Playing with FinalCut Pro X

Since I edit all my videos on my MacBook Pro I thought I’d edit a few projects using the newest version of FinalCut Pro X just to see if the performance was a bit better than Premiere CC 2014. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Once you’ve gotten used to the magnetic timeline Apple’s take on NLE makes sense. However, there are times I miss the simplicity (complexity?) of having all my tracks out for quick edits.

I’m pretty impressed with FCP as it stands today. When X was first released I bailed and went to Premiere and this is the first time I’ve even glanced back.

The roundtrip from FCP to Motion is non existent. There is no tight integration like Premiere and AE. You have to finish your edits and then send everything over for motion graphics. If you prefer to do both at the same time, you’re in trouble.

The motion templates in Motion that can be used for titles, lower thirds, etc in FinalCut are AWESOME. I have no idea why Apple didn’t just extend this functionality for all of Motion. AE is way behind with it’s Live Text Templates. This feature might be strong enough for me to switch and use FCP for some of my projects, Exploring Photography in particular.

The asset management feels clunky at first, but once I learned how to use it I found it to be much better than Adobe’s asset management. It’s easier to find clips, sub clips, audio files, etc. It’s also extremely easy to pull assets from other projects. This is great for B-Roll.

The performance of FCP is about the same as Premiere CC in my experience. I’ve seen no performance gains.

FCP is a powerful editor. For the price it’s incredible. In my opinion it doesn’t hold up to other NLE platforms, but if Apple continues to improve the product line it may return to a full pro platform like FCP 7 used to be. We can hope.

I also used Compressor for a bit and found it totally useless. I ended up using Adobe Media Encoder to output final files for YouTube. Compressor is slow, has few options, and is clunky. It used to be just the opposite. This could very well be due to my lack of experience with the new Compressor. But, I didn’t like it at all.

Any FCP users out there that agree/disagree?

  • Bob Vest

    I love FCPX. Are you using 10.2.1, the latest version?
    The magnetic timeline is a godsend, once you get used to it. It takes time to fully get it if you are coming from another NLE, including FCP7. I teach at a local CC, and have found that people with no editing experience tend to love FCPX, while experienced editors have the most trouble with it.
    Stick with it and you’ll be glad you did.

  • David

    I also love FCPX, and the reason is that it’s easy for a non-professional to use. I’m an amateur nature photographer and videographer. I make good videos because I know to keep the camera still on a tripod and to use a wireless mic and a digital audio recorder for good sound. True, I haven’t downloaded Premiere CC2014, even though I have a subscription. It’s not that I’m afraid of something new, just that I am reluctant to abandon what works for me.