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:
Intelligent Assistances and Lumberjack System Apps ready for El Capitan: http://t.co/hYqvUiYDW3— Philip Hodgetts (@philiphodgetts) September 29, 2015
Blog: All Digital Rebellion products now OS X 10.11 El Capitan compatible. http://t.co/DiGTXlrVq6— Digital Rebellion (@digitalreb) September 28, 2015
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.