From the solo Youtuber to the major Hollywood studios, the software you use will affect not just how you edit, but in some cases, the type of editing you can do. As the cost of camera equipment comes down, and the number of editing programs goes up, it’s more difficult than ever to wade through all of the options.
If you’ve narrowed it down to Premiere Pro vs. Vegas Pro, we hope this overview will help you get closer to a decision between the two!
Part 1: Overview – Table of Key Features & Differences
Discover at a glance what software makes the most sense for your video editing needs and budget.
|Features||Vegas Pro||Premiere Pro|
|Cross-Platform Editing||No, Windows only.||Yes, works on Mac or Windows|
|Price||Software Payment: $698.00.|
One time payment is favorable, but upgrades are also expensive.
|Annual Subscription: $239.88.|
Monthly Subscription: $20.99.
Costs can add up over time because of the subscription-based pricing.
|User Interface||Straightforward and easy to use interface, some customizable options.||Great user interface. Can customize layout and window size, and save your own template workspace.|
|Timeline||Arrange the clips how you want in a traditional timeline.||Arrange the clips how you want in a traditional timeline.|
|4K Editing||Yes, but needs a higher system spec.||No.|
|Color Correction||Color controls available, but not as easy to use as Premiere.||Easy and intuitive color controls.|
|Easily create and edit text and titles||Yes.||Yes.|
|Motion Graphics||No.||Yes, plus After Effects integration.|
|Audio||Basic audio editing and mixing.||Great audio controls, plus links to Adobe Audition.|
|Integrations||None.||Yes, with compatibility between other Adobe programs.|
|User Collaboration||No.||Great for working with a team across multiple systems and/or programs.|
|File Management||Simple—organize your files how you want.||Simple—organize your files how you want.|
|Plugins||Some basic plugins available.||Vast amounts of third party plugins.|
Part 2: The Review – Vegas Pro vs. Premiere Pro
When considering your budget for editing software, you should keep in mind the payment terms of each.
Vegas Pro is a downloadable piece of software costing about $698.00 USD. But once you have paid for it, you own it. Costly software update fees apply, but you can choose when and if you do this — the software will continue to work.
In contrast, Premiere Pro is a subscription, cloud-based system with an ongoing monthly cost of $20.99 USD. You can get a slight discount for paying annually, but the recurring cost may be a dealbreaker for budget conscious editors.
Vegas Pro may seem expensive when compared to Adobe Premiere, but the one time flat fee makes buying the program an investment in your work, that can last you several years before needing to be updated. Vegas also frequently has discounts available on their software packs, which can be as much as half off the full price.
The main difference with the platforms is the Vegas Pro is a Windows-only piece of kit, whereas Adobe Premiere can be used on both Windows and Macs.
Lots of video editors will have more than one editing system and some work from both Windows and Apple devices. Using Premiere Pro’ cloud based system makes things remarkably easy when moving projects from one machine to another. If you’re a Mac fan, then Adobe Premiere is the automatic winner.
Both Vegas and Premiere look quite similar at first, but when using the two, the differences become immediately noticeable.
Premiere has a lot more available tools than Vegas, which can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. Vegas is more straightforward to navigate, mainly because there is significantly less to navigate. If you need a quick and easy editing solution, Vegas is a great platform to use, but you may soon meet the limits of the program.
If you want to continue to build your editing skills, using more advanced editing techniques, color grading, and animation, then Premiere is the platform for you.
When you look to the user community for conversations about each platform, you will quickly see the wealth of Premiere Pro CC questions and concerns. Entire threads, websites, and social media groups are dedicated to trying to solve Premiere based issues.
Without a doubt, Vegas is the more stable platform, but it’s worth considering why this is. Premiere is a more complex and advanced piece of software, so there is just more that could go wrong. Additionally, the online support forums for both Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere are fantastic, with a diverse and helpful user community.
Color Correction & Color Grading
Within Vegas, the color correction and grading tools are considered effects and need to be added to each clip. The full range of correction and grading tools are available, including Curves, Saturation/Hue and Brightness/Contrast, but the workflow to achieve a good grade is a bit awkward.
