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TOPIC: 5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX

5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 10 Feb 2016 18:59 #73194

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX

Lots of folks are complaining about not having major feature updates multiple times each year for FCPX. Some complain about or don’t appreciate the costs or FCPX/Motion/Compressor.
So on the fifth anniversary of FCPX released in 2011, thought it might be good to gain some perspective on the cost of owning Apple’s outstanding NLE’s for 5 years.

In 2004, Apple introduced Production Suite, which contained Final Cut ProHD (FCP4 High Def version), DVDSP3, Sound Track, Live Type1.2, and Motion; all for the bundle price of $1,299.00 USD
2005 Final Cut Studio (FCP5) $1,299.00 / or Upgrade $499.00 from Production Suite. $699.00 if you only owned FCP4 without the Suite.
In 2006 Apple released the Universal version of FCS for $50.00 for owners of FCS(PPC) which was needed if you switched from PPC computers to the new Intel like I did.
2007 FSC2 (FCP6 + Colors) $1,299.00 / Upgrade $499.00
2009 FSC3 (FCP7) $999.00 ($300.00 price drop) or Upgrade $299.00 ($200.00 drop)

So if you bought Production Suite in 2004 and maintained it with needed upgrades for 5 years, your TOTAL cost of ownership was $2,646.00 USD.
If you skipped Production Suite, then your TOTAL cost was only $2,147.00
This was an unheard of bargain in terms of a fully capable NLE + supporting software for the time.

What about the TOTAL cost of owning FCPX for 5 years $299.00 USD
Add in Motion and Compressor for $50.00@ then the TOTAL cost escalates to a TOTAL for 5 years of $399.00 USD (Yes the actual cost of Motion/Compressor is $49.99@)

Add in the fact that FCPX/Motion/Compressor all have received more features updates along with bug fixes (19 for FCPX alone) than legacy did for the same # number of years, I think we are getting a Fantastic Bargain for a Fantastic product.

Please let me edit in FCPX anyday over FCS!
Thank You Greg and Philip from Intelligent Assistance Software for 7toX. My time in Legacy is now: How long will it take me to export an XML?

Hope this helps, Greg

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 10 Feb 2016 19:26 #73195

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"Add in the fact that FCPX/Motion/Compressor all have received more features updates along with bug fixes (19 for FCPX alone) than legacy did for the same # number of years, I think we are getting a Fantastic Bargain for a Fantastic product."

And THAT proves my point, when I say (privately) that folks complaining about lack of feature updates are just spoiled. HA!

I'd always wanted to do this spreadsheet up myself. Thanks for posting this, VidGreg! Great job!

BTW, the 5th anniversary will be June 21st.

This really should be expanded, polished up, and made into a front page article.

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Last edit: by BenB.

5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 10 Feb 2016 19:39 #73198

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I will happily second this. Thank you for posting this, Greg.

- Ronny

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 10 Feb 2016 19:47 #73199

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Thanks Greg for illustrating my point very effectively of how FCP X has probably offered the highest ROI (Return On Investment) of any tool I have ever employed in my business ... and I've been buying gear, software and other essentials for that effort since 1974.

Sure, FCP X may not be what all the Cool Kids in Hollywood are using these days ... but I'm convinced, that segment of the user base is small in number by comparison to the rest of the industry.

Either way. I am very appreciative that Apple offered me the opportunity to use a very capable and affordable option that can produce an excellent end product that my clients are more than willing to compensate me fairly for.

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Last edit: by ButchM.

5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 10 Feb 2016 20:14 #73200

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Well done!

I do think a lot of recent complaining comes from people looking over their shoulder at Creative Cloud. They may not be taking the FCPX ecosystem though. PP CC adds something like morph transition but FCPX gets the plugin from MotionVFX. PP CC gets Lumetri but FCPX has Color Finale.

Some have a psychological resentment on having to pay "extra" for a feature but perhaps they're not seeing that with PP CC, they're paying month after month for features they may or may not need. With FCPX the additional features coming from third parties are usually a one time cost and entirely optional. Additionally since such plugins have their own third party development teams everything isn't locked into Apple's internal feature prioritization.

Perhaps when people look over their shoulder at Creative Cloud feature updates they should be reminded how many new or improved features have been added by third parties to the FCPX ecosystem.

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 04:42 #73207

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BenB wrote: ...This really should be expanded, polished up, and made into a front page article.


Agreed. Good information and well worth the read. I'm very happy with FCPX, Motion and Compressor. The updates have been excellent and I know there's more to come.

