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After having used both Final Cut Pro (FCP) and Premiere Pro in fast paced commercial environments over the years, I have to say that there is absolutely no comparison between the two. Hands down, Final Cut Pro is a more professional and sophisticated video editing tool. Premiere is just trying to keep up, which doesn’t make any sense given the crazy-awesome, skull crushing power of After Effects!
Final Cut has superior color correction tools and many more effects and transitions (for both audio and video), which offer higher levels of control than those provided by Premiere (not to mention they look and sound a heck of a lot better).
You can’t change your project settings (such as the frame size) after you’ve begun a Premiere project. You have no option for blend modes (add, overlay, etc.) for video tracks in Premiere. The frame blending in Premiere is awful and makes changing the speed of clips nearly impossible to pull off in a professional production.
As for the, “slick integration” between Premiere and other Adobe products, I see very little advantage here over FCP. Embedding an After Effects project inside of a Premiere sequence takes hours longer to render. In the end, it’s more efficient to render out of After Effects and then import into Premiere. This is the same work flow as FCP’s. Final Cut can also handle Photoshop files and Illustrator files with ease.
Overall, FCP provides users a higher level control over the audio and video of their projects. If you are serious about video, choose Final Cut Pro. It’s no wonder why so many high end productions are created using FCP. I cut several projects for Nike with Final Cut at the core of my workflow and I’ve heard the Discovery Channel uses FCP as well. If anyone ever made a feature film with Premiere, it would go straight to DVD and then straight to one of those closeout DVD bins at the grocery store.
I have to use Premiere Pro everyday now and I hate it, it’s like a stupid toy from Fischer Price with dumb little knobs you turn in order to ruin your video…
View my 2009 Reel Made with Final Cut Pro: http://joelmertz.net/video.html