Last week the unthinkable happened… two friends of mine who are die-hard “Final Cut Pro” users walked into my office and then proceeded to bow to the floor before me, fully on their knees and exclaim, “You were right, Final Cut sucks… AVID is better” while bowing face to the ground in an “I’m not worthy” sort of fashion. I was dumbfounded, shocked and confused all at once. Every Final Cut Pro 7 (FCP7) user I know is 100% behind their choice to use FCP7 and to talk of or even think about switching is simply unheard of. What was going on I wondered? They proceeded to tell me in a few words… “Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) sucks!”
If you aren’t in the video business you probably don’t know that Final Cut Pro 7 (the older version of the software) holds a strong majority of small to mid sized video production companies in the US as the video editing software of choice. Coming in just behind FCP7 are AVID’s Media Composer and Adobe Premier Pro as the top alternatives in this market (AVID is primarily used in the big budget film industry, news stations and other larger more demanding video production companies). I have used AVID since starting my business in 2003 and have always been “one of the few” who does NOT use Final Cut… and needless to say I’ve been in the minority for my industry. Although it appears that I may not be in the minority in the near future after Apple’s newest release of FCPX.
I’ll spare you the details of what FCPX is, does and does not do and just say that there’s a huge outcry among the video community about how bad this software is compared to the older FCP7. Sadly it looks like Apple has pulled the rug out from under all the video pro’s using this software though a very “iMovie” quality replacement that is missing so many features its unthinkable that a professional would seriously consider using it in its current state. Additionally Apple is no longer selling the older version (FCP7) nor are they supporting it now that the newer FCPX is out (or so I’ve read). The older version was already 2+ years old and badly needing an update … so this blow to the video community seems like an out of the blue slap to the face. Even if some new features are promised… how long will they take before they are seen? Another 2 years? It would seem that Apple has declared once and for all that they are there for consumers… not professionals… at least as it relates to video editing. If you don’t believe me, just Google “Final Cut Pro X Reviews” and read for yourself.
So what does this mean? Why do I care anyway since I’m using AVID? Well It matters to me because I care about my fellow videographers in the industry. I can’t even imagine what they must be going through. For me it would be like Nikon dropping all their DSLR’s and Pro lenses and only offering point and shoot $100 to $300 cameras. Unthinkable. What I’m not going to do is go on and on about how AVID is the perfect solution. But I do want to make myself available within my means to offer any help I can to those who might want my honest review of AVID and how it might work for their needs. I’m far from an expert on all the features of AVID, but I can at least speak to how it’s worked for me over the last 8+ years. So if you are one of those people, please feel free to contact me and I’ll gladly do what I can for you.
At the end of the day there is no perfect video editing solution out there. FCP7 is outdated and now a dying product. I know firsthand that AVID is missing a few features that I want, and Adobe Premiere also is far from perfect. And “Anyone else who says differently is selling something” to quote The Princess Bride. FCP7 users are in a tough situation…. Do they switch to something else? Or stay with a product that will eventually not keep up with technology. Not an easy decision… at least not one I’d want to make.