Superproducer Ted Hope on...

November 20, 2012

Check Out This Thorough Presentation Comparing Final Cut Pro X vs. Premiere Pro CS6

In post production, I've always been a fan of the products from Adobe. I cut my teeth on programs like Photoshop 7, After Effects 5.5, even Image Ready (remember that?). But for editing, I never really got into Premiere Pro, and instead focused my attention on Final Cut Pro (from version 3 onwards). However, this year I finally made the decision to migrate to Premiere Pro CS6, as Final Cut Pro X has some infamous issues. Granted, Final Cut Pro X has come a long way, and it continues to be a true "pro" tool, but there are some quirks worth comparing against Premiere Pro CS6. Both suites are tools that should be compared objectively. Ric Lanciotti from The Pacific Northwest College of Art made this great video comparing the two editing suites. Though he takes the perspective of an educator looking for solutions for students, I think there are still lessons for all of us -- especially those of us who only edit in one suite or the other. Check out his full 45 minute presentation after the jump:

Though some points are far from news to me, I really like the pacing and visuals Ric put into this. And like I said, this video clearly has the tone of an educator looking for solutions for students, not professionals. It may be old hat for you too. However, I implore you to keep in mind that this site is called "NoFilmSchool" for a reason -- it's not anti-film school, but suggests you can get some of the same education online as you would in film school. This video is a wonderful example of that.

Some key takeaways for me:

At around 9:56 Ric mentions one of the biggest points of contention from the great FCPX backlash -- compatibility with FCP 6 and 7 projects. He mentions the 7toX we mentioned back in February, which seems to be working out well for my FCPX friends. A bit annoying that you have to fork out an extra 10-spot, but it's there.

One of the things I personally learned from Ric's video was that apparently Preference Corruption is now a non-issue in both Premiere Pro CS6 and FCPX. I've had a ton of problems with this in the past, trashing preferences is second nature to me. Working in Premiere Pro CS6, I guess I just didn't notice what I didn't notice. I'm really happy Preference Corruption may be a thing of the past.

I echo Ric's opinion at 23:17 on Premiere Pro CS6's great integration of After Effects. I just cut a :30 spot that featured a parody of those talking baby ads, and I took a stab at liquifying and warping the face myself for the first time. It was so great to jump into AE right from Premiere, and back.

This video isn't perfect, of course. I do have to say I deviate from Ric's point about "interface overload" at 11:33. One of the worst things about FCPX to me is the over-simplified interface... I actually like the interface of FCP7 a lot. I've heard other editors lament that FCPX is "iMovie Pro", and the watered-down interface is another reason why. I also have to disagree with not including Avid Media Composer in this faceoff from the get-go. Many post houses cut in Avid, and I think there's way more to be said on that front. But those qualms stated, still an excellent overview and presentation.

After watching, I find myself un-wavered in my decision to switch to Premiere. However I'm happy to be a bit more versed on the current state of FCPX. I have high hopes that some day FCP will return to the former glory of version 7... *sniff*

I'm sure there are a couple of points of view out there on this subject, and I'd like to know what you all think -- where you do stand on the divide between Premiere Pro CS6 and Final Cut Pro X? Do you Final Cut Pro X editors think it's time to move back from Premiere?

Link: FCPX vs Premiere Pro Full 45 minute presentation

Your Comment

77 Comments

Seems like this guy is more interested in coddling his students than keeping up with industry standards and encouraging organization and good workflows.

November 20, 2012

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Tim

Perhaps. My profs back in my early editing days didn't coddle me at all, and troubleshooting tech issues myself was a required skill. However, it might be worth looking at in another light - he wanted to take the platform that would get his students editing fastest, which to me says he's more interested in teaching technique than tech. If that's where he's coming from, then that's commendable right?

November 21, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

Agreed. It doesn't sound like his students are all primarily editors, but rather students who need to edit for projects (the performance artists, etc.)

November 21, 2012

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David S.

First and foremost you want to be employable. There is a lot of competition out there, and being able to be as proficient as you can helps.

November 21, 2012

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moebius22

I agree, but unfortunately, this is a tech industry. If your technical skills are not up to par, it will not enable you to express yourself artistically in the best way possible. It's great if they can get in there and just start editing, but if they are trying to make a profession out of this, it is very important that they understand what is happening under the hood.

