Software Face Off: Final Cut vs Premier Pro

December 31, 2015

Which is the better editing software for the video lover in you? Everyone recommends these two software for you to use, but which one is the best? In this break down, I will tell you a little bit about the two software. Nothing to in depth, but things that will help you decide which one will be better for you.

User Friendly

Premier Pro can be a bit more complicated. The program has 4 tabs at the top for editing, coloring, effects, and audio. After that, the editing has 4 basic windows that appear at the start on the editing side of the applications: Timeline, project, source, and the viewing window. Then, Project has 3 tabs, and the source has 4. So, you might get extremely overwhelmed upon initially opening the software. Once you get into things, you might begin to like it more, but at first, it is going to be rough and overwhelming to figure all of it out.  Final Cut opens up to a basic interface with 3 windows: project, timeline, and the viewing window. Very simple. Not overwhelming. You can get to the point where, if you wanted all those extra windows, you could add all those windows to your interface. Overall though, it is a very easy interface for a quick start. For user friendliness, Final Cut might be the easier one to start out with if you get overwhelmed easily and if you don’t want to put a lot of time into learning a system off the start.

Compatibility/Extra Features

Final Cut cannot compare in this aspect. It is a landslide for Premier Pro when it comes to extra software to work across. Apple offers Final Cut as a Film Editor and Protools as a Audio Editor. If you want extra features like photo editing, motion graphics, flash design, etc, you are going to end up buying extra software through Adobe. It will work with Final Cut, but it is through adobe. Adobe offers the creative cloud which runs everything from flash design to paper layout to motion graphics to  video editing. The amount of software Adobe offers is crazy, and they all run smoothly from software to software. There is just no beating Adobe in the fact that they can offer you so much with the same compatibility of going from mac to iPhone to iPad. If you have an apple running adobe, final cut never had a chance with you.

AdobeCC logo


Both of these are professional level software. I lived in LA for a time to attend film school. I worked for a small distribution company while I was out there. I worked on Adobe at school and final cut at work. Both are used out in Hollywood. At school, final cut was the biggest joke ever, but once I got into the professional world, no one cared. You worked with what you liked. I remember we had a client who could do amazing editing on Final Cut Pro X that some people would swear was not possible. This woman did it though, and she just left you speechless when you saw the work. All it came down to was the time and energy she put into figuring the system out, researching the platform, and playing on the software. They both have the capabilities of being great software. Adobe may simply be more in your face with showing you how to do skills, but both are solid programs to use with the ability to become outstanding. It will all depend on your devotion to learning them.


This is probably the biggest deciding factor at the end of the day. While Adobe Premier Pro is a solid system and can work across a lot of software, the editing system alone is $200-$700/year depending if an academic person is buying it or not. To get all the extra software like After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., it will be $230-$1000/year depending if they are an academic person. So depending on who you are, this may or may not be a realistic answer. You would be able to pay a monthly fee though which might change whether you could afford it or not. Final Cut Pro X is a one-time, flat rate of $300, but the catch is that it only operates on a IOS operating system. It is a nice fact that you own it and only pay once, but the need for a mac could be a deterrent.

As you can see, both software can fit you perfectly. They can be what you need, but to say, one is better than the other is simply too hard to say. I personally prefer Final Cut. Even if I work with Premier, I change the settings to Final Cut controls (yes, that is a thing). Most of my friends would tell me that I just picked a horrible software. I encourage you to find the basic free version of both systems and try them out. It will allow you to get into the systems and test them out. You will quickly figure out which one you like better. These are the main factors to look at as far as a knowledge level goes. Try to get your hands on the software though. It is a lot of money to throw out on something you may not like at the end of the day.

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