Amid marked improvements, the biggest YouTuber in tech switches to Final Cut Pro X

By , Jan 1, 2016

Marques MKBHD

There’s a significant movement of change happening behind the scenes of the tech’s biggest YouTuber. Marques Brownlee—better known as MKBHD—a professional YouTuber with more than 3,000,000 subscribers, has taken his talents to Final Cut Pro X.

Newsworthy? Indeed. For one, Brownlee used Adobe Premiere Pro before making the switch, Apple’s biggest competitor among non-linear video editing systems. Even more significant is the reason why he switched—Final Cut Pro X results in quicker turnaround time—it allows him to export videos much faster, which allows him to keep his subscribers updated with new content more often.

The team at Apple deserves some major props for basically resurrecting an application that more than a few left for dead when it was rebooted back on June 21, 2011.

Since that fateful day, Apple has incrementally added many of the features back that the initial release eschewed for the sake of a starting with a clean 64-bit slate. 2015 was no different, as last spring’s 10.2 update added a unified import interface, smart collections for libraries and events, 3D Text, and custom presets.

That update followed significant improvements and additions like multicam support, XML import and export support, GPU-acceleration, RED camera support, ProRes 4444 XQ support, 4K support, and many other features that professional workflows demand. Just look at the Final Cut Pro X version history—it’s crazy how much the team has been able to both add and reimplement since 2011.

While it may be true that Apple’s updates to Final Cut Pro X aren’t as splashy and as sexy as Adobe’s updates to Premiere Pro CC, Apple’s iterative approach seems to be working over the long term. Not only is Final Cut Pro X adored by many popular YouTubers, it’s being used in Hollywood as well. More importantly, however, it has gained the love and respect of the most popular YouTuber in tech. For someone as influential as Brownlee is, that’s a significant feather in Apple’s cap going into the new year.

I’ve always found Final Cut Pro X to be much faster than Premiere Pro on my Macs, especially when it comes to exporting videos. Some of that speed difference is thanks to the app’s support for Intel’s Quick Sync Video for single pass encodes, but FCP X, being built from the ground up for Apple hardware, has a significant advantage over all other non-linear editing systems that run on Macs.

That makes it so that even on anemic hardware, like the polarizing 12″ MacBook, Final Cut Pro X is capable of running circles around Premiere Pro. In fact, some of the most popular YouTubers in tech use Final Cut Pro X due to app’s export efficiency, rendering, and playback, among other things.

Marques Brownlee recently made the switch after noting how much faster Final Cut Pro X was for video exports. I briefly spoke to him via email, and he made it clear that the “significant difference” in export speed wasn’t the only reason why the switch worked.

He also cited the fact that switching from Premiere Pro resulted in a minimal loss of features in his already well-established workflow. That tells me that Apple has done a great job of bringing back and adding in many of the features that professional workflows rely on.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to big things from the Final Cut Pro X team in 2016. The app faced lots of doubters upon its reboot in 2011, but Apple has quietly brought it back to form.

Anyone who says that Apple doesn’t care about its professional customers has obviously turned a blind eye to the major strides that Final Cut Pro X has made over the last 4.5 years. If you haven’t tried FCP X on your Mac yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. The app goes for $299 on the Mac App Store, but Apple is offering a free 30-day trial on its website.

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  • Mr Mop

    Adobe really needs to step up their game.

  • mrgerbik

    Never heard of the dude… Should I be impressed?

    • Ariel Okhtenberg

      Yeah that YouTuber is pretty big in the tech world. Check him out.
      He reviews the latest tech/phones.

    • Gerardo Castro

      Really good guy. Knows his stuff. Always hits the strong points of his phone/tech reviews, and from what I can tell, very unbiased!

    • Morgan Freeman

      Welcome aboard the SS Same Boat, mrgerbik!

    • Rowan09

      He was on the news hear in NY before and as stated below at big you tuber with over 3 million subscribers.

    • His videos are ultra slick and extremely low on the bullshite meter.

    • Guy

      His videos are completely different level compared to what’s out there.

    • Jonathan

      Absolutely. He pushes out great videos. Some other great members of the “group” is TLD and Austin.

    • TechToch

      he is the best tech reviewer in youtube !

