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At tonight’s Supermeet at NAB Apple previewed the much expected Final Cut Pro X. The long long needed new version of the my editing software of choice, Final Cut Pro. Every version of Final Cut until now has been built on top of version 1. This new version has been rebuilt from the ground up. So we are talking a totally new interface, enormously new features and finally 64 bit support and for up to 8 cores…I have had over 8gb ram on my MACs for years yet until now FCP has not utilised more than 4gb or supported 64 bit computers.

New features includes support for automatic image stabilisation on import, audio clean-up, non-destructive color balance, shot detection and face detection which sound a bit imovie like, but nothing wrong with having some of those cool features, I am snobby about having some of those features. A rolling shutter fix is also included as is the much long for and much needed background rendering.

I haven’t used it yet so the the proof will be in the pudding but I am very much looking forward to it. Open minds are the best! The more info the get the more I will share here so keep checking back! There is a hell of a lot of automation going on there, bit like auto mode on cameras…I just hope it’s better than that or we can turn it all off and go full manual if we want to!

The price is crazy cheap at $299, that is actually slightly worrying as it is veering into consumer pricing…as long as it stays pro…PLEASE, if not I always have my Adobe CS5 to get my head around more! Just don’t drop the “PRO” from the title Apple!! The reason I am concerned at pricing is not that it is too affordable, just that if it has dropped so much in price are we losing something?

Do check out FCP guru Larry Jordan’s blog here for more info…

Supermeet Apple Final Cut Studio X presentation 2eme partie from Emmanuel Pampuri on Vimeo.

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  1. Carl Olson says:

    I welcome the influence of iMovie on FCPX. Anything that get takes the tedium out of the equation and allows us to focus in on producing art is a big win for me.

  2. dellmelo says:

    It’s what I said when I saw the new UI for the first time. iFinalCut or iMovie Pro?

    1. dellmelo says:

      Red Giant Colorista / Looks > Color (2 years and still a beta version)

  3. You seemed to echo my hopes and fears as I am not there. When I saw tweet referencing iMovie I winced, as I am not a big fan of that interface. I don’t find it intuitive, so I’ll be anxious to see why folks are making that reference.

    I too was hoping to hear more of a Final Cut STUDIO announcement about Color, Motion, and STP. Price was a shock, only because I’ve been with Final Cut so long I’m several $k in. I paid my dues ;-)

    In the end, I’ll be pleased with better/faster rendering so I don’t have to play so much Angry Birds! Thanks for the post!

  4. With FCPX @ $299 I can only think of this: “Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper.” – Jean Cocteau

  5. I think this will fit into a modular approach through the App Store, where you can add on the other programs from the Suite as needed. Or maybe just a prosumer offering, like the D7000. Or maybe they are just trying to crush their competitors with much smaller cashflows :) My full treatment here:

  6. I’m worried that FCPX its just a “Pro” version of iMovie. From what I’ve seen so far, it has a great eyecandy UI and it looks like it works flawlessly, that is with their shinny-already-prepared-over-tested footage. And just like any other Apple keynote, in which everybody goes nuts and scream at every slide, everything just works perfect. But when you bring it to real life stuff like errors, render time, imports, exports, scratch disks management, formats, offline media, and so on, tend to give problems all the time. And thats when a trusty PRO Editing software comes handy. FCP its the most solid non-linear editing software, period, but with Apple’s keynote, much is left in the shadows. Let’s just hope I’m wrong and that Cocteau vision has finally arrived.

    And what about PLUGINS compatibility?????? Sadly, I’m expecting more expenses on PLUGIN updates.


  7. Levi says:

    I’m fine without motion, color, soundtrack. Even I grew to love motion for getting graphics done fast. I rather leave details and complicated stuff to CS5 and use Final Cut Pro X for simple, and fast jobs. Maybe plugins will fill in the void (looking at you red giant software!).

    I wonder what colorist are thinking of Color being cut out (so far of what we know).

