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Old January 15th, 2003, 12:48 AM   #1
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Final Cut Pro vs. Premiere

Can someone point me to a comprehensive, technical comparison of FCP and Premiere? I tried searching the forums but didn't come up with much.
I'm using Premiere 6.0 now and see that the people I shoot with are using FCP and that FCP has also crossed over into Hollywood productions. I'm middle-aged and figure I won't want to attempt mastering (and paying for) too many different systems. I plan to continue shooting and editing video for some time and expect to move to higher resolutions eventually.

A few specific questions of interest.
1) Capable of editing other digital formats besides DV? I've read that FCP, with the right codecs, can edit in HD, DVCAM or DVCPro, etc. Does Premiere have the same capability?
2) Has Apple ever indicated an interest in re-coding FCP for a WinPC platform or for Linux on an x86 box?

Thank you,
Ron Johnson
Portland, OR
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Old January 15th, 2003, 05:27 AM   #2
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Perhaps this thread is of interest to you:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&threadid=6035
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Old January 15th, 2003, 06:32 AM   #3
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Apple has not given any hint of making FCP available for any other platform. I would view it as very unlikely. FCP is format independent. You can edit anything on FCP. It may require a Break Out Box or proprietary Cards.

Premiere, Vegas Video 3, Canopus all convert the data to DV before editing (to the best of my knowledge). HD can be converted to DV for editing, through external encoders. Some loss of quality is associated with the transcoding. To my knowledge only FCP and higher end Avids (Composer, Symphony) edit HD in full resolution, uncompressed. Only FCP and the high end Avids offer integrated support for matching the edit to negs for cutting, matched EDL for export etc. So if your going to film your choices are limited.

This article from the Hollywood Reporter http://www.pakor.com/web-pakor.com/servlet/PakorCatalog outlines famed editor Walter Murch's (3 time Academy award Winner) switch to Apple and FCP.

If you don't require HD or output to film the other PC compatible NLEs are an excellent choice.

Jeff
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Old January 15th, 2003, 08:00 AM   #4
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Jeff,

You are incorrect about Premiere. It will keep everything in its
original format when editing. It can read AVI, QuickTime, MPEG
(only 1 I think) and DV. Ofcourse if you make en export/output
it converts everything to the single format you choose when
exporting (can be any format, but everything will be saved in
that format).

I highly doubt VV or Canopus would do it any other way. Converting
everything to DV first only has drawbacks. It takes time, eats
harddisk space and it gains nothing. Since you already are
converting you have a functioning format reader in place. More
handy to use this reader whilst editing then waste it on time
converting everything.
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Old January 15th, 2003, 08:14 AM   #5
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What boards are available to get HD into Premiere? I searched Google and it only returned software solutions. I know the software can handle different resolutions, but I couldn't find hardware to do it.

Jeff
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Old January 15th, 2003, 08:29 AM   #6
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I don't know about HD. Never have heard/read anything about
HD for Premiere. I can imagine that it would allow such a resolution
though (which I could easily test), but I'm not sure. I don't think
Premiere is used enough in the "professional" world for it to
warrant true HD support. But who knows what'll happen for 7.0.
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Old January 15th, 2003, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
A few specific questions of interest.
1) Capable of editing other digital formats besides DV? I've read that FCP, with the right codecs, can edit in HD, DVCAM or DVCPro, etc. Does Premiere have the same capability?
2) Has Apple ever indicated an interest in re-coding FCP for a WinPC platform or for Linux on an x86 box?
In response to your first question, the issue is more how you get the video into your system. If I am not mistaken Premiere and FCP will edit, more or less, anything you can get into your computer and handle with your hard drives. Before 1394/firewire I used Premiere to edit analog footage, for example. It is not a format specific program.

DV, DVCAM and DVCPro are all DV25, which is to say roughly the same format, all 4:1:1 color space, 25mb/sec, all capable of being sent over firewire. Premiere can definately handle any DV25 format.

HD is a whole 'nother beast. Much higher data rate, much more demanding of hard drive speed. I know of at least one capture card that can capture HD uncompressed and that has Premiere drivers. (I don't know much about HD. I lack both the camera and the system to do much with it. I'm sure that will change with time.)

I agree with everyone else. I doubt Apple would ever develop a non Mac FCP. Right now it is a good reason to switch to their over-priced computers in all the designer colors. (Oops, showing my biases here.)

My main problem with Premiere is that is buggy and clunky. I've much happier since I started editing with Vegas, even though I am still pretty far down on the learning curve.

Rick
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Old January 15th, 2003, 09:04 AM   #8
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Premiere can like FCP take most anything you throw at it in terms of DV, uncompressed SD or HD. BUT...Premiere feels really old if you've ever had your fingers in FCP. Personally I think ist's time for Adobe to close the book on Premiere. Let it rest in peace along with the Boy George tunes the programmers listen to when they wrote it. It's time for Adobe to write a new NLE from the bottom up. A lot has happened in non linear digital video editing and Premiere is not really up to date. Sure you can drive it - but the driving is not very sexy.
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Old January 15th, 2003, 09:36 AM   #9
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Can someone clarify exactly how you mean you can edit without further compression.

My university this year put the hard word on me to be using a mac, as it is the only system they have available for me to edit with there. And, i do not think they will be happy if i run home to edit all of my assigments and never show the lecturers i actually do my own work.

Can a normal standard mac edit uncompressed? is special hardware needed?

Zac
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Old January 15th, 2003, 09:51 AM   #10
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I've used Premiere for a few years now and as of early last December I bought my first ever Mac and FCP. This made me very happy. I agree with Rick and Martin about Premeire feeling old and being buggy and clunky compared to FCP.

I have a straight up power mac dual 1.25 machine. I bought a advc-100 for in/out conversions and other than that no special hardware to edit.
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Old January 15th, 2003, 09:57 AM   #11
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Not all formats are compressed like DV (5:1). This type of data requires much more storeage space and much higher perfomance drives (SCSI) or RAID configurations. The data needs to go in via PCI cards in the computer (via appropiate connectors, not IEEE1394). Sometimes these boards in include Break Out Boxes (BOB) to get the data into proper form for the computer (sends audio to seperate audio board etc). The boards work in a higher bit rate (10 bit, 14, bit even 16 bit) and different color space (4:2:2 or 4:4:4). The computer files may be compressed less (2:1 , 1.5:1 ) or uncompressed. Depending on the compression and format (SD, HD) 1 second of video is 30MB to 65MB. Now you see the need for RAID configs.

Jeff
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Old January 15th, 2003, 10:10 AM   #12
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There is a lot of confusion over "compression".

DV25 is compressed 5:1 in the camera. There is no compression in the computer. Some folks talk about editing "native DV" as editing uncompressed to contrast it to some older systems that captured in jmpeg at a 3:1 compression.

So if you are shooting in DV there is no way to edit uncompressed (because it is compressed in the camera) unless you mean "no further compression" by editing in native DV in which case I guess you can say that you are editing "uncompressed".

Excuse me, I need another cup of coffee.

Rick
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