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The Best Alternative to Final Cut Pro for Beginners
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Why Final Cut Pro Beats Final Cut Express

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Sep 01, 2022• Proven solutions

Boring and unexciting videos may turn off your mode. You need something special or wonderful that could turn you on and make your memories worth watching.

To let users give a new look to their pictures and videos, Apple Inc. released its first video editing software Final Cut Express in 2003. Over the next few years, various improvements were made in its updated versions.


However, after multiple inconveniences, Apple Inc. discontinued Final Cut Express in 2011 and launched its new version Final Cut Pro with advanced video editing features. Final Cut Pro was customized for video editing professionals with advanced knowledge of video editing. It is available for just $299.99 with 90 days free trial.

Some alternatives to Final Cut Express are also available in the market such as Final Cut Pro of crouse, iMovie, a low-end alternative, and Filmora, popular among beginners and pros. Let’s look at these tools individually in this article.

Part 1: What is Final Cut Express?

Final Cut Express was a video editing software designed by Apple Inc. for advanced editing of digital and HD videos. It was a consumer version of Final Cut Pro liked by professional photographers, due to its better capabilities than iMovie.

Final Cut Express used to have many features like two-way color correction, dynamic RT, Chroma key, 99 audio tracks, split-screen, and picture-in-picture effects, motion path keyframing, 23 compositing modes, and opacity keyframing.

It also allowed the users to keyframe the filters and perform slide and blade edits. Eight years after its release, Apple discontinued Final Cut Express in 2011 in favor of Final Cut Pro X.


Part 2: Is Final Cut Express Still Available?

No, concurrent with the launch of Final Cut Pro X on June 21, 2011, Final Cut Express was discontinued and removed from the Apple online store.

You might be wondering what prompted Apple to do this. Well, the primary cause of the discontinuation of Final Cut Express was that Apple Inc. wanted to launch an advanced video editing software Final Cut Pro.

Besides, despite several attempts to improve the software’s performance, Final Cut Express kept on causing multiple inconveniences. The company eventually decided to discontinue Final Cut Express and introduce a new product to meet the ever-evolving needs of its customers.

As Final Cut Express withdrawal from the stage, many other editors still update to this day. For example, Filmora, an editor trusted by many beginners and pros, updates every month. Click download to try it for free!

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Part 3: Major Differences between Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express

Both Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro were two high-performance, user-friendly, and advanced video editing software developed by Apple Inc. Both had amazing features and were liked by professional photographers, filmmakers, and editors. However, Apple Inc. discontinued Final Cut Express in 2011.

Today, Final Cut Pro incorporates all features of Final Cut Express plus some additional functions added by Apple Inc. later.

Given below are some of the key differences between these two software:

Final Cut Pro Final Cut Express

The software is currently available on Apple Store and is supported by all iOS devices.

The software was discontinued in 2011 and can no longer be downloaded from Apple Store.

Effectiveness is guaranteed as the user will receive application updates.

Untrusted and unreliable software because no application updates are available.

Original version with advanced features

The consumer version of Final Cut Pro with limited features

The application performance keeps improving with new versions

The application performance kept on declining due to downgraded features

Heavyweight editing tools for better results

Simple editing tools

Costs $299

Costs $199

Recommended for experts and professionals

Recommended for beginners

Requires a system with better hardware and enhanced performance

Compatible with systems with less-advanced hardware

Part 4: iMovie, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut Pro, Which is the Best?

All these video editing software, iMovie, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut Pro are developed by Apple Inc. with different features and functions. However, they have different target audiences and offer diverse pricing plans according to the user’s needs.

The following table offers a detailed comparison of iMovie, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut Pro to help you choose the best one for advanced video editing.


Parameter of Comparison


Final Cut Express

Final Cut Pro


Target Audience

It is aimed at home users and who are beginners with no video editing skills

It is ideal for a bit advanced users with moderate knowledge of video editing

It is a professional product and targets professional photographers and video editors.



  • Automated video editing
  • video support
  • Audio & music editing
  • HD & 4K Video color settings
  • Crop & rotate video clip
  • Stabilization
  • Video effects & transitions
  • Timeline
  • Photo & music import
  • Pre-built themes & backdrops
  • simultaneously
  • Two-way color correction
  • Dynamic RT
  • Chroma key
  • 99 audio tracks
  • Split-screen
  • Picture-in-picture effects
  • Motion path keyframing
  • 23 compositing modes
  • Opacity keyframing
  • Moving & Trimming Clips
  • Multicam Editing
  • 360 Degree VR Editing
  • Effects
  • VR Headset Playback
  • Advanced Color Grading
  • HDR Video Support
  • Motion Graphics Templates
  • Asset Management
  • Plug-Ins



User-friendly and easy to understand

Complicated for beginners

Very complicated


Skill Set Required





Advanced Sharing





Text Implementation

Limited Tools

Limited Tools

Advanced tools for easy text customization


Compatible OS

Mac OS X 10.10.2 or later

Mac OS X 10.10.2 or later

Mac OS X 10.10.2 or later, 64-bit processor







Supported HD Format





iCloud sync





Operating Speed

Fast due to limited tools

Fast due to limited tools

Moderate due to advanced tools and effects


Advanced Effects


Presets with moderate effects

An array of advanced effects


Plugins and Integrations



Several third-party plugins


Color Correction Features

Focus on Image Improvement

Small editing of pictures

Total customization to match the footage tone



Free of Cost


90 days free trial then $299.99

Part 5: Best Alternative to Final Cut Express

Now, as Final Cut Express is no longer available, you may want to try the other two editors of Apple. While iMovie mainly targeted beginners, Final Cut Express and Pro targeted users with moderate to advanced knowledge of video editing.

For those beginners who wanted to make professional-looking videos without any editing skills, Wondershare launched Filmora as an alternative to Final Cut Express and Pro.

This user-friendly made video editing as simple as ABC. From offering multiple hand-picked effects to advanced editing options, Filmora allows you to range markers, perfect your audio, group timeline clips, and perform detailed color correction with auto-correction and color wheels for free.

Key Features

  • Advanced video editing options;
  • 300+ free handcrafted effects
  • User-friendly video editing tools; and
  • Video conversion options to multiple formats.

author avatar
Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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