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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

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COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Scott Xavier on 07.30.13 @ 4:56AM

    FCP7 was always flaky over about 20 minutes, so I transitioned to FCPX for a long form doco just completed. It was main edit on X, another editor on 7 and onlining/ finishing in an avid suite. Long story short, the latest upgrade made all the difference( particularly with footage ingestion, timeline shortcuts and colour grades etc) plus a massive 40 hour tutorial program purchased prior. If you find out how to open X up properly in the timeline all the old complexities and finesses appear – so many of the comments I have read above have a simple but different keyboard solution; or familiar visual interface. Currently testing a transition program to Avid which we didn’t have time to experiment with – set up two suites and sent changed clips back and forth as needed. Conclusion – X is not there yet, but getting close; 7 however looks pretty tragic in comparison now; and premiere was to ugly an option for me, avid for mac more likely and is the back up plan. Hanging in, it will be worth it.

  • One man’s sunrise is another man’s sunset. Ultimately, sunrise and sunset are mere illusions…relative views from different points in the world turning on its axis. From the point of view of the sun itself…there is neither sunrise nor sunset! The wiser people here have shared their more enlightened, more universal perspective: it really depends on what you are going to use the software for, and what style your totally unique personality prefers to work with (because each one is the only one of his kind in the universe, and that uniqueness must be respected! This is not about absolute right and wrong, not about a war between editing software, which can be won by only one side. Neither is this a war between “professionals” and “students”. We are all students, since learning is a continuous life time endeavor…where “professionals” are really just paid “students” :-) Of course there will always be the bigoted gripers, complainers, put-downers, war mongers, who are clueless that by choosing to have a negative attitude and act in a separative and fragmentary way, they only succeed to confess and bare themselves naked to not being an artist…because the nature of a true artist is creative and unifying, not destructive and fragmentary!

    But I thank Benjamin Dewhurst and his kindred positive spirits here, who in spite of disagreements in view points are clearly not in conflict or at war but simply in the mode of sharing their experiential knowledge towards helping people like myself caught at this point in the crossroads of which editing software to use. I have achieved relative mastery over FCP7 but simply lose blood waiting for constant rendering that disrupts the flow of the creative energy. Though I used Avid for off line and Quantel Henry for final on line in the 90′s, I started to edit my personal work with Edit DV, where rendering created a rendered track that you can actually use…where if you did a minor correction in a long scene, only that part will be re-rendered…unlike in FCP7 where it will re-render everything in the long scene! Except for this rendering blues, however, I loved FCP7, which gave me full control of creative and effective storytelling, using layering effects that were imperceptible, which is the way I like effects to be (not to upstage the story which is the main star!) And now, FCPX and PPCS6 seems to offer more powerful editing capability MINUS the rendering blues…so I need to choose which turn in the fork to go.

    I started my career as Director/Cinematographer/Editor in 35mm. I loved editing in 35mm…I had the picture and sound tracks in my hands, like my very own life! Now I shoot and edit with HD, but my experience with 35mm is a priceless foundation! I have fully embraced digital filmmaking unlike many who have become attached to the past and resist adapting to change. And changes will continue in leaps and bounds in the digital domain and we will simply have to learn to adjust and adapt, which is the essence of creativity: not being reactionary but being response-able (not clinging to the past but staying in the present). Being reactionary comes from fear…being response-able comes from love. Love is the source of all creativity…that is why we are most creative when we love what we are doing.

    Thanks again Benjamin and the others for your enlightening sharing!

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