What a difference a week makes

It is a week since Final Cut pro X was released the mood of current users has swung from good to bad with the consensus of opinion being the new version is indeed a new software package and should never have been labelled a version update.

Time will tell where all this leads to but in the meantime, what do you do as a user of Final Cut.

First thing first: Final Cut Pro 7 is no different or less capable a piece of software that it was a week ago. Admittedly it is no longer a current product enjoying support from Apple but it is just as useable.

The second thing is:  Final Cut X is a new way of doing things and is much faster to edit as well as much easier to learn. It makes Premiere and Avid look positively old in the way it supports and assists the editor. This is not going to be for everyone as the finer control details have been lost.

What do you do?

First do not think about moving any large scale production projects to Final Cut X. You can’t move any current projects anyway as the new software does not recognise any current projects in Final Cut 7.

Since Final Cut X is the way of the future, then you should be learning the software by introducing small and non time critical projects to Final Cut X. I have started a recent trip to Italy as my trail project.

Continue to use Final Cut 7 for your professional projects. Apple have indicated they will make regular upgrades to FCP X to add the missing features. What is deemed regular ? and what missing features will be included and what features will be left out permanently?
There are extensive new features and new ways of doing things – there are many locations for these already reviewed on the web. One of the best being Ken Stone’s first look:

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_x_first_look_martin.html

Lets look at what is missing and predict the outcome.

No MultiCam editing feature:

Apple say that this is a number one priority for them to upgrade.

Be ware that the audio Synchronize feature of FCP X will bring 2 x tracks into sync.

Put two clips into parallel timeline tracks – choose Clip->Synchronize Clips. By comparing their audio tracks, the program aligns the clips automatically. when you select  the upper video track and press the V key, you are switching to what’s on the lower video track.

No output to tape

This seems to be a feature that will not be added, Though there are still 3rd party vendors who offer solutions like AJA VTR Exchange and Black Magic Media Express.

Can’t export EDL files

This also seems to have no ready answer at the moment

There are also extensive changes in the keyboard editing conventions

These we will need to live with forget the old and learn the new.

Layered Photoshop file support is gone.

All photoshop files appear as a flattened image – this can be a really useful feature to keep each layer separate. there is no hint if this will be introduced.

If you can live with the missing features then go for the new version of FCP but I will be staying with FCP 7 for my work projects and as mentioned above spend some time on smaller or home projects in order to learn the new version.

As far as training goes – of course we will continue to train and support users of FCP 7 and will be introducing one on one training in Sydney from end of July. We are also in the process of putting together DVDs and web downloads of tutorials for FCP X.

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