I first started to learn how do edit video back in 2005. For those keeping track, that was during the Final Cut Pro 5 days. During this time, only two NLE’s ruled the production world: Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Studio.
Fast forward to 2023, and both suites was been overshadowed by DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro. Sure, Final Cut Pro and Avid are still used all over the world, but the zeitgeist has changed, especially after Apple shifted FCP to version X.
Since this big shift, FCPX evolved quite a bit, but the last few years have been a bit quiet, which is why Final Cut Pro X 10.7 feels like such a surprise (even after Apple promised to do more).
The new update aims to bring welcome features to both the desktop and iPad versions. But is it enough for a crowded market where DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro rule the editing world?
Updates to FCPX on Desktop
With FCPX 10.7, improvements include better timeline navigation and organization, which should help editors simplify complex edits. We all get more performance from Apple Silicon in rendering and an all-new machine learning model for the Object Tracker feature.
The new automatic timeline scrolling feature (which isn’t a new addition to NLEs in general) allows for creatives to keep clips in view under the playhead during playback. In additions, you can now dynamically adjust your timeline view during playback by using the Zoom tool or keyboard shortcuts. Furthermore, editors can also see the organization of the timeline at a glance by differentiating clips by assigned roles or colors. Different colors allow users to identify and highlight clips by using the timeline index.
With H.264 and HEVC export, creatives can automatically utilize available media engines for simultaneous processing when rendering video segments.
Finally, Object Tracker results are improved with Apple Silicon computers when you analyze the movement of faces and other objects. Final Cut Pro will choose the most suitable analysis for you when the analysis method is set to automatic.
Final Cut Pro For iPad
Having Final Cut Pro on the iPad won’t replace a dedicated workstation, but it’s a great toolkit to have in your bag.
With the new update, it get just a little better.
New features include further Multi-Touch enhancements, support for voice over recording, expanded in-app content options, and new color-grading presets. For voice over work, the addition of a countdown and new keyboard shortcuts further increase editing speed and efficiency.
Further workflow improvements include stabilization for the pro camera, directly ingestion of footage into a project.
Creators can also now combine selected groups of connected clips or story lines and consolidating them into a single connected story line.
Will This Make You Switch to FCPX?
There are so many options for creatives that picking one NLE over another feels like a battle of your favorite brand.
Is FCPX bad? Not at all.
Thanks to Apple’s iron grip, it’s one of the most well-optimized NLEs on the market. Sure, you’ll have a few creatives grumble about about this feature or that implementation, but I know several creatives in the branded content space who love FCP for its efficiency.
If you’re on a Mac and are looking for a new NLE for branded content or other social media projects, FCPX will be a great companion to your toolkit, especially with the above updates.
But, if you’re in the narrative or commercial space, you’re probably already knee deep in Adobe, Resolve, or Avid, and you probably haven’t even reading this far.
In the end, it’s not too late for those already using FCPX, but Apple still has a long road to catch up to the competition.