Apple Final Cut Pro X Review & Rating. Apple's professional and prosumer- level video editing software, Final Cut Pro X, treads a fine line between consumers who want more power for their video- editing projects than i. Movie offers and professionals who create content for movies and TV. It does a remarkable job of bridging these two worlds, and though pros may complain about its nontraditional trackless timeline and amateurs may scratch their heads over some of its wealth of sophisticated options, it's a magnificent tool for both. The competition just can't match Final Cut Pro X, so it's our Editors' Choice.
What's New in This Version? Back when Apple's program first launched in 2. XML importing, and external monitor support—causing an uproar in the professional editing community. Those features have all since made their way back into the app, which has also added many new capabilities, including powerful 3. D titling and an impressive Flow transition to smooth out jump cuts. One change that Apple has stuck with, however, is the abandonment of the traditional timeline- track interface of its predecessors, a change that drove off a lot of video professionals.
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The company did this to take advantage of the more powerful hardware in newer Macs as well as to reimagine the craft of video editing. The result is a surprisingly powerful and (once you get the hang of it) easy- to- use application. Apple recently relaunched Final Cut Pro X in version 1.
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Mac. Book Pro's new Touch Bar. But the new version also brings an updated, more- customizable interface, more format support, and even a few new effects.
Despite much of the pro video- editing industry moving away from Final Cut to Adobe Premiere Pro, there are certainly some top- level editors who have adopted the new Final Cut. Warner Brothers' Focus, starring Will Smith, Tina Fey's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the Chicago Cubs' Someday ad, and the respected Scripps news service all lean on Final Cut Pro X. In fact, Jan Kovac, the editor of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has put a video explaining why he loves it. Another impressive example of work cut in the editor is Vimeo Best of the Year short video, Leonardo Dalessandri's Watchtower of Turkey.
These and other editors have noted how innovations like Magnetic Timeline, Clip Connections, and Auditions (not to mention faster performance that takes advantage of modern CPUs) can make their jobs easier. Pricing and Setup. As with any modern Mac app, Final Cut Pro X is obtainable only through the Apple App Store. You can install it on multiple Macs for $2.
There's no updgrade pricing, but really, compared with the old Final Cut's $9. By comparison, you can get Adobe's competing Premiere Pro as part of a Creative Cloud subscription for $1. At nearly 3. GB, Final Cut Pro X is a hefty download, so make sure you've got enough local storage.
The program requires at least a Core 2 Duo- based machine running OS X 1. Open. CL- capable video processor, 4. GB free disk space, and a minimum of 4. GB RAM (8. GB is the recommended amount). I tested Final Cut on a 2. Mac with a 3. 1. GHz Core i. CPU and 1. 6GB RAM and on a 1.
Mac. Book Pro with a 2. GHz Core i. 7 CPU, 1. GB RAM, and Radeon Pro 4. On both computers, performance was responsive whether I was importing, scrubbing, previewing compound picture- in- picture montages, or adding effects. Only on the i. Mac, working with 3. D animated titles slowed down preview, with dropped frames in playback.
Libraries, Import, Organize. Final Cut Pro X Libraries let you keep assets together for use in multiple projects. They combine the previously discrete Events and Projects panels. Libraries are similar to the Catalogs in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in that they are databases that can be backed up to a separate drive, and they receive automatic backups. Luckily, you don't have to worry about projects you created before this Library arrangement: Final Cut offers a simple update option to get them with the program. Granted, Libraries are a big part of organizing your assets, but before you use them you have to import media.
In fact, at import, you can tell Final Cut to copy the media to a specified Library. Within the Library, the import is an Event. At import you can specify creating proxy and optimized media, and also analyze video for balance color and fix audio problems on import.
Helpfully, clicking on a file name shows a large preview of its contents in the import dialog. By comparison, you can't skim through clips at import with Adobe Premiere Pro or Premiere Elements. Back when I tested the first release of Final Cut Pro, I couldn't import an AVCHD clip in MTS file format as I could in the Adobe product, but updates have corrected that shortcoming. Version 1. 0. 3 now supports more color gamut options, including Rec. K content. Unfortunately, the program still doesn't support the H. K footage. Nor does it support 3.
