Now that Final Cut Pro X has been out for a full 24 hours, the internet has rendered its verdict on the render-free software, and most of the backlash on Twitter seems to be coming from seasoned professionals. Sure, there were bound to be some repercussions when rebooting an application with a 94% customer satisfaction rate. But some of the features Apple dropped -- tape ingest, multiclip, backward compatibility, and the viewer itself -- make the "Pro" moniker pretty hard to justify. I'm only getting my hands dirty with FCP X now -- which, I should note, works perfectly on the video editor's hackintosh -- and while I'm definitely experiencing some growing pains getting used to the new interface, I feel it's too early to tell whether I'll go back to Premiere Pro. However, here are some quotes of what's being said around the web. Also, I want to hear from you -- what are your honest thoughts so far?
If FCP X isn't targeted at professional editors working as part of a team (with the sort of data ingest needs and EDL output requirements that FCP X lacks), who is Final Cut Pro X targeting? DSLR filmmakers. Case in point, here's how quickly the audio synchronization feature works:
The feature is not going to give you the full feature set of the terrific plugin Pluraleyes, which has advanced features like correcting different speed recordings, but it's features like this that make one understand Apple's chief design imperative with FCP X: to save editors time. However, it seems they seem to have shipped an incomplete version one (as far as pros are concerned), though it could be a great tool for new editors. As for the seasoned pro, however, here's what's being said on the internet:
- Steve Martin: "I love the organizational intelligence of FCP X and frankly it's long overdue... But the fact remains that there is no professional audio editing capabilities... The other thing that needs improvement is color correction. While the simplicity of the Color Board will be great for the YouTube set, professional colorists will find the color grading tools wanting. With no way to export EDL's or XML files, there is no way to hand off your project to a Colorist - so again, you're stuck in your own sandbox until the next upgrade or someone really smart is able to write hooks into FCP X."
- Scott Simmons: "To completely start from scratch and build a new, modern application is commendable but when it lacks many, many features that its predecessor had and you’re still calling it pro and a newer version then you can expect a lot of negative feedback from current users who rely on those features. FCPX currently sits at two and a half stars in the App Store."
- Philip Bloom: "I like a lot of the things I have seen like match colour, magnetic timeline, organisation and the speed... It really does feel like learning something from scratch rather than adjusting to a new system like I have with CS5.5. DSLR editing is a lot easier as it can cope just fine with H264. Probably best in the long run to still transcode out of it for certain projects but the ability to edit DSLR footage natively is a big plus... To sum up, FCP X is an ingenious fast piece of software that is going to upset just about every editor out there used to final cut pro! BUT is probably going to appeal massively to new editors without previous NLE experience, they will love it I am sure.
- Philip Hodgetts: "At version 1 Final Cut Pro X won’t support some professional workflows, but for other professional workflows it will be more than capable. Using Final Cut Pro X to cut together a story, I’m struck by how fast it is to achieve a result, as if everything was designed to get a result a quickly as possible."
- David Leitner: "Leaps in technology come at a cost. Remember Apple’s transition from OS 9 to OS X? What a shock to be forced by the imperatives of progress to abandon our OS 9 comfort zone for the strange planet Unix. It took years for many of us to recover full functionality, since quite a few cherished OS 9 apps were never ported over. But this abrupt break with the past gave us multithreading and eliminated hair-pulling system crashes. It gave us a modern and powerful operating system with modular architecture that swung wide the door to the future... FCP X will not become a protean workhorse overnight. It will take time. It guarantees an interesting ride however."
- Gary Adcock:"With this release, Apple shows us the future in which data streams from all the devices we work with communicate seamlessly, sharing media behind the scenes. Think of the advantages and possibilities when all the effort you put into setting up a shot or project continue downstream from your camera into post-production, or follow your content when it’s delivered on the web. That's the promise of Final Cut Pro X. Will that promise be fulfilled?... Stay tuned."
- Walter Biscardi: "This was the product that completely built my company starting in 2000 / 2001 and now it's time for me to say goodbye. As I tell everyone else, if the tool isn't working for you, then find a tool that does. Fortunately we have Adobe Premiere which has made incredible strides of late and already supports our AJA Kona boards. We also hear that Avid is on a path that will open up the cards soon as well. So it's been a good 10 year ride and if the application does truly get to a point where we can use it again, we could always bring it back. But for now let me just say, Goodbye Final Cut Pro and Thanks for all the Fish."
- David Pogue: "Professional editors should (1) learn to tell what’s really missing from what’s just been moved around, (2) recognize that there’s no obligation to switch from the old program yet, (3) monitor the progress of FCP X and its ecosystem, and especially (4) be willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better."
- John Gruber: "This ground-up rewrite may well have been the right thing to do. Apple seems convinced that this is a better fundamental concept for video editing — and, really, storytelling in general. But it may prove risky not to offer a transition period. Hell, even with iMovie, when they made the switch from old-style editing to the new model (and lost a bunch of features in the initial release of the new iMovie), Apple kept iMovie HD 6 available as a free download for two years. If iMovie users were worth appeasing with a transition period, surely professional Final Cut Pro users are too. If Final Cut Pro X can’t even open Final Cut Pro 7 projects, how quickly can editors be expected to switch?"
For those of you who have downloaded it and used it yourself, what are your impressions so far? Leave them in the comments...