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Will You Buy Final Cut Pro X for Aperture?

PhotoJoseph's picture
June 23, 2011 - 1:54am

I have now gone through every bit of marketing that Apple has provided, and have added EDIT points to my original notes below. 

Final Cut Pro X was released yesterday, without a whole lot of fanfare from Apple (it’s not even on their front page). Judging from the reviews it’s not being well received, however if you dig into the litany of 1-star reviews, and compare those to the climbing number of 5-star reviews, it’s easy to understand why. It appears that Apple has left out several critical features to this entirely new version of Final Cut Pro, such as multicam (critical for episodic TV editing, music videos, and more) [EDIT: I wonder if the “Audition” feature can replace this?], real-time adding of markers on playback (music videos), dual display support (any serious editor) [EDIT: this feature is shown on the Final Cut Pro X website, so it must be supported], video-out support (any serious editor) [EDIT: I have to believe this is due to 3rd-party drivers needing updating, which undoubtedly will happen], and most shockingly, no support for importing Final Cut Pro 7 projects (?!?!). For the existing, serious/professional Final Cut editor, this “upgrade” is far from. Yes there are some great new features in there (magnetic timeline, easy color matching, clip auditions, and much more), but when you take the wheels off the car, even a million dollar Bugatti can’t get you to the grocery store.

[EDIT: I don’t dispute that there are many features missing that pros rely on. But I also have to say that, assuming Apple’s marketing is honest, there are some seriously cool new features that solve many, many problems and challenges that every editor is unfortunately used to working around. The magnetic timeline may seem “cute”, but (again, if it works as advertised), could be a massive time saver. Automatic syncing of dual audio sources, color matching clips, ability to edit native clips while they’re still on the SD card (?!?!), range-based keywords (yes an iMovie feature, but a very nice one), retiming of groups of clips together, placeholders, always-saved projects, audio fade handles that move as you trim clips, and more. Sometimes, the benefits outweigh the downfalls. Could this be one of those times? For most users, I think it may be. Maybe. We’ll see… I have a lot of hours on the timeline ahead of me!]

For the readers of this site though, most of you are probably not professional video editors. So all those missing features are not all that missing after all. And if you’re an iMovie user, looking to get a bit more out of your video productions, then this could be a fantastic upgrade. At only $299 it’s much more affordable than Final Cut Studio ever was, and it goes way beyond what you could do with Final Cut Express. Aperture users will be able to make insanely cool slide shows with Final Cut Pro X, if they want to invest the time to learn it and of course to edit their masterpiece. Most of our dSLRs shoot video now, and while Aperture can manage those videos, it doesn’t let you do much with them. But with Final Cut Pro X — a whole new world of editing, color grading and sound design is suddenly accessible — and easier than ever before.

I’d love to know what you think. Take the poll and comment below!

There’s also an article on MacCreate, geared more towards the professional user and what this new release means for them. Definitely worth reading.

Apple Aperture

I’ve been a Final Cut Pro user since version 4 and currently have FCP 6. I was planning to skip FCP7 and jump to version 8. (I guess that won’t happen) I already bought FCPX and the training series from I’m looking forward to getting proficient with it.

As for the missing features, I frequently use multicam so that will be a problem for me. Oddly they added track syncing which required a $150 add-on (Plural Eyes) in the old version but didn’t keep the multicam. I hope they add it in a future update.

As for opening older projects, I don’t see a need for that. I rarely have the need to re-edit old projects and if I do, I can just go back to FCP6.

I’m an amateur at this. Most of my projects are of my kids’ performances. Based on what I’ve seen, I think FCPX will end up making things easier for me in the long run. I’m looking forward to what Apple has in store for it.

I’ve been making slideshows in Aperture but the export options are too limited and the audio editing is also too limiting for me. For a few of my projects I resorted to skip adding the audio track in Aperture and opening my exported slideshow movie with Garage Band to add the music which worked out quite well. Garage Band lets you edit the audio tracks in the file without re-compressing the video. Recently I did make a test slideshow in iMovie and I was surprised how good it came out. Older versions always seemed to provide crappy output. The latest iMovie exported slideshow look really good. I can’t wait to try it in FCPX. I better get on those Ripple Training videos.



The poll is a little narrow for me because I don’t fit in any of those categories. My answer is NO because I can’t export the audio to Pro Tools, and I’ve stopped using Logic Pro for almost a year now. So no audio sharing, no FCPXFCP 7 is just fine thanks :)


Thanks… somehow I don’t think exporting to Pro Tools falls into the use-case of most Aperture users hehe

Yeah there’s a lot of in/out missing in this version of Final Cut. Interesting!!!

