Apple's Final Cut Pro has been the industry standard for video editing for some time now. Sure, there are plenty of other great editing suites, many used by professionals, but Final Cut Pro has been the clear leader in that space for years. But it's price tag ($1000 or more) and deep tool set have made it a bit inaccessible to the masses. That all changes today, as Apple has released Final Cut Pro X.

Final Cut Pro X is an attempt to make the video editing software easier to use for amateurs. It's also a lot cheaper, with a price tag of $299. It's a pretty interesting strategy. Even as they court new users by simplifying the interface and tools (and lowering the price), they risk alienating the professional editors who have helped build Final Cut Pro into the powerhouse that it is.

Apple Releases Cheaper, More Streamlined Final Cut Pro X final cut pro x 600x343

Business Insider has compiled a list of some early reactions, and there appear to be a lot of negative opinions so far:

  • "I run my my business on FCP and my first impression of the new app is that it is horrible. This is an enhanced version of iMovie. It DOES NOT open your existing FCP files."
  • "The interface is big and chunky, like iMovie.... the oversimplification of the interface makes me feel like I've somehow lost a lot of precision and control."
  • "FCP X = Windows Vista... I can't believe what Apple did with FCP X... this is no longer a professional application... this is just an upgrade of iMovie!!!"

Ouch... especially on that last one (no software deserves to be compared to the abomination that was Windows Vista... that's just harsh).

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I'm a little surprised they didn't just release two versions--a high-end one for professionals and a cheaper version for newbies. But for all the negative reaction they're getting from some long-time fans of the software, they're making a smart choice here. Online video is erupting to the point where there are millions more amateur video editors than professionals. If they had to choose one audience to target, they chose the one that has more money-making potential.

Of course, if they really wanted it to be as accessible as possible, they'd put out a Windows-compatible version, but maybe that's just me.

What do you think? Are you a Final Cut Pro user? Have you tried Final Cut Pro X or will you? Do you think Apple's making a huge mistake here by changing the product so drastically?

  • Admilton Ferreira

    I still didn't use but already of the to see that it is good and I come to give in the but options and quality

  • Niko Cena

    is there FCP X for windows? hahah

  • Anonymous

    Oh noooooooo! I HATE iMovie. I keep a really old version of it on an old computer as that's the only version I can tolerate. I am a professional FCP user and just the look of this new interface scares me. Please someone, say it isn't so!

  • Schmovies

    I've created several different types of videos with FPCX since it released and the only videos it hasn't limited me in are our daily vlogs. FPCX is perfect for basic, simple stuff like that, maybe even up to middle-tier type of videos, but I'll be moving back to Final Cut Express (can't afford Pro) for everything else. At $99, it's a much better deal than FCPX except for the friendliness for a new user. I just wish they could combine the 64-bit architecture and background rendering with Final Cut Express or FCP.

  • VideoLeadsOnline

    Thanks for the head's up on FCPX... will be interesting to watch it mature. I bet, for the majority of users this will become a huge hit. Especially at the lower price-point.

  • Damien Somerset

    WTF!!! "DOES NOT open your existing FCP files" That's a deal breaker.

  • Jules Watkins

    Looking across the web it has understandably gone down badly with a lot of pros who want to either jump of a bridge or jump ship to adobe or avid, but I think it will be good for low budget content creators who can step up from imovie and get to grips with it quickly. Hopefully they will add in missing features in future versions.

  • Grant Crowell

    What, you mean this isn't the X-rated version of the software? Crap.

  • Timothy Evans

    I am a FCP user, both at home and professionally. This "new version" (actually a totally different program) brings a lot of great improvements to FCP 7, such as background rendering, organizational and import setting options, magnetic timelines, and better color-correction.
    But I downloaded it the day of release, and like most others, discovered the truth: The new interface is actually just a better version of iMovie. But it is a big step BACKWARD from FCP. The bad outweighs the good. You can't edit multiclips. The editor window is gone. The effects are very simplified and not as customizable. You cannot open project files from previous versions of FinalCut. You cannot tell your files where to save on the hard drive. Customizing and changing anything seems a lot harder.

    But the fact is, it is officially the new Final Cut. I think there were a lot of big mistakes made, and I think there is a lot LOT of improving they need to make, quickly, if they want to keep a lot of their professional users.
    In the meantime, we have 3 options:
    1) ignore its existence, and keep using the old Final Cut studio.
    2) grow and adapt. break old habits, and develop new ones. The first version is always the worst, but let's take the time to get to know our way around it. Since the old ones are discontinued, everything that comes out from now on will be with X in mind. With Lion being released now, this version will make more sense anyway. 3 years from now, we better be familiar with it, or clients everywhere will be turning to the younger editors who "grew up with" fcpx, and not those "old-time editors" who still can't let go of the old fcp. We can get used to it. Trust that it will improve in time. We will be thankful once it comes to the iPad, and makes a lot of workflow better. Eventually the annoying shortcomings will be eliminated, and we will be grateful we hung in there with Apple.
    3) find a different editing system. Avid, Premier, etc.

  • Carl Olson

    I purchased FCPX yesterday and I am experimenting with it and Motion 5 now.

    I think Apple has made the right call with FCPX. It is radically different from FCP7. Yes, it's missing features that the so-called post-houses working on multi-million dollar Hollywood drek - but those users are at best in the thousands.

    Content producers whether amateur or pro I think will find FCPX a welcome addition to their toolbox. These users number in the hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions. Compared to a few thousand high-end post houses - well, it's a business. Which audience would you choose to target with a 1.0 release?

    Sure, like any 1.0 release, it will have a shake out period - just like FCP 1.0 did. But no doubt FCPX will mature - quickly.

  • Ben Keener

    I think people are viewing this like when facebook changes its layout, they hate it at first and then it grows on them. Yeah Final Cut Pro X has lost some features, but I believe shortly all of those features will make its way back in. Overall the software is fast and powerful, and is just the tip of the iceberg, I feel like this is going to be a monster application when all is said and done.