Computers

Apple updates Final Cut Pro for better editing workflow

An update we’ve all been waiting for

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Finally! Apple has announced a Final Cut Pro update after eight months of crash bugs, glitchy export files, and freezing issues. Most content creators and video editors (including me) who rely on Apple’s expensive video editing software will benefit from the latest 10.4.9 update.

The latest update reveals plethora of fixes and improvements to improve the user’s overall editing workaround.

Editing workflow improvements

Image by GadgetMatch

Designed for video professionals in mind, the significant workflow improvements result to a more efficient editing and exporting. New features include ProRes RAW camera settings, revealing the ISO, color temperature, and exposure offset right in the inspector pane for the first time.

Users can now add audio crossfades in an easier step — unlike applying Cross Dissolves or manual adjustments before. You can also close a project or clear a timeline history with a new context menu and even sort clips (in List View) based on when the file was last modified.

For resolution-savvy editors, you can now transcode an 8K RED RAW footage two times faster on a Mac Pro and three times more when using a MacBook Pro. There are also improvements when using Metal-enabled plug-ins in both RED RAW and Canon’s Cinema RAW Light. Editing with an 8K Canon Cinema RAW Light codec is also a first time in this latest Final Cut Pro update.

Moreover, stereoscopic 360-degree videos can now be stabilized faster. You can even view it simultaneously through separate eye streams in the 360-degree Viewer.

Proxy Workflows enhancement

Image by GadgetMatch

Most creatives choose Full Resolution when previewing a project file. But in order to boost computing power and decrease memory consumption, you can now generate proxy media in custom frame sizes of 1/2, 1/4, or even 1/8. Other than that, you can also select proxy media between ProRes Proxy or the default H.264 compression.

Moreover, you can save more storage space by creating a proxy-only copy of a library. If proxy media isn’t available in some of your clips, you can opt to select between original file or optimized media instead.

Better Tools for Social Media

Content creation for social media has been a challenge for most editors especially with differences in aspect ratios and video resolution. Whether that may be Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter, users can now automatically analyzes dominant motion in projects and later transform them through Smart Conform that’s based on Machine Learning.

When adjusting scale, rotation, and position, you can now see media even outside the crop boundary with the Transform Overscan feature.

There’s also a Custom Overlay feature that serves as a guide when placing texts and graphics in non-landscape videos.

Additional Updates to Motion and Compressor

Motion is the co-existing software for those who want more motion graphics. This app now offers a wider range of choices for those who want to import third-party 3D models. Creators can even select 3D models from the built-in library in the USDZ format for titles, effects, transitions, and generators.

For added creativitiy, the use of keyframes or behaviors will also let the user manually adjust the position, scale, and rotation of a model — even with the use of emitters, lights, cameras and existing replicators.

Image by GadgetMatch

Another new tool is the Stroke Filter which helps a motion graphic artist save time instead of outlining elements by hand. This feature automatically outlines a texts and objects based on their alpha channel. A user can later customize it through offset animation, multiple stroke filters, and even the addition of gradient tools to make it more artistic.

Lastly, Compressor also has updated features including support for Custom LUT effects and the ability to use LUTs when converting log-encoded footages to SDR and HDR output files.

A full list of performance and reliability fixes can be found over here.

Still don’t have it?

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Apple still offers a 90-day trial of Final Cut Pro for new users. After the free trial, Final Cut Pro will cost you:

Education plan bundles will get you the powerful editing app at a cheaper price. On the other hand, the Motion and Compressor bundle for new users is also being sold for a certain amount not higher than the prices listed above.

Existing users can get the Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Compressor updates for free on the Mac App Store.

Computers

Lenovo unveils new Eyesafe-certified ThinkVision monitors

For those who wish to manage their screen time while working

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For those working from home, you often find yourselves glued to your screens for more than eight hours a day. Whether it’s your work laptop or your phone, you proceed to work on your tasks or scroll through social media through a screen. Of course, if you do it for too long, it has the potential to damage your eyesight in the long run. Now, Lenovo unveiled a new set of displays that might just help you address that.

The company has launched its latest ThinkVision monitors that are now Eyesafe-certified. In essence, both monitors come with technologies designed to ease off the harmful blue light emitted from the display. Furthermore, they received a TUV Rheinland Eye Comfort certification to ensure maximum eye comfort and protection.

Also, these two monitors — the ThinkVision T24i-2L and ThinkVision T27h-2L — come with color accurate displays and phone holders on the base.

For the ThinkVision T24i-2L, it comes with a 24-inch FHD display with flexible connectivity options for all kinds of devices. Meanwhile, the ThinkVision T27h-AL comes with a 27-inch QHD display for a much larger workspace.