  8. Chris Wilson says:

    This update / overhaul looks amazing. I am concerned about seeing a repeat of the QuickTime Pro 7 to QuickTime X jump. Going from Final Cut Pro 7 to X better not result in the same need to keep an older version installed in order to maintain necessary functionality. I want to be running everything in native 64 bit. Was there any talk of iPhone / iPad integration? Canon hinting at a successor to your full frame true love? As I write this I imagine you are schmoozing it up with gin in hand. Enjoy Mr. Bloom

  9. It looks far too much like iMovie for my liking. I hate that filmstrip view, it’s so cumbersome when you’ve got a lot of media to work with. Also, having the sync audio imbedded within the video track worries me. How easy will it be to split edits if you can’t see the audio track for your sync? Where’s the patch panel? Can we still edit from the keyboard using F9, F10?! Guess I’ll just have to wait until i get my gands on it. Like you said, leave the Pro bits in Apple!

    1. I agree, we’ll have to wait to see what it’s like in person. If you haven’t seen these videos of the meetup, you should check them out. I thin they address some of your concerns at least.

      Looks like as much control over your clips, you just don’t have to see them after you’ve locked them down. Once you have something completed and dealt with, you get a cleaner timeline and don’t have to keep seeing things you’re done with.

      Could be quite nice. I am curious to see whether Color and the rest are part of FCP now, or if they will be separate purchases in the Mac App Store. Either way, $300 is great, as I can then install that on all three machines I have running 10.6 and the Mac App Store.

      1. Actually looks like maybe the same video as above in Philip’s post.

  10. mattdavis says:

    I’m sure the plumbing is wonderful, that the interface will make sense once you ‘get’ it, and that there’s a lot more to this release than was alluded to at the SuperMeet.

    However, I feel this is a 1.0 release of a whole new application, and that carries the kind of risks that editors do NOT like taking, which will slow the adoption rate.

    Personally, I think it comes down to the investments we’ve made in plug-ins. I still want my iZotope Ozone audio compressors, my Colorista and Mocha workflows. Put it this way: I’m glad there’s plenty of other options if FCPX doesn’t work out.

  11. To be honest I’m not that shocked about the price, If you think about it:
    FCS – $999 comes with FCP Motion STP Color Compressor
    FCPX – $299 Just Final Cut Pro
    They will probably charge you for the other ones later and in the end it will cost more.

  12. Keith Wright says:

    It’s designed for the masses. All of that automation, price point and speed points to the casual and semi-pro user. The kind of automated functionalities that are on offer here I don’t feel are ones that pro users would request. Apart from maybe auto syncing.

    It’s clearly designed for one thing… speed, and with that in mind it will wipe the floor clean at that price point. No doubt. I will buy it, because sometimes speed really is important, and this thing will sing on my multi-core.

    But when it comes to feature film editing I think they may have driven a deeper wedge for people like me. As a professional who has learnt the craft of editing the last thing I want is a button that takes away the skills I have learnt. Craft to me is the personal challenge of having to work hard at something you have passion for. It’s about scratching your head and getting your hands a bit dirty. I suspect that FCPX does not instil or promote such hard working mentality.

  13. I’ve been reading about this for a while, even though I don’t own an apple its interesting to me. However support for up to 8 cores only? what about those users who use 12core mac pro’s?

  14. Alan Stewart says:

    Are you all smoking something? How the hell does it look like iMovie? Just sounds like jumping on the bandwagon to bash something that is new.

    It just looks like a cleaner version of FCP7 – if you are confused, this is the UI – I use FCP all the time professionally and this looks instantly recognisable to me.

    This is not the UI, – it is a close up demo animation of a timeline function as part of a keynote presentation.

    I won’t be using the auto functions unless they 100% robust and reliable, this is not likely to be the case for professional work, so I will have them switched off. i will be using the slicker/faster UI, 64bit engine and realtime native editing and effects. The stuff I was hoping for and they delivered.

    If you can tell me one thing that is not present in FCPx that was present in FCP7 then I’ll consider listening to some of the worries. The thing is you can’t, this is FCP7 with a lot of the stuff we have been asking for. For $299.

    Just because apple have added another layer of automatic functionality and a price that will attract amateurs and consumers does not stop it being the same professional tool.

    5DmkII is a professional stills camera, but i can hand it to my wife who doesn’t know a thing about photography, switch it to auto, and she takes great pics.

    Photoshop is a great professional tool used in every creative industry there is. i can habd my 5 year old daughter my wacom tablet and she can draw on it and add auto effects and filters to her drawings and have fun.

    Are the 5DmkII and Photoshop less professional as a result of additional support for basic users. I certainly don’t think so.

