PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3: Editors’ Choice for high-end video editing

“Final Cut Pro X kicked off a storm in the pro video-editing community when Apple first released it. It lacked necessary capabilities they needed for their jobs—XML export and import, multicam editing, and broadcast monitor support,” Michael Muchmore reports for PC Magazine.

“The third and latest update to the software brings just about everything the pros wanted, including a big one: multicam editing,” Muchmore reports. ” Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 ($299.99, free 30-day trial available) also brings beta support for broadcast monitors, detailed control over chroma-keying, and an XML update that enables a third-party plugin to import projects from Final Cut Pro 7.”

Muchmore reports, “With each feature restoration, Apple has not just brought parity with earlier support, but has rethought it, making it both more powerful and easier to use… With Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3, XML 1.1 provides even more detail, to the point that it has enabled a new plugin, 7toX (from Intelligent Assistance), to import projects from Final Cut Pro 7—addressing a huge concern of the existing user base. Another new workflow capability is support for Apple Xsan storage, with file locking so team members don’t trip on each other’s work.”

“Thanks to both performance and ease-of-use features, pros may find that the same tasks take a fraction of the time they took in previous versions,” Muchmore reports. “For video enthusiasts on the Mac, Final Cut has been a daunting upgrade—until now. Final Cut Pro X is a delight to work in compared with other serious video editing software. Final Cut Pro X brings the prosumer loads of power, ease-of-use, and no-wait performance. The speed gains (from 64-bit code and multicore support), the two-thirds price cut, and some nimble new tools in a fluid, highly usable and precise interface make Final Cut Pro X our Editors’ Choice for high-end video editing.”

Much more in the full review – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Have fun falling farther and farther behind even more quickly than a Windows PC sufferer with a BlackBerry, Bunim/Murray Productions.

Here’s a bit of what our own SteveJack wrote shortly after Apple debuted Final Cut Pro X:

Is all the noise we’re hearing today really coming from Final Cut Pro users who still have their previous Final Cut version(s) and already know how to properly and rationally submit feedback to Apple?

Or is it coming from non-Final Cut Pro users who see the $299 writing on the wall and realize that they’ll soon very likely have to learn something dramatically new and different from outside their comfort zone? Apple’s previous Final Cut Pro versions have not stopped working, nor has Apple stopped work on FCP X – in fact, they’ve just started working with a paradigm-shifing, extremely strong and powerful foundation upon which to build. Have a minute of patience, please. I heard the same sort of whining when we went from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X and some had to be dragged kicking and screaming. People stopped crying over Mac OS 9 in short order, too.

Or who perhaps some editors feel a little bit threatened that “non-pro” users will be able to edit so well for so little? And/or perhaps it’s coming from Apple’s now price-demolished competition who simply cannot crunch their numbers and make them come out profitably if Apple is going to offer Final Cut Pro X for $299?SteveJack, MacDailyNews, June 24, 2011

Related articles:
Apple significantly updates Final Cut Pro X – January 31, 2012
TV producer Bunim/Murray Productions drops Apple’s Final Cut for Avid editing software – January 4, 2012
Apple releases Final Cut Pro X 10.0.2 Update – November 17, 2011
Editor Walter Murch is feeling better about Final Cut Pro X – November 8, 2011
Apple releases major Final Cut Pro X update; debuts free 30-day full version trial – September 20, 2011
Film editor: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is flexible, powerful, incredibly innovative software – September 12, 2011
Gartenberg on Final Cut Pro X: Why Apple dares to change your apps – July 17, 2011
IT Enquirer reviews Apple’s Final Cut Pro X: Very much a professional’s tool – July 8, 2011
Apple to allow additional Final Cut Pro 7 enterprise licenses; FCP X improvements coming soon – July 7, 2011
Former Avid employee on Final Cut Pro X: Only Apple seems capable of pushing boundaries – July 5, 2011
Why Apple built Final Cut Pro X – July 1, 2011
PC Magazine: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X makes serious leaps and bounds past its predecessor – June 30, 2011
Shake product designer explains Apple and Final Cut Pro X – June 29, 2011
Apple answers Final Cut Pro X questions; promises multicam editing and more – June 29, 2011
Change.org petition demands that Apple not change Final Cut Pro – June 27, 2011
Final Cut Pro X ‘backlash’ coming from competitors scared to death over Apple’s $299 price tag? – June 24, 2011
Conan blasts Apple’s new Final Cut Pro X (with video) – June 24, 2011
Answers to the unanswered questions about Apple’s new Final Cut Pro X – June 23, 2011
‘Professional’ video editors freak out over Final Cut Pro X – June 23, 2011
Apple revolutionizes video editing with Final Cut Pro X – June 21, 2011


  1. apple had the balzs to significantly change the source code so they can make big leaps forward.