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 06:17 #73211

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Compared to the cost of renting Adobe products, and the headache, lost hours when you have log in errors, and the stale old inefficient user interface of Avid/Adobe [Premiere Pro], then FCPX is a total win.

There is also the dedicated extremely knowledgeable users of FCPX, none like to the same degree in Avid/Adobe. You can go only a few minutes at times waiting for a reply to a question about FCPX, a transition, an error code, how long might you have to wait with Avid/Adobe.

I know nothing about Sony products, that is the software, no one talks about it, and even Sony Creative website, is worse than that of Apple.

I bought FCS when it was studio 2, the full $1200, that was steep, and I thought a great investment, less than 3 years later, Final Cut X 10.0 for $300, what a bargain.

Haters will hate, call FCPX imovie pro, if it brings in the paycheck, does it really matter what it is called? I kind of take pity of the deluded lost souls in the dark hoping, praying Avid is not a dead company, and the other lost souls praying as they hit log in, the servers are online, me, I work offline, content that my data is protected from dodgy servers!!

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Last edit: by MsJustine.

5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 06:42 #73212

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to be fair, you should add some 'extras', as 7toX, mObjects, ColorFinale, Lumberjack, Lock'n Load. LUTloader, etc etc .... - luckily! - not everybody needs all those fine add-ons ...

… and in a more general perspective, that means, FCPX is not just 'costs', but creates income for companies outside Apple…

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 06:44 #73213

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I had not thought about the extra's. That is a very good point, Apple is allowing outsiders to produce for profit plug in's that enhance the functionality of FCPX.

I think that is a very good decision by Apple, is this the same in the Avid/Adobe domains?

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 10:51 #73218

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cseeman wrote: ...people looking over their shoulder at Creative Cloud.....Some have a psychological resentment on having to pay "extra" for a feature but...with PP CC, they're paying month after month for features they may or may not need...


With the CC suite you are paying enough to buy a new iMac every three years. With FCPX the software cost essentially goes to zero over time, so relative to CC you are essentially getting a free computer every three years.

With CC no matter how long you pay, you are never vested. If you stop paying you lose access to all your projects. With FCPX you can always open your old projects.

Another issue is pure performance. I have the latest 2015 CC, and on a top-spec 2015 iMac 27, it is quite slow editing H264 4k. There is so much lag in JKL command input when scrubbing a 4k timeline it is difficult to use. The viewer update rate during fast forward on the timeline can drop to once every 3-4 seconds. FCPX is about 20-30x faster -- I'm tempted to say "like mercury" :)

Even though we don't distribute 4k, my group shoots and edits everything in 4k. I have tried editing H264 4k multicam in Premiere CC, and it's terribly slow. FCPX can easily handle 4k without transcoding in a 1080p project because it's smart enough to retain the underlying 4k data for cropping; CC is not. In FCPX if we need to use proxy it's easy. CC has no built-in proxy support -- you transcode everything manually by yourself.

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 10:59 #73219

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That is just it, with PPro, you are all in and have no choice, you can rent per application or the full suite, and it is not cheap to rent, then there are the log in errors, updating that may or may not break your copy of PPro, and yes you loose if you miss a payment.

So who in their right mind would subject their revenue to an outside agency that may jack up prices, remove features, and you have no say in the matter, it is a form of blackmail, pay or loose.

With FCPX, you buy it once, and if you never update, or log into anything, no biggie, just carry on working, on the plane, anywhere, a possible issue with Adobe.

I never could understand the reason for rental only, sure rental with cloud access, and mind blowing extra features, I cannot afford the rental of photoshop, ppro, so is it too hard to imagine why there is so many torrents dedicated to adobe?? I almost agree with piracy in this case, in the case of Adobe, it is a consumer action to force the company to reconsider rental only. For me I am firmly Apple...Not going to pirate Adobe, but I understand people doing it.

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Last edit: by MsJustine.

5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 11 Feb 2016 23:36 #73237

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Great info, Greg!!

I'm working on an article for my company's blog ( cutpeople.tumblr.com ) comparing the cost of licensing 5 FCPX suites for 6 years versus the cost of licensing 5 Adobe/Avid suites for the same period...

I think I should add your comparison as well, if you are OK with it, Greg. Of course, I would give you credit for it in the article.

Thanks for taking the time to make this and share it with us!

Jesús
@jesus_edits
Jesús Pérez-Miranda
Cut People CEO & Founder
www.cutpeople.es

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 12 Feb 2016 04:29 #73243

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joema wrote: … If you stop paying you lose access to all your projects. ….


That is one of the most bizarr 'sideeffects' of these renting models, I can not understand people are willing to sign.

