I just picked up a copy of Final Cut Pro X and have finally had some time to work on a few projects with the controversial update to the industry-leading editing software.
This will be the first of a few blog posts about FCPX, and I hope it helps some of you with your decisions on upgrading.
Prosumer: FCPX is only $300. The days of the "elite" $1K program of FCP7 is over. Apple definitely upset a lot of professionals (including me). But, the more I am using FCPX, the more I can see what Apple was thinking when they were tired of so many editing suites doing the exact same thing. But, a lot of what we needed in these other programs can now be easily done in FCPX.
Workflow: Completely throw away your entire way of working with FCP7 when you come to FCPX. It will make your life much easier to just go in with an open mind. After spending about four hours today trying to get my file structure import into FCPX, it was a dream. (Make sure you uncheck the box that copies your files into the FCPX "event" structure). I can not keep all of my raw photos and video in Apple's Aperture and drag them into FCPX. No exporting, no MPEG streamclip, no importing. This is huge for me. I can make a "smart album" in Aperture, rate my photos and videos and drag the files into FCPX that I want and run.
Timeline: The magnetic timeline is actually a very good idea. FCPX makes it nearly impossible for you to screw up your audio/video syncing. You can take a series of clips (A roll and B roll) and "connect them to the primary storyline." This allows you to move blocks of your package without screwing up what you highlight and move like in FCP7. The compound clip feature is also a great way to keep a finished part of your project in tact. (See Pictures)
Exporting: While this may be a little consumer grade. The export settings make life very easy to get your files to various social media outlets. You do need to buy Compressor ($49) if you want the more advanced settings that TV stations would need to run on air. Again, FCPX was only $300, so I'm not too upset about this.
Looking Ahead: FCPX is pretty darn powerful. There is a noticeable speed difference with the 64-bit architecture, and once Apple gets there act together and works out the bugs and adds a few of the old features, I can see this working very well in collaborative environment. I still have a bunch of questions for the Apple engineers next week. If you have any more, please let me know, and I'll relay the message.