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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #1
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FCP 7 vs. Adobe Premiere CS5

hey all,

the production group im working with now has been using adobe premiere cs3. as a result of numerous issues and problems with premiere and PCs - they've decided to switch to MACs. However the debate within the group seems to be FCP vs Premiere as the next editing program.

any suggestions? thoughts? i know its personal opinion in the end, but what are some fundamental differences with FCP and the new CS5 Premiere? the group also in the past has relied on photoshop, inllustrator, and after effects. would that play a role in selecting FCP vs CS5?

thanks in advance!
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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FCP's ability to load Photoshop and Illustrator (and other Adobe) files is pretty pale in comparison to Premiere Pro.

CS5 is actually pretty stable. Even in CS3 and CS4, those who ran with the larger systems weren't as frustrated as those whose systems were less capable.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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If Premiere is doing everything that you need it to do, there is a definite advantage to sticking with a program that your group is already familiar with. You also use all the other programs in the suite, so Premier is basically free.

One of the reasons that I chose FC over Premiere is that I have a good friend that's a pro editor in Nashville. FC gave me the ability to send projects to him for packaging for broadcast etc. So if you do everything in house, that would cut out that aspect.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #4
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PP CS3 was buggy and not as stable as FCP 6 was. However with CS4 came significant stability bug fixes and a few minor advances in workflow options over FCP. Now with CS5 (and I'm on the CS5 beta team so I've been working with it since before it's release) PP has made significant jumps over FCP in many key areas from workflow, drag-n-drop codec options and real-time rendering using the newer Nvidia cards (Mercury engine) that blows away anything FCP is currently capable of in any hardware configuration.

The other thing to consider - as pointed out in countless and growing number of threads - is that Apple, more directly Steve Jobs - has quite a bit of reverse-direction momentum going. Apple is fighting everybody from Adobe to Sony to it's third-party developers and has numerous lawsuits filed and pending, more than any time in Apple history. Not to mention that their hardware offerings continue to reduce functionality in favor of "beauty" (see the latest MBP "updates" as proof of that) all the while raising prices - for no good reason.

In short, both you and your client would be well served in taking a much harder and unbiased look at both PP and current PC hardware offerings. You get more for your money and aren't being shackled into NOT getting all the things Apple refuses to play nice with, everything from Flash, to Blu-Ray and now even video card development. It's just become insanity to ad-nauseam in Mac-land these days.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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Robert

At some point perhaps sooner than I'd like, I'm going to have to replace my 3 1/2 year old MBP. Not knowing the Adobe programs very well means a learning curve I'd rather do on my timetable. Ideally the next iteration of FCS will have been released by the time I need new hardware so at least we'll all know what the future of Apple Pro Apps really is. So my questions are:

1. What's your take on the CS5 Mac version. Is it as capable as that for PC. My understanding is that was not the case at least up until CS3???
2. Is it a crazy idea to consider putting CS5 PC version on a Mac/bootcamp setup so at least if I do jump to PC I have the right software. Sure sounds crazy...

I'm ready to stay the course with FCS3 for now, but if the MBP dies too soon then I have a big decision to make.

Thanks
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Old May 15th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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i personally think CS5 looks awesome currently working on a mac and FCP and thinking hard why would i want to purchase a new mac pro when for under $1500 i can build my self a powerhouse PC i am so sick of over blown prices by Apple i just need performance not even Sony's Pro range of cameras are over priced

My change is coming very soon if apple dont release something soon. Even Edius runs in realtime better then FCP
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Old May 15th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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I had to redo this post; I was really going on a rant, so let me simplify the reply:

PP CS5 is literally 2.5 generations *ahead* of FCP in every aspect that matters, from workflow to rendering engine capabilities. Not to mention Adobe Media Encoder can make a final broadcast-quality encode 3-4x times faster than Compressor - and at higher quality settings to boot with better end results.

Personally if you or anyone else is at a point where it's time to replace old or failing hardware then you'd better take a very hard look at a Win-7 based system, either tower or laptop. There is absolutely no compelling reason to drop hard-earned cash on Apple premium pricing when both capabilities in hardware and software are being removed, shackled and or ignored.
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Last edited by Robert Lane; May 16th, 2010 at 11:07 AM.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 01:32 AM   #8
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I began on Premiere 6 and didn't find the transition to FCP hard so i guess the transitio0n back wont be a problem.

The only problem i had with premiere was if i didn't have the correct hardware you would have problems. Is this still the issue.

Apple had and probably still has the upper hand with stability.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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Not at all, and I seriously doubt FCP is any more stable than and current NLE available; there are obviously thousands of posts from users with tons of stability-related issues on the FCP platform.

Stability, whether it's PC or Mac based, has always been about the foundation the NLE lives on. If it's installed on a system with a wacky directory or one that's constantly pounded by all the temp and cache files generated by web use then you can expect that at some point things will go wonky. Proper system and software maintenance coupled with common-sense separation from business and web-use has always been the hallmark of a stable edit box. In fact at most post houses worldwide and regardless of the platform the system the NLE lives on simply does not have access to the 'net at all. The scenario of the edit station being vulnerable to web-based crap has always been the domain of single-user home or small-business based systems, not serious edit houses.

