FCP X – First impressions

Well, I purchased FCP X and have played around with it. So here are my first impressions.

This is brand new software. Its not really an upgrade from FCS 7. It’s a whole new animal. This is a re-write from the ground up, so I will treat it as a 1.0 Product.

That being said, it is a fantastic version 1 product. It is very close to being more like a version 2 product right out of the gate. There are things to love, be annoyed by, and to despise about it. Here is my first take.


The good:

  • Quite fast! It really is snappy.
  • A whole host of awesome features. From Image stabilization to two system audio syncing, it really is loaded with features.
  • Looks nice. Some people may think that this looks too much like iMovie, but I actually think it is an improvement.
  • New editing paradigm. This fresh new approach to editing is long overdue.

The bad:

  • I am not sold on the “Event Library” and “Project Library”. I feel like this method of keeping track of things is going to break.
  • Not being able to re-arrange workspaces. I need to be able to pick and choose where things like the RGB parade etc. show up.
  • Lack of support for FX Plug plugins. We all knew that these were going away, I just hope that the devs are able to write new versions of old plugins quickly.

The ugly.

  • No real external device support. This is a basic Pro editing requirement. You can move the viewer to the second display, but its not full screen and has controls on it.
  • No XML import/export support. This is a killer for me. First of all it does not allow me to bring in old projects to work on. Secondly and more importantly, it keeps me from tossing back and forth between apps. What If I need to use Color, or After Effects?
  • No scratch disk options. This is not as big a deal for me, but for others, it is. They rely on being able to specify what drives they use for scratch media.

There are other issues, like needing an advanced version of the color controls, but even if Apple does not do this, I am hopeful that people like Red Giant will bring their fantastic plugins to FCP X.

So, all in all, I really think that this is a good step forward. It is still a 1.0 product, and with time, the 1.1 or 1.2 product will meet most of these issues.

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