You are absolutely right to test both suites and find out which is right for the user. I made a parallel switch to ADobe CS5 production last year. It is much closer to FCP7 in functionality and GUI than FCPX is.
With the right machine, ADobe 5.5 flies in native editing and efx layering. The ability to scrub natively is awesome! I'll just add that with CS5.5, I'm editing much faster even when using AE, Audition and PP tossing around a project... plus I can open FCP7 projects.
Color is still great but has been left out of FCPX updates. The color correction on FCPX is just not as complete as Color and definitely not close to Da Vinci Resolve (Lite version is going to be free I think).
I do think FCPX is catered for the simpler projects without too much efx or layering. ANd I agree a few of the features like the magnetic timeline and compound clips are very nice but CS5.5 has so many more features including real time native with efx, so there's no big file that's recoded in the background, multi-monitor support (WTF is Apple on?) and the Audition program is just better than FCPX audio functions by a lightyear. Then there's AE's functionality and speed for complex 3D graphics vs Motion's simpler GUI.
I am afraid to pit CS5.5 vs FCPX because a lot of it is down to types of projects and productions. I think as the project gets more complicated, FCSX starts to lose ground rapidly. I tried it for a few weeks now and just can't see pass the Nvidia CUDA Mercury engine speed differential. That doesn't matter for most MBPs but on a desktop, it's like the tortoise and the hare, except the hare doesn't stop to snooze!
I understand your views - but I suspect that you've not yet pushed yourself through the paradigm shift and seen the brave new world on the other side.
PP, AE, AU and EN have a much steeper learning curve than FCP X but, once up that curve, they do have a lot of powerful features. That Mercury engine is nice and fast but, as most of the time in video editing is "input bound" (the computer waiting for the user to do something), I don't know how essential it is. With its background engine, over the weekend, I spent almost no time waiting for FCP X.
For the kind of underwater video projects that I do, I can not see anything missing out of FCP X that I might REALLY need.
With the ability to uses masks, shapes and keying for color correction, I think I can handle even the most complex UW color problems with FCP X. It is one of those "deceptively simple" features of FCP X. When you first use that feature it looks a bit sparse. When you dig into the twirl-downs, there is a lot of capability.
By "multi-monitor", I assume that you are talking about external TV broadcast monitors. Because FCP X today can already support 2 computer monitors. Most of the work I did yesterday was on two monitors, with the "show viewer on a second window" option.
Edited by peterbkk, 10 July 2011 - 05:29 PM.