If you want a stable system PC or Mac then put your big dollar equipment into the system that houses your NLE, get some cheapie low-end system - a $300 laptop even - and use that for all your web stuff.

The only hardware-specific issue with PP currently is the Mercury engine requires a high-end Nvidia card to get all the acceleration benefits. Outside of that and CS5 will happily do it's job on any recent Intel-based Mac or PC made in the past 2 years.

But I want to reiterate a point I made in other thread recently: The consideration for someone who is currently Mac-based to jump ship into PP and even consider the PC environment should only be made by those who are forced into making a major hardware purchase, either because their system is too old or is or has failed.

The reason I say this is because while PP CS5 is a major leap forward from FCP7 the cost and time involved in making a system-wide change like that isn't worthwhile just for the sake of making the changeover. FCP does it's job very well and there's no reason to dump it just on the principle of actually being able to do more work or have a faster workflow (both of which PP offers vs. FCP7). However if you're at an impasse with your current setup and are forced into purchasing replacement hardware then it's absolutely the time to make these overall considerations.

As things stand right this moment, with no hint of FCP8 on the horizon, no clear idea of what it will look like and and all the things Apple has stated they will *not* do (BR, Flash and special video-card development already available for others) if I were in the situation stated above I'd make a Win-7 PP edit box my system of choice (with Avid co-loaded for film-based work) and I'd keep my MBP for all my web-based work and downloading all the updates for my PC too.

Why would I not just use a Mac and BootCamp? A) Steve Jobs has now chosen to dictate to companies like Nvidia what he will and won't support in processor paths which means some of the best video cards for editors won't be Mac-compatible (again) - if he gets his way, B) Jobs/Apple has already forced their hand with BR and Flash, C) I'm sick and tired of having a "high-end" laptop that doesn't have an EC34 slot and only a single FW port - and a damned glossy screen to boot!!! (my older MBP was replaced by Apple at no-charge because of the Nvidia recall issue - but they wouldn't give me a non-glare screen. Nice).

And to the Apple fan-boys who would say, "who cares about BR or Flash anyway...". OK fine. I couldn't care less who likes or uses things like BR or not. However, it's one thing to simply not want or use it, it's a totally different thing to not even be allowed the option! I mean c'mon, enough is enough already.

When a company purposely removes capabilities from your toolkit then it's time to get a different set of tools.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #10
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Robert,

Actually, one of the key reasons I bought a Mac Pro was options! Yeah, you actually heard me just say
that. I was figuring, if I bought a Mac Pro, I could run FCP on it, and if the next version of FCP was a 'dud' then I could run Adobe CS 5 on it, or even use it under bootcamp to run Vegas or another NLE. I've been told that a Mac Pro is a screaming windows 7 box as well. Now I have the latest Final Cut Studio AND
CS 5 installed on my Mac Pro. But I don't think their 'pro' hardware is the problem. Sure, you pay a little
more for a Mac Pro than a comparable PC (although if you buy from the Apple refurb store like I did, it's
not as much more as some might think.) The problem seems to be with everything BUT their pro hardware.
They only seem to have one model of Macbook Pro that should even be CALLED a Macbook Pro in my opinion, and that is the 17 inch version. Their Mac Pros are fine machines though. And the other issue, is the software side of things. It 'appears' to many that they are 'abandoning' their pro users on FCP.
Personally, I'm not ready to give up on them yet. I can afford a bit of a wait as my market has absolutely
NO use for Blu Ray yet, and in fact I can't even GIVE AWAY Blu Ray production and editing. I still
believe that the next version of FCP......the one optimized for Snow Leopard from the ground up.....
will be a doozy.
However, if I am wrong, and if the next version of FCP is NOT a big upgrade.......THEN you may
see something that I would have never in my lifetime predicted......me switching from FCP to
Adobe CS.....
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Old May 16th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #11
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FYI, you DON'T need a high-end nvidia card to work with CS5's hardware acceleration. All you need is an nvidia card with 896MB ram or more and add the card's name into a text file. Check out the threads in the Adobe forum.

The speed of CS5 with hardware acceleration is absolutely amazing. I tested CS4 vs CS5 with 3 avchd layers and the same 8 effects on each layer. Exported a 2min clip, CS4 took 46 mins and CS5 took just under 9 mins. (using an i7 PC w/12GB ram & GTX 275)

Another reason for CS5 is Dynamic Link between Premiere, After Effects & Encore. To get similar a function of DL with After Effects & FCP requires a $500 program (Automatic Duck). If you only use DL a little now with CS3, you will use it far more with CS5 due to great speed improvements (thanks to Premiere & AE CS5 being 64bit native). Furthermore, you can have a guy working in AE with Photoshop or Illustrator files and have another guy altering those files on another computer, and all it takes to update in AE is a simple right-click (assuming the files stay in the same folder).

