New toys and new fun. We have been putting the new iPad Pro through its paces this week and we thought a quick post and a couple of videos about our first thoughts would be good. Yes we do mention 4K editing in iMovie and Duet!

It's a large iPad. In fact it is about the same size as two iPad Airs side by side or fractionally bigger than a sheet of A4 paper. Or if you prefer your comparisons in percentages, the iPad Pro has 80% more surface than the original iPad. 

imovie ipad pro 1

Original iPad on the bottom!


It is also a lot thinner than the original iPad, but that is not at the sacrifice of strength, it feels quite sturdy, there's no flexing if you try twisting it.

imovie ipad pro 2

A big difference in 5 years. Original iPad on the left, iPad Pro on the right.


Once youv'e unlocked the iPad Pro (With your fingerprint or the now six digit security code) the retina screen's 5.6 million pixels look gorgeous. We think the iPad Pro's real estate makes a real difference. Web pages look great in portrait mode, photos look great in landscape mode with stunning detail and great contrast. Well, it all looks good.

But back to the first 24 hours and we did two things that any Final Cut Pro X editor with the new iPad would do. Check out 4K editing in iMovie and then try getting FCPX's filmstrips onto the iPad by using Duet.

We have some good and bad news

Let us start off with a quick look at iMovie on the iPad Pro.

We tried to transfer over some 4K clips we found on a MacBook Pro via AirDrop as the iPad's camera only shoots video at a maximum of 1080. Apple say the iPad can handle 4K, so we were keen to stretch it!

It didn't work. Forget any flavour of ProRes, iMovie can't play the files as the codecs are unsupported. Did proxies work from FCPX? No, which is a real shame as we can see some great potential workflows if this was possible. (Export proxies for cutting on iPad) So much for doing a rough cut on the train home!

We ended up having to dig into Compressor and build a 4K H264 file format that the iPad could play. Hopefully a Compressor update will bring in a new preset to get 4K footage from a Mac over. 

You can also transfer footage over by using a Lightning to USB converter to read a camera card. You cannot however, plug a hard drive in.

iMovie on the iPad Pro will display video pixel for pixel for a 1080 video running in landscape or portrait mode. Twisting it 90 degrees whist playing don't stop the timeline.


We cannot stress how fluid the timeline feels on the iPad and yes it does scroll with beautiful smoothness when playing. Suddenly, all of Apple's redesigns of the apps makes sense. They have thought long and hard about how we will be using video in the future.

Tinkering with iMovie on the iPad you realise that it is years ahead of other NLEs and in a way FCPX too.

The iPad playback and scrolling is so smooth, with the split screens and dissolves you can have 3 streams being played at once. Ironic when some NLEs have trouble playing back a couple of streams of 4K on a beefy PC. One PC stat here, the iPad Pro has more computing power than 80% of all the PC laptops and tablets sold last year.

There will be more to come on iMovie when we have spent more than 24 hours with the new iPad.


So the burning question we can hear everyone saying is: 'Can the new iPad Pro be used with Duet as a second display?' and 'Can I run up and down the filmstrips?'

New versions of everything installed, we gave it a go as you can see in the video.


So the short answer is no. The long answer is the size glitches make it unusable and the touch points go off line on the right hand side. Same glitches happen when you put the viewer on the iPad Pro. It nearly works, so hopefully you will be able to scroll across the clips in the future. 

No time to talk about the Pencil and the Keyboard, we will save those for the next article. Which might be written with the new keyboard!



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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