The new Final Cut Pro X…
Wow. FCP has been long overdue for a total overhaul. Not just tweaks, but a ground-up rebuild. Previous versions of Final Cut have been limited by FCP’s own software barriers, rather than by the hardware, as all great software should be. In other words, with previous versions of FCP, if you had an 8 core Mac Pro with 16gb of RAM, you simply couldn’t use it all, and it was FCP that would limit your hardware. So you had spent 5 grand on a supermachine that just didn’t make that much of a difference in your render times and overall system performance within FCP.
THAT HAS ALL CHANGED.
Final Cut Pro X is completely rebuilt. Say hello to a 64 bit editing platform from Apple. So let’s break it down. Here are some of the biggest highlights in the new Final Cut Pro X:
- 64 bit
- Edit 4K footage natively (without conversion)
- Edit H264 footage (DSLR) natively (without conversion)
- Face recognition (time will tell how this will help with the post process, but color grading is an immediate thought)
- All new color management process (ColorSync)
- Auto-image stabilization on import
- Automatic rolling shutter fix (huge for DSLR footage)
- Automatic rendering - in the background
- Advanced audio editing tools, effects and transitions (think of it as a miniature Soundtrack Pro being directly integrated into FCPX)
- Add keywords to clip timecodes, searchable within your content database (if you’ve ever edited a long project, you know how helpful this can be)
- Transitions, finally, will stay joined to your clips when you move them around
- Content analysis and automatic grouping of similar shots
- Automatic audio syncing with multiple tracks (sorry, Singular Software, but Pluraleyes just became obsolete for FCPX users)
- Automatic color matching between clips
- Magnetic Timeline (this is a little ambiguous for now, but suffice it to say that the FCP developers have put a lot of energy into simplifying the timeline assembly process, from auto-locking to auto-grouping clips)
- The traditional clip “Viewer” has been replaced with a new skimming feature. Be on the lookout for demonstration videos coming soon to the Apple website
- If you have BTS footage, you will now be able to create a second timeline, alongside your primary timeline, to track the BTS with your main content
- Advanced slow-motion editing and re-timing (goodbye, Twixtor?)
Here’s a brief video summary from the announcement event, shot by Rob Imbs (@robimbs on Twitter)
BUT HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Yea, I was getting ready for an $800 price tag, and I would have happily paid it. Wouldn’t be too far off from previous versions. But… and this is so surprising it’s almost pathetic… the new version of Final Cut Pro X will cost… $299. Adobe Premiere costs double that! And this is a totally revamped FCP! It’s coming in June, so get ready. But unlike previous versions of FCP, it’s not bundled with Soundtrack Pro, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, etc. Do we care? Well, current versions (though not 64 bit) are effective in what they do, but I’d still like to see an announcement on those. Alas, presenters at the “Supermeet” event said they couldn’t offer any announcements or updates on other products. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But as for me, sign me up for Final Cut Pro X. I definitely can’t wait.