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It’s Time to Stop Editing in Final Cut Pro 7

Michael Maher

It’s been five years since Apple last updated Final Cut Pro 7. Let’s take a look at how video production and other NLEs have changed since.

Five years ago, Apple released 7.0.3 — the final update to Final Cut Pro 7.

That year, the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and WikiLeaks dominated news headlines. Apple released the iPhone 4Inception was the most talked about film, and independent videographers were all getting their hands on the Canon 7D.

Even with all the advancements in camera technology over the past five years, there are still plenty of users editing on Final Cut Pro 7. I’ll admit it… even I still use FCP7 on an occasional project. I had absolutely mastered Final Cut Pro over the years, but with the release of FCPX I was left with a void. Since then, I have dabbled in most of the other NLEs, but I could just never get myself to fully breakaway from FCP7.

Now that we are entering an era where most cell phones will shoot 4K footage, and 360 degree videos can be watched on YouTube and Facebook, it’s time to let FCP7 die. The software just can’t handle production needs anymore. Let’s take a look at some of the available options for video editors still caught in NLE limbo.

Final Cut Pro X

It's Time to Stop Editing in Final Cut Pro 7: FCPX

When FCPX was released, I was not alone in my hesitations to migrate. Thousands of users complained about the update. The original launch in 2011 made FCPX look like some terrible hybrid between iMovie and Final Cut Pro. It was a disaster. But now that we are years removed from the launch, where is FCPX now?

Apple has already released 17 updates for FCPX. The biggest update (10.2) added 3D titles, updated color grading, made the program more compatible with plugins. It also added support for additional camera formats.

There are more FCPX plugins available to users than ever before. Apple has made serious strides in making FCPX a great program, but the initial launch is still hurting it. Many users have never given a second thought to using FCPX, but now it’s turning into a very viable option.

FCPX is available for $299.99 in the App Store for Mac users.

Premiere Pro Creative Cloud

It's Time to Stop Editing in Final Cut Pro 7: Premiere Pro CC

Premiere Pro CC has taken an absolutely dominant role in the NLE world. With the ease of integration with other Adobe software (like Photoshop and After Effects) and the Creative Cloud packaging, Premiere Pro CC has become the go-to NLE of choice for independent editors.

Premiere Pro CC is set up to handle an incredible amount of codecs and formats. Today’s video editor is required to use a multitude of programs, and Premiere Pro is designed with that in mind. Not only is it easy to move media across all of Adobe’s other Creative Cloud software, Premiere Pro also let’s you create OMF, XML, EDL and AAF files.

Premiere Pro CC is available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.  A standalone subscription for Premiere Pro is $19.99 a month or alongside the entire Creative Cloud suite for $49.99 a month. The NLE is available for Mac and Windows users.

Avid Media Composer 8

It's Time to Stop Editing in Final Cut Pro 7: Avid Media Composer
Avid Media Composer remains an industry standard. While not the most-used software among independent editors, Media Composer is constantly used on major motion pictures — like Star Wars Episode VII.

Media Composer is immensely popular for its cloud editing, which allows editors all over the world collaborate on a project. It was designed for broadcast facilities and large production workflows. Since so many large-scale productions rely on their technology, updates and plugins are not nearly as available as they are on the previous mentioned NLEs. However, this does make Avid much more robust.

Avid Media Composer pricing varies on the packaged options. The program can be purchased for $1,299, annual subscription for $29.99 per month, or monthly subscription for $74.99 per month.  The NLE is available for Mac and Windows.

DaVinci Resolve 12

It's Time to Stop Editing in Final Cut Pro 7: DaVinci Resolve 12

Since being acquired by Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve has evolved tremendously. The color grading program has become so much more. As Blackmagic Design aims to takeover all parts of the video production workflow, DaVinci Resolve is evolving into an all-in-one editing software.

DaVinci Resolve 12 introduced a built-in NLE into the color grading platform. Users can now edit multicam footage and color grade without have to export files. Not only is the NLE a new addition, DaVinci Resolve 12 also uses checksum verification to check that all media is transferred correctly from the camera’s memory cards. DaVinci Resolve is poising itself to become a major editing software in the coming future.

DaVinci Resolve 12 is available as a Lite Version for Free or Studio Version for $995. The program is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.

Are you using any of these programs, or are you sticking to others? What NLE is poised to take over the market in the coming years? Let us know in the comments below.