Because it is such a complex and advanced program, not all computers will be able to handle running Final Cut Pro X. Here is a quick summary of the minimum your machine should be packing in order to use the latest version of the software, as of February 2019:
- OS X v10.11.4 or later
- 4GB of RAM
- 4.15GB of available HDD space
- OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later
- 256MB of VRAM
The minimum computer system needs are reasonable enough, considering how powerful Final Cut Pro X is, but working with 4k videos and beyond will push your machine to its limits: you need 8GB of RAM and 1GB of VRAM for it. It might be difficult to keep your computer up to date and top of the line, but if video editing isn’t just a hobby for you, it’s worth keeping in mind that 4K video is fast becoming the norm, as more and more devices are slowly being released with the capability to handle higher and higher resolutions. Getting used to working with 4K–and, in turn, maintaining the requirements for it–could be a good investment.
Tools and Features
Final Cut Pro X is truly in a different class entirely, when compared to previous versions, as it has been completely reworked from the ground up as a more powerful 64-bit application capable of providing better effects and supporting larger projects. Unlike its predecessors, it shares many similarities with iMovie–including the the sleek and approachable interface. You can even import iMovie projects into Final Cut Pro X! Many processes perform faster–playback can be real-time and rendering is a breeze–and can even run in the background while you’re working; to as not to disrupt your workflow.
Edit Videos Efficiently
Unlike traditional track-based timelines, Final Cut Pro X’s magnetic timeline is flexible, color coded and easier to use; especially with strong drag-and-drop and attach functionalities for both audio and video. You can even check and re-check how different effects of shots look like in the same spot in the timeline by cycling through the views using a feature called Auditions.
Multicam editing wasn’t available for Final Cut Pro X initially, but a year after the release date, the program was updated to include not only multicam support for over 60 camera angles, but also automatic syncing using the video clips’ audio as the basis.
Organize Your Media
Even if you’re scatterbrained and a bit messy when it comes to your creative process, Final Cut Pro X has features that will keep you organized. You can arrange your files and projects using a library system within the program, and even create and apply keywords for video clips and assign roles audio clips for easy tracking, handling and cross-referencing.
On top of all this, the program automatically analyzes files in the background while reading camera metadata; and it has a smart functionality that dynamically goes through and organizes your media for you, so you will be able to intuitively find what you’re looking for in just a few clicks.
Use Audio and Visual Features and Effects
Like iMovie, the built-in effects are effortless to use; you can animate and customize titles and transitions with only the gentlest of learning curves to surmount. Apart from that the program itself has to offer, there’s also a whole ecosystem out there that is populated by third party effects plug-ins that you can test and try out.
As for color grading, there’s an easy to use color board–similar to Adobe’s Lumetri Color–that gives you an easy way to play with hue, saturation and exposure levels. You can even work on just a specific area on screen, or a particular color; by using keying and masks. If you’re not too detail-oriented with it comes to this aspect of video editing, you can try the one-click feature that automatically balances the color.
Apart from assigning roles to audio clips, you can also use Final Cut Pro X to fix common sound issues; such as buzzing, humming or loud background noises. You can view and make edits to multichannel audio clips directly in the project timeline, too.
Apple offers a 30-day free trial for you to try out Final Cut Pro X before deciding on whether or not you’re willing to bite the bullet and spend $299.99 for a legal and licensed copy of the software.
As you can expect with Apple, customer support options are excellent. There are Apple technicians in Apple stores to help you with your concerns, as well as easy to contact representatives via email or telephone. Check out the different contact numbers and email addresses on their website, as well as other support content, to see where and how you should deal with concerns not quickly resolved.
What's the Verdict on Final Cut Pro X?
Final Cut Pro X Review 2020 – Conclusion
Final Cut Pro X is a great video editing program, but it really is more useful and worth it for professionals and experienced editors. With all the advanced features it has and the high price that comes with it, most beginners, hobbyists and struggling studios may be better off with simpler and likely cheaper software. However, if you can afford it, Final Cut Pro X is a good investment. It is very easy to learn how to optimize everything it offers, and since it’s made by an industry giant, you can expect new updates and versions and bug fixes to come out regularly. The good news is that they offer a 30-day free trial; take it out for a spin and decide for yourself. Only you can say for sure if the cost is worth its potential to be a great fit for your creative or professional work.