February 3, 2017

Apple Knocks 1/3 Off Final Cut Pro X for Students

Apple just announced a new academic bundle for $199 that includes Final Cut Pro X, with Logic, Motion, Compressor and MainStage all thrown in to boot.

Final Cut Pro X has always had a great price, at just $299 for the powerful software. As a bonus, there has been no upgrade price since it came out in 2011; if you paid $299 for it the month it came out, your license is still good six years later for the most current version, which works out to only $50/year, or around $4.50/month. There is no guarantee that the no-fee upgrade policy will continue (unlike a software like Resolve, where a dongle purchase comes with upgrades guaranteed), but so far it's held up and proven to be a great investment for its users.

Credit: Apple

In a $199 bundle for students and educators, the platform is an even better deal, especially with the inclusion of Compressor. Filmmakers haven't taken to Logic and MainStage en masse, but having those apps along in the bundle is a nice bonus if you also happen to be a composer or musician. Purchased separately, the Apple apps run up to $630. Even just the two apps most filmmakers will rely on, FCP and Compressor, would set you back $348 without the discount.

The cost of the bundle works out to less than the price of a year's academic subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, which is $19.99/month, though of course that suite includes more than just the Premiere editing app. However, unlike Creative Cloud, you can keep on using this software, and likely upgrading it, long after that year is up. 

CompressorCredit: Apple

You can purchase the academic bundle here, but will need to prove your status as a student, teacher, or school staff, typically through the use of a school email or copy of your school ID.      

Your Comment

23 Comments

Or, students can use the far superior DaVinci Resolve for free...

February 3, 2017 at 5:38PM

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J Robbins
262

Not to be rude, but I would guess that you don't use FCPX at all from that remark, J Robbins. I'm an actual pro who has to meet a lot of deadlines, when I was looking for a replacement for Premiere CS6 I was looking for something very efficient, and I tried hard to make it work with Resolve, I wanted to love it, but the fast workflow is just not there, and it's a really taxing app on my system to boot. FCPX has come of age, this is really a phenomenal deal.

February 3, 2017 at 8:16PM

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Noah Leon
Videographer editor
204

Resolve is superior (to almost anything) for color, but fairly clunky as an NLE. That said, with a few good color plug-ins I hardly ever need to leave FCPX these days, unless I need really precise secondaries.

Do plenty of paid gigs on FCPX, including Feature films (since the "pro"-or-not discussion seems to live on).

February 4, 2017 at 11:36AM

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Or they can try both and pick the one that fits them best? Or be like me and use both?

February 4, 2017 at 11:57AM

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I think Resolve is fantastic if you are working on a short film or something you can afford to spend a lot of time on.

February 4, 2017 at 4:15PM

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Noah Leon
Videographer editor
204

This is a smart move by Apple. When I was in University I purchased Final Cut Express and that led me to being a FCPX lover for life, despite a small trip to Final Cut 8 for a few years as I waited to see if FCPX would become usable. It is now, and it's really enjoyable and fast, which is what you need when you're a pro, it's not just for students. I'm surprised, Charles, you didn't talk about Motion in your article. Compressor is OK like good plumbing is OK, but it's nothing to get excited about. Motion is a mature motion GFX app which I used daily when working in advertising. In my opinion it is a better designed app than FCPX, which is only now beginning to reach the level of maturity that Motion enjoys.

February 3, 2017 at 8:22PM

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Noah Leon
Videographer editor
204

Noah, you are talking a lot of being "pro".
Where can we see your "pro" work on the web?

February 4, 2017 at 9:07AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator
1210

FCPx has been my go to NLE for a while now. I'm not going to go around saying I'm a "Pro" but I am paid to cut TV ads and I primarily (90% of the time) use FCPx to edit my spots. Pro is also subjective in some peoples minds. I know guys who only edit parties and think they're "Pro's"

February 4, 2017 at 9:46AM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
741

I've been using FCPX professionally since 2012. I make commercial work for tech startups is that considered pro? Here's my work: www.antonybui.com

February 4, 2017 at 12:00PM

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Well, technically if you get paid for something then you're a professional in it.

I've got paid to edit, assistant edit and do graphics work using FCPX for the past few years.
I've noticed that people are coming back to it. Of course, nowadays they can save face and say "Well, of course it's good now, it was the early versions I didn't like.".

February 4, 2017 at 1:14PM

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Hi Jeffrey: moosefuel.media

February 4, 2017 at 4:18PM, Edited February 4, 4:19PM

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Noah Leon
Videographer editor
204

Uh...Jeffrey - No need to be snarky. This article is about a piece of editing software...so, where can we see your "Editing" work on the web?

February 4, 2017 at 9:24PM

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Jeffrey Norman
Director / Editor
114

Agreed! Motion is a total steal, and the real cherry in this deal. It's not as fully featured and robust as After Effects, but if I'm doing something that both programs can handle, I will always pick Motion. It's just much lighter on its feet.

February 4, 2017 at 4:36PM

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Totally agree. I had the exact same experience, where I sit and think "I could spend all day in After Effects, or I could have this done in an hour in Motion." Just fantastic software.

February 5, 2017 at 12:38PM

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Noah Leon
Videographer editor
204

Is there any way to get this outside of the US?

February 4, 2017 at 11:18AM

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Apple is trying regain some ground it lost to Premiere after Jobs destroyed Final Cut. Even though today FCP is back to being a fully functional editor, it's never lost the stigma of "iMovie Pro". You can thank 'ol Steve for that major fuck-up.

February 4, 2017 at 12:00PM

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Vidrazor
299

Haters consider FCPX a fully functional editor now? Progress!

February 4, 2017 at 12:02PM

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Actually, it was Randy Ubillos's "fuck up". You know the guy who invented the original premiere, the original final cut, aperture, and IMovie. That guy clearly knew nothing about NLE's.

February 4, 2017 at 12:31PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
500

I miss Aperture, not that I ever used it but...

February 4, 2017 at 4:21PM, Edited February 4, 4:21PM

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Noah Leon
Videographer editor
204

Stigmas can be shaken over time. Sometimes quickly.

February 4, 2017 at 1:16PM

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I wonder if the licensing period for the software is only valid for your period of enrollment as a student.

February 4, 2017 at 4:03PM, Edited February 4, 4:03PM

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Steven Brule
Doctor
81

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July 27, 2017 at 5:38AM

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jeni
9