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

I beg to differ :-)

Wedding photographers might want to lay a track on top of the video and images organized from aperture and pull them into FCP, then lay a track recorded by the band at the wedding. Sure, not your typical use, but definitely a common use case.



I’d still argue that the number of “wedding photographers who also use Pro Tools” is pretty darn minimal :)

Besides, what you’ve described can be done in Final Cut Pro (previous or current), or even in iMovie.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?


Glad you are talking about this. I think FCP X could be a huge addition for HDSLR shooters. Like you said, most of the people here probably aren’t going to need the things that are missing (added in your edited post). I’m a freelance photographer/videographer, been using FCP since 1.2.5, and am the founder & leader of the Indianapolis Final Cut Pro User Group. I think this new version is a great starting point for many years of fantastic new video editing tools. This new version will work great for 80-90% of the editors using FCP 7. For those that can’t use it due to the workflow issues from features not being in this release, they can continue using FCP 7 with no problems. It still works as it always did. Most of those higher end editors are the last to upgrade anyways and wouldn’t be using it on a professional at version 1 or at least the next 6 months.

I do dispute some of the use of the word “pro” in your article. Not all pros need the things that are missing. The definition of “pro” can mean several things. Philip Hodgets has a great article on what a “pro” is. It is probably relevant to photographers just as much as editors.

Auditions won’t work as a workaround for multicam right now. I could see a future multicam solution based on how Auditions work. Apple has told people a multicam solution will be added in the future.

I don’t think the lack of FCP 7 project import is a big deal since you can still use FCP 7, but Apple has also stated that software will be coming to address that once XML in/out is completed. I’m guessing we’ll get that enhancement sooner rather than later.

Thanks Robert. Where are you reading the info that Apple has said will come? I’d like to link to that.


— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

“Wedding photographers might want to lay a track on top of the video and images organized from aperture and pull them into FCP, then lay a track recorded by the band at the wedding. Sure, not your typical use, but definitely a common use case.”

This sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me. If I was in this situation, I would just ask for the audio tracks as a .wav or .aif file (if the band was recording for some reason) or I would record them myself either with an audio recorder or the camera. Either get a feed from the mixer or mic them.

If you have a professional audio engineer volunteering to do a mix for you for free, you can always get Automatic Duck’s new OMF export tool for FCP X and handle it that way.

Joseph - I think all of those comments have come from Philip Hodgetts. Can’t guarantee it, because I’ve read a lot on the subject the past 2 days in a lot of different places. I believe he addressed them in this blog post.

In case you (or anyone out there) is unfamiliar with Philip, he is an editor and creator of several plugins for FCP, among other things. Apple gave him access to FCP X a week early, so he has direct links to them and the engineering team. Unlike some of the people out there, he is legit.

Many wedding photogs are still working their way out of HDSLR denial mode and think pro tools are L lens’s and big fast memory cards : )

On a more serious note… You can basically do what you described without even leaving Aperture.

It wasn’t all that long ago that still shooters were freaking out about not wanting to learn video editing software because it’s a beast and would complicate their workflow. Most still photographers weren’t and still arn’t ready to learn FCP 7. I’d be willing to be that Apple had the ever growing percentage of still photographers converting to still+some video photographers in mind when they made FCPX easier to transition into.

Also, Alex Lindsay and was just doing a live stream talking about some of the stuff that Apple has said to be one the way.


One other interesting piece of information that Alex Lindsay, Mark Spencer & Steve Martin talked about during the live stream was that video clips in your Aperture library won’t be available to FCPX via the media manager. You would basically need to export from Aperture and import to FCPX or I’m assuming you could reference the same clip from Aperture and FCPX if it was in an external folder. They said to follow @pixelcorps for more information about a downloadable version of the live stream.


David Pogue seemed to have allot of info on what will be added to FCPX in one of his articles for the New York Times.


For most stills photographers, something like Foto Magico from Boinx will give you as much advanced slideshow functionality as you will want.

Lay down music to work with the slides, put video into the middle of slide order, export slideshows to You Tube, as movies, as CD’s, as self-playing etc etc.

I can’t see myself paying NZ$399 for this at all - especially since I have not the slightest desire to shoot video.

David Pogue added the following statement to the article I linked to above:

[UPDATE: The information here comes from consultation with Final Cut Pro X’s product managers at Apple.]


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