The M1 Treatment Grants the New iPad Pro Editing Superpowers

Years ago, I taught a workshop on editing video for scientists. We primarily taught the shooting part of things with an iPhone and the editing part with iPads and iMovie because it would be easier to learn, not because they were particularly good tools. My how things have changed now that the new M1 iPad Pro is out.

Freelance director of photography, filmmaker, and YouTuber, Matti Haapoja, takes the new iPad Pro out for a quick spin using heavy footage from a DJI drone and the Canon EOS R5. The results were nothing short of impressive, as the new M1-endowed iPad Pro churned through the footage without any issues. You can see a quick look at the footage and more about the iPad Pro in the video above.

None of this should come as a surprise given that the top-of-the-line M1-based iPad Pro is north of $2,000, it should be able to do this, but while Haapoja seems positively chuffed about the prospect of editing video on the iPad, I have to wonder, why? While things have certainly gotten easier over the years to get into and out of an iPad when it comes to file management, it’s still far, far easier to work with folders and files on a computer, not to mention a mouse and a keyboard.

Another issue that Haapoja himself points out is the lack of Final Cut Pro X on the iPad. He was relying on third-party software, LumaFusion, to edit and view footage. As he mentions, being able to seamlessly move between an iPad Pro and an iMac with Final Cut Pro X to put the finishing touches on a video would be great, but it seems like Apple missed an opportunity here. My own iPad video editing experience has been limited to iMovie, and while my fat fingers can get the basics done on an iPad, I’d much rather finish up on a computer. That said, one cool functionality of this paring could be the iPad becoming a sort of “dock” with specialized controls for Final Cut Pro X when it detects a desktop or laptop computer nearby to connect to.

While it’s an interesting sideshow for now, will the M1 iPad Pro ever be a practical, professional video editing tool? What will it take for the iPad to replace the iMacs and Mac Pros that video editors know and love? Are you a content creator that uses an iPad for video editing, or is that just plain crazy? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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Matti's video was great! BTW, did you know there is an XML-out feature in LumaFusion so you can export your timeline right into FCP and finish on the desktop if you like (altho you don't really need to, LumaFusion is quite powerful). Great article, thanks!

While I believe the iPad is a great piece of technology, I am convinced that the price of admission is not worth it. It's major problems are the OS and lockdown the hardware is. I'll take a good light laptop instead.