A Fresh Look at Apple’s Final Cut Pro X

Filmmaker by David Leitner

Hard to believe, but FCP X is well over two years old and already into its ninth iteration.

Its popular multicam tool arrived with version three in January of last year. In the past 12 months alone, no less than four new versions have been released, bringing dual viewers, a unified import window, support for native REDCODE RAW, MXF, Sony XAVC (up to 4K) and optional Rec. 709 display of ARRI ALEXA ProRes captured in Log C.

Recent improvements also include a handy freeze-frame tool, chapter markers for QuickTimes and DVDs, better audio channel editing tools, and FCPXML 1.2 to facilitate audio and metadata export/import. (FCPXML uses Extensible Markup Language, or XML, to exchange Project and Event data and metadata between FCP X and third-party applications.) Plus, there are a host of bug fixes and performance improvements.

Apple claims its 64-bit FCP X has outsold all previous 32-bit versions of FCP combined, and there’s no reason to doubt this, for two reasons.

FCP X is faster and less confusing to set up than FCP 7, to which I can personally attest. It better hides the sprawling technical complexity of today’s HD, 2K and 4K formats. In fact, in conversation over the past year with several popular digital video experts — recognizable names all — I’m struck by the fact that all admitted using FCP X, at least for basic editing. One mentioned — and I think this is key — he felt guilty because using FCP X was too easy. read more...

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