Pros / This is a great program if you’re ready to graduate from iMovie.
Cons / It’s only available for Macintosh computers.
Verdict / If you exclusively use a Mac to create video projects, Final Cut Pro X is an ideal program.
Final Cut Pro X is Apple's signature professional video editing software, continuing the company’s tradition of creating industry-standard applications. It is intuitive enough for new users to grasp while providing the expansive toolset demanded by veteran and pro video editors. If you're a Mac user and a video editor, Final Cut Pro X was made with you in mind and will fit almost any need you have.
The first thing you notice about Final Cut Pro X is how great it looks. In true Apple fashion, this program is a pleasure to look at – a stark contrast to the often-drab interfaces of the competition. While aesthetics don't always translate into functionality, in Apple's case, they almost always do. Final Cut Pro X is no exception. The software is quite intuitive and full of features – it would be impossible to detail all the tools in this application, but rest assured that if you're a professional video editor, you can find what you need here.
One of the most innovative parts of Final Cut Pro X is how you get all your media elements into the program. All the importing and capturing features are consolidated into a single panel. This means that no matter your footage source, whether it be a flash drive, memory card, DSLR camera or network location, Final Cut Pro has a single spot that does it all. And it's pretty simple to use. The filmstrip provides an at-a-glance view of all your footage, and the media browser can help you find any file you need to import. You also have the option to set favorite locations in the sidebar for your frequently used media sources.
One of the major features Apple includes in this professional video editing software is the innovative magnetic timeline. This new take on the old concept of the timeline makes it easier to compose your project because it automatically snaps the clips into place. It also adjusts clips automatically as you move them around on the timeline. This is great because it reduces the time you spend adjusting sequences by moving one clip at a time whenever you need to insert something new.
Another innovative feature is the ability to create compound clips. Simply put, compound clips are sequences that the application treats as a single unit. The advantage of compound clips is you can move sequences as a single piece rather than one at a time. Before this, it was a two- or three-step process to move complicated sequences around. Also, once you got the sequence just the way you wanted it, moving it piecemeal would disrupt it, and you couldn't always get it back. Compound clips eliminate this problem nicely.
Final Cut Pro X is the older sibling of Apple’s iMovie, the video editing program that comes preloaded on every new Mac. Users who have become proficient at iMovie and want more powerful tools will have few problems learning this professional video editing software.
This software’s biggest downside is it’s only available for macOS, making it much harder to collaborate across platforms. Our best overall choice has both Windows and Mac versions that seamlessly work with each other.
There is very little to complain about with Final Cut Pro X. It is not only pleasing to the eye but also incredibly useful, providing editing tools that only a few years ago were unthinkable.