Dont listen to the detractors if you are on the fence. I am very familiar with all of the big NLEs in the industry. I have access to all of them and I am a longtime power user of AVID and FCP7 (fine softwares in their own right)… yet I choose FCPX to edit with. X is far and away my favorite NLE. Why? Too many reasons to list, but here’s a few:
FCPX is elegant and forward thinking and it is entirely capable of handling any kind of project from shorts, promos and music videos, to longer format TV and film. X is such a dynamic new paradigm with so many unique and powerful ways to work, that it allows editors to employ a staggering variety of workflows. It is exciting to be on the cusp of a whole new world of ways in which media can be created. The magnetic timeline is a brilliant advancement that admittadly was baffling at first, but now makes the standard track-based timelines feel archaic to me. Thanks to the magnetic timeline, and the lack of collision-prone dedicated tracks, and no time-wasting patch bay, I can A-Roll an episode of one of our TV shows in almost half the time vs. a standard track-based NLE. It is really worth wrapping your head around the magnetic timeline, even if it initially feels very alien for longtime editors. The price and availability of 3rd party fx, transitions, etc., is staggering. Rigging and publishing with Motion has allowed me to develop many specific tools that are available to me in X, making for tons of flexibility. I’ve built many custom generators that allow me to get graphic intensive projects out of my compositing software, and into my NLE while preserving the ability to adjust parameters and drop in video without ever returning to Motion. The graphics capability in X means that for projects involving basic compositing I can get great results without needing a compositing software at all. Audio is brilliant, with endless flexibility and very robust Logic-based filters and compressors, and each audio clip already has a responsive 31 band equalizer built in. Re-timing video clips and building speed ramps is insanely easy and fun to do. The much maligned color board is actually excellent, as are the color masking and power windows. Also, X has probably the BEST scopes of any NLE/Color software, fast, beautiful and responsive. FCPX also plays nicely with all kinds of 3rd party options for curves, LUTs, LOG/RAW, etc. FCPX works brilliantly with RED footage, and is immediately on top of new codecs as they appear. Our production facility has several Avids connected to an ISIS. It’s a great setup, and guess what, X plays nicely with ISIS too… Oh yeah, the entire X suite, including the very impressive Motion, is only $400…. Mind-blowing in my opinion.
Bottom line: I’m doing the best work of my career on FCPX. I’ve been winning regional Emmy’s® every year, and I’m faster than ever. The FCPX work I do includes national commercial accounts, messaging/product work for some of the biggest companies in the country, and 8 different regional or national TV programs in a variety of genres. X is a joy to use and has reinvigorated my love of editing. I’ve experienced almost none of the issues that other users mention in their reviews, and one of the Macs I still use is a late 2008 model! The latest versions of X have been as stable and predictable as any of our other NLEs, often more stable. After a few hiccups in it’s infancy, now FCPX just works. As for people saying it’s a worthless software, well…. they just seem really confused to me. All the vitriol is pointless IMO. Find the tools you love, learn to use them properly, and then use them. Railing against a tool you can’t figure out is a waste of time, and tends to reflect on the reviewer more than the software. But to each their own…
I hope X keeps growing its’ user base and acceptance in the industry. It was built for us editors to unlock and speed up our creativity, and that’s what it has done for me. Happy editing!