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Final Cut Pro X is Out and Only $300 (Updated October 2012)

by Philippe Dame on June 21st, 2011

If you own a Mac, this is the video editing suite you will want to own. If you don’t own a Mac, you will want to buy one. First of all, watch this overview video and then see the list of Top Features.

Not only has Apple re-written Final Cut Pro from the ground-up, they’ve dropped the price and made it available for immediate download (1.3 GB) via the Mac App Store. I feel an impulse purchase coming on. At $300, it’s more much affordable than its predecessor.

Yes, it is a complex tool that will take countless hours of training but they’ve clearly made it a lot better. I tried to learn the previous version using help from but it just didn’t have enough time. This will be my video editor of choice once I’m ready to dive into video fully. I just hope my existing Macs can handle the computing and memory requirements!

Note that it’s being released with its two companion products for only $50 each:

Here’s a few Final Cut Pro X screenshots from the App Store:

Update June 24, 2011

Apparently a lot of people aren’t thrilled with the radical change to Final Cut. Some complain about missing features and others about lack of compatibility with previous versions. Is Final Cut Pro just iMovie on steroids? I doubt it. My guess is Apple saw an opportunity to “do it right” and had the balls to let go of some antiquated legacy concepts. I hope that’s the case anyway. For me, if it’s easier to use – great. I want more than iMovie but the previous edition was just too tough to learn.

The rising discontent in the Apple video community (and Hollywood) has grown loud enough that it’s now a punch line for late night comics like Conan.

Update June 26, 2011

David Poque of the NY Times weighed in on this debate to provide some support for Apple (with Apple’s help). It’s worth a read: Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X.

Update June 29, 2011

Apple has posted a FAQ page for Final Cut Pro to answer some common questions. It appears a major update is planned for this summer to address some important missing features. Some will have to wait until the “next major release” such as multi-cam support. I can only assume version 2.0 is far away.

Update June 30, 2011

Checkout the blog post X vs. Pro by Rob Brinkmann on his inside perspective. Rob was one of the founding employees of Sony Pictures Imageworks. Part of the initial design and development team that produced the digital compositing application Shake (acquired by Apple in 2002). He now works at Amazon.

Update September 22, 2011

Apple has released an update to FCP (10.0.1) and it addresses some of complaints people have with the software but not all of them. New features included are:

  • Import and export xml to support third-party workflows
  • Export audio and video stems as a single multitrack Quicktime movie or as separate files using roles
  • Place projects and events on Xsan to improve collaboration between editors
  • Set custom starting timecode for your projects
  • Add transitions to connected clips in a single step
  • Enable full screen video in os x lion
  • Speed up delivery with GPU-accelerated export

Why these matter is well covered on a blog post by Preston Kanak, the assistant editor for

Update October 23, 2012

A major FCP release just came out (10.0.6). It includes the following new features:

  • RED Camera support with native REDCODE Raw editing or background transcoding to ProRes
  • Resolution support updated from 4K to 5K
  • MXF plug-in support to work natively with MXF files using third party plug-ins
  • A dual viewer Event Viewer and Timeline Viewer, similar to what you were used to seeing in earlier versions of Final Cut Pro
  • Improved Sharing, including the ability to add custom Share output and output to multiple destinations
  • ‘Copy and paste attributes’ window
  • Multichannel audio editing
  • Unified Import, single-window interface to import from all sources
  • Create freeze frames with a single shortcut
  • Compound clips are saved to the Event Browser
  • Expanded Multicam functions
  • Drop shadow effect with custom controls
  • Flexible Clip Connections

Heres’s a full break down by Philip Hodgetts on this new version.

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