Final Cut Pro vs Adobe Premiere is still a huge battle among macOS users, who are engaged in video editing. So, I decided to test both programs in order to confidently answer the question of which software is better for Apple devices.
Why Final Cut Pro vs Premiere? The answer is quite simple: these two video editing software are the only options for video editing that macOS users have access to (Vegas Pro is available for Windows only).
I am a long-term Premiere user, so, having worked with Final Cut for a while, I decided to share my impressions about using these programs. Which advantages (and disadvantages) does each of them have? Let’s find out.
If you work with VR, you can do 360-degree video editing and real-time playback from a VR headset. This allows you to see how the changes you make work in the environment they have been created for.
You can make and use smart collections, keywords and ratings to make files and metadata management easier. For more advanced work with graphics and special effects, you can use Motion from Apple, which integrates with Final Cut without any problems.
Finally, you can take advantage of the more powerful CPUs and graphics processors for a faster and smoother video editing experience. It’s possible due to the latest computing architecture of the program.
Amazing Magnetic Timeline. This tool is one of those things that make a difference between beginner and professional software. With the Magnetic Timeline, you can move or trim clips if necessary and not affect the rest of the video. You can also use color-coding to find and identify the content with ease.
Work with VR. If you want to create VR videos, Final Cut Pro will help you with that too. It has a 360-degree viewer so that you could see how a video looks from different angles. You can also add text, blurring or some other effects. There are also some simple tools you can use to change video if you need to.
Perfect Sound Editing. In case you need to change audio, you don’t have to look for another program for such a task. Final Cut Pro offers everything you need to alter audio, remove the background noise and optimize sound levels. Editing audio and video at the same time allows you to create more dynamic videos.
Very Fast. The edge of Final Cut vs Adobe Premiere comparison is the speed. With the former, you will be able to edit your videos at great speed with a seamless flow from task to task. The reason for this is not only the ability to use the power of the PC but also the fact that the program uses well-designed databases that help you track important information.
Organized. With Final Cut Pro all your media files are organized. The program offers a very efficient system with tags you can assign to the clips or their portions so that you can retrieve them any time you want. This will help you cut down on the time looking for what you need and give you more time to actually work on your video project.
Non-Professional Interface. The UI of Final Cut is very simple, on the borderline of being too simple. If you are upgrading from a simpler video editor, like iMovie, you will find it more advanced and professional. However, if you have worked in Premiere, you may find this simplicity even confusing, like their Magnetic Timeline, for example.
Not as Popular as Premiere. You can find tutorials and other learning content for Final Cut, however, compared to the number of learning resources for Premiere, it is a very small selection.
No Numerical Adjustment of Color Correction. The main inconvenience of the color correction tool in Final Cut is that all the adjustments are made with a mouse. You simply cannot enter any parameters from the keyboard. So, when you need to make the slightest change, you need to perform very precise manipulations with your mouse.
The tools presented in Adobe Premiere Pro are not limited to the basic selection. It includes functionality that lets you perform color correction, do very precise audio adjustments, etc.
As part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro will work with other software. It means that you will be able to move data from program to program in case you need to make some additional edits. This guarantees a seamless uninterrupted workflow that will result in a great product.
This program is often the first choice for commercial purposes. It is frequently used by news stations, marketing companies, multi-media designers, or video production companies.
Intuitive UI Design. The design of the user interface is convenient and understandable, so you work as efficiently as possible. The timeline will magnetize only when you actually need it, and if you don’t, you will be able to space out video clips as you wish. It is also quite flexible, allowing you to work on up to 20-layer projects.
Personally, I love how the assets are organized, there is nothing extra and everything is clear and visible. You can store as many clips as you need for a whole full-length film in color-coded bins. You will simply drag the clips you need to add them to your timeline.
Simultaneous Editing. Working on several projects simultaneously is not a problem. You can easily switch from scene to scene, take clips from one project and add to another. It’s a great time-saver.
Multiple Formats. When you need to convert footage from the format of your camera, you are bound to encounter frame losses and corruptions. With Premiere, you can add clips directly from your cameras, since Adobe supports a lot of native file formats. That saves you time and preserves the quality.
Integrated Workflow. The advantage of being part of Creative Cloud is that Premiere can integrate with other products from Adobe. It is possible to have several people work on the same project, move from one program to another if it is necessary, communicate with colleagues, etc. without ever leaving Adobe Premiere Pro.
Popularity. The programs developed by Adobe have surpassed their competitors in terms of popularity. There are millions of tutorials, literature, and other learning resources. If you want to increase your program’s capabilities, you can buy or download free plug-ins or LUTs for quick color correction.
Frequent Crashes with Complex Projects. One of the biggest disadvantages of the program, which, unfortunately, is quite common and known to all its users, is that it can crash unexpectedly. Even if you have a relatively powerful device, the chances that Premiere will freeze and then crash when you are making an important edit are very high. With every update, developers are trying to resolve the issue, however, it still happens more often than with other programs that are currently available.
Clips Freeze During Preview. When working with high-definition clips, like 4K or RAW, I have noticed that in the preview mode the video consistently freezes or can even skip frames. The only way out so far is considerably decreasing the preview quality. This problem can occur when you work with different layers of effects or color grading.
Price makes the choice between Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere really difficult. Both programs are expensive with a difference that Adobe Premiere is distributed by subscription only. You can buy Premiere Pro monthly or yearly plans, while Final Cut Pro requires a one-time payment.
If you have read the comparison and decided that you don’t need professional video editing software, but you still want to try something similar, you can get simplified versions of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. You can either download iMovie for free from AppStore or purchase Premiere elements with a one-time payment.
If you are a newbie, who is selecting video editing software for Mac, go with Adobe Premiere. It has a moderate learning curve with all the variety of educational resources available. Personally, I consider its interface to be simpler and more convenient, even the total beginner can add a video and start editing it intuitively.
Final Cut, on the other hand, is less demanding in terms of computer requirements, so, you will be able to edit even if your laptop is not too powerful. If you need to work on and render long and complex projects, Final Cut will be faster and more reliable.
However, take into account that temporary files will occupy much disc space. I would recommend allocating a separate hard drive section for this purpose not to fill up the system drive, which can happen really fast.
Another point to consider is that, unfortunately, Apple provides a rather limited selection of codecs to export video, which is not really convenient. You will only be able to enlarge it with additional software. Adobe, however, provides a wider choice. All in all, choosing who wins the Adobe Premiere Pro vs Final Cut Pro battle is up to you. Basically, they are practically the same.
Both Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro support using LUTs for fast and convenient color correction. Our video editing specialists have collected several bundles of LUTs that you can download absolutely free of charge!
This special LUT for Final Cut Pro will work especially well for evening or Golden Hour videos. It will decrease excessive brightness, fix colors and add depth to the shadows.
This LUT looks like what you are used to seeing in Hollywood films from the latest decade. It’s a mixture of slight matte effect and Orange & Teal gamut. Try using it in any video featuring people.
Film effect is usually associated with a yellowish tint but in fact, there are tons of shades. One of the most popular ones is the purple shade, which, is perfect for landscapes and drone videography.