Apple released the latest update to Final Cut Pro X on September 4th- and only time will tell how it will be received. When Apple released the original Final Cut Pro X, moving on from the wildly popular and successful Final Cut Pro, back at NAB in 2011, the initial and long-standing reaction was primarily negative. As Apple and it’s world was blazing closer and closer to becoming their own universe, they saw fit to utilize their “all in one” formula for video editing; professionally, this resulted in backlash and jumping-of-ship. Jan Ozer (it wasn’t Richard Townhill, Senior Director of Applications Marketing at Apple, our bad) was quoted saying: (source)
Of course, I understand how iTunes is ideal for inexperienced users, and that’s precisely the point. With iTunes and iPhoto, and the iPad and iPhone, Apple wasn’t selling to experienced users. It was opening new markets. In contrast, with Final Cut Pro X, Apple was trying to change the workflows of professionals who knew more about video production than any of the engineers who created the product.
You can only impose structure when a market is new or when the benefits of that structure are incremental. And the more structure you build into a product, the less it’s likely to appeal to experienced users of the product it replaces. That’s why most professional video producers jumped ship when FCPX was launched and why most won’t use it.
What can be surmised is that Apple was catering to the user friendly, even soccer mom and hockey dad can use it, as had and is true with their formula since day one. While the backlash from professionals, and semi-professional film makers is understood to a degree, perhaps you can’t solely rely on Apple products for everything in your life.
Enter the latest version of FCPX, 10.2.2. Many of the frustrations from the early versions have since been addressed and changed to appease the professional user. The ability to create 3D titles within Motion 5 and work seamlessly with Pro X has been added, as well as improved motion graphics within. Color grading is also internal, as one can work with four scopes simultaneously during color correction. Expanded acceptance of multiple video formats from Sony and Panasonic is new; as well as advancements with RED. RED RAW footage, even up to 4K can now be done in application due to accelerated GPU support, so playback, rendering, and trans-coding are not so arduous (especially with a more powerful MacPro). RED RAW anamorphic formats are also displayed in their correct aspect ratios, so your widescreens stay nice and wide.
Some other new or improved features of Final Cut Pro X 10.2.2 include custom effect presets, library smart collections, single import window, and audition that allows you to choose multiple shots/clips, and audition them on the timeline all at once. Compressor 4, there are built in presets that allow you to optimize your compression specifically for iTunes, where you may load your trailer, film, closed captions, and more, then begin selling on iTunes immediately.
So, as previously stated, time will tell if FCPX ever finds it’s way fully into the Hollywood landscape; but, with films like Will Smith’s “Focus” being edited solely on FCPX, there’s signs of life. I myself am a Premiere fan, but it’s interesting to watch.