These monitors are now available for the price of PhP 8,850 (ThinkVision T24i-2L) and PhP 15,499 (ThinkVision T27h-2L). You will find these through Lenovo’s authorized partner sellers.

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Computers

All new iMac with M1 chip, 4.5K Retina display now official

Long overdue update!

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The iMac has remained largely untouched for what felt like forever. Now, the curse appears to have been lifted as Apple finally introduces the new iMac that’s powered by the M1 chip and has a 4.5K Retina display.

What’s up with the M1 chip?

Well, it’s only Apple’s latest and greatest chip for their MacOS machines. It brings forth a leap in power, performance, and efficiency previously unheard of in MacBooks and iMacs of the past. Some performance improvements include a faster more fluid overall feel, no slowdown despite opening hundreds of tabs on Safari, smoother image editing, and a better Apple Arcade experience.

For a full breakdown of the performance improvement, watch this M1 MacBook Air review.

That display tho

24 inches. 4.5K Retina. 11.3 million pixels. P3 wide color gamut and over a billion colors. 500 nits of brightness. Put them all together and what you get is a computer display that will be a blessing to your eyes.

Apple is promising vivid and brilliant images with a color temperature that adjusts to your environment thanks to True Tone tech. Sweet.

OMG those colors

This one’s a nice callback to the iMacs of old that didn’t shy away from a splash of color. From a singular choice of Silver (which is still available, by the way), Apple is now also giving us the following color options: Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Blue.

Could a PRODUCT (RED) option be in the horizon? We don’t know yet, but we also wouldn’t completely rule it out.

Cameras, mics, and speakers

You’ll likely attend a few more video conferences as we navigate this new normal setup most of us are in. You’ll be happy to know that the all new iMac now has a 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. FINALLY.

Supporting the brand spanking new HD camera is what Apple claims to be a studio-quality three-microphone array and six-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos.

What else is here?

You get two Thunderbolt ports for fast data transfers and support for up to 6K displays. The 8-core iMac models have two more USB-C ports.

TouchID also comes to the iMac with the color-matching Magic Keyboard. The Magic Mouse and Magic TrackPad are also available in colors that match the iMac. You can also buy more than one and mix the colors up. You do you.

Price and availability

The new 24-inch iMac is available to order beginning Friday, April 30. It will begin arriving to customers and be available in select Apple Store locations and through Apple Authorized Resellers beginning in the second half of May.

Available on apple.com, apple.com/sg, and in the Apple Store app

iMac with 7-core GPU is available in green, pink, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse.

  • US: Starts at US$ 1,299 and US$1,249 for education
  • Singapore: Starts at SG$ 1,849 and SG$ 1,779 for education

iMac with 8-core GPU is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two additional USB 3 ports, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Ethernet.

  • US: Starts at US$ 1,499 and US$1,399 for education
  • Singapore: Starts at SG$ 2,149 and SG$ 2,009 for education
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Computers

The global chip shortage could last till 2023

Put your plans for a PC build on hold!

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The Coronavirus pandemic prompted everybody to leave the “normal” behind and adopt a completely new lifestyle. With everyone moving to the work-from-home model, the demand for new computers, phones, and other gadgets skyrocketed, bringing another crisis to our doorstep — global chip shortage.

The world’s largest chipmaker TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), announced its quarterly results this week, posting a profit of almost US$ 5 billion. This marks a 19 percent rise in profit when compared to the previous quarter. The announcement is good news for the investors, but it also highlights how long the shortage will continue.

TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said that the company hopes to offer more capacity and meet the demand by 2023. That’s two years away. And that’s after gearing up to spend a whopping US$ 100 billion in the next three years to ramp up production.

American chipmaker Intel has been plagued with production issues for the last few years and recently disclosed that it would spend US$ 20 billion to set up two new facilities in Arizona, US. However, these production sites take time to come up and can’t be just switched on in a few months.

Things aren’t looking good

Even Nvidia isn’t very optimistic about a recovery from the chip shortage anytime soon. “Overall demand remains very strong and continues to exceed supply while our channel inventories remain quite lean,” the company said in its press release. “We expect demand to continue to exceed supply for much of this year.”

Nvidia also has a brand new challenge — the demand for GPUs has skyrocketed ever since Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies started their bullish run in 2020. Cryptocurrency evangelists are constantly on the lookout for new gear, further amplifying the chip shortage.

The current state of component availability looks grim, affecting everything from the availability of new graphics cards to processors to next-gen PlayStations and Xboxes. The ripple effects of the shortage are being felt by every technology company, including giants like Apple.

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