While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "the standard by which all others are judged" (because, 8 years after I bought my first copy of FCP, I STILL compare it to Avid Media Composer...), FCP is a tremendously impressive, easy to use program that will allow any professional editor to shine, without getting in the way (for the most part).
But...you may be seeing some reservations, and you would be right.
-I ABSOLUTELY HATE the grey-on-gray interface, with it's tiny window headers, puny type, and windows (especially the viewer window) which don't resize properly or consistently.
-It loses render files like nobody's business. Not so bad on my little local system, but a major pain in the patoot on the Xsan-based networked systems I work on.
-Apple is a little slow to implement support for newer compressed formats of video (anyone remember version 5, HDV and the Apple Intermediate Codec?), expecially when compared to the format-agnostic leanings of, say, Vegas.
-the keyframing interface can be balky, frustrating and downright difficult to use when you're tired and it's late in the session...those little black diamonds just don't effing go where you want them
-and who in god's green earth decided that the "Center" function shouldn't have a "smooth" keyframe mode accesible from the keyframe window, but instead, from the Browser window, and only when you have the wireframe view mode turned on? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
-needs to be restarted, and/or have prefs tossed, far too often. NEVER have to do this on any Avid I've worked on (and I've worked on plenty, both PC and Mac).
That being said, FCP is definitely the biggest bang for the buck out there...I've made a business using this software!
Review by mikejaz2
Mar 24, 2008 Version: 5.1.4
OS: MacOSX Ease of use: 8/10
Value for money: 10/10