Breaking down Final Cut Pro X; Early reviews, initial impressions

Tue, Jun 21, 2011


With Apple’s Final Cut Pro X officially out of the bag and available for purchase via the Mac App Store, early reviews, walk-throughs, and initial impressions are starting to emerge.

For an in-depth look at some of the new features, you might wanna start with Steve Martin’s in-depth writeup over here. His overall take:

I love the organizational intelligence of FCP X and frankly it’s long overdue. If you think about what a computer was born to do, it excels at chugging through and making sense of huge amounts of raw data. This is something a machine should be doing, otherwise it’s something I have to do myself or pay someone else to do. I also like the smart analysis, background rendering, the skimmer and the Precision Editor. These features make the editing experience feel fluid, organic and less mechanical then track based editing applications. Also, I don’t mind the single monitor. The Viewer is simple and clean and the interface does not feel cluttered. Anyone should feel at home editing on it from an iMac to a MacBook Air (which is the point of the single window interface). Also, adding effects, titles and transitions and editing them is infinitely easier and more intuitive. The interface is not daunting like Final Cut Pro 7 and anyone coming from iMovie will immediately “get it”. And speaking of iMovie, (I didn’t mention before) you can open iMovie projects and even your entire iMovie library into FCP X. This feature alone makes upgrading to FCP from iMovie a no-brainer. While FCP X will no doubt be referred to as a souped up version of iMovie by some, this is not my impression at all. I have been cutting a documentary on it among other things, and I just finished a tutorial that is close to 5 hours long which speaks to it’s depth. I was very surprised at how much iron the Apple engineers put into it.

Good ole’ Larry Jordan chimes in:

With this release, Apple made four significant changes in direction:

* For the first time, two different versions of FCP can coexist on the same system. I’ve been running FCP 7 and FCP X on the same system for months.
* Maxing out performance to take full advantage of current hardware
* Almost exclusive support for tapeless workflows
* Distribution via the App Store

And for the trifecta, Philip Hodges has a solid writeup as well where he addresses some of the looming unanswered questions about Apple’s latest video editing offering.


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