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Final Cut Pro X: Coming soon for just $299

14 Apr Posted by Matt in News |
Final Cut Pro X: Coming soon for just $299

As we predicted a few days ago, Apple’s Peter Steinauer took to the stage at the FCP User Group Supermeet in Las Vegas on Tuesday to announce a new version of their flagship video editing application, Final Cut Pro.

Apple Final Cut Pro 7

Final Cut Pro 7

Apple had block-booked the stage to ensure that nobody else would steal their thunder; a move that won’t have gone down well with all of the other hardware and software manufacturers who had been intending to present new products of their own at the NAB 2011 event.

Thankfully the two year wait since the last version of Final Cut Pro was released seems not to have been in vain – Apple have come up with a completely re-engineered and re-designed product with the 2011 Final Cut Pro X release.

Final Cut Pro X: New Features

  • For the first time, Final Cut Pro X will be available in the Mac App Store.  It will be at a very competitive price point too, costing $299 (about £183). The current Final Cut Studio (which admittedly includes other goodies besides Final Cut Pro) costs $999, so this makes the new edition much more affordable.
  • Goodbye rendering bar! Yes that’s right, the rendering progress bar that every FCP user has loved to hate since the software was first released is a thing of the past.  Rendering now happens in the background as you’re working, which will annoy you less if nothing else.
  • Editing during ingest - with the new FCP X you’ll be able to start editing straight away whilst you’re still ingesting popular DSLR formats such AVCHD (among others), with the program automatically and silently switching to the copy on your hard drive when it’s ready.
  • A new look user interface – In all honesty, Final Cut Pro was starting to look dated when the version 7 release was unveiled in 2009, so the 2011 ‘X’ edition was in need of more than a lick of paint.  Thankfully Apple have delivered, and the Final Cut Pro X interface looks much more consistent with what we’d expect from an Apple Pro product.
  • Modern technology under the hood. For the first time Final Cut Pro X will support all that modern technology that your shiny new MacBook Pro or iMac has inside of it, full 64-bit and multi-processor support should speed things up substantially for those with the right hardware.
  • Intelligent content analysis looks at your footage and organises it by type, such as close-ups, group shots, and wide shots.
  • The Magnetic Timeline ensures that making adjustments in the middle of your project doesn’t have an unwanted impact to footage later down the timeline, moving audio tracks vertically if required.
  • Improved audio handling – FCP X has a number of features designed to make audio editing within FCP itself much more comprehensive. Primary and secondary audio detection makes such your main mic source is the one that’s used, and FCP can now natively sync external audio.

Digital Camera Beginner Verdict:

Final Cut Pro X is a massive upgrade over the previous versions, and will re-assure professionals and hobbyists alike that Apple hasn’t sidelined its pro software in favour of mass market applications like iMovie.  Nobody has had a chance to get there hands dirty on a copy yet (well, nobody who hasn’t had to sign a non-disclosure agreement first) so we can’t say for sure what the new version will be like to use, but we expect it to be as polished as any other Apple release.

The best bit? At $299 in the Mac App Store the latest version of Final Cut Cut Pro is a bargain, both compared to previous FCP releases and rival software from Adobe and Avid.


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