All NLEs have their pros and cons and a group of strong supporters, who praise the software they use. For this reason, a person not using a particular application who speaks favorably about it is more credible and particularly worth listening to. This is the case of Andrew Reid’s text on Final Cut Pro X at eoshd.com, where he describes testing Premiere CC, Resolve 11 and FCPX 4K files transcoding speed:
The Canon 1D C’s massive 4K files gave me a good chance this week to put Premiere CC, Resolve 11 and Final Cut Pro X through the grinder plus a few other apps as well. The camera showed up some marked differences between the apps.
And Andrew’s comment on how 4K transcoding went (highlight added):
FCPX’s performance is astounding. On my Macbook Pro Retina 15″ and 27″ iMac 2013 it was the only one capable of playing 4K MJPEG material in realtime, flawlessly. Resolve can’t do it. Premiere can’t do it. Quicktime and VLC Player can’t do it. Yet I can edit a multi-track 1D C project straight away in FCPX and not even have to transcode at all.
The how-to is described in his article with additional screenshots to help out. Below there's a FCPX screenshot with 'Create optimized media' and 'Leave files in place' boxes checked during importing:
Here's some sum-up data from Andrew's text:
For 1 min (4GB) 4K MJPEG…
- Resolve = 3 min
- Adobe Media Encoder = 3 min
- Apple Compressor = 3 min
- Apple FCPX = 58 sec
Andrew mentions one disadvantage though: no batch convert, and but also points at a solution that is available:
Thankfully and almost by accident they have a transcoding feature that (nearly) gives us what we want. This feature will batch transcode all your 4K files to 4K ProRes 422 at a single click. (…)Unfortunately you can’t change this so it’s ProRes 422 or nothing. Therefore you don’t get the lovely space saving of LT or Proxy but it does mean we can edit like butter in Premiere and apply FX without everything grinding to a crawl and requiring constant rendering.
You might also want to check out Andrew’s article in its entirety, as he speaks more about working with FCPX and other applications; also mentioning some third party software you could try. Direct link to the text is here.