Apple Final Cut Pro X Reviewed: Not Ready for Professionals

OnlineVideo.net by Jan Ozer

It takes years to get to know a video editor like Final Cut Pro X, and if you’re experienced with one or more video editors, you’re inexorably biased against new programs that do most of the same things differently. So in this article, I’m going to introduce you to Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), and give you a first impression. I’m not going to cover all the new features, or attempt to completely explain the new workflow.

Instead, I’ll work through a test project that I’ve used since about 2005 that tests a range of features like trimming, color correction, speed changes, chroma key, brightness and contrast correction and many others. I’ll create the project and report on what I encounter along the way. I’ll supplement this with some experiences gained from editing an AVCHD-based clip with FCPX in parallel.

Let’s Clear the Air

FCPX comes with some heavy expectations, and it’s clear that there’s a major mismatch between what many professional editors were wanting and what Apple delivered. Is FCPX a pro-class editor? That depends on the types of projects you produce — remember that Hollywood movies used to be made with the equivalent of scotch tape and razor blades. For me, the lack of multi-cam support makes it a complete non-starter for displacing Final Cut Pro 7 or Premiere Pro for the majority of my projects. For many other editors there are similar issues that disqualify FCPX.

But, as many bloggers and message board participants have pointed out, there are 50 million iMovie users, and only about 2 million users of Final Cut Pro 7. Final Cut Pro X loads iMovie projects, but not Final Cut Pro 7 projects, which either reflects the code-base FCPX was developed from, the most important target customers for the new program, or both. It’s pretty clear which group represents the most potential revenue. read more...

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