There is a lot of heated discussion about Final Cut Pro vs. Adobe Premiere Pro CC, especially among video editors who are wondering which format is best for their projects. When it comes to non-linear editing software, both programs have impressive solutions if you want to take your video editing seriously. But which is best for video producers today? Which one best keeps up with the new formats, codecs, and technology so that you provide the quality of content that your viewers demand?
In this post, we will analyze the main features of both tools as well as the pros and cons of both, so that you can make the choice that’s right for your work.
Key Features & Differences
Final Cut Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro
No, Mac only
Yes, works on Mac or Windows
Full version: $299.00
No monthly premium plan, but this one-time can save you money in the long-run.
Annual Subscription: $239.88
Monthly Subscription: $20.99
Costs can add up over time because of the subscription-based pricing.
Streamlined, user-friendly, and easy to use. Feels very much like an Apple product. If you’re migrating from iMovie, Final Cut Pro will feel like a natural progression.
Highly customizable user interface to suit your needs. Lots of flexibility to adjust the window layout. Great for multiple monitor editing.
Magnetic timeline which automatically pulls clips to the beginning of the timeline.
Traditional timeline that allows you to arrange clips any way you want.
4K Editing Feature
No, but it handles a wide variety of ultra HD formats like mp4, AVCHD, and H.264, etc. You can convert 4K files before importing to get it to accept 4K files.
No, but the timeline allows you to do plenty of previewing
as you create your movies, so you know you are exporting the final file that you want
Manual, which gives more control since you can tweak the color
yourself and add any hues you choose to the mix
Titles & Text
Yes, plus integrates with Motion.
Yes, plus integrates with After Effects.
Great audio presets available, but manual adjustments are not as easy to execute. Audio and video syncing feature is useful for multiple camera shots.
Better manual, fine-tuning audio options. Plus, Premiere integrates with Adobe Audition for even more advanced edits.
Speedy, background rendering. Can handle lots of high-quality videos simultaneously.
A bit slower; must change settings or lower resolution to allow for more economical production times. The quality is often worth the wait.
Yes, export to external sources and platforms
Yes, and you can export your presets to other programs that are compatible with Premiere Pro. This provides additional production options when using more than one software for your video projects.
Yes, but does not integrate with Adobe CC. Motion and Logic integrations only.
Seamlessly integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud and programs such as After Effects, Audition, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Great for adding different types of project files.
Not as great for working in teams. Better suited for fewer collaborators.
Better for working with a team across multiple programs. User permissions are available.
Simple UI to manage files via upload and export functions
Efficiently manage your files and organize them in a sophisticated and logical way.
Battery Save Feature
Yes; plenty of extra plugins to improve production. Add features such as 3D visualization, animation, slow-motion, and more.
The Review: Adobe Premiere vs. Final Cut Pro
Let’s divide into greater detail about the key features and differences between these two editing tools.
When it comes to best user interface and experience, Final Pro is the winner because of the way Apple has taken extra pains to make Final Pro a tool that is easy to use, even for the extreme novice. But most users do like the multiple features and advanced control settings available in Adobe Premiere.
Stability & Performance
Final Cut Pro program has a slight edge over Premiere when it comes to stability and performance. Actions like playback and scrubbing through footage is more seamless and less choppy. Unfortunately, Premiere Pro has a history of frequently crashing too.
As an example, one user stated that they were able to record live streaming HD video for several minutes with no loss in quality. This means that the system did not have to use as many resources when capturing live footage as is the case with Adobe Premiere. Adobe Premiere requires you to set the resolution and other settings down to a low frame rate to achieve the same result.
Color Correction & Color Grading
Both programs have waveforms, hue saturation curves, and color wheels ready to go. What’s unique about the Final Cut Pro program, is that it has an automatic color correction feature that automatically corrects the color gradient or shade when it sees that it needs fixing. Very cool.
But Adobe Premiere’s color correction feature is much better and more professional because it allows for manual settings including choosing different gradients and colors as well as adjusting hues down to the finest degree. This gives you more control in the final analysis as you’re producing your video product.
