Final Cut Express 3 - Technical Specifications

Final Cut Express 3 - Part Numbers
Retail M9732Z/A
Upgrade M9735Z/A

Final Cut Express 3 System Requirements

  • Macintosh computer with a 500MHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor (550MHz for PowerBook G4 or iBook G4, 450MHz for dual PowerPC G4 or G5) and an AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) graphics card compatible with Quartz Extreme.
  • Mac OS X 10.3.7 or later.
  • QuickTime 6.5.2 or later.
  • 384MB of RAM (512MB required for RT Extreme and Soundtrack).


  • 1GHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor.
  • 1GB of RAM.
  • All above OS, QuickTime and graphics card requirements.


  • 1GB of available disk space for application installation.
  • 5GB of available disk space for Soundtrack content.
  • 9GB of available disk space for LiveType content.
  • DVD drive for software installation.


  • Up to 99 total audio tracks per sequence.
  • More than 25 audio filters, including three-band and parameter equalizer, compressor/limiter, 60/120-Hz hum remover and noise gate for soundtrack quality control.
  • Real-time fader automation.
  • Variable keyframe thinning.
  • Real-time audio filters and effects.
  • Real-time audio filter adjustments during playback.
  • Subframe audio keyframing to 1/100th of a frame.
  • Sampling at 8kHz to 48kHz and 8 to 24 bits.
  • Audio level meters (per track).
  • Mac OS X Audio Units plug-in support.
  • Pan controls.
  • Mute and solo controls.
  • Audio waveform display in Timeline.
  • Logarithmic audio fades.
  • Scrubbing with or without pitch shifting.
  • Voice Over tool for adding narration directly to Timeline.
  • Audio level overlays viewable in the Timeline.
  • Isolation of audio tracks with solo and mute controls.
  • No re-rendering required when muted tracks are reactivated.


  • Custom music creation.
  • Final Cut Express HD video with scoring markers import.
  • 4,000 royalty-free loops and sound effects.
  • Audio effects plug-ins.
  • Powerful search engine.
  • Combined loop key and tempo matching.
  • Real-time scoring.
  • Support for AIFF, WAV and Acid formats.
  • Professional audio effects.
  • Mac OS X Audio Units plug-in support.
  • Fully automated mixing and effects.

Input/Capturing Video

  • Plug-and-play support for most DV25-format camcorders and decks: MiniDV and DVCAM (NTSC or PAL).
  • Plug-and-play support for most HDV-format camcorders and decks: 720p, 1080i.
  • FireWire device control of most FireWire-enabled MiniDV and HDV camcorders from leading manufacturers such as Sony, Canon, Panasonic and JVC.
  • Capture window for naming, adding comments to and organizing clips as they are captured.
  • Incremental clip naming during capture when a recording break is discovered.
  • Still image importing for PSD, BMP, JPEG, PICT, PNG, SGI, TARGA and TIFF formats.
  • iMovie file import with effects, transitions and audio levels.
  • Bins for project file and sequence organization.
  • Clip organization in the Browser using the extensive search, sort and sift capabilities.
  • Clip labels for organizing and sorting clips.
  • Extensive search, sort, sift capabilities in Browser.
  • Master and affiliate clip relationship for automatic update of certain properties of a clip, such as clip name or reel name, within the current project.
  • Up to 32 levels of undo.

Editing and Timeline

  • Non-destructive editing references original video to prevent alteration of source footage.
  • Editing palette for most-used functions, enabling one-click, pro-style edits.
  • Drag-and-drop editing.
  • Editing on the Timeline.
  • Three-point editing model.
  • 99 video tracks with support for nesting sequences together.
  • Support for multiple sequences and projects for creating alternative edits or breaking projects into smaller pieces.
  • Insert and overwrite with or without transitions.
  • Replace, fit to fill and superimpose edits.
  • Edit overly for insert, overwrite, replace, fit to fill and superimpose for control over how clips are added to the Timeline.
  • Blade and Blade All tools for adding edit points to sequences.
  • Extend and split edits for additional editing options.
  • Sync detection and correction to compensate for audio and video tracks that slip out of sync.
  • Active track targeting for specifying individual or multiple tracks to apply edits or protect from editing.
  • Auto Select controls of specific tracks in the Timeline for track content selection via In and Out points in the Timeline or Canvas.
  • Adjacent (through edit) indicators in Timeline.
  • Dupe detection in Timeline.
  • Keyframe graphs.
  • Track locking.
  • Timecode or frames in Timeline.
  • Clip, sequence, scoring, chapter and compression markers.
  • Clip and sequence marker export to LiveType for titling.
  • Clip and scoring marker export for Soundtrack.
  • Chapter marker export for iDVD and DVD Studio Pro.
  • Custom, independent track heights.
  • Autosave Vault for saving projects at specified intervals to prevent accidental loss.


