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Proceed with caution when updating to OS X 10.11 El Capitan

 el capitan fcpx

Today September 30th, Apple will publish the latest version of their OS X operating system, El Capitan. For Final Cut Pro X users, there are a few things to think about before hitting that upgrade button.

Apple yesterday published a Press Release telling us that OS X 10.11 or 'El Capitan' will be released today, September 30th.

We are not going to go into a big review of the new OS as Ars Technica has already published a detailed look that is worth a read. What we gain from that is that if you are just emailing and surfing then you should be fine.

Things get a little more complicated when it comes to using the new OS with FCPX.

Before we go any further, we know it is dull but we have to remind you to make a backup of your boot drive before upgrading the OS. Hopefully you won't need it, but having that copy just might be the only way to recover data if things go wrong. That might include things like family photos if you are working on your personal laptop.

We must also stress that upgrading mid-project carries risks. As much as you would like the latest and greatest, the update can wait until the client has signed off the project.


Which brings us back to Final Cut Pro X working with El Capitan. Long gone are the scare stories from the public beta where FCPX wouldn't even open. It will run fine, the problem occurs with third party products.

It was described by Simon Ubsdell who writes plugins under the Tokyo and Hawaiki brands:

'Core Image is an Apple framework that continues to provide fast rendering and predictable results in our plug-ins when used on previous versions of OS X (Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite), but due to the unreliability of the framework in El Capitan, we strongly recommend you do not upgrade to El Capitan until Apple stabilize Core Image. In particular, you may see a very significant performance slowdown if you are running a late 2013 Mac Pro.'

So the problem is twofold. First of all you have the question of third party products working or not working with FCPX on El Capitan. That ranges from plugins through to drivers for broadcast out devices. 

Then you have the Core Image problem on top of that. 


The good news it that a few third party developers have already said that their products are compatible with El Capitan:



So for us, we are going to sit and wait until the dot upgrade (or first round of bug fixes) to El Capitan comes out to swap over. We don't know when an upgrade to FCPX will happen to make the use of 10.11 essential, but on past history we think we should be fine until 10.3 is released.

Please post in the Facebook comments below or on the Forum if you've found products that work or don't work with El Capitan.



Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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