Apple Announces Final Cut Pro X At NAB: $299 In June

It’s NAB (the National Association of Broadcasters conference) in Las Vegas, that means lots of new camera and video stuff. It’s more pro gear than consumer stuff, which is probably why Apple took over the Final Cut Pro User Group Supermeet there to unveil the newest version of their professional video editing software. They’re calling it as revolutionary as the original Final Cut released back in ’99. Guess the rumors were right.

Thanks to Photography Bay for liveblogging the event; the whole thing (plus pictures of the event) can be found there.

After a preamble where they described FCP has having over 2 million users and teasing the competition, they launched into the new features of FCPX, which has been “rebuilt from the ground up”:

  • Now 64-bit, with OpenCL support
  • All editing native – no transcoding (for supported formats incl. H264, I assume)
  • New UI (screenshots forthcoming) with “magnetic timeline” and new clip sync method
  • Resolution independent playback system
  • Handles up to 4K
  • Uses Grand Central Dispatch to utilize all your cores
  • Fully color-managed (ColorSync)
  • Media ready for editing immediately – but stabilization, audio and shutter correction, shot detection and preliminary color balancing automatically applied during ingest
  • Timecode-based keywording within clips
  • Collections and “smart” collections of media based on metadata and analysis, presented in iMovie filmstrip style
  • Auto-syncing clips via audio waveform analysis (very nice if it works as advertised)
  • Automated color-matching between clips

Here’s an image of the new UI, via Adam Bedford:

And some better pictures from Photography Bay:

The software demoed was currently in beta, but it’ll be available on June 9th for… $299. That’s really cheap, although it replaces the cheaper Final Cut Express, and Adobe should be coming out with a new version of Premiere Elements soon as well.

More info to be added as soon as Apple provides it, specifically info on the rest of the Final Cut Studio suite of applications. We’ve heard we should “stay tuned” regarding those products; I’m guessing they’re not quite ready for their close-up. With new pricing, I’d be surprised to see the rest of the apps go for more than $200 total, if that. Apple’s doing (in my opinion) the right thing for monetization of this segment: push for volume and accessibility, pull in the enthusiast and prosumer market that couldn’t afford the original FCP and doesn’t want to go Adobe.