And for those considering a pre-built PC, check out the HP Z800. I ordered one with dual 6 core Xeons, Quadro FX 3800 and 24GB ram for $5500. (The ram I ordered from newegg - $1000) By just requesting a quote from HP, they knocked 25% off of the web price (web original=$6000, quote=$4500).

Also, the Z800 gives you MORE PCI Express connections vs the Mac Pro. I actually considered a Mac Pro (to run Smoke) but they cannot come close to fitting all my cards and give me room for expansion (FX 3800, PCIe to Expresscard for SxS cards, Areca 1680ix, Kona, ASUS USB 3.0)
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Old May 16th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #12
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Lots of different needs to consider when changing Platforms, let alone NLEs. When you combine the two decisions, it can be overwhelming when faced with options.

And options are really what people want, in the end.. No one likes to be shut out of having options. Options to run programs, options to upgrade, options to switch.

I happen to cut on Avid. I've worked with FCP and Vegas in my work at a television station, but honestly my NLE of choice is Avid. I learned NLE on Premiere, way back when (I forget which version) but I'm not really competent in it any more. I bring this up because for years I heard "Avid is TOO PICKY" with it's hardware requirements. (A sentiment I've just heard expressed in this thread regarding Premier)

C'mon guys, how much more 'picky' can a company be, then requiring you to buy A SPECIFIC BRAND OF COMPUTER? Final Cut only runs on Apple. Period. Sounds kind of 'picky' to me. I like FCP okay, it has some nifty features - the biggest one was it's price compared to others 'back in the day' - but that's gone now.

Avid and Premiere both run on Macs and PC. Don't know about Premiere, but AVID ships with a copy FOR BOTH PLATFORMS. So when you buy it, if you have a Mac and change to PC, you're good to go. Or the other way round for that matter.

Ultimately the choice will come down to money. TIME is money as well. Will it take MORE TIME to learn a 'new' NLE? What is your time worth? Will you have other 'upgrades' to other software packaged if you make a platform switch?

As other's have pointed out stability is really a matter of dedicating your editing system to EDITING. Try and keep the games and web surfing off the money making machine. If that's possible.

Good luck on making up a decision tree based on your needs. They're all good, they all have strengths and weaknesses - for my part, I like to keep my options open.

Last edited by Richard Alvarez; May 16th, 2010 at 05:34 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #13
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Gabe, Steve and Richard,

You all bring up valid and well thought-out points and coupled with my own commentary probably represents the most well-rounded "think about it" approach to the current situation for Mac editors.

Too bad just a section of a thread can't be made a "temporary sticky"; I think this information will be invaluable now and for the next 4 months while things continue to develop - or regress - in the Apple camp while current and potential Mac users suss out the situation with what to do or not to do with Apple products.

And more to Richards point, I couldn't agree more. Avid is more often than not completely discounted by FCP and PP users who assume the cost is too high (however recent educational pricing for students makes it a steal). However when you realize what it would take to make FCP or even PP perform to the level of Avid the costs differential becomes nullified.

Personally if any editor had a copy of Production Premium CS5 and Avid concurrently they'd never need or want anything else, period. That's a do-all, be-all combination.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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Avid's strength seems to remain that it's designed for fast cutting...good asset management...keyboard-intense operation for more speed than using a mouse.

Avid's main limitation for many of us who work with tons of graphics, is that the last time I looked at it, it didn't have the graphics file flexibility of FCP, which really isn't even in striking distance (in that function) of Adobe...

Also, I'd say the workflow when you're working with videos for screen delivery with non-video frame sizes, it seems that Adobe handles mixing assets like Camtasia files, video files, and various types of graphics on a timeline that is 1024x768 very easily.

With any of these applications, it's a matter of getting an interface that makes sense to you and functionality that makes sense to you...and get to work.

For the poster that asked about Edius and Real_Time.... Edius fries everything else I've ever seen for RT-period. It's PC only and has some unique bits of interface...but I have yet to see anything that can mix as many formats on one timeline and just play it out on a given machine configuration.

In my opinion, FCP, Avid and Premiere Pro aren't even in the same category as Edius if it's speed of playout response with a dog's breakfast of assets on one timeline we're talking about.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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Back in the P2HD tour of '07 that I did for Panasonic the rep for Edius was at several of the tour locations showing off what was then the latest and greatest, right after NAB '07. It blew away anything on the market back then and in fact I'd put that now older version up against anything from Apple, Adobe or Avid and it would most likely outperform them all.

In fact, the Edius rep demoed the NLE on an HP laptop with guess what... a second internal HDD that came standard with the machine. And costing far far less than Apple's 17" incher even back then.

Grass Valley just hasn't done a very good job of marketing the product which is why it's so often not on anyone's radar - it even escapes mine from time to time. But poor marketing doesn't mean it's not a top-notch NLE, it totally is.

This is a perfect example of why Apple is perceived to be a superior product, because they outspend just about everyone else in making their marketing efforts huge and uber-glossy. Trouble is, it's just marketing, not truth.

Eduis has a slightly different approach to the UI than the others but once you get your head around it's interface it's a screamer. You also won't find as many plug-ins or filter packs available for it as it's competitors but in the right hands that wouldn't be much of a limitation.
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