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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:15 AM   #1
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Convince me

Hey all,

I know what the knee-jerk reaction will be to this question, but I want to ask anyway.

A guy I have done work with says I should switch from Sony Vegas to Final Cut. He goes on and on about workflow, Mac's being better, blah, blah, blah....but he can never tell me WHY Final Cut is better. It may well be better, but I want to know WHY!

Can anyone tell me (exactly) WHAT Final Cut does better than Sony Vegas, or What Final Cut does, that Sony Vegas doesn't do at all?

Sorry if these seems "remedial" to you guys, but I'm just trying to set it straight in my mind, because if there is a solid reason, I will switch from P.C.'s and Sony Vegas to Mac's and FCP....but I need reasons, not just "because Steve Jobs and I-pods are cool, man"!

Thanks in advance to anyone that can enlighten a caveman like me.

Freddie.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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If your happy with what you've got, there's no reason to drop a bunch of $ on a switch, just because someone tells you to. IMHO a mac pro running FC would be a preferable system, but then there would also be the factor of you having to learn a new system & editing suite.

The fact that you have to be "convinced", tells me you probably shouldn't switch.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 07:58 AM   #3
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All NLE programs have something in them that doesn't work quite right or is implemented in a way that is detrimental to a particular person's way of working. Before looking into Final Cut, look into other PC NLE programs such as Edius, Premier Pro or AVID's low end offerings. Some offer free trials to download. Adobe gives you a month to tinker around with a fully functional Premier. If none of these NLE programs seem to fit the bill and you are ready for a new computer system, see if there's a store with a showroom installation of Final Cut for you to play with. There's a lot to recommend in Final Cut, especially the huge support network that has grown around it over the years that Vegas can't even begin to touch. But both are functional editors that will get a perfectly acceptable finished product out. Unless there is something about Vegas that is really bothering you and causing headaches and delays in your work there is no real reason to switch at this time. What you need is the question you have to answer.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:11 AM   #4
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Thanks guys,

@William...no, there's nothing with Sony Vegas I don't like...In fact, I love it. I can do practically ANYTHING I want on it. I have never been stumped on any project while using it, in fact.

I just shot a short on the 7d with a fresh out of college cinematographer...who SWEARS, FCP is better and in fact, gets angry the more I ask "why"? He can't really seem to give me any answers, other than (what sounds to me like), "apple is cool. apple is built for the hollywood system. apple stuff looks good".....when in fact, I don't care about that stuff. I simply want to be told what it does better than Vegas, or does that Vegas doesn't do. To date, I have yet to hear anyone give me examples.

You summed my problem up for me by saying, "But both are functional editors that will get a perfectly acceptable finished product out".....thank you. I'm 99% sure I'm sticking to a P.C. and Vegas.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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I know this is anecdotal, but I have an employee who was a FCP user, who fought me when I told her she would have to use Vegas if she wanted to work for me, as I could not buy a MAC.

After 2 months, she loves Vegas and appreciates how easy it is to use.

If editing is your career, then knowing FCP is manadatory, otherwise you should stick with Vegas as it lets you become an editor, rather than a student, faster than any other NLE in my opinion.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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I use both FCS on a 2009 Mac Pro and Vegas 9e on a 2010 i7 Win 64 box. Both are great. Both have weaknesses. Both are just tools (and sometimes I'm using them at the same time) - what matters is content and the skill in using either tool in editing. I would not want to be without either one.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 10:47 AM   #7
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I use FCP. But, that doesn't mean I think it is the only NLE out there. Use what works for you, everyone
I know that uses Vegas absolutely loves it, so it must be doing something right. One thing you do get
with FCP that you don't with Vegas is a full 'suite' of tools. Adobe also offers this, and it IS a plus.
Motion/After Effects help you do some things that you just cannot do in an NLE. Motion tracking,
particle effects, 'painting' on video, things like that. These are more specialized though and usually used
for 'FX' shots or creating motion graphics. It IS useful to have though, but you wouldn't need to
change computers and change to FCP. You could just pick up a copy of AE.....Photoshop is
another very useful tool. I actually have both the newest Final Cut Pro suite AND Adobe CS5.
There are some 'tricks' I can do in Adobe that would take longer than doing them in FCP or Motion,
but I'm most familiar with the FCP workflow so I do most normal things there, and just
'outsource' certain tasks to Adobe. It helps me because I get to mostly stick to what I know
and can work fast in, but still learn another suite of tools kind of at my own pace.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 12:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Goltz View Post
Thanks guys,

@William...no, there's nothing with Sony Vegas I don't like...In fact, I love it. I can do practically ANYTHING I want on it. I have never been stumped on any project while using it, in fact.

