Decided to download and test Final Cut Pro X with some footage that I haven't touched yet from a trip to Lyon, France last year. Here are my notes:

Shot with Canon 7D
70-200mm Canon Lens
17-40mm Canon Lens
Merlin Steadicam

Updated Review of Final Cut Pro X:

New Review
So, after a fresh install the ability to modify effects, grading, etc. finally showed up. With this new found control I do have to say that I am more impressed with the package. There are definitely tools, plug-ins, etc. that I've used before X that don't port over but there is enough capacity in X that the majority of them aren't needed for most prosumer based projects.

The GUI is taking some getting used to - but I am finding that I am appreciating its streamlined layout and ability to scrub through thumbs without having a preview and sequence window open.

Bottom-line...I would recommend to my prosumer friends. Definitely worth it especially when you consider cost vs built-in value.

Old Review
Out of the "box" it's definitely a package for the average consumer. I know that Apple is marketing this as the tool for the prosumer but when you dig into utilizing the color-grading palette, transitions, titling, etc. it is too limited. Essentially it is a WYSIWIG of sorts with a lot of cool templated tools but with limited ability to modify from there.

Color grading options remind me of Magic Bullet Looks minus the ability to modify. There are many styles to apply but say, if you want to apply a vignette, you can't go in and just edit fall-off, or modify a diffuse effect, or even apply multiple effects to stylize it as you wish.

When it comes to editing sound, again, some nice options, but when I wanted to fade out the ending sound effects I couldn't keyframe when and how quickly I wanted the fade to take affect.

The package does come with a pretty sweet library of sound-effects. In fact, all of the sound effects, with the exception of the music bed and ending "run and breath" sound clip, all came from the included library. There are certainly enough to compliment any number of projects.

Finally, title treatment, pretty much the same thing you would find in terms of canned title treatments. Again, canned, so no real ability to animate a title as you wish.

The interface, timeline, ability to import, scrub, render, etc. were all user friendly. In the end I can see myself using Final Cut Pro X for basic projects - quick sequences for the family archives - but nothing more than that. There just isn't enough ability to make adjustments in title treatment, color grading, transitions, and audio mixing to create a stand-alone piece that has its own unique identity.

Final Cut Pro X is not for the prosumer. Most of us expect a bit more control to define our work. As for the average consumer, its a winner for my children that are dabbling into the film world with their Flips and GoPros.

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