Update: Apple has published a white paper entitled “Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors” to detail the differences between the two apps and smooth the transition for professional users.
Apple updated its Final Cut Pro X video editing software this morning with some much-needed improvements. It is a significant update, because Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.3 now appeases to pro editors with two new features, including multicam editing that automatically syncs up to 64 angles of video and photos, and broadcast monitoring. The software also advances XML 1.1 support for better plug-in compatibility, and it supports media re-linking while boasting enhanced chroma keying with edge quality, light wrap and color sampling. Users can also finally import layered Adobe Photoshop files.
Multicam editing is done in a typical Apple fashion, and besides taking advantage of the time code to sync camera angles, Final Cut Pro X can also sync scenes using audio waveforms to provide great accuracy. Users also no longer have to export to a motion graphics application to view results with real-time playback, and the broadcast monitoring feature lets an editor connect to waveform displays, vector scopes, and calibrated, high-quality monitors to ensure the projects meets broadcast specifications. Broadcast monitoring requires a Mac Pro with a PCIe card or a Thunderbolt device. In the case of the latter, customers will be able to monitor their project live while on a shoot.
Interestingly— broadcast monitoring is releasing as a beta feature, which is unusual for Apple. Then again, the iPhone 4S digital secretary Siri is also in beta, so perhaps these features mark a change in Apple toward getting new products out of the gate as soon as possible and smoothing out the rough edges over time.
The Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 update is free for anyone that owns Final Cut Pro X, a $299 download from the Mac App Store. By the way, if you are stuck with a current Final Cut Pro 7 project, there is now a new app called “7toX by Assisted Editing” that is a $99 value and lets you easily convert old files to Final Cut Pro X projects.
Other updates include Compressor 4.0.2 that lets you customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features and Motion 5.0.2 which allows users to customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions and effects, with 2D/3D animations using real-time feedback.