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Apple Formally Announces Major Update To FCP — Introducing Final Cut Pro X!

Danny Greer

For years, post-production professionals have been anticipating a major overhaul to Apple’s Final Cut Pro software.  In April of this year we were finally given an early peek at a beta-copy of an updated version of the application when it was presented at the NAB coinciding Las Vegas Supermeet.  This unofficial announcement and product demonstration gave editors and industry professionals insights into the key tools and features of the application…but still left questions and speculation about what would be included in a commercial version.  Then slated to be released by mid-June, Apple remained quiet about Final Cut Pro X until today’s announcement.

Information now confirmed about Final Cut Pro X:

FCP X is currently available or download from the Mac App store for $299

It features a totally updated dynamic editing interface:

  • Magnetic timeline — fluid editing that automatically closes gaps between clips, flexible and trackless
  • Clip connections — links together media so they move together in the timeline
  • Compound clips — a major improvement to nesting media
  • Precision editor — adjust edit points in the timeline by viewing used and unused portions of clips
  • Auditioning — test different shots quickly from within the timeline and create multiple versions of sequence
  • Major metadata improvements including content auto analysis, range based keywords and smart collections
  • Major improvements to audio effects, including surround mixing
  • Advanced color correction tools including balance color, match color and color board
  • Background rendering!

Technical improvements:

  • 64-bit architecture to take advantage of all processing cores
  • Support for resolutions from SD to 4K
  • Color-sync managed pipeline to insure color standards across applications
  • Built on Cocoa framework, faster responsiveness


Native editing support for:

  • H.264 from GoPro and iFrame cameras
  • H.264 from DSLR cameras
  • Broadcast Wave Format
  • Panasonic AVC-Intra, including AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50
  • JVC-created XDCAM EX
  • Canon XF MPEG-2; ingest supported with additional software
  • AVCHD, including Panasonic AVCCAM and Sony NXCAM
  • Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit SD and HD
  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • Still images including PSD, BMP, GIF, RAW, JPEG, PNG, TGA, and TIFF
  • Compressed audio including AAC, AIFF, BWF, CAF, MP3, MP4, and WAV

Early reports of what’s missing:

  • Chapter markers — Because Apple seems to have done away with DVD Studio Pro, you can now burn DVDs from directly within Final Cut Pro.  The ability to add chapter markers however has not been included.
  • Limited export settings — You are limited in the formats and sizes you can export from FCPX.  Customized export settings must now be completed in Compressor.
  • No export for hi-res JPGs —  If you want high resolution screenshots you must save them as TIFF or PNG files.
  • No support for EDL
  • No XML import
  • No OMF export
  • No support for Red Raw files (may see this included with an update?)
  • No multicam!?
  • There is no capture from tape or output to tape through FCP X.
  • No native support for third party plugins

With the announcement of FCPX, Apple has also announced major updates to Motion and Compressor as well. Each of these applications is also avaliable from the Mac App store and will be sold a la carte for $49.99.  However, Soundtrack, DVD Studio Pro and Color seem to have gone by the wayside.  No official word if Apple will be releasing updates to these applications, but it can be assumed that it’s unlikely.  It’s also important to note that FCPX won’t open FCP 7 or earlier files, but you can run FCPX and FCP 7 on the same machine – but not at the same time.

System requirements for FCP X include a Mac with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better.  You must be running OSX 10.6+ and have at least 2GB of memory and at least 2GB of memory.

Get all the details over at Apple’s official Final Cut Pro X site.

Stay tuned to PremiumBeat.com!  We’ll have continuing Final Cut Pro X info including detailed tutorials, tips and feedback!

Make sure you check out our stock music library at premiumbeat.com