Keyboard for Apple Final Cut Pro
Keyboard for Apple Final Cut Pro
Mac OS X v 10.2.5 or later.
USB keyboard $99, Bluetooth keyboard $169
Keycaps kit for the Apple Pro keyboard $49.
Review by Steve Douglas
When it comes to editing, time is always
a constraint. Whether it comes to meeting a client's deadline
or your own, time is always a factor. Most everyone is aware
that post-production always takes what little time you have at
your disposal and then some. Thus, any shortcuts that can speed
up your workflow will surely be welcome. Shortcuts are always
at your beck and call when it comes to using most any editing
application. However, most applications have keyboard commands
intrinsic to just their application and no others. Each editor
develops, over time, their own workflow and utilizes the shortcuts
that they find most advantageous to their own needs and style.
For me, there are keyboard shortcuts I use all the time, they
make my work and life easier. Some keyboard shortcuts I should
use but don't, and some I have no real use for at all. The ones
I should use, but don't, may be because I never bothered to learn
them in the first place.
That's where the Specialist Keyboard
for Apple Final Cut Pro comes in. Produced by World Tech Devices,
the Final Cut Pro keyboard is fully color coded for keyboard
commands. Back in the days of old I recall attempting to use
some of the labels that came with early versions of Final Cut
Pro and color-coded stick on labels that came from elsewhere.
I hated them all. No matter how carefully I attempted to place
them on the keyboard they rarely lasted for any length of time,
peeled off and just plain looked unprofessional. The World Tech
Final Cut Keyboard is an entirely different beast. Each of the
icons on the color-coded keycaps are laser etched into the key
cap itself. They are color coded by separate command categories
including Editing, Timeline, Navigation, Tools and Markers. The
colors used are clearly delineated, even for a colorblind editor
such as I am. Using the standard creamy white for some and yellow,
purple, green and orange for others depending upon the category.
I am not left asking myself whether one is green and the other
'greenish looking but could be something else' as I sometimes
wonder when viewing the different colored rendering bars in Final
Cut Pro. Because the keyboard shortcuts and icons are etched
into the plastic, one doesn't need to fear that they will wear
off, peal back, or disintegrate over time. They will be there
and useful for as long as you own it.
The keyboard itself is the same original
keyboard frame that Apple ships with its computers except that
World Tech has pulled the original key caps and installed their
own. It is a high quality keyboard with no flimsy feel or weak
points that I can denote. I am using the Final Cut Specialty
keyboard as I type this review and the feel and key response
time is just as it should be. To switch over to the keyboard
you need not shut down the computer. There is nothing to install
except the keyboard itself. Just unplug the one you have been
using and connect the specialty board as you had your other.
It is that quick and simple to do. There are two USB ports for
mouse or other USB devices. Additionally, with each keyboard
comes a Quick reference card with descriptions of each etched
icon to make learning that much easier.
It should be noted that this is a 'Specialist'
keyboard with keyboard short cuts found only within Final Cut
Pro and not any other application. While many shortcuts are often
universal from application to application, many more are not.
It doesn't mean that this keyboard works any differently than
any other keyboard. It doesn't, you can use the Specialty keyboard
like you would any other keyboard when working in After Effects,
Photoshop or Word documents. While World Tech produces a number
of specialty keyboards for Photoshop, Avid, Premier Pro and a
great many more it would be ludicrous to consider purchasing
a keyboard for every application one uses. I would certainly
suggest that if Final Cut Pro is your main NLE than that would
be the one to get.
The bottom line on World Tech Device's
Specialty Keyboard for Final Cut Pro is that this is the perfect
keyboard for someone who is just learning Final Cut and needs
to see or be reminded of the many shortcuts that will make their
job easier. It is also just as good for the advanced editor who
wishes to expand their use of the shortcuts they have yet to
learn or have forgotten about.
Steve Douglas is an underwater
videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals around
the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film
Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan
Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver
of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The
Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's
Atlantis production, and a recent History channel MegaDisaster
show. Steve is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego
UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions
and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya, Bali &
Komodo in 2007, and Costa Rica and Palau in 2008. Feel free to
contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of
these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared
on www.kenstone.net and
is reprinted here with permission.
All screen captures and textual references are the property and
trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.