Among video editors there is great debate between which editing tools you should be using.
There are several different options for editing software available for professional video editors to use but there are two that stand out from the crowd. Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are the two most commonly used and highly rated video editing software options available.
Let's compare the two software options from a performance perspective and see how they stack up against one another.
One of the biggest differences between Premiere and Final Cut is the platforms they are available on. Premiere Pro works on both Windows and macOS where Final Cut is only available for Mac users.
For Premiere to run on a PC you'll need Windows 10 (64-bit) v. 1703 or later. Make sure your computer has a minimum of 8GB RAM (they recommend 16GB or more). You'll also need an Intel 6th gen CPU or newer and 8GB of hard-disk space available on your workstation. For Mac users you'll need the same hardware specs and need to be on mac)s 10.12 or later.
Premiere Pro utilizes a traditional NLE timeline which is called a Sequence. Within each sequence are audio and video tracks where editors layout their content. There are also several different forms of subsequences which can be used to aid organization. The Adobe interface allows for easy customization by docking and undocking panels and having multiple workspaces for tasks such as assembly, editing, color and graphics.
Final Cut uses a trackless Magnetic Timeline instead of a traditional timeline. Media is laid out in lanes and uses a primary storyline that the editor attaches everything else to which makes syncing clips simple. This setup allows for connected clips, assigning labels to different clips and graphics. A major let down about the Final Cut interface however is it's lack of configuration options, offering only three prebuilt workspaces.
Like many NLE's Premiere Pro uses bins for storing related media, these act like folders which allows you to have bins inside of other bins. There is also color labeling functionality but keyword tagging does not exist. One of the newer panels allows you to share media assets between multiple Adobe apps like After Effects.
Final Cut on the other hand has keyword tagging as well as roles and events to help you organize your files. Editors can also keep track of their edits and perform bulk clip changes to their media.
For color correction, Premiere Pro offers their Lumetri Color tools. Editors can access these tools in the Color editing workspace, previously these were in a separate application called SpeedGrade. The Lumetri Color tools give editors a large amount of color manipulation options to create a variety of different looks and feels for their video projects. Editors can utilize LUTs (look up tables) to create even more customizable looks for their projects.
Final Cut uses a Color Curves tool that allows the editor to use control points to adjust the three primary colors. LUTs from camera manufactures are also supported in Final Cut now.
Adobe Premiere uses their Audio Mixer tool for making changes to audio in your project, it shows a variety of different information that can be used when making adjustments and these can even be made on the fly. If you use Adobe Audition for your audio editing you can use that audio in your project and use the two tools in tandem to perform some advanced audio techniques.
Editing audio is a strong point of Final Cut. The software comes with a library of royalty-free sound effects and supports many plug ins. Final Cut can automatically fix hum and other background noise for you. The editing software also allows for editors to match separately recorded tracks. With the Apple Logic Pro plug in you can even mix surround sound.
When it comes to graphics, Adobe owns the industry standard motion graphics tool After Effects. It may be a bit difficult to learn but it is the premiere (pun totally intended) professional graphics tool available.
For Final Cut users, Apple Motion is the tool of choice. It supports many plug-ins and allows for logical layers and custom templates.
Getting your video into the right format is critical if you want it to look and sound the way you intended. Premiere offers a wide range of output options and if you use Adobe Encoder, you have access to even more options for social media and physical formats like DVD and Blu-ray. Encoder also allows for batch encoding to multiple devices.
Final Cut has a limited selection of output options unless you have Apple Compressor. This gives you slightly more options but it still very limited in comparison to Premiere.
Both Final Cut and Adobe Premiere Pro are excellent options for the professional video editor. So which one should you choose?
When making your decision, first consider your workstation. If you have a PC, Final Cut is no longer an option. Also consider what matters most for your content and pick the software that has the best tools for your needs.