Videoguys thoughts on FCPX 10.0.1

On 9/20/11 Apple released their first update to FCPX 10.0.1. While it shows some progress, it doesn't address the main issues and reasons so many Pros have left Apple for Adobe and/or Avid. The comments below have been added to our Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors blog post, but I felt they were also worth sharing as a new blog post.

For me the most important thing in the update isn't actually included in 10.0.1 at all. Rather it is this very important information found at the bottom of the update page:

Coming in early 2012:

  • Muticam Editing
  • Broadcast Quality Video Monitoring

This is the next big step and the update that I think will show us just how serious Apple is about the Pro market. The 10.0.1 update is a first step, and a baby one at that. The fact that Apple has now committed to adding Multicam and Video Monitoring is huge!

Is FCPX getting better?

Yes it is, and it will only continue to grow and mature. That said, you may still want to wait for Apple to post another update (or two) before transitioning your edit suite to FCPX. Apple's Richard Townhill, senior director of applications product marketing was quoted in Studio Monthly:

"We're making good on our promise that we're absolutely committed to our core group of professional users," said Townhill. "The fact that we're able to deliver these key improvements — the most requested from our pro editors — so quickly, through the incredible infrastructure of the Mac App Store, just goes to show that we are committed to making this application deliver on what we promised."

Well, not quite. Rich is a great guy, but these are NOT the top requests from Pro editors. I still can't fathom why Apple can't figure out how to allow FCP7 projects to be imported into FCPX??? It's not rocket science, especially when you consider that they own all the code, technology and engineers for both products. Why should we have to wait for Automatic Duck or Boris or some other plug-in vendor to solve this problem? Come on Apple - just put some money behind this feature and get it done!

I am extremely impressed and excited that Apple chose to add the coming in early 2012 statement. Multicam and Video Monitoring are a major step in the right direction, but I'm still concerned. Why did they say Video Monitoring, instead of Broadcast Quality I/O? Does this mean some kind of new monitoring solution from Apple or is it 3rd party hardware support? Is it for new Thunderbolt devices only (my conjecture) or will you be able to use your existing I/O cards?

FCPX is worth learning.

I really hope that Apple has changed course and is re-committed to professional editors.. There are tons of cool new features and performance in FCPX. It is a new way to edit video, that is very powerful and automated, perhaps too automated for some, but a huge benefit to others. It's only going to get better as Apple starts addressing the issues. If and when Apple makes FCPX an NLE that professionals can use, you don't want to be on the wrong end of the learning curve.

Apple has released a Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors White Paper with the following introduction:

Final Cut Pro X is a revolutionary editing application that includes many new concepts and features that are different from those in previous versions of Final Cut Pro. This document—structured according to the major parts of an editing workflow—uses the Final Cut Pro 7 application for comparison to discuss how to complete important tasks in Final Cut Pro X.

I'm glad Apple has shared this document. I think it goes a long way to explaining and understanding some of the changes they made. That said, FCPX is still not the professional tool so many editors have been hoping for. While the 2012 update teaser is a big step, it's not here yet. By the time that update gets released, we may very well also see the version 6 releases for Media Composer and Adobe Production Premium.

I don't think Professional editors can afford to wait for Apple. It's not that your existing FCP isn't working anymore, it is. But it's not working as well as the latest versions of Avid and Adobe are. They have superior HD Tapeless workflows and fantastic crossgrade offers which you can't afford to pass up.

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