So I always find these sor


So I always find these sorts of discussions to be, if nothing else, entertaining. Some folks can get so testy hah. In all seriousness though, I’ve been editing video professionally for about 4 years now after working as an intern and a student for the 6-7 years before that. I have both PP & FCP although I really never use PP. It’s come a long way in the last ten years and like any editor who actually wants to work … I keep up with most NLE software. In reality, they all do the same things (for the most part) with the only difference being how many clicks it takes to get from point a to point b.

I remember the day back in 2000, freshman year at film school, when I switched from Premiere 6.0 to FCP 1.0 and unlike my Premiere editing experience, I was SHOCKED to discover draggable and snapping clips on the timeline, no crashing-to-desktop, no blue screen of death, no randomly corrupted video files and no need for FAT32. And in the last ten years of pretty steady editing, not once has my FCP system crashed, corrupted or in any way freaked out. FCP is what works for me. That said, it might not be for everybody. So, in my opinion, here’s how it breaks down:

1. Avid Media Composer: hands down the best (and still all around industry standard) editing system for classic continuity editing. The ability to preview multiple takes/angles at the same time can’t be beat if traditional, narrative, continuity editing is your thing.

2. Adobe super-duper-creative-mega-design suite with premiere pro: CS5 is a long way removed from Premiere 6.0 and considering the last time I really used it was on a “gasp!” pc … I’m really not the guy to talk about how awesome it is, even on mac. For a beginner, it’ll do the trick but first impressions being what they are, its just not for me. Mostly I just use After Effects, Photoshop & lightroom. On Location looks awesome if I ever used a camera it was compatible with. But I don’t ever use the other stuff except to learn how to use it … you just never know what a producer or client wants you to use. AE is better at 3D animation than Motion (i think) so for titling … i stick with it and Photoshop just sort of goes without saying. Now as much as I don’t like Premiere, I do like that it has AVCHD now as part of its native workflow although you sacrifice Apple’s 10 bit Pro-Res soo pick your poison.

3. Vegas: I used it once like five years ago … no real complaints other than what seemed at the time a total lack of support for any camera other than a Sony. Weird digital artifacts with Canon and a lot or problems with DVCPro codecs.

4. Final Cut Studio: unlike Avid or Premiere, this wasn’t designed to schmooze people away from linear video or Steinbeck film editors. The first NLE software to add HD to it’s workflow (almost a year before avid). The only NLE with a native quicktime workflow. The first to allow real-time previews of HD. The first to allow draggable video clips on the timeline. For me, its extremely user friendly with all of the main tools being right there on the front end rather than stuck in some submenu somewhere … I just think its a more intuitive system for editors. But I don’t think its hard to learn. If any one is coming from a PC, the hardest part about the switch to FCP is going to be learning Mac OS … not FCP. Import, drag to timeline, tweak, and export. Compressor is about as easy a software as I think I’ve ever used for transcoding or conversion. You see your file, its preview and a huge list of highly organized presets that are totally customizable per your needs. Now the Adobe Media Encoder is more or less the same thing with one big exception … it takes (for me anyways) a lot longer to encode but necessary if you want to convert to flash. (Although vimeo, youtube, and do that for you.) Motion is very easy to learn but limited compared to after effects (I can say that though because I’m not an animator.) And sure, Soundtrack Pro isn’t as big and bad as say Pro Tools, but I’ve scored with STP, designed sound tracks in regular stereo to dolby digital 5.1, for animations including a commercial for General Mills.

So if its my money, I’d go with FCP because for me, I’ve always been able to do more with it and with a lot less headaches. I don’t have to be an IT guy. I can just edit some video and send it out to the client.

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