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Final Cut Pro X: The Missing Features

Danny Greer

In this post, we’ll take a look at Apple’s new Final Cut Pro X video editing software and more specifically the features that were left out of the new application.

Many video professionals and early adopters of the application have already lashed out criticism for Apple leaving out professional features that were present in earlier versions of FCP.  Aside from this features list, it is important to note that Apple has also combined parts of their Color, DVD Studio Pro and Soundtrack applications into Final Cut Pro X.

From the early reports that have surfaced about FCPX here’s what we know about missing features in the product update:

  • Chapter Markers
    Apple seems to have done away with DVD Studio Pro, but you can now burn DVDs from directly within Final Cut Pro.  In earlier versions of FCP you could add markers and include them as chapter markers upon export.  This feature has inconventintely been left out of FCPX, making the ability to architect a commercial DVD fairly infeasible.
  • Limited Export Settings
    You are limited in the formats and sizes you can export from FCPX.  Whereas before you could export a variety of codecs and formats out of FCP, you now must complete more specific encoding in Compressor.
  • No Export for Hi-Res JPGs
    If you want high resolution screenshots you must save them as TIFF or PNG files.  JPG stills can be saved out of FCPX but they will be low resolution files.
  • No Support for EDL
  • No XML Import
    Word on the street is this will be accomplished with a future third party plugin (for an additional fee, certainly).
  • No OMF export
    Again, this should be able to be completed with a third party plugin sometime in the future
  • No Native Support for Red Raw files
    With the wide range of codecs and file formats that FCPX nateively supports, it may be a bit of a surprise that they don’t nateively support this now popular video format.
  • No Multicam
    The intial release will not have support for multicam, but sources close to Apple say that it will be included in future updates.  If you use Multicam often, the lack of this feature could be a dealbreaker.
  • Inability to Open Projects Saved From Previous FCP Versions
    The initial release will not allow you to open up projects saved from previous Final Cut Pro versions.  There may be some ability to import legacy projects in future updates, but for this reason alone it makes sense to keep both FCPX and an older version of FCP on your machine.
  • No Capture from Tape or Output to Tape
    Tape is slowly being phased out in most forms of production, in favor of solid state and file based systems.  It’s no surprise that this one wasn’t included, but it may be a deterent for those that are still working in a tape based environment.  UPDATE:  You can capture from camera, but does not appear to have batch capture function.
  • Limited Options for Arranging Your Workspace
    Say goodbye to editing on 2 screens and sending the video signal out to a third monitor.  The workspace is primarily “locked” and windows cannot be rearranged.
  • No Native Support for Third Party Plugins
    We can anticipate this being a feature in immediate updates to FCPX.  For now however, you are relegated to Final Cut Pro X’s built in plugins and filters until the SDK for developers is released.   Your FCP 7 and earlier compatible plug-ins WILL NOT work in FCPX.  UPDATE:  Noise Industries reports an update to it’s FX Factory bundle with over 140 effects, transitions and generators for FCPX.
  • Support for External Monitoring?
    Early reports state no support for external monitoring on a calibrated video display.
    UPDATE:  There is external monitoring with an AJA card and new drivers.

Does the lack of these “pro” features give you second thoughts about upgrading?

What features do you miss in the new Final Cut Pro X?
We want to hear from you in the comments!!


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