    All i want to know is are they going to update the other FCS apps, mostly wanting to see a new Color release. Which by the way is another app that apple greatly reduced the cost of to make it more widely available.

  15. Alan Stewart says:

    Hope you don’t mind me posting a link to another blog here Phil, this is just the best overview of the FCPx anouncement I have seen so far, and may answer some of the concerns.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      cool thanks for link Alan!

  16. cyrusdowlatshahi says:

    Just since everyone so far has been a nay-sayer, let me just say that I am PSYCHED they are adapting their program to the equipment and needs of filmmakers TODAY.

  17. Bill Vincent says:

    First, I’ll say I think it’s way too early to really make a judgement – the cake looks pretty nice, but it’s the taste that counts. We didn’t get a taste, just a look.

    I think the no mention of Compressor, Motion, Color, or STPro at all is strange, and $299 does not sound like the “Studio” price to me – sounds like the FCP price alone. I’d bet the others come with their own new price, which would be fine with me because I don’t use all of them.

    I’ll bet those of us with lots of plugins will have to hope the plugin companies will give us a new compatible version for an upgrade price. Somehow I don’t see those old plugins working in the new “ground up” FCP.

  18. I’m also thinking that it looks like a “pro” version of iMovie. I hope I am wrong because I like Final Cut Pro and will be a certified user in may (or June/early July of we can get a copy of FCPX at my cinema school). However, as Philip said, if it isn’t as good as they announce it is, we’ll have Adobe CS5 to play with. It’s not as good but nearly so… And we still have other options (Avid, Lightworks, Vegas you name it).

    By the way : 299$ is cheap, but not that cheap IF it is true that the other apps of the studio bundle will be coming later. FCP Studio 3 is 999$ but it is 6 major softwares so we can already consider FCP to be cheap as hell ! (even if PERSONALLY I’m only using FCP, Color and Compressor as I’m an Adobe After Effects and Encore user)

  19. These folks seem to think that Color & Soundtrack are now in FCPX.

    Did anyone else hear that?

  20. Jonesy says:

    Let’s all give Apple a break. Last update we said, myself included, that it wasn’t enough of an upgrade. Too much of the same. Now they really give us an upgrade, and what… it’s too different?

    Don’t worry about it’s similarities to the iMovie interface. That’s a red herring. Let’s judge FCPx by how FCPx performs. Besides, if they would’ve come out with the new FCPx interface before iMovie’s no one would be complaining.

    Apple made a very very bold move in totally redesigning their most popular pro app to conform to modern technology. Gotta love those nuggets. I wish we saw this at least a little more often from other companies/apps.

    Let’s reserve our judgement for June.

  21. Having now watched the video of the whole demo, I am impressed. I was particularly pleased with the implementation of Ripple and Roll tools as well as J/L split edits. Pleased too to see filmstrip view is optional in both the Browser and Timeline! There is a pro app under that shiny UI after all!

    The colour correction tools were also very interesting. They are not just simple auto balance buttons, indeed relatively complex grading is possible, which I’ve used Color for up until now e.g. secondaries using vignettes (with or without tracking) and secondaries based on HSL keys. No scopes were shown during the demo but I assume they must be present somewhere too. Maybe Color won’t exist as a separate app after all?

    I still have a ton of questions but right now I’m pretty excited.

  22. What exactly is the worry with it being so cheap? Seems like a good way to open doors to the vast ammount of talented people who may not be able to afford high end video editing software.. such as myself :D (though I don’t have a Mac anyhow..

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      purely i worry they have left something out to drop the price so much…

      1. Josue says:

        Could be because idvd, color, motion etc are not included

    2. Alan Stewart says:

      I don’t think it is going to be much of a price drop to be honest, unless they are now including all of the functionality of FCS in just FCPx, then would that be quite a large price drop.

      But if they are trying to attract editors of all levels to FCPx then offering it as a separate app makes sense. Those who want the functionality of colour, motion, soundtrack and DVD studio can purchase them as required. Most people could probably get on just fine with FCPx on its own really.

      I think $299 is going to be for FCPx alone and for those users who are used to studio then there will be further purchases to make, bringing it up to a more expected price range.

      That is of course provided they are still working on new version of all the apps in FCS. They haven’t spoke about that yet.