Samsung Gear 3. 60. Of course that's of more interest to a small group of hobbyists than to the average consumer or pro user. At import, you can have Final Cut Pro X create optimized media (in Apple Pro. Res format) and analyze it for stabilization issues, as well as color balance and the presence of people. If you've chosen to analyze the clips, the program can create Smart Collections based on type of shot (long, close, or medium) or whether the shot is stable or unstable. In my quick test, it created a People folder, with Group, Medium Shot, and Wide Shot Smart Collections below it, and a Stabilization folder with Excessive Shake and Steady Shot groups.
One disappointment with importing is that, for a large import, I didn't see any indication that anything was happening and everything in the interface stopped responding. Final Cut Pro X can now import (and export) both projects and events in XML format. This means professional video editors can round- trip their work between video editing software and tools like Blackmagic Design's Da. Vinci Resolve, a standard in pro video color correction. The same holds for organizing projects in Square Box System's Cat. DV, which lets teams of professionals organize clips. You still can't directly open projects from Final Cut Pro 7 or earlier, but a plugin called Send.
To. X ($4. 9. 9 in the Mac App Store), from Intelligent Assistance lets you do just that—addressing a huge concern of the existing pro user base. Another workflow capability is support for Apple Xsan storage, with file locking so team members don't trip on each other's work. Premiere Pro, however, offers a bit more in the way of collaboration options with its Team Projects via Adobe Creative Cloud, which offers simultaneous editing with conflict resolution features. In addition to its automatic clip- organization options, Final Cut Pro X includes manual keyword tagging. Much like a good photo workflow app, Final Cut Pro X makes entering frequently used tags simple—you can even use keyboard shortcuts. Tagging in Final Cut Pro X still isn't as sophisticated as the keywording feature in Adobe Lightroom, but Premiere can only use tags through the separate Adobe Bridge manager (though it does offer lots of metadata and face detection). One very cool keyword tagging option in Final Cut is that you can apply a tag to just part of a clip.
You can also star, rate, or reject a clip from icons below the source tray. I'm always surprised at how many video editing apps lack this basic metadata capability. Interface. For the 1. Apple has made some subtle but welcome changes to the interface. It's a more consistent dark gray that makes the content you're editing the most prominent thing on the screen. Formerly, the lighter- gray bars and colored buttons drew attention away from the content. Also new is the ability to create custom layouts.
You can't, however, undock panels to make them free floating, as you can in Premiere Pro. Three preset window layouts in Final Cut include All- Purpose, Organizing, and Color and Effects. While the Final Cut Pro X timeline looks something like that of i. Movie, with its free- form, trackless Magnetic Timeline view, the program packs vastly more editing power. As with pretty much every video editing app, Final Cut Pro X presents the standard three- pane view, with source clips on the top left, preview on the top right, and timeline across the bottom. A timecode indicator appears below the preview window, along with an indicator of rendering percent complete.
You can full- screen the preview and resize any panel, but you can't pull panels off into separate windows (Corel Video. Studio Pro, Premiere Pro, and Sony Movie Studio let you do this). You get Undo and Redo in Final Cut, but Premiere Pro's history window offers more in the way of letting you get back to any point in your editing process. There are no track numbers along the left edge; Final Cut Pro X calls tracks lanes, and you can add as many of these as you like. There's no track limit like you find in other video editors such as Pinnnacle Studio and Cyber.
Link Power. Director. I should note that Final Cut still makes excellent use of keyboard shortcuts, such as for changing back and forth among the trim, select, blade, and range selection functions. Good old J, K, L, I, and O still work as you'd expect. You can display an on- screen keyboard showing them all, and edit key functions to taste. Adding clips to the Magnetic Timeline is a simple dragging operation, and your dropped clip snaps to neighbor clips or the start (you can use a Position cursor tool). If you're attentive, you'll notice a small hairline connects the clip you enter with the first clip you added. This Clip Connection means that whenever you move the main clip, the one added after will stay in the same relative position on the timeline.
But if you drag a clip so that it overlaps another, that second clip scoots out of its way, dropping down to create a new overlapping lane beneath it. Another concept unique to Final Cut Pro X is that clips are categorized into Roles.