Which is Best for Video Editing? Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Final Cut Pro

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By Greg Ball, President of Ball Media Innovations, Inc.

Many video editors find that they have to choose between two of the most popular video editing software programs. They are Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. While they have a lot in common, there are some important differences. But which is better? At my video editing services company, Ball Media Innovations, we use them both. However, most small companies will have to choose between one or the other. I’ll share some things you’ll want to consider to help you make your choice.

Which is Best for Video Editing? Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Final Cut Pro

Both are very capable editing platforms. They have some things in common, along with some differences. Here’s what you need to know.

Adobe Premiere Pro is more versatile when it comes to hardware

Final Cut Pro is only designed to be used on a Mac based system. On the other hand, Adobe Premiere Pro can be used on both a Mac and a PC. This is definitely an advantage if you don’t own a Mac. Many editors do prefer to work on a Mac anyway, but if that’s not you, you’re still going to be able to use a quality editing program on your PC. But you won’t have the option of using Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro is less expensive in the long run

Final Cut Pro has a one time fee. You buy it and you’re done! It’s currently going for approximately $300. On the other hand, Adobe Premiere charges a monthly subscription fee that is currently costing $240 per year. That means that over time, Adobe Premiere is radically more expensive.

Familiarity makes Adobe Premiere Pro comfortable for many editors

First, keep in mind that the majority of editors use Adobe Premiere Pro. I believe that this is because many of them are familiar with other Adobe products such as Photoshop and After Effects. When you’re familiar with Adobe products, it can be easier to adapt to their other products. There’s less of a learning curve. Using Adobe Premiere Pro can feel more natural and intuitive.

The same is true of anyone who’s familiar with the older versions of Final Cut Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro happens to be very similar to the older Final Cut Pro 7, so the crossover isn’t that difficult.

Final Cut Pro is quicker and maybe even easier

A lot of people feel that Adobe Premiere Pro is easier to master and more intuitive than Final Cut Pro. Personally I disagree. I’ve found Final Cut Pro to be much easier to master. Also, in the editing process there tends to be less steps involved. So, this makes editing projects done in Final Cut Pro a little bit faster to complete. 

I also find that Final Cut Pro is more flexible with different formats.

It’s easier to hire editors with Adobe Premiere Pro

Suppose you want to sub-contract your editing project. Maybe you want someone to edit it, but you’ll want to tweak it or make changes later on. This means you’ll want to hire someone who can share their project files with you. When you’re working on an Adobe Premiere Pro editing system, you’ll find it easier to hire sub-contractors.

Or suppose you’re a company with an in-house editing suite and you want to bring in editors. Again, you’ll have an easier time finding editors who are comfortable using Adobe Premiere Pro than those using Final Cut Pro. Unless of course, your company uses Final Cut Pro.

I also find that companies who are hiring freelance editors request Adobe Premiere Pro skills more often than Final Cut Pro.

Clients couldn’t care less which editing software you edit their production on

We find that most of our clients really don’t want to know what kind of editing system you’re using. They’re only interested in receiving a professionally edited video. Both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro can give you that. That is if you have a proficient editor working on the project.

What’s the final verdict?

Either way you go, you won’t go wrong. It’s simply important to choose the one you feel will benefit you the most in the long run.

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Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.