Imagine a carpenter cannot repair some furniture he made you in the past, 'cause the maker of the screwdriver doesn't allow it .... :sick:

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 12 Feb 2016 04:32 #73244

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I hope Apple never consider this model a viable income stream, it is not a viable stream, if people steal from Adobe, I fully understand why.

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 13 Feb 2016 17:39 #73299

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Hi Jesús
Glad you liked the post. It is all public domain info, so please feel free to use it anyway you want. You don't really need to attribute to me, but thanks. I did it in a hurry in Text Edit, so the table is not very clean. I used several sources but fact checked the info on the Apple servers. So I believe everything in Table accurate.
I forgot to add the date of the original FCS1 conversion to Universal program was March 2006.
While writing the post, thought I might take a stab at comparing relative cost of Adobe and Avid just for fun.
Comparing Adobe to Apple is much more involved in tracking costs and of course apps and bundles are not 1 for 1 equivalent, and several other issues. Working on it, but really needs a interactive chart. Also, Adobe has historically treated customers outside of US to different inflated pricing. What I call being hit by double VATs; Value Added Tax, and Variable Adobe Tax. So actual comparative cost between Apple and Adobe is difficult to chart.
Have most of the data ready, just need to figure out how to present. I do have some opinions about Adobe and the Subscription Model that I hope people will consider. Might surprise everyone.
Barely begun to collect data on Avid.
Be interested in reading your article if it will be available publicly, so post link if you can. Thanks.
Happy Editing, Greg

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 13 Feb 2016 17:41 #73300

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Thanks for the kind words everyone. Glad it was helpful.
Stay tuned, more might be coming :unsure:

Happy Editing, Greg

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 14 Feb 2016 00:42 #73307

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When price comparing to Adobe, there is a catch to bear in mind. I was informed by an Apple FCPX team person that a lot of the cost of FCPStudio was packaging, programming the installation DVDs, etc. Remember, each DVD had to be pressed (not burned) with a unique license number. So there was a ton of cost in packaging and distribution.

I know from working in software development companies in the past, this is true for all software developers. Including Adobe.

When Apple went to the App Store model of distribution, packaging and distribution costs basically vanished, mostly, so there's a ton of money they suddenly didn't need to recoup. It is logical to apply this to Adobe, now that they do online, downloads. So I'd think PPro would cost, if you purchased a license to own, would today be similar to FCPX.

I say thing because I've seen others compare PPro pricing, from before Adobe when download only, to FCPX, being download only. I don't think that is a fair, or realistic comparison. So, just bear that in mind.

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 14 Feb 2016 01:10 #73312

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That being said, Ben, if you bought Adobe download-only, you also used to pay a lot.

And if you were a European customer, like me, you often paid to 50 percent more for the same product as Americans, which was just downloading from the same server in America.

That being said, I think FCS 2 was also an attractive price considering the package it was. Yes, it had a higher barrier than a 300 dollar FCPX, but it was still affordable if you wanted to make it your job. And it was a great suite, at one point being the first (if I'm not mistaken) to include a professional color grading program at an affordable price.

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Last edit: by sidderke.

5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 15 Feb 2016 16:22 #73363

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BenB wrote:
I say thing because I've seen others compare PPro pricing, from before Adobe when download only, to FCPX, being download only. I don't think that is a fair, or realistic comparison. So, just bear that in mind.


Well ... you can still buy Adobe CS 6 versions (you have to actually call Adobe) and they are download only .... and the the price is the same for those as they always were $600-$700 each for the main apps individually and more for the the various suite combos.

The only perpetual licensed app they dropped the price on was Lightroom (from $299 to $149) ... which they kind of had to when Apple dropped Aperture to $80.

Also as mentioned earlier ... the absence of an exit strategy for using Adobe CC is one of the prime reasons I went with FCP X. Even if Premier Pro was incrementally better (which it is not) the fact that the moment you cease paying the monthly stipend, your software no longer functions is not a pathway forward for me ... at any price.

Now, that may sound contradictory because I am a subscriber to the Photography plan for Ps and Lightroom ... because in v5 of Lr they opened the app up, that even if your subscription would expire, you can still export, print and update metadata for your images that have been previously imported into Lightroom.

Without that capability I would never have signed up.

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5 Year Comparative cost of owning FCS (legacy) vs FCPX 16 Feb 2016 04:10 #73383

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Obviously FCPX is crazy cheap compared to FCP7 and earlier, but who exactly is this thread advertising to? We can' go and buy the old versions for those prices any more. Apple doesn't sell them. Everyone here probably already owned the old Final Cut Pro. So what's the point?

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