode for a TV program, the next a 30 second commercial spot, and a few days after that it could be a 30 minute educational video.  There is a wide spectrum on content that I’m creating and Media Composer always gets me where I’m going, without me ever having to worry about my edit system letting me down.  When I got the news that I would be able to take Media Composer 5 for an extended demo, I couldn’t wait!

Media Composer has come a long way in the past few years.

Edit workflows have been rapidly changing with the tapeless revolution and it seems to me like the post-production world has been really struggling to figure out how to best deal with this new way to handle media.  We’ve also seen a transition from the time when 1 resolution and framerate fit all, to a cornucopia of resolutions and framerates, sometimes all in the same project.  Previous versions of Media Composer have all always got the job done, keeping up with a lot of the changes, but the feature list on MC 5 seemed like a real step ahead.  If this new software does everything it promises, it may be the most complete and capable version of MC yet.

So what is Media Composer 5 promising?

There are many new additions to this version and I can’t comment on them all.  Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting to me.  First, it’s promising everything Media Composer did before that made it THE choice for serious film and television editors.  Then the newly enhanced AMA promises the best workflow available for formats like RED and the h.264 files that popular cameras like the Canon 5d mkii shoot, not to mention XD cam, P2 and even Apple ProRes.  There is a new Smart Tool Mode which makes the timeline a little more… well I guess its best described as ‘drag and drop’ friendly.  Last but certainly not least,  third party hardware support in the form of the Matrox MX02 Mini has been added. read more…

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