I just shot a short on the 7d with a fresh out of college cinematographer...who SWEARS, FCP is better and in fact, gets angry the more I ask "why"? He can't really seem to give me any answers, other than (what sounds to me like), "apple is cool. apple is built for the hollywood system. apple stuff looks good".....when in fact, I don't care about that stuff. I simply want to be told what it does better than Vegas, or does that Vegas doesn't do. To date, I have yet to hear anyone give me examples.

You summed my problem up for me by saying, "But both are functional editors that will get a perfectly acceptable finished product out".....thank you. I'm 99% sure I'm sticking to a P.C. and Vegas.
Hey, go to cinematographer's place and play with Final Cut. Just so you will know what it's like and can refute anybody who pulls this sort of no-brain talk. I just dealt with a bunch of knuckleheads who were going on about one HD recording format over another, no understanding of the reality of production just a need to justify their own purchase decisions by yelling as loudly as they can. And by the way Apple is used by some of the Hollywood system, quite well at times, but there are many instances where the Hollywood people (especially big production dramatic TV series) turned to different systems due to Apple's approach to video editing. And they don't turn to Vegas, they usually go for AVID which still reigns supreme in very high end complex editing.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 03:28 PM   #9
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I also happen to like both of them although I do prefer Final Cut for one major reason. It can playback HD video at full quality flawlessly. This is something that Vegas usually struggles with. I can edit 720p 60p or 1080p 24p and playback on a second monitor at full quality and full framerate on a core 2 duo iMac. That is something that just cannot happen with Vegas. Now that is just me personally because I do like to have a full quality second monitor display.

With that said I do love a lot that Vegas offers as well especially when it comes to audio. I run bootcamp on my system so I can switch back and forth when I need to. So I know how well each runs on the exact same hardware setup.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:50 PM   #10
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From an industry point of view - the advantages of Final Cut are:

Industry uptake - having a large percentage of industry uptake, Final Cut is one of the two NLE's you need to be familiar with to be able to optimise your chances of getting work as an off line editor. The second is of course Avid. If you know Final Cut and Avid and you have the best chances of working as a free lancer in the current environement - this is an advantage obviously.

Industry integration - Final Cut natively comes with workflow solutions to suite industry, such as EDL and OMF export to interface with Online editorial/Digital Intermediates and tools for transferring work between digital and film (Cinema Tools) and other different workflows which are key to large industry integration. Vegas doesn't, which makes collaboration between Vegas and the wider industry more cumbersome and in some cases impossible.

Third Party Hardware - Final Cut is very well supported with third party hardware such as Aja and Blackmagic for monitoring and deck control for broadcast solutions. Broadcast delivery workflows still rely heavily on delivering to tape (Digibeta and HDCAM-SR primarily, as well as D5) as well as colour critical monitoring on top quality monitors.

Final Cut Suite - Final Cut on it's own, as an NLE, is actually showing it's age a little bit and would be hard to truly recommend on it's own - however the suite has a level of integration and additional tools that make it incredibly good value for money. Compressor is a pretty clever bit of software that helps out with workflows and makes up for some of Final Cut's aging infrastructure, and there a lot of very clever third party plugins can do amazing things in Final Cut as a non linear editor. Color being bundled is an amazing deal still, although other third party grading suites are becoming much more accessible - although mostly on the Mac Platform (Smoke and Resolve on Mac) which actually, somewhat ironically, becomes a plus for Final Cut because this third party software has a tight integration with the Mac platform.

Motion is also a great tool for motion graphics and compositing, although After Effects remains the standard desktop option there for a good reason - and soundtrack pro has it's advantages although isn't really as pro as it's name suggests.

DVD Studio Pro is a very powerful and flexible DVD authoring tool - but the business/political situation with Apple not supporting Blu Ray does bring it's longevity into question.

