Avid Media Composer 3.5
When Avid released version 3 of Media Composer in mid-2008, it clearly intended to head off competition from the likes of Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium.
- Ability to link directly to tapeless media via Avid Media Access, improved effects, greater CPU/GPU acceleration
- Cheaper suite alternatives from Adobe and Apple might have all you need
Although this is a dot release, Avid Media Composer 3.5 still includes an impressive range of new features, particularly for tapeless workflow. The new effects abilities and tweaks are also quite extensive, if not a sea change. Existing Media Composer users will want this update — but the pricing for new users still makes Final Cut Studio considerably better value.
Price$ 2,295.00 (AUD)
Note: Pricing for this product is in US$.
When Avid released version 3 of Media Composer in mid-2008, it clearly intended to head off competition from the likes of Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium. A much keener price and a huge software bundle showed the company was not resting on its laurels anymore. So now we have the half-point update: it may not herald the huge policy change of version 3, but 3.5 still has some significant improvements over its predecessor.
For a start, Avid has changed the way it protects its software. Gone, at long last, is the hardware dongle, to be replaced by the now-familiar activation system. This could be annoying to those who install on multiple machines – say, a desktop and notebook – then move the dongle to the one currently in use. However, you can go on using your old dongle if you want, although this still requires activation.
That’s far from being the only new feature. File format support has been greatly enhanced: with the growing popularity of Sony’s XDCAM camcorders, it’s reassuring to see native compatibility with the Long-GOP HD formats used by XDCAM HD and now also EX. The new Avid Media Access system (below) further extends this by allowing you to link clips into a bin from an external volume, such as SxS media and P2 cards. Once you have linked to a piece of media, it will simply pop up as a new bin, its contents ready for inclusion in your project. There’s also support for displaying and editing stereoscopic footage, for working on 3D projects.
Avid has made some notable changes to the way effects work in Media Composer. In particular, when you nest Advanced keyframes, instead of being able to change the order of effects by dragging their priority icons, you can now access parameters of all nested effects at any time. The Color Correction tool is now keyframeable, too. The SubCap and Timecode Burn-In Generator effects have new parameters, with the latter able to display information from any bin column. A new FluidStabilizer tracking engine (below) has been added, offering sophisticated tools for counteracting shaky camerawork.
The CPU and GPU acceleration introduced with version 3 have been extended to more effects, including 3D-Warp Perspective, SpinZ, Luma Key and Peel. In parallel with this, a new rendering option has been enabled as well: Image Interpolation replaces the ‘Effects Quality Render Using…’ option. This allows you to globally override how effects that resize or reposition are rendered, with Draft, Standard and Advanced options available.
Audio provisions have seen improvement, too. Broadcast Wave Format files are now supported; the Capture Tool can record up to 16 channels of HD-SDI audio simultaneously; and Digidesign AudioSuite plug-ins can be used within Media Composer. You can even have ProTools and Media Composer installed on the same system, although you can’t run them both at the same time.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Here's how Evernote moved 3 petabytes of data to Google's cloud
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPe-Learning Developer (Captivate 8)VIC
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)QLD
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - Wealth AdviceNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- CCSenior Life 400 DeveloperNSW
- CCGIS Developer - GeocortexWA
- CCLevel 2 IT Service Desk OfficerQLD
- CCTechnical Team LeadSA
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXVIC
- CCData Analyst - AutoHaulWA
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW