Video Editing on the Mac: Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro?

When video editing on the Mac, you’ve got a lot of choices as far as what tools you can use for the task. But it usually boils down to a face off between the two most popular software options on the market: Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 vs. Final Cut Pro X. Pokeplun asks:

Why would you choose Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 over Final Cut Pro X?

Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro?

Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro?

Thanks for writing, Pokeplun! As you likely already know, video editing on the Mac these days gives you quite a few options, including the software you mentioned — Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and Apple’s own Final Cut Pro X — along with some other tools, like Avid or Edius Pro. But since you specifically asked about the first two, we’ll focus on those.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and Final Cut Pro X are both pro tools that will get the job done, but they’ve each got their fair share of pros and cons — enough to make people consider moving from one to the other. (The grass is always greener…)

One very glaring example of an issue that frustrates Final Cut Pro video editing users is that moving projects from an earlier version to a later version seems to get very little support from Apple. To be fair, Adobe Premiere Pro isn’t free of its own set of problems, either.

The real point of contention seems to be between the perceived level of complexity of each suite’s user interface. Final Cut Pro X is often knocked as being too simplified (some professionals refer to it disparagingly as “iMovie Pro”), and Premiere Pro is chided for being too complicated. But just like any other video editing (or, really, any) tool, usefulness is dictated by how that tool is used to get an end result. If each tool — no matter how simple or complicated — can get the job done, then it’s really a matter of user preference over all.

If you prefer to feel like a jet fighter pilot in a cockpit full of cool buttons, knobs, and levers, then Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is probably right up your alley. If you’d rather go on a road trip in the comfy family car, then Final Cut Pro X might be more your speed. Regardless of the controls used to steer (so to speak), they’ll both get you to your destination.

Image: Video Takes Forever! by trekkyandy via Flickr

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • Ahmed A

    The last time I tried to learn video editing, I downloaded Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas Pro. Premiere was just too complicated. Even Sony Vegas more complicated than I would have liked. It’s not something you can easily learn on your own by clicking buttons. I wish it was. I wonder if Apple’s FCP is any easier? Too bad I don’t like OS X.