In Review: Final Cut Pro X: A First Look and First Impressions

DV by Ned Soltz

Remember Apple's grammatically incorrect slogan a few years ago, Think Different? Well, Final Cut Pro X definitely requires us to think differently.

Available only in the App Store for $299, Final Cut Pro X represents a major shift not only in how professional applications are marketed but indeed even in the price points of software geared to the professional market. Ah, there's the rub. Final Cut Pro X forces us to ask, what kind of professional?

Any Apple presentation you attend begins with Apple's version of history. I'll give you my version. Final Cut Pro 1.0 was released at NAB 1999, having been purchased from Macromedia and quickly ported to Mac. I adopted it on day one (I'm looking at my FCP 1 original disk as I write) and grew along with the application. As FCP matured into an integrated suite of applications and the third-party hardware/software developers extended its capabilities, it nonetheless retained a central Apple characteristic: universality. One Mac or one Mac app could be used by anyone, from the most basic user to the most advanced. Through the use of inherent features in the suite or through third-party additions, that very same Final Cut could serve the hobbyist to create home videos as well as feature film editors to create Academy Award winners.

That universality is gone in the current version of Final Cut Pro X as released in June 2011.

Now, a few remarks before I begin. The bloggers, fellow journalists and fellow FCP experts have been reporting that this is only version one of a new application and that Apple intends to address many of the omissions that I will highlight. I do not doubt the words of these colleagues and friends. But I and you, my readers, are working with the software as it is today. I can only review on the basis of what I have, not on the basis of what others speculate will be. In the absence of an official technology roadmap from Apple, it's ultimately speculative. read more...

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