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    • He’s got his own Wikipedia page (http://bit. ly/1mX5hs2)…

  • Alfréd

    Premiere pro is much slower because it does not have proper opencl support, only nvidia cuda. Mkbhd uses(i think) a mac pro which has amd cards. So there is nothing surprising that without cuda supporting cards premiere pro is slow.

    • That might be true, but the bigger story here is that FCP X is capable of translating workflow 1:1.

  • knute5

    FCPX is coming on strong…

  • Victor Molina

    I unsubscribe from MKBHD cause he praise some android phone even though he knows that the phone that he is reviewing is garbage. Just to keep getting stuff.

    • You’re missing out. His videos are literally the best reviews out there, and he has so far not ‘praised’ Android or iphone. He really keeps it real. He’s destined to go big, really talented dude.

    • johnsm

      He can’t say the truth otherwise he’ll lose millions of butt hurt green sheep fandroids subscribers. Anyways I remember he said iPhone was the best in one of his videos

    • Roberto Sanchez

      Is all about the money… As always 😛 wonder how much apple payed him for that tweet.

      • Rowan09

        Yep. When you get that big you lose yourself due to money

      • mobilemann

        learn kid, it’s nothing to do with it.

      • Rowan09

        No I’m not speaking about FCP I’m speaking about when someone said he promoted and inferior product as good. Anytime you get huge and companies start giving you free items, your views or how to say certain things will change.

      • mobilemann

        oh, so your goal posting then speculating rather than talking about the actual piece of tech. Got it.

      • Rowan09

        No not at all just making a valid and true statement in regards to anyone of power.

      • the hood

        Does that level of thinking apply to iDB staff?

      • mobilemann

        he’s used the hardware that works better with fcp than premier. I know it’s difficult for you, but try not to be an idiot.

    • Jonathan

      Which phone, out of curiosity?

  • AnoNymouz

    wow. big news…. not really…

    • Mark S

      Cheer up. I’m sure an article on yet another lens kit for the iphone will come out soon.

      • Picapollo


      • AnoNymouz

        This comment! So true!

  • Anonymous

    Finial cut pro is propable awsome but imovie fit my needs just fine.

    • lin2log

      You realize of course, that as of v10 (and no, not BEFORE) iMovie is in fact the new Final Cut “Express” as it used to be called? It is (finally and literally) a small version of FCP X in EVERY way, as opposed to before. Which is why I can see it being great for many. And the upward compatibility couldn’t be more brilliant and simple, should you ever need to switch up. Just a simple menu selection… done!

      • exactly, imovie and final cut pro x look almost the exact same. so does garageband and logic pro x.

  • #TeamCrispy

    Really glad to see Marques on iDB!

  • johnsm

    I hope Adobe just dies. Their PDF reader is a malware, and their forced subscription stunt was horrible.

  • Not big news but notable. Imo Jeff only wanted to point out that he and MKBHD exchanged emails.

  • Jacques Hillaireau

    Great news anyway 🙂

  • lou111

    By the way, Apple.. maybe it’s time to give us some update for FCPX? There wasn’t event one since El Capitan is on board.

  • talkRAYdio

    apple destroys the app, and takes almost 5 years to get it back to where it was and you praise them for it?

    never is one so blind as he who refuses to see…

    • mobilemann

      because like many other apps, it had to be rebuilt. from the ground up, in 64 bit. It is a good thing. You’re just too stupid to understand it.

      • talkRAYdio

        my apologies that you have mental acuity of a drunken rodent and cannot parse the issue. the issue is not the need for the app to be rebuilt from the ground up. The issue is: instead of doing research to figure out what features were most important upon rebuild, then doing that rebuild internally and then releasing a complete app when it was ready… Apple instead destroyed the app and rebuilt it publicly based on complaints rather than suggestions. And took 5 years to do it. And idiots paid for that privilege.

      • johnsm

        you suck

      • mobilemann

        and you’re dumb.

  • Benedict

    …on a Mac. Perhaps he should try a PC if he wants even faster rendering. Also, it will be optimized for all resources which Adobe can’t even access. Apple is more cunning than dumb..

    • mobilemann

      you have no idea what you’re talking about. (really) core audio and video are awesome, the massive missing aspect (metal) has been made. It’s more about premier supporting cuda, but who needs facts when you can be an idiot?

      • Benedict

        yea sure – nv’s cuda is the reason. But only in your own world. And yea you can stay naiv.

