Final Cut 7 vs. Final Cut Pro X

The Showdown

In more than a decade of working in the IT realm, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Recently, Final Cut Pro X came out which was a huge change from it’s precursor, Final Cut Pro 7. For those that are unaware, when it comes to video editing software, there’s nothing better in the market than a good final cut pro, even Microsoft makes their commercials with the apple based software.

For years, FCP has been the software of choice for video editing professionals Worldwide, but this latest release has left people ready to hit the streets with pitchforks and torches. Apple redesigned the software to look and work more like their wildly successful iMovie program. The benefit of iMovie is that it’s incredibly easy to use, but lacks a lot in the advanced editing sector. Final cut pro was the go to solution for most advanced editing features, so in Apple’s infinite wisdom, they decided to meld the two programs together.

Final Cut Pro X integrates seamlessly with iMovie projects, and much of the same features with a few extras. However in it’s current release it lacks a lot of the features that movie editing professionals look for in a video editing program. It even lacks a lot of the features that it’s little brother, iMovie 11 has, but that part isn’t such a surprise. This follows along with Apples formula for new releases.

Get rid of outdated technology by releasing something that’s new and different, figure out what the problems are, spend the next year fixing them and making the product better.

I have no doubt that the new version of Final Cut Pro X will become the new favorite for the novice all the way up to the expert video editor. What is a surprise is the reaction of the public to the updated version of the program. I guess people we’re expecting everything in the old program to be there, as well as a bunch of new stuff, which wasn’t the case. Mind you this program isn’t cheap either. But it seems like people forgot that for years final cut pro dominated the market by it’s ease of use and wide array of features. Now people are complaining that apple has no idea what video editing professionals need? That’s not fair.

In Apples defense, they’re just trying to make programs easier to use for the novice, and the professionals. As usual, they’re leaving some features up to third party developers, and plan to fix certain challenges themselves as they develop. But a large part of the issue seems to stem from the fact that video editors are baffled where their “stuff” is. The entire program has been moved around to be more intuitive. So if you’re just starting out with a program, Final Cut Pro X seems great.

But for the battle hardened Final Cut Pro 7 people, it seems that if something is not in the exact spot they’re use to, they simply reject the idea of looking around for the features they know and love. So whats the analysis at the end of the day?

Final Cut Pro X I give a 7 out of 10. Good but not great. It’s still kind of hard to use, some features are just not there at all, and the filters and features need to be updated a lot.

Professionals need to chill out. Use Final Cut Pro 7 for now if you really don’t like the new FCP X version and wait for it to get better. But know as with all Apple products, it will get better.


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