November 21, 2012

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Tim

This conversation reminds me of the few I had with friends in regards to Auto-Correct. Yes its handy, simple and allows you to focus on other things but, It can, if your this type of person, make you dumber only for the reason of loosing repetition. Personally I feel editing softwares are like cameras. Depending upon the situation or job, one is better than the other.

November 22, 2012

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Sean

FCPX isn't an over simplified program nor is it a non professional one either. Just because FCP simplified the layout from 7 to X doesn't mean that the way the program functions is any less powerful. Much of the lament I feel is due to inability for some to accept change. Yes, the program lacked some functionality when first released but after this last update, 10.0.6 I don't understand why there should be a debate any longer on the issue of if FCPX is professional or not. FCPX, Premiere or Avid, it doesn't matter what you edit on, they all are powerful pieces of software that function similarly and one isn't better then another. It's just a matter of which one functions best for the way you like to edit.

November 21, 2012

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Chris

Nicely put.

November 22, 2012

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Loughlin

This dude is WAAAAY off about audio editing. Logic is nowhere close to being the industry standard for music production.

For video Premiere is the more useful choice overall. Its the classic Windows and Android vs. OSX argument. With Windows you can customize to your hearts content and its complex because it expects complex users who want to go to edge of current capabilities while OSX doesn't cater to that audience. It markets to the non expert, hobbies, beginner crowd who don't want to know about technical stuff.

The products are almost two different markets.

Since Premiere has a Windows 8 version I can write a windows shell script to automate a lot of tasks for me. Not something I can do on a Mac. If you know C# you can have premiere do a lot of things by itself while your away.

Overall, Adobe doesn't know how you will use the product, so it has lots of feature that you can dig into when needed. While Apple is trying to force a method. It all depends on what style you like.

November 21, 2012

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hypnoman

I'm not much of an audio editor outside of ProTools, so I wasn't entirely sure where he was going with that. For the record, I'm a huge fan of Soundtrack Pro's noise reduction... probably because I actually know how to do it : ).
Also what's this about knowing programming languages and automating Premiere? Have any handy links? I'm very into automation when I can use it. I'm not a programmer, mind you.

November 21, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

Um... if you think Windows is superior to OSX in terms of shell scripting... I don't even. OSX is based on a unix-like shell, which is infinitely more flexible than DOS. I don't say this as an OSX fan, I say it as a Linux fan. I would argue that since Windows Vista, OSX is no longer significantly more "user friendly" than Windows and Windows is no longer significantly more customisable than OSX. In actual fact, given its unix-like core, OSX has always been more fundamentally customisable than Windows since it exposes a lot more of the OS to you. Windows has been more customisable mainly on the surface, but not so much underneath.

I'll give the caveat that I've never tried automating Premiere in any way, in either Windows or OSX, so it may be that Premiere for some reason can be shell-driven in Windows but not OSX. But if so, that's not down to Microsoft or Apple.

November 21, 2012

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Luke

Windows hasn't been DOS based in a very long time...

November 21, 2012

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Gabe

by how clunky it's been, it could have fooled me...

January 17, 2013

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A Mous

You should try a version of Windows made in the last ten years. It's not the 1990's anymore.

January 17, 2013

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Gabe

Agreed. This guy is making up stuff as he goes. Pro Tools is the professional standard along with Reason and Ableton Live.

November 22, 2012

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Razor

I'm no pro, and I'm aware that Pro Tools is the industry standard for music production for most people, but there still are plenty of folk who prefer Logic and Cubase for pro work. From what I understand, PT is superior in the audio editing department, whereas Logic is better at composition/MIDI and Cubase is the happy middle ground.

As far as automating tasks go, OSX ships with Automator and Apple Scripts, so I'm not sure what else you need. Sounds like you haven't used the Apple environment much tbh, which is fine but maybe limit the bashing a bit. There are tons of ways of getting the job done, on Windows, Linux and OS X. Choice FTW

November 25, 2012

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Agreed that Logic is often a personal preference for Apple users, but factually it's not an industry standard. The Pros use: Reason, Pro Tools, Ableton, Studio One, Cubase and a dash of Reaper.

November 28, 2012

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Razor

Sorry to say, but preference corruption still occurs in CS6. :-\ although im a long time premiere user and lover (2005-present)

November 21, 2012

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Gareth Graham

In my opinion, the fact that this video is geared towards supplying an educational institution with new software kind of makes it irrelevant to professional users due to the fact that students and professionals have vastly different needs.