      • mobilemann

        avid supports proprietary cuda, not opencl. Marquess has been seen using mac pro’s for a year or more, which use ATI cards.

        FCPX since it’s vertically integrated into the hardware, takes advantage. Just because you’re too stupid to figure this out, is not my fault, but don’t think that you know anything, you troglodyte.

      • Benedict

        I was using Avid and Premiere already more than 10 years ago btw – but you still don’t get the point. So I’ll stay stupid and you naiv…

      • mobilemann

        what does that matter? I’ve been supporting those systems for much longer than you’ve been importing DV tape via firewire (based on your time ranges)

        You’re not smart, you don’t have a point. Get over yourself, kid.

      • Benedict

        nope.. digibeta and SDI and you just didn’t get the point. but keep freakin out fanboi..

      • mobilemann

        digi beta is same time as mini dv; you were just working with higher end equipment than i thought.

        You didn’t know basics about video editing software, and came up with this “point” to try and talk you’re way out of looking stupid. Sorry, you can’t.

        feel free to enlighten me.

      • Benedict

        …and that proves in your case the point – Apple is smarter than it’s users.

      • mobilemann

        no, idiot. It proves that they are willing to rebuild from scratch to build an overall better product actually. Matter of perspective. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Keep pretending you do.

      • Benedict

        Ok Arschloch.. you don’t mind do you? – since you can’t stop calling people idiot.
        But thanks for admitting that it is a matter of software. Why you changed your mind and claim they spent more time on that and even build it from scratch?? It’s a matter of perspective but I don’t know what I’m talking about?… hear yourself. You are just one of those idiots who buy a new iphone because it got slow from the last update – but no, that’s not intentional, same like the fullsize iphone 6 advert in the appstore ;D
        And caned trolling cholerics like you should be excluded from discussions in general.

      • mobilemann

        please point out anything i said that doesn’t support that, as i actually knew what happened ind that industry and was just telling you what i remembered.

        and you know, the 20 industry articles about how it was being rebuilt from scratch, those could have tipped you off.

        i’m one of those idiots that buys a new iphone because his income is made off of it, and a bunch of other gadgets, and i have to keep current, but i’m just a guy who’s put out 15 albums makes 175k at a corporate desk job and has a startup that was profitable in it’s first year.

        But yeah, you wanna make this person, because you talked shit about something you didn’t know anything about, and i called you out. You could have just said “i didn’t know.” but you’re a tough guy.

        have a good day tough guy.

      • Benedict

        That’s just praising the overhaul. Not surprising compared to the last version.
        Anyways my initial comment nailed it and you just got pissed. Just calm down next time. ..

      • mobilemann

        saying that they thought it needed to be done, and that it might? That’s what i said. You got caught up not understanding the basics. Sorry.

      • mobilemann

        depends on your viewpoint. Although it would make more sense (if you weren’t a little butthurt fanboy) to think they consolidated efforts on a workflow that eventually earned them over 50% of the digital video editing marketplace (over 50% on TV) was a good thing. Either way, i don’t see how apple stopped any competitors by offering another option, and back up until 7, they were destroying them, before blowing themselves up with that re-write, which they said needed to happen. Now it’s gotten much better again, and it’s a competitor.

        but i’m just citing you know, what actually happened. It’s not as much fun as fangirl conjecture.

      • Benedict

        Me? fanboy? Of what?!
        Depends on viewpoint?. Man you’re stretching it a little too crazy.. But ok. You definitely have a different viewpoint, I can’t even imagine..

  • mobilemann

    you have to test on both amd and nvid cards, or it doesn’t matter. You didn’t, so the test was completely worthless.

  • Well, FCPX has got a lot better since it’s first release where it was labelled “iMovie Pro” lol. Of course, ignorant people still use that as an argument against FCPX, even though it’s not true anymore. If anything, iMovie 10 is the new Final Cut Express.

  • Andrew Aiello

    FCPX will not be a major Hollywood editing platform anytime soon, hell Premiere isn’t even close to penetrating the professional film making market. I talked to a Post production manager at Disney only a year ago and she had never seen any studio use anything other than AVID, If there were off people out it was people still using FCP7.

    I edit on FCPX, Premiere and AVID. They all have pluses and minuses.

  • blackmondy

    Is he using FCPX on his Hackintosh ?

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