As most of you all know, I’m a huge fan of Final Cut Pro X. It’s my video editing app of choice, and has been since it launched back in 2011. Recently, I’ve been looking for ways to be more efficient with my video workflow. Some of this can be done in post during the edit, but a large part of that is done before and during the actual shoot. Just recently, I added a new piece of equipment to my workflow—the Atomos Ninja Assassin. After using it, I can say that it is by far one of the best investments that one who’s serious about video can make. It also pairs nicely with my Final Cut Pro workflow…
One of the great things about Final Cut Pro X ($299 on Mac App Store) is that you can export high quality videos extremely fast, even on underpowered hardware. For example, my Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display lacks a discrete GPU, but I can still export 4K videos with relative ease.
Some of the speed can be attributed to a technology of Intel’s called Quick Sync Video. Quick Sync is a hardware accelerator for H.264 encoding. It’s baked into Intel’s consumer line of chips, so ironically, it doesn’t apply to the beefier Mac Pro. Those machines are powered by professional grade Xeon chips that lack integrated graphics.
That means that even the 12″ MacBook, which is the most anemic piece of Intel-powered hardware currently available from Apple, can export 4K videos competently.
With all of that said, there are some things that you should know in order to fully take advantage of faster video encoding when exporting projects with Final Cut Pro X, and you can learn more in this post.
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.
During its normal Thursday update, Apple issued a new version of Final Cut Pro X. Version 10.2.2 is primarily a bug fix update, but it does usher in a few new features.
Users of Final Cut Pro X will benefit from the addition of new camera support, new export options, and improved compatibility with third-party asset management apps. As you might expert, it’s recommended that all Final Cut Pro X users update to this latest version at your earliest convenience.