Apple Final Cut Pro X The Critic


So we're finally here, one of the best-loved companies in the world has just launched the successor to its hugely popular video-editing program, which of course, is Final Cut Pro.
Final Cut Pro X has just been launched. The previous edition cost over £600, so with the latest version costing under £200 and offering over 250 new features, you'd think this would be the best thing since sliced bread, However many video editors are calling it the biggest ‘fail’ of all time. From a company, which never seems to make a stumble, where has Apple gone wrong with Final Cut Pro X?
If you check the Mac App store, at the point of writing, you'll see Final Cut Pro X is the second top grossing 'app' of all time. However, its reviews leave it at just 2.5 stars with over one hundred of its three hundred ratings left at just one star. This doesn't look great. Some say it's unusable, whilst others say that you just need to get used it, I kind of agree with both sides and let me explain why:
Whatever you want to say about Final Cut Pro X, one thing we can all agree on is that it's certainly faster and easier to use. It's less intimidating and processes like background rendering and its 64-bit architecture make it a huge step forward from its 32-bit predecessor. Tasks that would take five to ten minutes to complete on my Mac Pro, (with 8GB of RAM) happen now, almost instantly and to me this is a godsend. I love its vast amount of video effects, titles and correction tools that would otherwise cost hundreds in third party plugins.
The above said, I would rate myself as a 'prosumer.' The kind of editor that this edition seems to be aimed at. You see this is exactly where the main issues and problems come into play. Many of my friends and colleagues at ITV are 'pro users' and these people don't buy this 'app' for fun like a 59p Angry Birds download. This is how they make their living and if the features aren't there that they need to make that living, then it's the client who will use another editor with different tools that can get the job done. (Or the editor who will move onto Avid or Premiere for Mac)
The list of complaints from my colleagues is a long one: There's currently no multi-cam support, no export-to-tape feature, no support for EDL, XML, and OMF files, no apparent support for third party plugins just yet, and the big one, no support for importing Final Cut Pro 7 projects, which means you'll still need to hold a copy of your older Final Cut Pro to edit or re-edit any older projects.
So what's the word from Apple? "The easy thing would be to just create an incremental upgrade. But, we felt that while the current version of Final Cut held up well for the last ten years, it wasn't ready for the next ten. We needed to design something from the ground up to take us into the next ten years."
The thing to remember I guess, this is not an upgrade. This is not Final Cut 7.5, it's a whole new program built from the ground up to replace an old friendly dinosaur in video editing software.
So where does this leave you? Well… Not everyone uses multi-cam, in fact out of the twenty-five editors I spoke to, only four had ever done a multi-cam edit! So what you really have to ask yourself is, “are the current missing features really going to effect me?” If not, go for it, Final Cut Pro X is an amazing video editing tool, you won't find anything else which works faster or makes it easier to export to todays various online networks and codecs. If it does affect you then I'm sure Apple will add these features in the future, but you may want to take a look at the competition if you have urgent projects.
Already have Final Cut Pro X? Why not get in touch with me at TV-Bay or on Twitter @editorskeys.
Mark is the company director of Editors Keys and the Studio Series brands, which create a range of video editing and recording products used by many of the mainstream television networks throughout the world today.
For more information on keyboard shortcuts or to purchase your own Final Cut Keyboard, check us out at www.editorskeys.com
Next month Mark uncovers his top ten FCP X keyboard shortcuts…..

Tags: fcpx | iss056 | final cut pro x | editing | apple | mac | editors keys | N/A
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