  • Ripple, roll, slip and slide.
  • Asymmetric, multitrack trimming.
  • Dynamic JKL trimming.
  • Trim Edit window.
  • Timeline trimming.
  • Keyboard and numeric trimming.


  • Print to Video command for recording a sequence or clip back to DV or HDV device.
  • Footage looping for multiple outputs on the same tape.
  • Sequence, scoring, chapter and compression markers.
  • Marker exports to DVD Studio Pro for chapter and compression settings.
  • Scoring marker export to Soundtrack.
  • Projects export using any QuickTime file format, including MPEG-4, for distribution via email or the web.
  • Digital Cinema Desktop for full-screen, real-time preview playback.

Media Management

  • Extensive search, sort, sift capabilities in Browser.
  • Clip labels.
  • Custom comment fields.
  • Master and affiliate clips.
  • Move, copy and transcode capability at sequence or project level.
  • Autosave Vault.

Transitions, Filters and Effects

  • More than 200 transitions, filters and effects.
  • Unlimited effects favorites.
  • Copy and paste capability for motion and effect attributes.
  • Bezier curves for motion paths.
  • Keyframe capabilities for precise animation.
  • Precision numeric controls for effects and animation.
  • RT Extreme for scalable, software-based, multistream real-time effects.
  • Safe and Unlimited RT Extreme modes for customizing performance versus quality tradeoffs.
  • RT Extreme quality settings: low, medium, high. Low setting for maximum simultaneous real-time streams and effects; high setting for full-resolution output for finishing directly to DV or HDV device.
  • Opacity overlays in Timeline for adjustable, keyframeable opacity.
  • Direct-to-Timeline drag-and-drop Motion project integration.
  • Auto Render option.
  • Broadcast safe filter.
  • 2D and 3D titles with Boris Calligraphy.
  • Composite and transfer modes.



  • Standard and scrolling text generators for creating titles that crawl, scroll or appear in the lower third of the screen.
  • Option to combine titles with other filters, effects and compositing for unlimited creative expression.
  • Boris Calligraphy plug-ins for 2D and 3D titles.
  • Non-Latin alphabet characters and symbols with full Unicode support.


  • Animated title and motion graphics creation.
  • Unicode system font support.
  • 9 GB of royalty-free animated content including 27 LiveFonts and hundreds of background textures and objects.
  • Sophisticated project templates.
  • 150 customizable effects.
  • Keyframe animation.
  • Real-time wireframe preview.
  • Canvas RAM preview.
  • Import capability for a wide variety of formats.
  • Independent and scalable resolution.
  • Dynamic individual character control.
  • Animation for rolls and crawls.
  • Type on a curve capability.
  • FontMaker utility for creating custom LiveFonts.
  • Drag-and-drop integration to Final Cut Express HD Timeline with auto-updating.


  • Nesting for virtually unlimited compositing layers for complex video effects.
  • Adobe Photoshop file import, complete with layers for effects and motion graphics.
  • Bezier curves with movable motion paths for animation application and control.
  • Ease in/ease out motion paths for smooth compositing animations.
  • Time effects, including slow motion with frame blending, for smooth, time-altered playback.
  • Accurate subpixel interpolation rendering for smooth, high-quality effects creation.
  • Transfer modes including multiply and lighten.
  • Flicker filter for incorporation of still frames from video.

Color Correction

  • Secondary (two-way) color corrector.
  • Image control filters.
  • Broadcast-safe filter.
  • Correction for flesh tones and other key elements.
  • Color mixing for visual style.
  • Footage matching from different sources for consistency.
  • Error correction in color balance and exposure.

Streamlined Workflow

  • Full Unicode support.
  • Dynamic window resizing.
  • Mode-free interface for workflow efficiency.
  • Simultaneous opening of multiple sequences and projects.
  • 99 audio and 99 video tracks with support for nesting sequences together.
  • System and user preferences.
  • Easy Setups for quick configuration.
  • Customizable real-time effects settings.
  • Customizable render settings.
  • Customizable window arrangements.
  • Customizable user interface buttons.
  • Customizable Browser layouts.
  • Customizable track layouts.
  • Custom, independent track heights in the Timeline.


Published Date: Oct 15, 2010