I’m going to try and give an overview of the strengths of both, along with their most used features.
*-As a disclaimer, I am currently a pretty die-hard Premiere CC fan, along with the rest of the Adobe suite. I’ll try and give Final Cut Pro X a fair shake, as well as link to some video from people who are Final Cut fans.
I encourage you to download trials of your top couple choices and try them out for a few weeks and put them through the paces.
Adobe Premiere CC (Creative Cloud)
When Final Cut Pro 7 was surprisingly replaced by Final Cut Pro X about six years ago, Adobe really put some work into making Premiere one of the best editors around. Combine that with the release of the Creative Cloud suite, and Adobe is sitting in an awesome spot.
Here are a few reasons why I currently like Premiere for my daily editing.
1. Classic Layout with Modern Power
This may seem like a small thing, but Premiere’s layout and workflow just makes sense. Especially if you learned on Final Cut Pro 7, Avid, or Sony Vegas back in the day. Timelines, tools and the effects panels all make sense. The learning curve will not be steep at all, if you have editing experience with other software.
2. Dynamic File Linking with Creative Cloud
With the growth of Creative Cloud, Adobe has continued to make it easier for you to have programs talk to each other. You can simply right click on a clip in Premiere and open it as an After Effects comp. CC takes care of all the file linking for you and the AE comp will show up right back in your timeline where you started. You can do the same with audio clips and Audition. This saves you time and from suffering file management headaches.
3. Powerful built in tools and great plugins out there
Whether it’s color grading or denoising audio, Premiere has you covered. Their different workspaces make it simple to flip between doing your edit, working on effects or diving into color. Their color correction tools are next level, when compared to competitors.
Adobe has some pretty great new features coming out all the time as well. Here’s a link to a video diving deeper into what’s coming out as of this spring.
Final Cut X Pro
When Final Cut Pro 7 was dropped off of Apple’s support list, I made the switch away from Final Cut Pro. When they followed that up with the release of Final Cut Pro X, it just felt like a glorified version of iMovie, and didn’t feel like it had the “Pro” users in mind at all. However, Apple has since then consistently been improving FCPX, and some people are starting to favor it over Premiere CC.
So here are a few of the positive aspects that FCPX has.
1. Crazy Fast Rendering and 4K Optimization
Apple has really knocked it out of the park with their 4K support and overall render times in FCPX. Clips that I would have to run at 1/2 or even 1/8 quality in Premiere while editing, run seamlessly on FCPX. This eats up a little more hard drive space, because of that background render work it is doing. But the speed is definitely worth that sacrifice.
2. Laptop Optimized
Final Cut runs so smooth on a MacBook Pro, it’s just amazing. If you are editing on the go, Premiere can destroy your battery life and run a little bit like a potato on more GPU intensive edits. Since FCPX is developed with Apple laptops in mind, it definitely wins out in this area.
3. Easy File Management
With Final Cut Pro X's library system, it’s pretty drag and drop to keep track of your files. So, if you aren’t a fan of managing a bunch of folders on externals and keeping track of where you keep stuff, FCPX may help relieve some of that headache for you.
Whether it’s Avid or Vegas (or even iMovie) there may be other options out there that you think works best for your video editing needs.
I encourage you to download trials of your top couple choices and try them out for a few weeks and put them through the paces. Premiere and Final Cut are definitely the titans right now, in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily will be the perfect fit for you.