    Most other companies like Adobe don’t dare to it (i.e consume and totally renew their software) but just add on stuff until progams become sluggish, buggy and clunky.

    People should have looked at Apple’s history: Apple chucked MacOS (OS 9 etc) and completely redid it with OSX (as long time mac fans know how big a change it was: less malware, less crashes, faster etc) .

  2. “Final Cut Pro X brings the prosumer loads of power”

    Key word “prosumer” NOT professional.

    There is no indication this reviewer has used the product nor that this update has dealt with the major issue affecting FCPX – Apple’s misguided insistence on bringing iMovie08’s inaccurate scrubbing to FCPX. FCPX’s inability to edit on a precise frame by frame basis was the big joke that everyone laughed at. The other missing features (multicam etc) were just added annoyances that everyone knew would be added in the future.

    I await a real review.

  3. You know, I read 100s (1000s?) of posts and reviews of FCPX on its debut, and I don’t recall this precision edit issue ever being raised. Why do I sense this is an effort to move the goal line after the touchdown?

  4. I’m delighted that Apple has closed the glaring gaps in its original release of FCPX. I have confidence that the FCPX [platform will continue to be a serious competitor to Avid.

    That said, IMHO Apple should never have shipped FCPX until it was at this point to begin with. Further, I take strong exception to MDN’s (via Steve Jack) position that the professional editors who objected to Apple’s changes to the FCP platform were somehow unjustified.

    No Steve, those professional editors did not “forget how to submit feedback to Apple.” It seems more apparent that Apple did not take the professional editor’s input during product development. No support for broadcast monitors? In the age of low cost, non-scripted HD production?

    Further, it’s naive to posit that these professionals were intimidated by having to leave their “comfort zone” to learn something new. When a production company invests in technology, they are investing in a platform. And they are very concerned when the developer of that platform makes dramatic changes which clearly do not support the objectives of their business. Thousands of small media production companies have significant investments in FCP-based workflows, and were very right to be concerned about a surprise product which, at the point of release, had no way of editing projects from the previous release of the product. I promise you, those business owners were contemplating moving from their “comfort zone” into the “Avid zone”.

    Finally, this:

    “…Or who perhaps some editors feel a little bit threatened that “non-pro” users will be able to edit so well for so little? ”

    Does MDN/Steve Jack honestly believe that an amateur painter can become a better artist by purchasing a better brush set? Film editing is nothing less than an art which takes years of practice and discipline to master. No editor who has applied any discipline toward learning their craft would feel “threatened” by an amateur who, having acquired the new FCPX, would “edit so well for so little”.

    The bottom line is that Apple, in breathtaking Microsoftian-style, dropped a big stink bomb on their professional FCP users by releasing FCPX before it was ready. It rightfully drew criticism and concern from the user community, who have supported the FCP platform and made it the success that it is. Those professionals who jumped ship for Avid in the interim did so in the interest of their business, having justifiably lost faith in the direction Apple seemed to be taking the product at that time.

    1. You know what… I call BS on that whole massive pile of crap you just wrote.

      I’m an aspiring musician/producer. But I grew up in a small town with parents who didn’t have much to offer me but food and a place to live. I spent every cent of my graduation money to buy me a MacBook and I went off to college to learn about music production. With that MacBook and a copy of Logic Pro, i was able to get better and better a recording, editing, playing, writing…

      Because Apple made it accessible to me.

      It sounds like what you are saying is that if it is easy to use and affordable, it’s only for amateurs who will NEVER succeed and can only make crap.

      Frankly, I strongly disagree and I’m glad you’re not in charge of Apple, a company that wants to give EVERYONE the tools they need to express themselves, whether they suck at it or not.

      1. Sorry H2a, I didn’t mean to upset you, but you have completely missed my point.

        I was attempting to call BS on MDN’s silly notion that the reason professional editors were critical of FCPX was that they would be afraid that legions of non-professionals would instantly become better editors simply because they’d have access to FCPX. I’m sure you would agree with the lunacy of this position.