Also, Ric's attitude seems to be that students should be using dumbed down software because they're just beginning to learn and because they have bad organizational skills. I honestly think that teaching based on this attitude will lead to a bunch of lazy, disorganized editors who have little regard for the fundamentals of editing. Not to mention that if these students ever end up in a legitimate post-house, they'll likely faint at the sight of an Avid system.

Lastly, while I think FCPX has come a long way in a year (it's finally where it should have been when it was released...), and while it's probably the speediest program out there for basic editing, I still think that Premiere CS6 and Avid take the cake in terms of the reliability of the workflows and the reliability of the programs themselves.

November 21, 2012

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Robert

Also, the fact that he thinks Logic is the industry standard for music creation is kind of silly. Pro Tools is and will likely remain the standard for years to come.

And while we're talking about audio programs, Audition is a far more capable program in terms of mixing audio for film. Logic is better for making music. Yet he seems to think that his film students would do better with Logic? Yikes.

November 21, 2012

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Robert

Robert, on your first point, I did note in my post that Ric's video was geared for students/educational institution, and not professionals. So if 100% of his video is old news to you, well you watched at your own peril. But I'm with you on the fact that he should keep in mind the need for students to learn troubleshooting and media management. Likewise, I share your opinion on FCPX.

November 21, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

I completely agree with Ric about "interface overload." I'm also an editing instructor at a Film School, and we had extremely similar discussions about changing over. If you're experienced with Premiere or After Effects, you're not going to like it being so simple, but if you've never opened the software in your life--keeping what you need to see active and what you don't hidden is a big bonus. I've been editing for years and even I like the interface of FCP more because it gets rid of the clutter. Screen real estate is a necessary thing when editing and the Adobe Suite isn't very good about keeping its interface clean.

The overall takeaway that people should get in their comparisons is that Premiere is best for those that want the traditional editing feel and work with visual effects a lot. Final Cut is for beginner editors and professionals that only handle editorial, leaving the other aspects to different workflow elements.

We give students Final Cut Pro and Adobe CS6, and teach them Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Avid Symphony. CS6 is for their own use, because few students are into VFX.

November 21, 2012

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Rob S.

Well on the Pro Tools vs. Logic comparison I can actually speak from some degree of authority, having used both daily since way back in the 90's. Pro Tools is a brand most in video/cinema recognize because it's the best for audio post and mixing. It's very good for editing as well. Logic you may be less familiar with but much of the music for your soundtracks etc. gets made in Logic (or one of the other non-Pro Tools DAWs e.g. Cubase, Reason, Ableton Live, Performer, etc.). Those DAWs have focused on production more than audio post and mixing, and Pro Tools frankly is way behind them in those departments. I will record and edit some things into Pro Tools but by far the most into Logic, but I only mix in Pro Tools.

Avid/Pro Tools is going flat broke and sold off most of its production-oriented divisions such as AIR and M-Audio, and it appears it is willing to settle for being the next Euphonix. For those in audio post, this is a non-issue and may even be a benefit, but for those trying to create music in Pro Tools they ought to look into one of the competitors. Logic X/10 has been long rumored and should have been out in the spring from some reports, but it does appear they are actively developing it. The other DAWs continue apace...stick with what is comfortable for you to create in.

As for FCPX, there is an outstanding reason they built it off the iMovie sourcebase and everyone denigrating it for doing that is just displaying their complete lack of grasp. By sharing source with iMovie just like Logic does with Garageband, the core of the program is hammered on by millions of clueless users, flushing out all the bugs and ensuring optimal 64-bit performance. If iMovie sells at only $10, 10 million purchasers will finance all FCPX development and then some. Adobe and Avid have simply no means of matching this; Avid raised the white flag and sold Pinnacle off to Corel after failing miserably at catching up.

November 21, 2012

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Peter

I'm not a big fan of Pro Tools' real-time bounce for movies. 'Still waiting for PT11. It's supposed to be a rewrite. Meanwhile, PPCS6 and Logic 9 seem to be a good combination.

November 21, 2012

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lemur

Yeah although PT11 is going to at least initially take away more than it adds. It's a ground-up rewrite as they couldn't drag the 20-year old codebase into 64 bit.

The way the pro's in post get around the lack of offline bounce in PT is via destructive record mode. Also audiosuite editing and consolidate clip is faster than realtime.

Funny you like PP and Logic and I like FCPX and Pro Tools for post. Brand loyalty isn't as important as some would have you believe.

