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Nino Film Blog | May 21, 2024

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First look: Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 available for download – initial thoughts

First look: Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 available for download – initial thoughts

Many expected it today, and Apple delivered, as usual on a Tuesday:

Final Cut Pro X was introduced in the Mac App Store as a download for $299 / € 239. It is only available through the App Store from now on, that is the way Apple is going to distribute all of its software – even the operating system – in the future.

Final Cut Pro - Apple®

I already downloaded and installed it, played around with it, and I have to say: As expected, it is an entirely new piece of software, and should rather be called “Final Cut Pro X v.1.0” instead of “Final Cut Pro v.10.0” as it is called now. There will be a lot of getting used to in the beginning, and it might not be ready for productions immediately – but I will waste no time learning it as this clearly is the future for editing, at least for me. There are so many great new features available that we have been missing for such a long time … check out my extensive first impressions blog post after I attended the presentation in Las Vegas at the Supermeet during NAB in April right here.

The bad news first: There seems to be no built-in way to open old FCP7 projects in Final Cut Pro X. It’s bad, because that means we could be stuck working in two different generations for quite a while. It seems there will be ways of bringing stuff over using third-party software from companies such as Automatic Duck.

Check out Larry Jordan’s blog about the new Final Cut Pro X – he’s one of the guys who knows best because he was involved deeply in the development of the new version of Final Cut Pro. Also check out Apple’s resources page with further links to training resources, among them training videos by Larry Jordan and the always great Lynda web tutorials. For some overview, also head to Apple’s page for Final Cut Pro X.

I will be posting much more about Final Cut Pro X as soon as I got a chance to take a good, long look at it … for now, check out this Hands-on first look video by “Matt’s Macintosh”:

Final Cut Pro - Apple®

Apple also introduced Compressor 4 and Motion 5 for only $49 each … VERY competitive pricing. Will take a look at those as well of course.

Compressor 4. $49:
Compressor - Apple®

Motion 4, $49:
Motion - Apple®

Watch Conan O’Brien slam the new Final Cut Pro X 🙂

Apparently mocking it is becoming mainstream. Unfortunately – Apple better be quick making it a better piece of software. I believe in it and I think it will be great – it’s not there yet though.


  1. James Miller

    Whilst there’s a lot to love about FCPX, there’s an awful lot to just scratch your head about. Can’t open old projects. Can’t open old projects. I repeated that, because it’s really important. No OMF. No XML import. No external monitoring.

    No EDL. No support for RED native footage? Seriously? It’s not like it’s some rare and exotic camera that noone has access to. In short it’s incredibly fast, has an interesting interface, which I’m sure I could learn to love, but what’s the use of the fastest car in the world if there are no roads to drive it on? I have no way of getting edits over to other NLEs or FX programs. These aren’t minor details, these are a lot of editors bread and butter, everyday chores. Sure FCP 7 still works, but let’s be honest, a lot of us die hard FCPers have been holding out on switching to something else in anticipation of a new FCP.

    I started my career on FCP 1, so maybe I’m overly attached to the software, but I welcome change, I was looking forward to the new interface and the metadata stuff and millions of other things in there. Not being able to open an old project file, yet I can import an iMovie project is just a slap in the face. Apple really need to listen to their user base, this has the potential to be truly awesome, but I can’t believe it was released into the wild with holes this big.

    • I agree, James. Like you, I started with version 1.2.5 and I know it has been time to write this application completely from scratch for many years now already.
      Though we knew there would be initial problems. I was prepared to work with both versions for a while. For now, I will just use it on not-so-important “fun” projects, personal stuff and my video reviews, and only later will I start to move professional projects into the new version. I am sure most of the problems will be ironed out in the first big update. That’s how Apple has always done it, and that’s how they will do it this time as well.

      • Peper

        hi, concerning Mat’s intro to Finalcut X, check out at 9:16-9:17 he actually mistakes the program for imovie!!!
        kind a funny isnt it?

  2. Let’s not get too carried away. According Apple this is in no way the end of the story. Check out this review:

    and you will get a better idea of where the current release fits into the scheme of things.

    • Thanks Bo, great article! He’s very right … it’s not yet ready for pro editors, and I’m happy Apple admits that. Let’s hope they implement all the pro features within weeks, not months. Otherwise they will lose the broadcast market entirely.

  3. When I saw the screenshot with the ‘welcome’ interface allowing you to import iMovie projects…….well, to sum it up, says it all in just one picture.

    Just a more decent and powerful iMove with the FCX name on it.

    But hey, we know that, people @ Apple listen to us, so I guess things will get better.

    We are just starting to walk a new path.

  4. I completely agree with you. The software looks great but one major problem is that it doesn’t allow you to open old FCP7 which is going to deter a lot of people who have a lot of their old video on that format. Plus the fact that the interface has completely changed is going to definitely deter professional editors from moving to this software because they are going to have to relearn how to use the program and not all of them are going to have the kind of time to do that. Apple really does need to release the Pro version soon or they will be in trouble.

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