Next version of FCP supposed to be great (?)

As it is in fashion these days, when you have an issue with an Apple product, you just have to send an email to Steve and wait for a one liner reply. That is what Dustyn Gobler did. You can read its content here. Basically, he is asking Apple to give us more visibility on the pro apps road map. Steve reply?

“A great release of Final Cut is coming early next year.”

This make me sad. I would have liked everything but the great keyword. Great is basically what Steve says whenever he is talking about anything Apple related, I am sure Apple carpet and toilette paper holder are great too!

Why is this important?

Actually, this is not important, it is critical for HDSLR shooters. FCS is losing ground to CS5 on every single front. Premiere Pro can edit in real time H.264 without transcoding (with a compatible NVIDIA card) and send it back and forth to After Effects for grading / compositing without any problems. On the other hand,  you can be pretty sure a roundtrip from FCP to Color is going to mess up your timeline.

What I am trying to say is that CS5 Production suite is now a very attractive alternative to FCS. Even more so if you are shooting with a 5DMrkII. While priced a little bit higher, you get a lot of value and each app is an improvement over its previous version (DVD Studio & Sound Track, I am looking at you!).

So what?

I had a quick chat last night with one of my friend who is a huge fan of Final Cut Pro. Almost to the point of getting a FCP tattoo on his forehead. Yet he told me that he is giving up on Apple if they dont announce something by the end of February and will be moving to CS5/6.

This is huge. If someone like him is willing to make the switch, it means hundreds have already done it and even more are thinking about jumping ship.

In light of this, it does not surprise me at all that Steve sent such a reply, trying to slow the exodus. Final Cut Studio 4 is going to come out at about the same time as CS6 (supposedly) which means Apple can’t just make a great release, it has to be a kick ass release if they want to stay in the game!

What about you?

Personally, I am on the fence. I have already moved from Color/Motion to After Effects and since I need to learn Illustrator, I may just buy the Production Suite and get everything else at the same time (Content Aware Fill FTW!). But what about you? Have you already jumped ship? Are you planning to? In how long?

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • I thought I’d read that CS5 is a bit of a dog on most systems regarding performance. Is this true? If it shares much with Premiere Elements, it must be, as that program has a horribly slow interface. I’m rocking FCE right now, saving money for the next release of FCS. You are correct that it had better kick some serious ass.

  • Amadeo

    I Agree 100% with your article. Apple needs to step up the game with FCP.

  • PhotoMaryland

    I have been a stills guy for 17 years, now getting into video/film. As part of my purchases for this new venture, I bought FCP, as well as many expensive add on programs, such as Plural Eyes, and Magic Bullet stuff, so all that was not cheap. I would be emotionally devastated if I had to ‘switch’ so soon. I’m going to hang to what I just bought, and hope that Apple steps up to the plate. That would REALLLLLLY suck to have to buy another 1,500$ worth of software, as I have not even learned how to use what I have right now!

  • logicalnot

    Apple is busy selling devices and making a new OS. Therefore, they can keep up with all the softwares upgrade.
    However Adobe is fighting to prove that they can move on beyond flash and teach Apple a lesson.

  • sam

    already did and never regret it!! my hdd thanks me for it!! transcoding take up some much space i was running out of it! I am happy with Premiere the only downside is that i cant find a stabiliser plug ins such as Lock and Load X. and thats pretty essential with dslrs. i guess new plug-ins still under development for CS5.

  • This seems like a very long term issue, considering having to buy and switch to new interfaces and ways of doing things.

    How long has Premiere worked with native H.264? Is this even true? Won’t FCP edit H.264 with a capable graphics card? What else is now compelling about Premiere?

    Apple will have to deliver H.264 editing within months. Apple now has serious competition in this market. That’s excellent. It’s not a war though. I’m not going to ping pong from one to the other. A ping is possible. Maybe next year.

    • admin

      Brad: Actually, switching to CS5 is not really a cost issue for most people since most pros already own Premiere Pro as part of the Production creative suite if they have Photoshop & After Effects.

      Premiere Pro is able to handle real time H.264 since CS5, and it works very well. You can edit multiple 1080p stream in real time with it since all the processing is done by the NVIDIA graphic card. Working in real time saves time but the biggest benefit is that you see your creation evolves as you go. There is no pause, it is way more fluid.

      FCP can edit H.264 clips, but not in real time for more than a few seconds and dont even think about stacking layers.

      The interesting thing about all of this is that Adobe managed to add this feature thanks to a partnership with NVIDIA. The question is: will Apple be able to do the same with ATI cards? Also worth noting: the CS5 MPE requires at least 1gig of ram on the video card and right now only the high end iMac or Mac Pro has that much ram.

  • Gabriel Lehto

    I confess, I’m very disappointed with Apple.
    I always worked with adobe and other edition systems, and last year I decided to move investing a lot of money in FCP, I’m from Brrazil and FCP here is expensive (almost US$ 2,000.00), but now I`m very disappointed because I’m seeing other brands regularly launching updates and upgrades in order to stay ahead with the innovations but I don’t feel the same from Apple.
    Actually they sold and are selling a lot of iPhones and iPad, but softwares like FCP remain in the background… It’s a shame!
    Gabriel Lehto

  • Jeremy

    The fact that transcoding eats up my hard drives faster than the speed of sound, I agree 100% – if FCP does not move in this direction I will sell my version and move to CS5. I like FCP, but when it comes down to it, it’s costing me more money to stay on the wagon for as long as I have.

  • Stefano Giambellini

    Absolutely not! :)

  • Steve

    I hope the market (CS5 & Vegasxx) hands Steve Jobs his ass!

    FCP has a lot of issues with compressor, color and motion. They’re slow and remind me of a lot of old Microsoft programs. I was so excited to get FCP7. When did I had trouble with compressor and color. The intuitive factor is pretty low. Also when I called Apple for help with comp, the guy was reading from a menu of trouble shooting items! I found it later in the apple help forums. I spent a lot of money on that software and have received lousy customer support. Apple personal used to monitor their help forums, not anymore. I’m waiting for the next upgrade, if the forums buzz with discontent at that point, I’m dumping apple.