Titles & Text
Titles and text are crucial because it shows the credits of your program, as well as emphasizing specific dates, times, and people’s names that are important to the content. The way they look, including the size and color or the font, are essential and can influence the subjective impression someone has of your material.
Both Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro have excellent text features that allow you to create and drag-and-drop titles or text into your productions. But Premiere seems to have better tools and adds more special effects options when combined with the titles. The result is more like a Hollywood effect.
The motion graphics features to be equally impressive between Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. Both offer impressive titling and motion graphics animations that you can bring into your production to make it look professional. That said, Premiere Pro integrates with the popular After Effects which might give it the edge here when working with a team or requiring more advanced motion graphic sequences.
Audio is essential to video production. Successful film director, Steven Spielberg, once said that the soundtrack could make or break your movie. He also said that editing was the most critical part of your production. We felt the audio output functions of both programs were sufficient to create a compelling and dynamic production when it came to sound quality. The key is to get to know the software in both cases and to use the correct settings that will enhance the type of video clips you are working with.
Final Cut Pro had previously cut out the feature that allowed for multi-camera views in editing, much to the chagrin of their users. So, with the latest editions, they have brought this feature back. You can edit up to three different cameras with Final Cut Pro, and it has video and audio synchronization which allows you to have a seamless integration of audio and video when you’re working with multiple cameras.
Adobe Premiere Pro allows up to four or more cameras, and you can combine the multi-cam video clips by using in and out points on your timeline by overlapping your time codes or with audio waveforms. The effect of this looks like it is all taken with one camera because it is all focusing on the same moment in your production. But the result is dramatic and more professional video because you have incorporated several angles to do it.
Video editors often need to create a project that will work on a variety of platforms and environments. The Adobe Premiere Pro offers a variety of codecs that you can render your file to such as DV, AVC, DB, Pro HD, and HDV, to name a few.
Final Cut Pro also offers most of the most critical high-end video formats such as h.264, MPEG-2 for DVDs, MPEG-4 for HD videos, and even the new formats for Ultra HD content, including 4K.
Rendering & Exporting
One advantage to Final Cut Pro is that it automatically uploads your final video to multiple platforms. This can save you a lot of time in rendering and editing, especially if you share your videos on YouTube and other sites.
However, Adobe Premiere seemed to offer more platform compatibility when it came to file types and file sizes when exporting the final file to online servers. It also had the most versatility in file sizes for both mobile and large screen devices or platforms.
Final Cut Pro requires an operating system of 10 or higher on the Mac with 4 gigabytes of available RAM and an OpenCL-capable graphics card. You’ll also need 256 megabytes of VRAM for 4K and 3D titles and about 4 gigabytes or more space.
For Adobe Premiere, you need a Pentium 4 or above as well as an AMD Athlon 64 processor with 64-bit support. The faster your system is, the better your performance will be with this program. You will also need Windows 7 or above with Service Pack 1 and at least 4 gigabytes of RAM available to install it.
And the Winner Is…
When considering these two excellent video editing softwares, it is a tough battle, and we’re sure the battle will continue into 2019 among video professionals.
Adobe Premiere Pro offers more manual editing options plus key collaboration features compared to Final Cut Pro. Because of this, Adobe Premiere is considered the staple product for professional video editors and production studios. While the cost of Premiere’s (and the Adobe Creative Cloud) monthly subscription model might add up over time, in the end, you might find that it’s worth it to access all of these post-production tools such as After Effects and Audition.
However, if you’re an avid Mac user, you might benefit from using Final Cut Pro as well. The one-time payment of Final Cut Pro is enticing and can save you big bucks over the years. It’s also a very user-friendly program for beginners and professionals alike. If you got your video editing start in iMovie, you’ll find that your knowledge of this will translate well to Final Cut Pro.
The bottom line is, get Final Cut Pro if you love Apple products and want a fun, fast, and user-friendly editing solution. If you want advanced manual controls over your video projects, you’ll need the gusto that you can find in Adobe Premiere.
We hope this overview will help you in your decision between Adobe Premiere vs. Final Cut Pro. Another option is to try out both of them out and judge for yourself which one is best for your productions. Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below!