  23. rsquires says:

    I come from a motion graphics background. I have experience of FCP and use it sporadically, but I’m no FCP jockey for sure. I welcome all the changes here, and I look forward to seeing what it can do. I think the auto detection of scenes sounds very interesting and it got me thinking that it would be uber cool if it had text detection for slates etc, like Evernotes character recognition. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating so to speak though. I think for many the rigours of daily deadlines and learning a completely new interface will be tricky. But I am happy to see Apple pushing the comfort zone. Change can be painful but when you come out the other side and see the benefits it can be a tremendously liberating feeling. I look forward too, to the no doubt rock solid intergration with the iPad for extended palettes, touch based colour correction control etc

  24. jamesbenet says:

    The clip nesting is something that was even in Premiere 6 way back when called Virtual Clips, this is just a way more refined way of working on them.

    But there are some things that will truly revolutionize the post video world.

    #1 Price. All competitors will have to adjust, you cant charge 1k when you are half as fast/good

    #2 GUI. The interface is truly next gen, competitors will have to rework everything to not look outdated.

    #3 Many features no longer a plugin. Plural Eyes and most basic color matching plugins will have a hard time selling you their wares. The plugin vendors are the direct losers here.


    It is Pro don’t worry, you can use the keyboard for even frame adjustments and nudges. Still we will have to adapt to pretty eye candy curves and sliders and it might take some time. Change and progress usually come in the same package.

    This one stole the show for sure!

  25. garethed says:

    Apple can afford to drop the price as you have to buy those expensive dongles to run the software on (Macs). They recently did it with Aperture 3, I paid something like £170 a few months ago, now it’s around £45 on the App store. It’s a disruptive move that gave people who were deciding on Lightroom or Apreture an easier choice. Apple will get more people using FCP and that will drive hardware sales. We could well see separate versions of Color, Compressor, Motion and Soundtrack. The App store allows this pick and mix option as there are no separate DVDs being pressed and packed and shipped. They did it with iWork and iLife.

  26. I just came across this article:

    That was mainly why I never used FCP and also because of apple’s hardware beeing priced higher. I have been

    using Sony Vegas for many years and it has been a reliable NLE and should be using it for the coming years,

    but for once I will take a look at FCPX since it’s UI resembles very much the Vegas UI, which I preferred

    over all other NLE. So that should be something interesting to look at in June. Hopefully their hardware

    prices will also drop!

  27. I think they’ve hit the nail on the head – many of these time-saving improvements totally address the issues that have been driving me nuts over the past few years. I think it will be a joy to work with.

  28. Alan says:

    Is it that price because it’s available as download from the App store (10.6.6 and above users)?

    Aperture 3 the photo editing software is cheaper if downloaded from the App store, something like £49 vs £149 or similar when you buy the box and cd.

    It’s one way of cutting costs because there’s no packaging.

  29. It looks awesome. The thing is it isn’t really that much of a price drop though. It looks like apple is splitting up their programs like they did with Ilife…before it was like 60 bucks and you had to get itunes garageband imovie iphoto, now you can buy them individually for 15 bucks. Who knows how much the other programs will cost in the suite…but for those of us who already have the suite, it will probably be more money than the 300 I was expecting to pay to upgrade the suite. Hopefully the other programs in the suite are not too expensive

  30. Adobe CS5 on a Mac is the best way to go. FCP X price is concerning but even more that they had to grand stand to introduce basically nothing. They said nothing about studio, plugins and integration.

    I’ll buy it just to see what $300 gets me but Premiere CS5 with its full integration of Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, native editing of virtually any codec and wicked fast on my 8 Core Mac pro… well it will have to be way more than what they presented to make me switch over.

    I felt the short time spent seeing the new features on CS5.5 versus an hour seeing FCP was way more interesting to me.

  31. Interestingly enough iMovie looks has had a similar interface for some time and the image stabilisation feature has been there for a while … So it looks like the new FCP is becoming more prosumer which isn’t a bad thing since I actually find many of the iMovie features to be more intuitive ….

  32. corey steib says:

    Hi Phil,

    I love your work and great feedback on the new gear that comes into our industry everyday it seems like. I think the reason why the price is so low on the FCP X is that you can only download it, their are no need for DVD’s anymore so that’s why I think the price is low. I love all of the new features on it and as I am sure you will agree with me that when your video and audio move out of sync it drives me crazy and want to throw my Mac out the window at times.