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Why I’m Switching to Abobe Premiere, not Final Cut X

Editor’s note: After seven years working with Apple’s Final Cut Pro, we have decided to begin using the Adobe Production Suite. We were early adopters of FCP 7 and considered making the switch to FCP X. In the end, we felt more comfortable with Adobe’s product than Apple’s FCP X. We know that many people in the industry are struggling with the same decision, so our producers have agreed to share their reasoning for the switch.

This post from Eric Maierson explains the overarching reasoning for the switch. Tim McLaughlin also posted with some details of his experiences editing in both FCP X and Premiere.

These two posts are just the beginning. Our producers will continue to share their experiences with you on our blog. Also, they’ll be posting Premiere shortcuts on a new twitter feed @PrProShortcuts. And stay tuned for the release of a new Post-production Workflow for Premiere that will be bundled in with the current FCP 7 and FCP X workflows. Purchase a copy of our Post-production Workflow today and you’ll automatically receive the Premiere workflow when it is released.

I love Apple.

I’ve loved Apple since my Apple IIe at 13 and my Macintosh in graduate school. Today, I have an iPhone, an iPad, an iMac and a MacBook Air. I am perhaps the very definition of that unfortunate word: a fanboi.

And so the decision to leave my beloved Final Cut has not been an easy one. It has been filled with all the tumult of a breakup: the back-and-forth, the indecision, the attempt to give it one more chance.

I’ve written previously of my dissatisfaction with early versions of FCP X. To be fair, Apple’s team has performed the Herculean task of updating the software five times in less than two years. That’s a serious commitment to the program.

But I have spent time with those versions and am still not convinced. On a recent personal project, I battled a mysterious ghost audio track that did not actually appear in my timeline, but nonetheless could still be heard playing out of sync with the rest of my files. Ugh.

And despite Apple’s claim that you no longer need to transcode H.264, our Mac Pros still balk at the prospect. The decision to move to Premiere was made easier by the lack of a significant upgrade in the Mac Pro line last summer. No Thunderbolt? The promise of 2013 upgrades? Is that January or December?

I love a lot of things about FCP X, including its metadata capabilities, which are, frankly, unparalleled. But even after reading both the beginner and advanced training guides, I am still confounded by the magnetic timeline, both its organic rearrangement of clips and its inability to perform basic tasks without the use of a mouse.

In the end, I think it comes down to trust. And as difficult as it is to say, I do not trust FCP X to successfully see me through a long and complex project. As Apple often reminds us, this is a 1.0 program. There is lots of room for growth and I believe in time, we will see that.

But Premiere Pro
is ready now. Today.

The editing environment is as familiar as FCP 7. And it works flawlessly with H.264. Truly. I cannot express my unmitigated joy that I no longer need to transcode. Let me say that again: I no longer need to transcode. That means more time editing and less time moving files around.

And unlike the mixed and sometimes baffling results of Assisted Editing’s 7toX XML conversion, Premiere’s XML exchange with FCP 7 just works. With over 80 terabytes of FCP 7 projects, that’s a huge relief for us.

But there is still a lot for us to learn.

My friend and colleague Tim McLaughlin is cutting MediaStorm’s first major project in Premiere. He has also posted about his experience and the many benefits of working with Adobe tools.

Following that, in the coming months, we will continue to share our experiences with you, just as we did with Final Cut Pro. Stay tuned for many new MediaStorm blog posts and follow us at @PrProShortcuts for Premiere shortcuts.

We sincerely hope that you will join us on this journey.

To learn more about our production style, you can purchase a copy of our Post-production Workflow. Readers who purchase our current workflow automatically receive the Premiere workflow when it is released. Learn more about our other online and in-person training at mediastorm.com/train.

Have you made a recent switch in your editing software? Let us know about it in the comments below.

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  • I had the same thing with Aperture. I didn’t want to leave but Adobe Lightroom was just a more complete package

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  • Doral Chenoweth

    I don’t think this problem with FCPX and the Panasonic HVX-200 will ever be fixed: FCPX works well with many different recording formats of the HVX 200 and the p2 cards. But I have had issues with importing 720/30PN footage. It just would not work.
    After five hours of trouble shooting with me on the phone, the Apple tech was finally able to replicate the problem on an HVX-200 at their office.
    Apparently FCPX works with HVX-200 1080i, 480i, just about any footage except the 720 set.
    He opened an inquiry with the FCPX engineering department and they are looking into it. That happened in March 2012.

  • Aleksandra

    Have no recent changes in the software. Is there any software with Abobe name or it is Adobe only? Thanks

  • Pingback: Why I’m Switching to Abobe Premiere, not Final Cut X | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it()

  • welcome to the party. I pitched FCP to the curb at CS5, and had beens switching over since CS1.5 with small projects. At CS6 PP is very mature now, able to handle large projects, and CUDA spoils me.

  • Good for you. I think that is a wise choice for your shop. For me, I teach FCPX and the timing with the latest release couldn’t come at a better time. I am enjoying it so much.

    I do miss some things about FCP7, but I don’t have terabytes of footage to convert and archives.

    For the person who is just learning to edit and convert footage, FCPX is a good choice.

  • Eric Wynne

    Since first using Final Cut 5 years ago, I fell in love with it. As quirky as it was it’s always been precise in its ability to let me edit.

    When FCPX came along I was excited about the upgrade…until I downloaded it and first started using it.

    It is iMovie. Nothing more. Even the upgrades and add-ons have not helped. It is not what Apple has made it out to be. But I have, thankfully, received a refund for FCPX.

    I have now moved on to Premier and kept Final Cut 7.

  • Fab

    I’m staying with 7 as long as I can…

  • Max

    If your an advanced editor I suggest using FCP 7 if you can find it a reasonable price. If your a newbie to editing start off with iMovie then once you get the basics switch to FCP X and then try premiere or FCP 7. I dont have premiere so I dont know anything about it.

  • Steven Burgas

    Premiere, frankly, sucks. Getting an output is often impossible for anything over twenty minutes.

    This is simply not a professional editorial package.

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