OS X/Mac Platform: Because of the limited hardware base support for OS X and Apple products in general is a lot simpler - so you are less likely to be caught out with a software revision that doesn't gel well with your hardware, and if there is one, its more likely to be resolved and in a quicker fashion. OS X Mac Platform can also be seen as a negative, because you are tied to Apple's hardware development cycle and operating system. This is a case by case thing and generally up to personal preference/cost benefit analysis. It's never an open and shut case.

The key thing about all the above advantages is that they are to do with workflow, not necessarily end result (except maybe broadcast delivery requirements) and one of the things about workflow advantages is that if you aren't IN a workflow where they are either required, or a big advantage, you won't miss them.

But when it comes to collaboration with the wider industry, Final Cut has significant advantages over Vegas - that doesn't mean that every Final Cut user gets any benefit out of these advantages, and a lot no doubt have brought in to hype rather than the practical needs.

Similarly, AVID offers even more robust workflows and integration into the wider industry, to the point that the way it inherently works makes it appear a bit alien to editors who don't require integration.

Final Cut does a very good job of straddling the middle ground, and does it very cost effectively especially due to the low cost of third party hardware - but the editor itself is in dire need of an update to 64 bit which requires a full back end engine rewrite, and one of the difficulties with Apple is how quiet they are about their future roadmap. This is one major negative for dealing with Apple, if only because you are investing in hardware but have to 'trust' in them catching up with software (although with Bootcamp, AVID for Mac and now Smoke and Resolve for Mac, the hardware investment has become a lot less risky and moving to other software platforms a lot easier.)

No need to convince most Vegas editors on why they should switch, especially if they are videographers whose major delivery is for the web. But if you want to off line edit for a living, or deliver a feature film to a major post house for finishing, or have full control over broadcast deliverables for tv series - other NLE's have workflow/hardware integration advantages that you simply may not be able to do without.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 04:59 AM   #11
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One big advantage is that Final Cut runs on a Mac which are beautifully engineered & top quality personal computers. Apple also provides exemplary after-sales service. The OS X operating system is far less troublesome than any version of Windows.

I spent 25 years in the IT industry right back from when you could walk inside the computer & mice in the office were something you laid traps for. I have worked with Windows since V1 & my advice to anyone who asks me what computer they should buy is that unless they are a computer professional that they should always buy a Mac for the quality, reliability, service & trouble-free usage.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #12
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ok short and to the point :

Vegas has a UI thats upside down and backwards compared to every other NLE. its like sitting on your head to use.

FCP. DATED ! apple is having its issues with getting a real FCP update out thats 64bit native, really uses the GPU, can deal with native format support. converting everything to ProRes is stupid, time consuming, disk consuming, just a waste. FCP's fx playback is a bad joke now, ground breaking about 5 years ago.

Prem Pro CS5 : where things are at these days. Full res full frame rate fx with MPE + nVidia graphics card. lots of native file format support, you drag it in, you edit. no magic, no contortions,no stupid format conversions, just edit, fx, color correct, hit play, done. really ! 64bit app + integration with other adobe apps like AE. Now full FCP XML file import / export :) RGB curves corrections with secondariness in full res full frame rate RT. really da bomb right now !

Avid. ... well, AMA is nice, its a good step. UI is stuck in 1995. many aspects are 1995, like media folders, and its stupid media DB files. eventually they will get it right.

Smoke. $15k, ok, thats almost 1/8th what they used to get. a very serious editor with fill 3D compositing environment. very powerful, steep learning curve, in some respects has dated 1990's elements to its UI like bizarre keyboard controls, but at the end of the day, still considered the best finishing system out there because of its compositing abilities. its really about 80% of flame
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Old September 7th, 2010, 01:57 AM   #13
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Well...Vegas' interface continues to evolve...

I think that is probably not an issue to a user who has "never been stumped" on a project with it.

Bottom line if you don't have to edit for hire with an industry mainstream system, go with what you know and like the most. I wouldn't let anyone tell you what is better until you need to overcome some limitation you've discovered in what you have...then YOU look at options and decide for yourself.

NLE software and computing platforms discussion tends to degrade into religious warfare sometimes (this thread being a notable exception.)

Of all the workflows that you could make the case for on FCP...I have no clue why the OP's colleague picked DSLR as one to compare with anything...there are a lot of workflows that FCP has really down...but I think there are some others that are leading in that particular area...
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