Apple’s Final Cut Pro has been a staple of the video editing community, professional and amateur, for more than a decade. Many longtime users rebelled at the launch of Final Cut Pro X last June. FCP X came with a new interface and is incompatible with old FCP versions. Apple has tried to address some of these concerns with a new update, taking the current version up to 10.0.3.
The most significant additions to the update includes more efficient chroma-key controls, as well as supporting external beta broadcast monitoring. The addition of multi-camera support — available in FCP since 2005 but inexplicably missing from FCP X — is especially welcome. The feature can automatically sync up as many as 64 separate clips in various resolutions, formats or frame rates.
FCP X met with a deluge of protests from longtime users when it launched for many reasons. The most common complaints were the changed interface and the system’s incompatibility with files cut on older versions of FCP.
Several production pros shared their thoughts on the FCP X. Evan Schechtman, of the New York-based post-production facility Radical Media, said the system “gave him pause” at first, but soon grew on him.
“It’s probably the best performance of any NLE on the same hardware. It’s night and day compared with FCP 7.”
Mitch Mentor, who runs the Florida-based production company M Flix, said however:
“I have chosen not to upgrade to it. It ruins everything you were used to and liked about Final Cut [Pro].”
Washington-based producer-editor Eric Paine said:
“This has had a huge impact on the industry. People who built entire businesses around the ‘old’ Final Cut Pro are left completely out in the cold, with companies like Avid and Adobe seeing a resurgence in their NLE sales.”
Ray Biddle of Biddle Productions added:
“The learning curve for longtime users can be more than the cheap price is worth.”
Apple’s latest upgrade is designed to address many user complaints. The company addressed the issue of incompatibility with old FCP versions, however, by pushing a third-party plug-in. The software tool from Intelligent Assistance is called 7toX.
FCP X is available in a free trial version at apple.com/finalcutpro. Tuesday it can be bought with the 10.0.3 update from the Mac App Store for $299. FCP owners can, of course, get the update at no cost. The Intelligent Assistance plug-in 7toX is also available to download Tuesday for $9.99.
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