Sadly, it didn’t even warrant a press release, but Apple has debuted Final Cut Pro 7 this week at the Final Cut Pro User Group Supermeet at the NAB 2011 show in Las Vegas. It will ship in June for US$299 at the Mac App Store.

That’s a drastic price reduction from $999 for previous versions. The new version of the professional video editing application will include 64-bit support, OpenCL support, a revamped interface and more.

New versions of the Apple ProRes codec in Final Cut Pro 7 let you edit faster and at higher quality across a wide variety of workflows, according to Apple. The family now includes ProRes 422 (Proxy), ProRes 422 (LT) and ProRes 4444, in addition to the original ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 (HQ).

Choose ProRes 422 (Proxy) for offline editing or use ProRes 422 (LT) for projects that require reduced file sizes at broadcast quality, such as news, sports, and events. At the other end of the scale, ProRes 4444 is designed for compositing and digital workflows that require the highest-possible image fidelity.

Final Cut Pro 7 simplifies export features. You can choose your output format in the Share window, then keep working while your projects are rendered, compressed, and even published to the web in the background. You can use this feature to: export your file to iTunes for syncing with iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV; publish to YouTube or MobileMe; or burn a Blu-ray disc or a DVD, with a choice of Apple-designed menu templates. You can also create custom presets in Compressor for use in the Share window.

Final Cut Pro 7 adds iChat Theater support. Now you can work with clients or collaborators as if they were in the room with you — in real time, from anywhere in the world. Just send your Final Cut Pro video to iChat Theater to let everyone see the same footage while you view dailies, select shots, and make edits. You can instantly switch the iChat view between clips and sequences as you talk, and turn on a timecode overlay to help identify specific frames.

Final Cut Pro now saves you setup time when you transfer clips from a wide range of file-based cameras including Panasonic P2 and Sony XDCAM. The files are automatically copied to your media storage volumes the moment your media is mounted. A new Log and Transfer option allows you to set up custom metadata and add it to all your assets in a single step.

You can streamline your digital cinema workflows with the improved film management features in Cinema Tools 4.5, an application included in Final Cut Studio. Now you can create new databases by dragging files into Cinema Tools, and produce change lists using XML files that describe the original version and the new version. You can use Cinema Tools as part of a digital cinema workflow to track DPX files created during high-resolution film transfers or files from 4K cameras such as the Red One.

Final Cut Pro 7 also introduces: new speed change tools; easier ways to create transitions with moving mattes; improved markers; a new timecode window, native AVC-Intra support; expanded support for closed captioning; improved tabs; background exporting; and more.

— Dennis Sellers