New Final Cut Pro X is here.

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Tech | No Comments

Well it finally happened! The newest version of Final Cut Pro X was released yesterday. (June 22nd, 2011) I have been a huge supporter and fan of Apple’s FCP since 2007, when I started editing at The Art Institute. It has been my editor of choice and has treated me well. Naturally I’ve been very closely following the impressions and reactions of people throughout the industry to see if this new FCP redux is for me. I have not purchased it yet, though I know I will undoubtedly do so in the following weeks. I feel it’s always good practice to wait a bit and never buy version 1 of any product until all the wrinkles have been ironed out. (Which you can bet is happening right now judging on the reactions of most of the industry…)

My initial impressions from the articles, demonstrations, and reviewer impressions I’ve seen so far:

It seems like a slicker, newer, fresher version of FCP with a slight lean towards the amateur market and a step away from the Pro market. (At least for now) I do acknowledge and understand that there are a ton of amazing features in there (background rendering – YESSSS), but it just seems to share so much in common with it’s consumer little brother iMovie that it makes you wonder. Things I really like:

– Background rendering (WOW. Thank GOD! If I had a nickel for every minute I spent watching that cursed blue bar, I’d be rich. This is fabulous.)

– New redesigned interface (Looks clean and sleek- I like the new black look.)

– Built in audio controls (In my opinion the old FCP had utterly useless audio tools so it’s nice to see some attention put here. I may actually use these for once.)

– Optimized for speed to take advantage of the 64-bit processing (Great news. I just dropped 3 grand on a new Macbook Pro i7 so it’s about time a program takes advantage of all that muscle.)


Final Cur Pro X Interface


So, that’s what I like right off the bat. That being said, there are definitely some glaring omissions that have not made very many editors happy as well:

– No multicam (Don’t care, never used)

– Cannot open FCP7 files (HUGE negative, but Apple has stated they working on fixing this; no doubt they will.)

– No OMF export. (REALLY? This is suppose to be Pro software. Come on. No doubt this will come eventually.)

– No XML export. (Again, massive omission. Apple has stated this will come.)

– Single Window interface (This sucks. I have a monster second monitor that is unused now.)

– Cannot export to tape (In my opinion, tape is dead. Good riddance. I hate you. However, I know that 99% of broadcasters still want their work mastered to HDCAM SR tape. Hmmm. FCPX needs to address this if they want to keep a huge portion of their professional market.)

– Colour wheel gone (Ok, I haven’t tried out the new one yet but I will miss this little wheel. It worked perfectly for it was made for.)

– Extremely limited export ‘share’ menu (From what I’ve seen, this looks REALLY cut down. I don’t want Apple’s preset crap, I want to be able to get in there and tweak and play around with everything. I like having all of those customizable codecs! We’re pros! Give us some control and save the preset stuff for iMovie!)

From what I’ve seen this program has a lot of potential and will undoubtably be huge after a couple of major updates.  It’s still in its infancy and won’t be ready for professional broadcast use for probably many more months. If you’re an indie editor or use it mainly for web content I could see this being a great tool right now. I have no doubt in my mind I will make the migration eventually as that’s primarily what I use it for right now, but I feel it’s still neglecting a large portion of its professional broadcast audience. Luckily, you can still have FCP7 and FCPX running on the same machine so it’s really not a big deal for the time being. I sincerely hope Apple appeases their pro audience. iMovie and FCPX are for different markets and Apple needs to realize this and not try to fuse them together. It’s annoying to see them always simplifying everything and ‘consumerizing’ all their products. Time will tell. But hey, for $300 and the ability to run it with FCP7 still installed, I feel it can only get better from here.

Here’s to FCPX and it’s future. Make me a happy editor Mr. Jobs!


– APS_Chris