It has been one week since Apple released Final Cut Pro X to the world. Over this past week, many editors have learned to love it, while others have resented it. Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned during this past week, as well as my thoughts on the program.
As I mentioned in my ‘Day One’ post, I was overflowing with joy and immediately downloaded it. However, once I opened the application, I became daunted by the interface. Yes, I saw the leaked screenshots, but this was the first time I saw it in person. Plus, I saw that the only ‘import project’ option was for iMovie! That made me think of all my current and past Final Cut projects that wouldn’t be able to migrate over. But, I decided since I paid $300 for it, I should just give it a try. Without any training, I dived right into it (stupid idea). This most likely made me more confused! All of that added up to an explosion of hate. I quit Final Cut and walked away.
After a breather, I thought it might be of best interest to purchase the training. But who should I choose? After looking at sample videos from both Larry Jordan and Ripple Training, I went with Ripple. Mr. Jordan can sometimes be a bit to metaphoric. Now I’ve spent a week with FCPX and Ripple Training. The training courses calmed me down a lot. I now understand and appreciate the software more.
So, after a week, here are my pros and cons for Final Cut Pro X:
- Very fast and responsive.
- Audio/video scrubbing is amazing!
- Background rendering and processing is great, but not perfect.
- Preview effects in real-time on clips.
- Full-screen mode.
- View entire library as filmstrip (easy to find the right clip).
- Easily change between the ‘events library’ and the timeline.
- Smart collections.
- Autosaves all the time.
- Better support for DSLRs.
- Auto color-match.
- And possibly more that I cannot think of at the moment.
- It’s a 1.0 application.
- Many bugs.
- Media easily goes offline (and difficult to restore).
- No multi-cam support.
- Cannot import legacy projects.
- Very limited customization.
- Lack of export options.
- To have more control on exporting, you need to purchase Compressor ($50 USD).
- No tape-based media support (or very little).
- Magnetic timeline (yep, it’s a con for me).
- Feeling of it being dumbed down compared to legacy Final Cut versions.
- And several more that escape my memory.
Please keep in mind, these are my pros and cons; yours may be different.
I just want to go over a couple things I mentioned in that list and why I put them there. First off, media seems to go offline sometimes. I forget exactly why, but it happened to me. The only fix I’ve heard was to reimport all the offline video, which seems to do the trick.
Next is the magnetic timeline. As you saw, I put it in the ‘cons’ section. My reason for that is, although it’s cool, it is annoying. One major problem I found out was that you cannot easily drag and drop clips where ever you want. Try this: open up a new timeline and drag just one clip into it. Then try and dragging it over to the right. See what happens? It automatically slides back to the beginning of the timeline! This is horrible! I sometimes put excess clips to the right when I am trying to decide on placement. I mean, really Apple? Maybe give the option to turn off the magnetic timeline? However, it has come to my attention – thanks to @michaschmidt – that Apple has added a ‘position’ tool that allows you to then drag the clip over. It then creates a slug as a gap-filler. So, I guess just something we have to get use to. I believe the position tool like Avid, right?
Now let me talk about multi-cam. Incase you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s a way for editors to view several cameras that were used to record an event. Final Cut basically acts as a switcher, allowing you to change the ‘live’ angle from one source to another. It is a great feature in legacy versions of FCP. Currently, Final Cut 10 lacks this feature. But, Apple has been said to be working on adding it – according to the New York Times.
Final Cut Pro X, a completely different application compared to previous versions. Well, I shouldn’t say that. FCPX is basically a 1.0 version. For more information regarding Final Cut Pro, follow @FinalCutWhiz on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to the RSS feed.