November 21, 2012

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Peter

There is another factor here as well. $$$. While i have made good use of the 'free trial' versions from both apple and adobe, If i was actually buying one or the other I would much prefer the $300 FCPX than the $1900+ CS6. That $1300 would go a long way to other equipment which will make a bigger difference to your productions than what NLE you use. It could be a killer hackintosh for faster rendering, some nice lens which could last you potentially the rest of your life, or leave you more money for your first(2nd, 3rd...) camera.

I know there is the creative cloud option but even then it is cheaper to buy FCPX outright than rent cs6 for a year.

November 21, 2012

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To be fair, $1900 or $30/$50/month is for the full Adobe suite of video applications... $300 just gets you an editor in FCPX's case. If you're still going to buy Photoshop and/or AE, Premiere makes a lot more sense purely from a cost standpoint.

November 21, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

And the monthly plan gets you more than the video applications, too, if you use those tools.

November 21, 2012

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David S.

I don't know where he got his numbers. the educational verision of CS6 Production Premium is $450. That comes with PP, EN, AE, PP, Au, tons of stuff. Then when CS7 were to come out you get the upgrade price to go to the normal version, you don't have to buy it fully new. The current upgrade from CS5.5 Production premium to CS6 Production Premium is $375. I would imaging similar pricing when moving from 6 to 7 or the like. The non-upgrading on educational software is so you can't upgrade from edu to a new edu. And you get a hell of a lot more than just an editor. I don't understand his numbers at all.

November 21, 2012

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Issue for me is two-fold. If I'm hired as an editor can I sit down and use the suite? Avid, yes. Premiere, yes. FCP <7, yes. FCPX, no.

I also have my own in house equipment to consider. Presently FCP7 & one machine also running CS5.5.
(one is also Mac Pro with Blackmagic Sdi card) the pro is a generation too old to run fcpx and I still have to ingest and output tape for some clients. Do I take the leap to a new mac pro (need the pci slot) and have a 16gigRAM 64bit tower and OS running a 32bit application? Do I go for the same but spend the extra £1k on the mercury engine gfx card to get the most out of CS6? Do I switch to Fcpx, which still restricts me for audio, for interface, for TRACK BASED EDITING! Or do I just get a cheaper more powerful PC that plays nice with CS6 and can even do FCP7 shortcuts?

November 21, 2012

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Paul13walnut5

If there is one thing that I have been noticing, it's that Apple is getting less and less interested in the professional market and many other people agree. Sure, FCPX is now up and running smoothly, but look at where we've come from studio and then consider what Adobe has offered all along and still offers. Seeing a trend? I wouldn't put it past Apple eliminating motion and compressor in the future as well. So the question stands, why should Apple be trusted when it comes to the future of professional editing software?

November 21, 2012

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Ben Corwin

Ben, I tend to share your pessimism. That's why I really haven't put much time into Motion, though I do think it has it's strengths. I'm going to miss Compressor, though.

November 21, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

Motion is fantastic. It's also the effects engine for FCP X's transitions, effects and generators; it's not going anywhere. It doesn't do everything that AE does, but it can do several things that AE doesn't. Text, replicators, behaviors, and parameter behaviours are all fantastic, but the #1 feature is that I can make my own FCP X effects, transitions and titles in Motion. Awesome.

November 22, 2012

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I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 for 1 year now. (for docu's and business presentation video's)

As a long time Adobe user (Photoshop, InDesign) the PPro user interface feels pretty familiar to me. What impresses me most however, is the easy integration of Adobe Premiere with all the other Adobe tools. (Photoshop, After effects, Encore etc.). When you get PPro, you also get seemless integration with all the other Adobe graphic design and video tools. I think that is one of its strengths.

Erwin

November 21, 2012

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Erwin

This school is an odd teaching philosophy. They're going to have to deal with many of the issues that the faculty is trying to avoid with FCPX.

My school is going more in the direction of AVID due to it's use in film and TV. FCPX on the other hand?

November 21, 2012

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moebius22

I mean to say "has" instead of "is".

November 21, 2012

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moebius22

If cost is a huge factor, it's worth mentioning the cost of the machine as well - its well-accepted that it is more inexpensive to buy or build a Windows machine than a comparable mac (hackintoshes excluded). So if an editor is willing to go the Windows route, that is more money saved there, plus a much less expensive upgrade philosophy than Apple, who's virtually only upgrade path these days is to buy a new machine. This is a money-saving advantage of Premiere Pro.

