Overall Satisfaction with Final Cut Pro X
Firefilm Productions is a video content producing company that creates everything from wedding videos to feature-length films. It's necessary to have a robust yet affordable video editing software to fit our ever-changing needs. We didn't switch to Final Cut Pro X right away at launch, favoring a bit of troubleshooting before we made the move (due to learning curves) but once the switch was made, we use it on all our video content projects.
- It's more stable than previous versions of Final Cut Pro, which is immensely important. Any video editor knows the pain of working for hours only for the system to crash and you lose all the progress you've made.
- Its layout is vastly different than previous years, in contrast to previous incremental upgrades that really didn't alter much. The new layout is intuitive and almost closer to iMovie in design.
- It can handle HD content better than in years past. That might seem like an extension of the "it's more stable" comment, but it's specific to HD content. previous iterations would find workarounds to "fake" being able to handle HD content, but this version truly handles it. Honestly, no one is shooting in non-HD anymore, so it's a necessity to handle what people are shooting with.
- The preview windows cannot be undocked the way you can with Premiere Pro. I've used both editing software and it's nice to be able to throw a preview window onto another monitor just by dragging and dropping.
- Because it does function so differently than previous years, there's a steep learning curve. A "legacy" view would be nice to help ease longtime editors into the new version.
- Video production is sometimes feast or famine. Premiere Pro allows you to rent their software license, and then discontinue when you are done the project. Final Cut Pro X simply asks that you buy it at full price. Having the option to rent would be nice.
- Much of the industry uses Final Cut Pro X for their video production, so swapping edit files or hard drives loaded with footage is more often than not compatible. It's always frustrating when you want to help someone on a project only to find you have a different version of the same software, or different software altogether.
- Its ability to export the finished project into many different formats has been very helpful. Many film festivals and distributors have their own preference of what you give them, and FCPX can handle most if not all of them.
- I still wish you could rent them. Sometimes the price tag hurts when you haven't had a project in a few months and wish you could have saved a few hundred dollars.
FCPX is very similar to Premiere Pro, and the two software are locked in a competition. Some years Premier is better, some years FCPX is better. I would say FCPX is more stable with fewer crashes, but Premier sometimes lets you customize the view a bit more. Flash is good for animation which can be used in tandem with either software, and Photoshop is good for making custom title cards or still frames.
Final Cut Pro X is well suited for those who already know what they are doing when it comes to video production, and want to step up their game. However, I would not recommend it for beginners to video production, as the learning curve is unnecessarily steep. For beginners, I would steer them more towards iMovie which has grown into a very robust (yet approachable) video editing tool over the years.