Back on sale: Apple’s Final Cut Pro 7

Apple Final Cut Studio 7

Earlier this year Apple drew serious criticism and bile from the professional video editing community by releasing Final Cut Pro X, a radical revision of its high-end video editing software, used for everything from Web videos to feature films. Now, Apple seems to be throwing a bone to video editors who need advanced features that were removed from Final Cut Pro X: Apple has quietly resumed sales of Final Cut Studio for $999. The trick is, at least for now, customer have to call Apple and ask to buy the whole package.

Final Cut Studio includes Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3k, DVD Studio Pro 4, Color 1.5, and Compressor 3.5. Apple says putting Final Cut Studio back on sale doesn’t represent any backpedaling from Final Cut Pro X—rather, the company is just clearing out its existing inventory.

Apple discontinued Final Cut Studio when it launched Final Cut Pro X, heralding the new product’s redesign and ease of use. However, while Final Cut Pro X offers many sophisticated and high-end features, some key professional features supported by Final Cut Pro 7 are missing, and the product redesign make it difficult to impossible to integrated into existing editing workflows—or could be integrated only through changing process and spending money for additional expensive add-on hardware and software.

Chief among complaints regarding Final Cut Pro X are the inability to connect an external analog monitor, no support for multi-camera editing, no support for Edit Decision List (EDL) files (a widely used decades-old single-track edit format), and the inability to import existing Final Cut Pro projects. Editors have also been caught off guard by changes to audio track handling. Apple has promised updates to add back in some of these features, but progress has been slow.

Apple is widely seen to be aiming Final Cut Pro X at a wider audience than that enjoyed by Final Cut Pro. That stance may be reflected in product pricing: old copies of Final Cut Studio are available for $999, where Final Cut Pro X runs for $299.99.