Now if Adobe would only move to Linux, then we could have cheaper and better hardware PLUS an ideal OS :-) It's a pipe dream, I know.

November 21, 2012

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David S.

Total Cost of Ownership comparisons have Macs doing just fine when compared to PCs. And it's not true that you can't upgrade Macs, you just have to buy the right one. I just popped a regular PC-type Nvidia GTX 570 in my Mac Pro, no additional drivers required. I've upgraded the RAM twice, and I have (oh dear) six internal hard drives. (Yes, iMacs are harder to upgrade.)

Since FCP X was released, there have been no charges for any of the upgrades, either.

November 22, 2012

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today the best tools for pro linux vid is resolve, from blackmagic design, and piranha, from ifx. It's expensive for some people (same price as da vinci resolve). For free solutions you have to hack around cinelerra (works better if you compile your own shit instead of using packages) and blender 3D nodes adapted to color correction and stuff... BUT i'm beta testing the lightworks for linux in my personal notebook and i'm liking it a lot! My ignorant guess is Lightworks at gnu/linux gonna be a great solution, plus resolve and piranha, it's very cool set of tools under gnu/linux. :)

November 22, 2012

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guto novo

what is this guy talking about. which software is the best for unprofessionals? i mean who cares what students, who don´t have any idea of video editing, like?

November 21, 2012

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ben

I posted this on a different comment, but he might want to focus less on the tech and more on the technique. The easiest tool a student can use to learn technique, the better, perhaps?

November 21, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

i mean he says things like: "oh there are so many options which you can export from premiere, this is very confusing for my students. this is not good. they wonder if they should export 25 or 30 fps"
what are your students studying? i hope it has nothing to do with editing!!! because if it has, they should know which frame rate to take!! oh and in premiere you have to decide where to put your footage. this is not good, my students get confused if they have to decide this on their own...
poor students

November 21, 2012

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ben

Yeah. If he want's to make it so easy for the students, why not just pay the $10 and get them all iMovie, and forget this 'learning to be a professional thing.'

November 21, 2012

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good idea and then they don´t have to worry about frame-rates, codecs and other strange stuff:)

November 21, 2012

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ben

I love FCP X and now exclusively use it for professional work. The interface of FCP X is the only NLE on the market that feels innovative and conceptually a leap ahead from its predecessor. I honestly don't care if other editors felt slighted by Apple's haphazard launch. I just care about which software works for me.

It might be different if I had to regularly share projects with other editors, but for the most part, my projects stay on my machine.

November 21, 2012

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Swested

Totally respectable stance, Swested! I hope to someday feel comfy "coming back home" to FCP.

November 21, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

compared with software like adobe photoshop or after effects, any NLE is a pretty simple thing and mostly made for putting clips one after another. sure there are more useful features but for me the most important thing is that i can work fast with this software. with FCP7 it´s NOT fast to edit. I don´t want to render anything, i don´t want to convert stuff. I mean this is totaly yesterday. i only tried final cut x when it came out and i was really not happy with it. maybe it´s better now. i will stick to premiere cause it´s for my work the fastest NLE I know. the best things for me are the after effects and photoshop integration and i wonder who would doubt that these tools are the best for motiongrafi and co and for photos? so if you use after effect there´s really no need for using final cut x. also this thing with the file management in fcpx is really unprofessional. my last project was 5tb and i wonder how to deal with this in fcpx. i needed several external hdd´s for one project and we where 3 editors in 3 different places sending us project files via email. that´s normal. but as far as i know not really easy with fcpx.

November 21, 2012

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ben

This feels like another Final Cut bashing review but in the end, Final Cut X wins out for student's needs. I learned at NYU and they taught us using Avid Express initially, then we could get into Avid if we wanted to. I think it's a good system to teach the simple interface first. I just don't think X is a better interface than any adobe product. They have perfected this suite year after year. It's so perfect, they perfected the release schedule.

November 21, 2012

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Having FCPX and Logic Pro experience on a resume when the industry standards are Avid MC and Premiere Pro and Pro Tools for audio is not going to help the students at all. Learning FCPX and Logic is a waste of time.

November 22, 2012

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Razor

He he... the moment he said "Logic Pro" was the industry standard in audio is the moment I knew he was clueless.

November 22, 2012

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Razor

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