Apple releases updated Final Cut Pro X, throws pros a bone with multicam support, broadcast monitoring support
The X version of Final Cut Pro was supposed to be all things to all people -- easier and more power for the serious amateurs and yet refreshing and comprehensive for the pros. In reality it seemed that neither camp quite saw it that way, but Apple has at least been listening. Today the company has announced version 10.0.3, which finally adds the one feature everyone's been clamoring for: multicam support. But that's not all. Join us after the break for a deeper look.

With this new version, Final Cut Pro X can now support footage from up to 64 separate cameras, each with different combinations of codecs, resolutions and frame rates. The app can obviously sync based on embedded timestamps, but it can also automatically take a shot at lining up footage by looking at the waveforms of associated audio from each cam, even if that audio isn't used in the resulting production.

There's also a new advanced chroma key feature, which enables better tweaking of green screen-like footage from directly within the app, and the ability to work with layered PSDs right there as well. There's also beta support for broadcast monitoring hardware from the likes of Blackmagic, AJA and Matrox, all of whom are said to have or be working on Thunderbolt-equipped hardware.

Finally, three third-party add-ons are releasing today: Red Giant has a version of its Magic Bullet Suite, GenArts has is Sapphire Edge plugin and Intelligent Assistance has a $10 app called 7 to X that will convert legacy Final Cut Pro projects into the latest and greatest format.

The feature upgrades to Final Cut Pro X are nice, especially given this update is free to those who have already paid the $299 entry fee, but is it all enough to woo back those jilted pros who might have taken their multicam setups elsewhere over the past seven months? That we'll have to wait and see.


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Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X

CUPERTINO, California-January 31, 2012-Apple® today released Final Cut Pro® X v10.0.3, a significant update to its revolutionary professional video editing application, which introduces multicam editing that automatically syncs up to 64 angles of video and photos; advanced chroma keying for handling complex adjustments right in the app; and enhanced XML for a richer interchange with third party apps and plug-ins that support the fast growing Final Cut Pro X ecosystem. Available today as a free update from the Mac® App Store™, Final Cut Pro X v10.0.3 also includes a beta of broadcast monitoring that supports Thunderbolt devices as well as PCIe cards.

Final Cut Pro X v10.0.3 includes a collection of groundbreaking new tools for editing multicam projects. Final Cut Pro X automatically syncs clips from your shoot using audio waveforms, time and date, or timecode to create a Multicam Clip with up to 64 angles of video, which can include mixed formats, frame sizes and frame rates. The powerful Angle Editor allows you to dive into your Multicam Clip to make precise adjustments, and the Angle Viewer lets you play back multiple angles at the same time and seamlessly cut between them.

Final Cut Pro X builds upon its robust, one-step chroma key with the addition of advanced controls including color sampling, edge adjustment and light wrap. You can tackle complex keying challenges right in Final Cut Pro X, without having to export to a motion graphics application, and view your results instantly with realtime playback.

In the seven months since launch, the third party ecosystem around Final Cut Pro X has expanded dramatically. XML-compatible software like DaVinci Resolve and CatDV provide tight integration for tasks such as color correction and media management. The new 7toX app from Intelligent Assistance uses XML to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects into Final Cut Pro X. In addition, some of the industry's largest visual effects developers, including GenArts and Red Giant, have developed motion graphics plug-ins that take advantage of the speed and real-time preview capabilities of Final Cut Pro X.

Broadcast monitoring in Final Cut Pro X is currently in beta and allows you to connect to waveform displays, vectorscopes, and calibrated, high-quality monitors to ensure that your project meets broadcast specifications. Final Cut Pro X supports monitoring of video and audio through Thunderbolt I/O devices, as well as through third party PCIe cards.

Pricing & Availability
Final Cut Pro X v10.0.3 is available from the Mac App Store for $299.99 (US) to new users, or as a free update for existing Final Cut Pro X customers. A 30-day free trial of Final Cut Pro X is available at www.apple.com/finalcutpro/trial. Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Pro X can be found at www.apple.com/finalcutpro.

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