Last Updated on May 25, 2022 by Macsoftbox
Final Cut Pro (Apple recently dropped the “X” from the name), the prosumer-grade, professional video editing software, caters to both consumers who want more power for their video editing projects than iMovie offers.
Final Cut Pro does a remarkable job of bridging these two worlds, and while professionals may complain about its non-traditional, trackless timeline and amateurs may scratch their heads at its plethora of fancy options, it’s a terrific tool for both groups.
How much does Final Cut Pro cost?
As with any modern Mac app, you can get Final Cut Pro from the Mac App Store. You can install it on multiple Macs for $299, and you’ll receive updates automatically, with no subscription required. There are no upgrade prices, but compared to the $999 cost of the old Final Cut, $299 is an upgrade price. By comparison, you can only get Adobe’s competing Premiere Pro with a Creative Cloud subscription for $19.99 per month. Once you have purchased Final Cut Pro, you are entitled to all updates. Apple offers a very generous 90-day free trial if you want to give up the software; it only requires an Apple Store account.
At over 3GB, Final Cut Pro is a sizeable download, so make sure you have enough local storage. The program requires a machine running macOS Catalina 10.15.6 or later, an OpenCL-compatible video processor, 3.8GB of free disk space, and a minimum of 4GB of RAM (8GB is recommended). As mentioned above, it runs natively on newer Apple Silicon M1-based Macs. Apple claims these can process projects up to six times faster, though compared to Core i3-based Macs, hardware few serious video editors would likely use.
I tested Final Cut on the 2019 iMac with a 3.6GHz Core i9 processor, Radeon Pro Vega GPU, 16GB RAM running macOS Catalina, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 3.1GHz Core i5 CPU and 8GB RAM. GB RAM and Touch Bar.
As you’d expect with the iMac’s specs, performance was responsive whether I imported, cleaned, previewed picture-in-picture composite montages, or added effects. Still, it also has reasonable performance on the less powerful laptop.
Libraries, Import, Organize
Libraries in Final Cut Pro let you keep assets together for use in multiple projects. They combine the previously discrete Events and Projects panels. Libraries are similar to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom catalogs in that they are databases that can be backed up to a separate drive and are backed up automatically. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about projects you created before this library provision: Final Cut offers a simple upgrade option to get them with the program.
The interface sports a consistent dark grey that makes the content you’re editing the highlight on the screen. Four preset window layouts in Final Cut include Default, Arrange, Color and Effects, and Dual Screens (greyed out if you don’t have dual screens). You can also create your custom workspace layouts. However, you cannot undock the panels so they float freely, as you can in Premiere Pro.
While Final Cut Pro’s timeline looks similar to iMovie’s, with its trackless, freeform magnetic timeline view, the pro program has a lot more editing power. As with almost all video editing applications, Final Cut Pro features the standard three-pane view, with source clips at the top left, a preview at the top right, and a timeline at the bottom. A timecode indicator appears below the preview window and indicates the percentage of render complete. You can expand the preview to full screen and resize any panel. Still, you cannot separate panels into separate windows (Corel VideoStudio Pro and Premiere Pro allow you to do this). Get Undo and Redo in Final Cut.
There are no track numbers along the left edge; Final Cut Pro calls track lanes, and you can add as many as you like. There is no track limit like you find in other video editors like Pinnacle Studio and CyberLink PowerDirector. I should point out that Final Cut still makes excellent use of keyboard shortcuts, such as switching back and forth between the trim, selection, blade, and range selection functions. The good J, K, L, I, and O still work as expected. You can display an on-screen keyboard that shows them all and edit the critical functions to your liking.
Adding clips to the magnetic timeline is a simple drag operation, and the dropped clip snaps to neighboring clips or to the start (you can use a position cursor tool). If you are attentive, you will notice that a small hairline connects the hook you enter with the first clip you added. This clip connection means that whenever you move the central clip, the one added after it will stay in the same relative position on the timeline. But if you drag one clip so that it overlaps another, that second clip moves out of your way and unfolds to create a new overlapping lane below it.
Final Cut Pro for Mac Free Download
You can download Apple Final Cut Pro Free from macsoftbox.com for educational purposes. To use commercial purposes, we recommend buying the original license from Apple.
Looking for Older Versions? Check the Archive here.