Premiere has an entire separate tab for the color tools, allowing you to move into an entirely color focused interface. Each clip in your timeline will have basic color properties allowing you to color correct your clips. There are a wealth of color grade effects which you can choose to add to a clip, or to an entire timeline.
Animation is an area where Premiere is miles ahead of Vegas. Premiere has many built-in animation types for text and flourishes. The Essential Graphics tab and easy Dynamic Linking to After Effects allows users to do some really advanced stuff.
Vegas has no equivalent animation tools and creating motion graphics is a big challenge.
You can add titles to your films in both Vegas and Premiere, but as with the motion graphic capabilities, Premiere allows for much more advanced titling animation. Adobe After Effects lends additional functionality to Premiere, making it a more powerful text animation platform.
As with the color tools, Premiere has a separate workspace for all the audio editing, allowing you to focus on the sound with the tools immediately available. In Vegas, many of the audio tools are hidden away, which can make for a slow and frustrating editing workflow.
Both programs include a multicam editing solution, allowing you to edit multiple camera angles from a single timeline. Multicam is one of Vegas’ more advanced features and feels a little bit clunky. Premiere, on the other hand, offers one of the best multicam edit functions on the market.
An advantage that Premiere has over Vegas is in the number of different codecs it can support. What this relates to are the various formats in which the cameras producing the footage can write video files.
For an editor working in film and television, being able to work with the raw video files shot by high-end cameras is a necessity, which Premiere would allow. For a self-shooter who owns their own camera, that flexibility is less important.
Vegas Pro will be compatible with files produced by most DSLR as well as consumer-level and professional cameras. The differences will come if you start to work with more cinematic and broadcast standard formats, recorded at higher resolutions and bit depths.
Export Rendering Options
In terms of the export options, if you are looking to create videos for use online, or even on DVD, both programs will offer a solution to do this.
Minimum System Requirements
Given the raft of similarities, it’s no surprise their minimum system requirements are essentially identical.
Vegas will operate on a Windows 7 machine, whereas Premiere needs Windows 10, but both require a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 4GB of GPU VRAM from your graphics card. Premiere will need four times the free hard disk space, however, at 8GB for installation.
If you want to expand your toolkit by adding animation or design to your suite, Adobe is the platform to choose. As it’s part of the Creative Cloud suite, Premiere works seamlessly with other Adobe programs such as After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
With both platforms you can install third-party plugins, allowing you to expand your capabilities without purchasing and learning an entirely new program.
For Vegas, there are several plugins available, but most of them only provide transitions or effects that are already available in Premiere.
With Adobe, however, there are a wealth of plugins and templates available to download, many of which work across multiple Creative Suite programs. LUTs (Look up Tables) for example can be used for color effects in Premiere, Photoshop, and After Effects.
Premiere is the clear winner when it comes to collaboration; it can be used across both Windows and Mac devices. When using the cloud software, your team members to access assets from a shared account, all from within the program.
Part 3: Conclusion – Which Software Should You Choose?
The truth is that both tools are great pieces of software, and if you are looking for something to edit your films, both will do the job.
For Mac users, the choice between Vegas Pro and Premiere has been made for you. Vegas Pro simply won’t work on your machine. You may want to consider Final Cut Pro vs. Adobe Premiere instead.
For Windows users who would prefer a one time flat fee for their software, Sony Vegas is the obvious choice, especially if you can purchase it while it’s discounted.
If you are looking for new software and are not limited by the device you use or the price tag, you may want to consider the other elements we have discussed in this article. If you want to build on your editing skills by using other integrated software, or collaborate with a team, Premiere Pro is the product to choose.
The truth is no editing program is perfect. If you ask a group of video editors for their preferred choice of software, it’s unlikely you will get a clear winner. Every editor works differently. Some are very creative in their approach while others will follow a more technical and organized workflow. When it comes to Vegas Pro (formerly Sony Vegas) vs. Adobe Premiere, the question should be ‘which editing software is best for you?’