        The professionals were upset because Apple seemed to be creating a roadmap for FCP platform that would not be conducive to their business.

        It would be as if Apple released the next version of Logic Pro that didn’t support USB input, more than 6 tracks, or any way to open existing Logic projects. Wouldn’t you be a little upset by that? Wouldn’t you start thinking about other products to support your craft? Of course you would.

        Then you said this:
        “It sounds like what you are saying is that if it is easy to use and affordable, it’s only for amateurs who will NEVER succeed and can only make crap. ”

        No, I didn’t say that, nor do I believe it. I bought my first Mac in 1984, and like it has for you, Apple products have fueled my passions for over 25 years. But let’s be honest; Logic Pro and a MacBook didn’t make you a better engineer/musician/whatever. Success just isn’t that cheap. it was hard work, discipline, curiosity, and a willingness to learn from failures that made you better. Without Apple gear, I’m sure you would have found a way to fuel your passions. With it, you were able to do that faster than if you had to intern at a record company. Just as it has done for me. 😉

    2. i so much agree with you sir. I recall when HD cameras became more affordable , every one thought they would make pro levels videos. in the early days of autofocus becoming more present in the SLRs, there was the same noise that pros would loose their ability as everyone could take well-focused pics. that has not happened. “…Or who perhaps some editors feel a little bit threatened that “non-pro” users will be able to edit so well for so little? ” this comment does not make sense at all. The event of computers in every home and a keyboard have not turned us into Shakespeare, Voltaire, Margaret Mitchell…. These are only tools that allow people with skills and vision to express themselves a bit more comfortably.

  5. Deus Ex Technica might be right on many of his points, however, did the whole world of FCP editors simply stop using their prior version once FCPX came out? If so, anyone with a brain knows that’s not typically a wise move, with any software. Now, granted, I agree Apple should have probably released no other versions before this one, but it isn’t like anyone held a gun to editors to adopt FCPX right out of the gate either. So, I’m not sure understand what all of the complaining is about up to this point by these people. If you felt the product was inferior, then it is on you to not use it. If you didn’t like the radical GUI and other changes, then move to something else or wait until Apple makes a product you like.

    1. To be fair, Apple stopped selling FCP7 for a while. So, while they could continue using their existing FCP seats, they could not purchase more to grow. On top of that, FCP7 was overdue for an update. Instead, FCP X came along and FCP7 users were left hanging – stay with FCP7 with issues, or go with FCP X with new issues, missing features, and an inability to transition gracefully from 7 to X.

      Granted, Apple eventually brought FCP7 back. But it was a mistake to kill it as soon as FCP X was released, and it was a mistake to add so much uncertainty into the careers of pro editors. Apple can and should do a much better job of supporting the pros who stuck with Apple for so long and who want to stay with Apple going forward. I am not a pro, but I like the idea that pros use Apple products for everything from video production to music to scientific and engineering applications. I saw a little of that slip away with end of the Xserve, and I am concerned about the rumors regarding the possible demise of the Mac Pro. Pro users bring something special to the table, and Apple needs to treat them right even if it isn’t all that profitable, because it matters to many of the rest of us to know that great things are being accomplished on Macs.

  6. Like others, I had also waited for this update before getting FCPX. Fortunately, I had no big project in the pipeline. I did spend time with a very good video tutorial on it since there are so many differences, almost all good. With FCPX already at this point with just three zero-point updates, I have no doubt nothing will touch it by the time we get to the first 10.1 update. It is definitely easier that FCP7 and, in some areas, more powerful. As another writer said elsewhere, this update makes it for pro’s. If someone wants to wait for another couple updates because they do need one of the fewer and fewer “missing” features, go ahead and wait. But to switch to Avid is absolutely crazy. Too many critical people here haven’t spent enough (or ANY) time with FCP X actually editing with it.

    This is a fine piece of software.

    1. Romeodawg, how’s your system built. FCPX really needs good RAID storage, at least 8 GB’s RAM, and some other decent stuff. It will run fine on a basic system, but not if you have to use multi-cams or unnecessarily let it analyze your input if that can be done later. There are some settings that might help that, as well as not placing your media and projects on your boot drive. Small, simple projects should not be an issue. But using the full power of FCP X will benefit from thunderbolt on an attached RAID as well as thoughtful consideration on your setup. Pros did the same in FCP 7. I also had some sluggishness on my MBP, but I already knew I would because of the way it’s setup.

      It isn’t iMovie.

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