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Nov 1 / Darryl Shreve

A Final Cut Pro 7 vs X comparison

For you Final Cut Pro editors, here is a look at the visual differences between X and 7. Both programs offer more features than will be listed here, so consider this is a “big picture” comparison.


Fina Cut Pro 7  (FCP7)

Log and transfer for digital video, log and capture for tape footage and “import” for still and other media. Only the video media to be captured is pre-viewable, not the imports. Footage should be converted to Apple Pro-res 422 before being brought into FCP7.


Final Cut Pro X (FCPX)

One import window for everything. All digital assets are pre-viewable and the footage is scrollable. Footage can be converted to Apple pro-res on import.




The Browser contains the Projects, which contain all media and sequences to be used for said project. Multiple projects can be stored here. Clips and other media can be placed into folders (bins).



Projects and media are broken up into two areas. Projects in X are essentially sequences (or your actual edits).  The Project Library is the container for sequences.

All media are stored in the Event Library. What you normally think of as a project in 7, is an Event in X. When an Event is selected, it’s clips appear in a window on the side and can be placed into keyword smart collections, like the bins in FCP7.




You double click on a clip in the timeline or project and then you can manage its attributes, if you double click on a clip in the browser, the video does not automatically appear in the canvas window. The viewer (on the left) will show you the audio, video or the transforms controls. The window on the right is the canvas and shows you what is on the timeline.



Click on a clip in the project(timeline) or Event library(media container) to view transforms tools (inspector), plus several other features not immediately offered in 7. You can show and hide the inspector. You can also set FCPX up as a two window system. I prefer the one, much larger window myself.



Referred to as sequences. Its a set timeline that offers video and audio tracks.



Referred to as Projects. the Magnetic Timeline has one track (primary storyline) and it ripples automatically. You can append(attach) clips to the primary storyline, basically giving you multiple layers.



The FCPX audio meters are much larger and more accurate than in 7.

FCP7      FCPX 



The FCPX toolbar is much clearer in terms of functionality,  but you will still need to read up on the controls.

FCP7         FCPX




You can access your filters, transitions or generators here in the Project Browser or through the FCP window menus.



FCPX has a more graphical and user friendly interface for the same thing. You can access all of your sound and photo libraries and its much easier to preview or audition effects on your clips. Scoring can be done directly from here as here.


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  1. Darryl Shreve / Jan 25 2018

    Hey, I am a rookie at this too. I believe your ideas and content are most important. The platform is just an instrument, but you are the conductor and musician. So tell your stories. The world needs to hear your voice.

  2. DreamProxies / Dec 18 2017

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

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