Day job wise, it's utterly useless. The huge feature omissions, such as lack of legacy project support, and little feature omissions, such as the inability to tick a checkbox to mark a clip as anamorphic, make this unusable. There's a whole list, and it's been discussed ad nauseum.
Having said that, I imagine that it could possibly be useful as a home video tool - but again, I've taken many of the features/workflows I use in FCP7, and use them in home editing. The difference is that at home, I use Avid Media Composer 5. I wish we had it at work, honestly, but that's beside the point. The point is, when you get used to working a certain way, and you take advantage of features and workflows that are available to you in your professional tools, which speed things up even for home video use, you begin to use those features and workflows everywhere. FCP7 and Avid MC5 both make it easy for me to sort media, to manipulate media, and to efficiently do the things I need to do, the way I want to do them.
Now, again, I imagine that FCPX could be useful for many home users. Users of those new tapeless consumer cameras will benefit greatly from 64-bit processing to slice through those super-compressed formats. The simplified output options and many of the features are things that people will find useful for one-off home projects. It will likely be a pleasant experience for them. For DV/HDV tape archival, or people who are converting older Hi8/8mm/VHSC tapes to DVD, the ability to start editing as the video's coming in will be helpful.
Overall, this program will be good for many people, I'm not denying that. It probably will be used in many offices for companies that put out videos on social media platforms (not necessarily in the video/media industry). It will be used and liked by the iMovie crowd. And yes, it might be used by pro editors working on home projects; but I do feel that once you start using professional tools, and you have your eyes opened to just how powerful these tools are and how easy they make things, you really don't want to go back. The exception is that if the price is right, and FCPX's price is arguably right.
FCPX will not replace Avid MC5 for my personal use at home.
My background: I've worked in video post production for at a large corporation that broadcasts to the UK, and other broadcasters, since 1986. So I've been a recording operator recording on 2" and 1", and an editor working on 1", U-Matic, Betacam, DVCAM, Sony controllers, Ampex controllers, Avid, Quantel, FCP... Every product is different. Every product has positive and negative features.
When I started using FCP 7 I was given no training and had no time to learn because I had a 10 minute multi-camera shoot to cut for air in a few hours. It was fine. But it was not fine art.
Similar with FCP X; I challenged myself to cut a package on Saturday afternoon - just after I'd bought FCP X. Again, it was fine.
There are bugs, many bugs. There are missing features, many missing features. But I think I'll perceiver with FCP X at home, so when it comes to work - and I am fairly confident that the bugs will slowly go and the features will slowly come, and eventually FCP X will replace FCP 7 at work - I will be one step ahead (or probably one year ahead).
I've worked in the broadcast industry for over 12 years and I've worked on many different NLEs including Avid. I produce commercials for broadcast on a daily basis using Final Cut Pro 7. Let me first say I'm open minded when it comes to new ways of doing things, if they work better. Most professionals want and NEED control over our files and many other aspects of editing. Much of that control has been taken away in the new software. Many people have commented on the lack of ability to export files to xml and different files like that so we are all familiar with those complaints so I'm going to look at it more from how does it function for a professional editor's point of view. There are some cool features and neat effects but how well does it actually allow you to edit? After all, it is an editing software. I've casually messed with FCPX for a couple of days and here is my opinion.
This was a big deal breaker for me so far. Most professional film and post editors use two computer monitors and no two editors edit the same way. We customize the layout of our editing software to fit the way we prefer to edit, what windows are always open, what screen our timeline is on (my timeline fills my entire second monitor because I usually end up with at least 15 video tracks and 16 or more audio tracks). In the new FCPX we have almost no control over how windows are arranged or many other aspects of the way the software works. This makes it feel very confined working in FCPX.
We deal with hundreds if not thousands of video and audio files a day and being able to organize them accordingly is the only way to find anything. The new Final Cut, in my opinion, actually makes organizing all these files in your project a little bit harder. While FCPX's ability to analyze footage and tell you how many people are in the shot is cool. It isn't really very useful to most professional editors. We need to organize by project and by what clip is audio only what clips are b-roll, what clips are sound bites, and so on. I'm OCD when it comes to keeping my bins organized. I also cannot believe that something as basic as reading timecode from a clip was left out. This is essential in the post world.
Now on to actually editing on the "magnetic" timeline.
It seems to me they redesigned the most important tool when it comes to editing (the timeline) to address a problem (clip collisions) that really didn't occur that often and if it did, it wasn't really a big deal. As for clips going out of sync, I've never had a problem with that in a conventional timeline. While this new magnetic timeline is quick and easy to start building a basic storyline, the lack of control quickly becomes frustrating to more advanced editors as they go back and start to tweak and mold and change the sequence. If the above mentioned problems was such a big issue I can think of easy ways they could have fixed them while still keeping the functionality of a standard timeline. I honestly don't see the advantages of this new timeline and in fact see disadvantages other than the obvious problems with round tripping information with other applications. One of the biggest disadvantages (from an editing standpoint) is not being able to designate what "lane" you want to overwrite a new piece of audio or video to once you start getting a somewhat complex sequence. As I said earlier, I usually end up with 15 to 20 video tracks with many composited layers and key layers with graphic background layers and text. I can't go back to my 10th video track and put an in and out point and overwrite a clip to there. Audio is another area where the new software falls short. Selecting what channel of audio (ie. left or right channel and often times there are more than just those two) in conventional editing software is a very quick, straight forward function that only takes one or two clicks or keyboard shortcuts. FCPX requires about 5 steps to do this not to mention you have to do it to each individual clip as you go to change what channels of audio you are using. This is an extreme waste of time.
My overall opinion is they spent more time trying to put a lot of "wiz bang" cool filters and effects into this new software than they did to some of the most basic editing functions. This is a great app for the home video editor or someone who needs to do rather simple editing with only a few layers of video and audio and some cool filters and transitions, but if your someone who edits on a daily basis with multiple layers of composited video and need the freedom and flexibility to put clips where you want them both in the software and on the timeline then FCPX will start to get you very frustrated after a while. There was a reason pro editors weren't editing on imovie and it has nothing to do with us thinking "it's cheap so we didn't feel pro enough" it has to do with functionality and efficient workflows and customization and control. Perhaps one day this will be a viable software for the professional market but right now its not up to the task. Again, I'm all for change, but only if it works better and you have more options, control, and functionality. Right now this is not the case with FCPX.
If I have spoken in error on any of the functions of the new FCPX please let me know as I'd love to know if there is a way of doing some of the things I mentioned that I'm not aware of.