In an interesting move, Avid has just released a free version of called Media Composer First.
It is indeed a limited subset of the very popular Avid video editor, but heck for those of you who are on a limited budget and can't afford the monthly fees of Adobe or the price of FCPX, then this is very good news for you!
If you're serious about video editing and are weighing up your software options, two choices usually pop up: Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). But Avid, Hollywood's go-to editing company, just played a wild card by releasing Media Composer First, a limited version of its pro software, for the hard-to-resist price of “free.” I'm well-acquainted with Avid and have used Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro since they launched. I was excited to try out MC First to figure out if I'd recommend it, and the answer is a qualified yes — I like it, but it's not for everyone.
Avid's Media Composer was the first widely-used “nonlinear” editing system that let you make video edits instantly and nondestructively. To suit its original feature-film and TV market, Avid developed it to be fast for cutting and allow for powerful footage organization. Nowadays, it's a complete tool for finished effects, color correction, titles and audio, as Avid also owns Pro Tools, the standard for professional audio production.
The new free version, Media Composer First, mirrors Avid's expensive software in most ways that count. “We've been showing Media Composer First to Hollywood film and TV editors, and they all asked the same question: ‘What isn't in Media Composer First? This works just like my Media Composer,'” Avid's Matt Feury told No Film School.
There are some limitations as the article from Engadget points out:
However, it has limitations that could give you pause, especially if you work with high-res video or a lot of video and audio tracks. You've got just five bins, four video tracks and eight audio tracks to work with, and exports are limited to Quicktime H.264 or DNxHD (an Avid format) at 1080p 59.94 fps max — so no 4K. Almost any type of input footage, including 4K or UltraHD is allowed, however.
But then again, maybe it is just what you need?
There are plenty of our readers who are still sending out their content at 1080 so tho it won't render 4k OUT, you can still import and edit if you want.
(cover photo credit: Jakob Owens)