Review: Final Cut Pro 10.0.3

Post by Tor Rolf Johansen

In my opinion, Apple prematurely released Final Cut Pro X this past June. That’s pretty much why I didn’t opt to review it for Post until now. It just wasn’t ready for prime time. Nor was the professional post market ready to downgrade from Final Cut Pro 7. All that has changed in just a few months, especially with the release of Version 10.0.3. Now with downloadable updates from the App Store, it seems clear that Apple will be making constant improvements to the functionality of the software based heavily on user requests.

UNDER THE HOOD

The iMac is not considered a workstation at all, but boy-oh-boy, it certainly feels like one. The “chosen host” is of particular interest to me as this is my first review for Apple where they specifically wanted me on an iMac to do the review, rather than the usual Mac Pro tower-of-power that I normally work with. Not to get too geeky with the specs, but it is interesting to see what the Apple video folks must have felt the ideal scenario for my review would be.

They shipped me a loaner 27-inch iMac, with 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processors, 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a 256GB solid-state primary drive, and a 1TB Serial ATA drive for media. It was rounded out graphically with an AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5. As configured on the Apple Website, this puppy would set you back $3,499. But you will definitely notice the break-neck speed of this hardware/software combo punch. Primarily because FCP 7 was 32-bit, which couldn’t take advantage of more than 4GB RAM. But now in 64-bit, with support for Mega-RAM and multiple cores found in all recent Macs, this new app processes everything you do in the background, so you can keep working.
This was a re-write from the ground up. Its dramatically zippier 64-bit multicore code now boasts powerful XML import and export, the ability to store media and projects on XSAN storage, and a streamlined Media Stems export capability. The best part? Third parties are not sitting by idly; plug-ins are popping up at an unprecedented rate, with major ones now available from Noise Industries, Red Giant and GenArts. The new XML 1.1, is a format that allows you to import and export data from your project and its clips to and from other programs. This means it’s now finally possible to bring your projects from FCP 7 into FCP X — currently done through a third-party program called 7toX. read more...
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