the candler blog

Final Cut Pro X Doesn't Do What?

Filmmaking, technology

I’ve personally been following Apple’s keynotes and releases for about twelve years, and in that time I’ve never seen a release get as botched as today’s rollout of Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4. Cupertino has done a terrible job of managing expectations. Editors should be jumping onto a new release, not jumping ship, but it seems like that’s what’s about to happen.

I should mention that I haven’t touched FCP X; I haven’t bought it yet and haven’t seen anything more than the press materials and demos. However, I feel pretty confident that tinker time would do nothing to change the sheer lack of basic features in the newest release of FCP. From Philip Hodgetts here’s a brief smattering of what Final Cut Pro X version 1 can’t do:

  • Ingest Red R3D Media * Import FCP 6 or 7 projects * Capture footage from pro tape formats * Do a non-crash-capture from Firewire tapes * Output tapes * Support third party plugins * Multi-cam editing * Import/Export XML or EDL files
    I’d like to join others and give Apple the benefit of the doubt that these things will be slowly rolling out in time. To be fair, they’ve done a complete rewrite of the app in Cocoa 64-bit, which means all third-party support, including video in/out cards, goes out the window until developers get their code in line with the new FCP X. Still, this is a lot of missing stuff for day one. No tape workflows?

Apple is clearly looking to the future. So many productions have gone tapeless, but most workflows don’t revolve around DSLR H.264 files which appears to be all Final Cut Pro X is built for today. No support for Red, Arri Alexa or XDCAM (sans transcodes outside of FCP X)? That’s a big pill to swallow.

Apple has to roll out updates soon, like by the end of the summer soon, or else people will head to Avid in droves. We were all ready for the next wave in video editing, but there’s just too much missing from this release to make it a production tool today.

All that being said, it still does look like a sick interface that will be great for a lot of people. If you do shoot on DSLRs there is no better option available. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and shove some D90 footage into it and write a more well-rounded reaction.

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