Why choose FCP over Sony Vegas Pro 9

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    • #47060

      Just getting into HD video and debating whether to go Mac and FCP vs keeping my PC and getting Vegas Pro 9. Why would you chose one over the other?



    • #193736


      Truthfully, it all depends on how much money and time you want to spend on switching. Granted, any serious editor will be familiar with a number of NLE software and if you plan on going pro eventually you’ll need some experience using Media Composer (or better), FCP or some other high-end production software.

      Between FCP and Vegas there are a number of differences than price. Up front, FCP is very strong on the video editing side and is a favorite of boutique style production houses in addition to high-end production facilities. Sound wise it has very good sound editing controls and works well with audio workstation software like Pro-Tools. FCP is also a solid choice if you are seriously into finishing work as you can natively use Apple’s ProRes codec for bringing 4:2:0 HD video up to 4:2:2 resolution. Though if your not outputting for theatrical, broadcast, high-end online or Blu-Ray release then it’s just another bell and whistle.

      Vegas on the other hand is slightly less expensive and has really good video controls. Its two major strengths that rival FCP are its ease of use. For example, for my latest film my offline editor and I cut it on Vegas 7. He had never worked with Vegas before and my only experience was with ACID and Sound Forge. Within two hours we had the basics down and within two days you would have thought we had always edited with it.

      The second strength is its sound editing capabilities. The only other programs that can truly rival Vegas sound wise are Pro-tools and maybe Cakewalk. Combine ACID and Sound Forge in the mix and there’s only Pro-Tools.

      Vegas can also work with 10 bit video and just like FCP can handle PIA AVCHD, 2k and I do believe 4k with the release of v9. Many broadcast shows like ‘Survivor Man’ are cut, sound mixed and finished using Vegas and its suite.

      So which one is better? Neither or either depending on what you’re planning on doing. Survivorman’s Les Stroud was a long time FCP user, but tried Vegas and hasn’t looked back. Other posters in these forums changed from Vegas to FCP with apparently positive results. Before you switch or stay ask yourself, ‘Can I currently afford to dump everything and buy all new stuff? ‘Cause if you go FCP you will have to. Of course you can partition your main drive and have a PC section so you can still run Vegas, but remember Vegas like FCP was specifically designed for a particular platform and will run most efficiently with what it was designed for. Every editor I know who’s done this says it’s a pain, but it might work for you.

      Now before some fanboy for Mac or PC accuses me of anything, I’m not saying that either is bad. Both have their strengths, both have their weaknesses. Up front are issues of both time and money. You’re already familiar with Vegas so upgrading will be barely a hiccup for you. However, if you change over to FCP you have to go all the way with a new Apple computer and everything that goes with it plus the time it’s going to take to learn a new OS and learning to use a new NLE. If you have that kind of time and money to spare then go for it. If you don’t you can work with HD just as well with the program you are already familiar with. That’s fine too.

    • #193737

      Derek, I think you missed that point in his query, “…vs keeping my PC and getting Vegas Pro 9.”

      I too am looking, at some point, to improve my NLE, working off PC, and am trying to justify the dollars. Composite1’s review sounded like a pretty good outline to me aboutmy path forward.

    • #193738

      Practically speaking, stick with PC.

      Economically speaking, stick with PC.

      Generally speaking, as aptly pointed out by Composite, who is ambidextrous πŸ™‚ either one, or both, work. A dedicated person on either platform/program(s) can get to the point where he/she can make it sing.

    • #193739

      I’m on PC now, but tempted by Mac. My 2.4 dual core couldn’t even play my HD videos until I got Windows 7. Not really tied to a NLE either since I am only using a trial Version of Vegas Pro. I do find Vegas Pro pretty easy to use, but have a lot to learn to get full potential from it.

      @Derek, you mention better workflow on the MAC, could you elaborate?

      Cost? yes an issue to switch. I can get a new high powered PC for 1/3 the price of a comparable Mac. Obviously to many the cost is justified.


    • #207509

      I used PC since the beginning. I cannot justify going Mac since i can do anything those guys do on my PC, just by using Newtek's SpeedEdit. All realtime. I use it for the editing and then go to Adobe Encore CS6 for DVD authoring. The only downfall is that the Mac snobs that only hire editors that use FCP. I do not understand why they care what software i use. If I hire a carpenter, I am not going to say they must use Craftsmen tools. If they can deliver what I want, that is all I care about. The only thing I can think of that make them want a FCP editor is if they want the project file to do future edits to.

    • #207570

      I agree with you Trusso. When I search for  work online 95% are looking for people who use FCP.

      A few times I've inquired about giving Vegas editors a chance. Afterall, it's the finished product that counts, not the tool use to do the job. Those who have taken me up on it were satisfied

      with the end product and so our point is proved. I've come to believe that many people have heard that FCP is what's popular and so that's what they ask for although they know nothing about video production.


      I've been using Vegas since 2004 when I started with version 4. Now I'm using Pro 10 and will most likely soon move on to Pro 12. Vegas, for me, has been a wonderful experience. I find it very stable and easy to use. There is still a lot I want to learn. I might even take a Vegas certification

      course when I get some time.


      In our video association NYPV (New York Professional Videographers) we have about 25 steady members. About one third use Vegas, one third FCP and the rest various systems like Premiere,

      Edius, etc.


    • #207486

      i have more or less the same problem…can you please- please tell me , is it possible to work with vegas 7.0 in Windows 7 64 bit ???


      how can i transfer HDV from camera with firewire on a laptop without firewire? The adaptrors,  as i found out on the internet,are not reliable.

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