Final Cut Pro X vs Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017: Which is the Best Video Editor For Your Needs?

Beyond any doubt, these NLEs are two of the most popular and widely adopted editing platforms by professional video editors and enthusiasts alike around the world these days. But, which one of those particularly is most suitable for your personal needs and preferences? To help you sort things out and find the right answer for yourself, Australian-based filmmaker Justin Brown of Primal Video shares some of his personal top favorite features regarding each of those NLEs. Don’t expect to get the whole picture right away, though, but if you pay close attention to the points Justin highlights, I’m sure it will be much easier for you to pick the better option for yourself. Or, maybe you’ll end up using both. Let’s find out.

One of the biggest strengths of Final Cut X is the way it handles 4K video files. You can seamlessly edit and play back 4K files in their native resolution on a wide range of the latest MacBook Pros, mainly due to the background rendering the NLE offers. If you are one of those creative professionals who also travel a lot, odds are you’re already aware of the fact the Final Cut X is optimized in a way that saves a decent amount of the battery power of your laptop, whereas other GPU-intensive software platforms like Premiere Pro drain it significantly faster.

Another advantage of Final Cut X according to Justin Brown is the ability to edit and custom motion titles inside the platform with ease thus eliminating the necessity to use separate third-party applications or other graphics editors. Of course, you can get titles like these in Premiere Pro CC, but to be able to utterly customize those you will need to send them to After Effects using the Adobe Dynamic Link integration. The Magnetic Timeline is also an extremely powerful asset that you can find only in Final Cut Pro X. In a nutshell, the feature allows you to swap places of different clips on your timeline as it automatically closes gaps and moves the associated pieces stuck to your story clips.

The way you can preview the imported media in Final Cut Pro X is another huge advantage over other editing platforms according to Justin, as it gives you the ability to select and import only those files that you’ll actually end up using. Just as important are the render times that Final Cut Pro X provides as well. For instance, you can even upload your edit directly to YouTube or other social platforms without having to render the entire edit beforehand whatsoever as the process happens in the background while you’re editing.

Premiere Pro CC 2017, on the other hand, is cross-platform compatible as it’s available on both Windows and MacOS platforms and features Team Projects and other integrated assets which are a big advantage when it comes to collaboration and working on bigger projects. The Adobe’s premium video editor also offers advanced color grading panel, that can hardly compete with the modest functionality Final Cut Pro X provides in that regard. Once you wrapped up your edit, there are also countless export settings that you can utilize right off the bat. From low-resolution videos to full digital cinema files, Premiere Pro CC 2017 has got you covered.

The seamless integration of Premiere Pro CC with other Adobe creative applications is also extremely powerful and useful feature that Final Cut Pro X lacks. When it comes to editing, Premiere Pro CC also offers neat file management system which makes it much easier for you and your collaborators to work with bigger projects and load tons of media and other project assets.

All in all, those are only a small part of the strengths both platforms provide, so it really depends on what are the specific project requirements you need to deal with in order to choose the most suitable platform for your workflow. But if you use one of those more over the other, it’ll be interesting to share with us your insight which one of both NLEs is your personal favorite.

[source: Justin Brown – Primal Video]

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  • James

    Once you learn how metadata works, one finds it’s far better than bin-based file organisation.

    • Jason

      I’ve been using PPro for quite some time and have to agree with you here. FCPX handles Metadata more efficiently.

    • teg tsol

      do you have any good free/not too expensive, course to recomend to learn how it works? . I’m a beginner that learns fast. I am leaning towards leaving windows after 20+years and getting an imac ( i just can’t afford the 4000eur the macbook pro equivalent power would cost me) , hence i am planning to try the FCPX. Have some time to learn so if anyone has good courses to recommend please do. Thanks in advance, warm regards from Paris.

  • Honestly… when will someone include Davinci Resolve in one of these tests?

  • Charles Reilly

    I have to agree… DaVinci is really understated… it is now my default editor.. it handles all my footage flawlessly and the colour grading is bar none…. the tracking in davinci is the best I have ever seen…. and it links across to fusion …… the best part is ..they are both free and work on Mac and PC (and Linux)

  • baaz tournier

    +1 for Davinci Resolve. It’s my default all in one editor and color grader now and I don’t ever want to look back. The only exception when I use Premiere and/or After Effects is is when working on heavy titling and vfx projects. (I have to learn fusion though !)

  • Dale Ryan Leckie

    More than a dozen 1hr documentaries, and 5 13×30 broadcast TV series later…I prefer FCPX. I can see why people stay away from it, and it’s certainly hard to figure out the magnetic timeline….but once you cut a real project, it’s true love! #1 FCPX, #2 resolve, #3 PP.

  • Danny Parker

    I’m in a Video Production Class in my high school, looking to move on to more editing in the future. I want to start a YouTube Channel with me and my friend, and I’m debating which software to get. We use FCP in class, so I’m used to the, but im leaning towards Adobe Premiere as it’s more cost friendly. Any suggestions?

    • tfcewan

      Adobe is on a subscription basis so in the long run, it is way more expensive. FCPX is more “bang for the buck”

    • Kip Beatty

      If you’re using a Mac, you’ll be far happier on Final Cut Pro X. The performance difference between the two apps is dramatic.

    • alaskacameradude

      It’s not more ‘cost friendly’ unless you are only going to use it for 6 months or less. Or maybe 8 months. Or if you are a student maybe a year. Point being, that you will pay $50 (or $30) each and every month from now, until you stop using it. FCP X is a one time payment of $299.

      • Ben Fisher

        Unless you already have the Adobe bundle because you needed 3+ other apps, in which case Premiere is already yours either way. Or if you pay for that app it’s $20 not $30 I do believe? And if you’re a student it’s probably easier to pay that monthly than scrounge up $300 and eventually come out ahead months to a year plus later.

        • alaskacameradude

          If you ‘already have the Adobe bundle because you needed 3+ other apps’ Premiere is not ‘yours either way.’ You rent it and pay every month. The regular rate is minimum $50 month. The student rate is minimum $20 month. Yes, it depends what country you live in. My point remains…..FCP is more ‘cost friendly’ unless you are only going to use the software for a limited time…..the amount of time that is may change from 6 months to a year or whatever, but FCPX will
          always be cheaper in the long run because it is a one time payment instead of never ending monthly payments. And goodness, if $299 is ‘not possible’ for someone but $50 or $30 or $20 month IS possible you can always just get a 12 month interest free credit card and buy FCP X and still come out ahead with the same ‘low monthly payment of $19.99.’ Only with FCP X there is an end date after which you no longer have payments.

          • Ben Fisher

            The ‘all apps’ bundle is 50 USD per month. A single app is 20 USD. That’s without any student discounts. If you’re paying the 50 for 3+ other apps (because once you go above 2 apps the bundle is cheaper than adding an app), premiere is included either way. As far as credit cards, you may find it hard to obtain one as a student with little to no credit. Obviously non-recurring payments are always going to come out ahead eventually, as long as you have the upfront funds.

          • alaskacameradude

            Yeah, I was looking at this from a video point of view. If you do other media, you might have other apps like Illustrator or Photoshop, Indesign or Dreamweaver which you are already ‘renting.’ (As a side note, I have found Affinity’s products to be a good substitute for some of these.)
            As for credit cards, it probably would be hard for a high school student. College students on the other hand are typically ‘deluged’ with unsolicited credit card offers in their mailbox…..I certainly was when I was in college. Those credit card companies are trying hard to ‘hook them while they are young’ and often target college students because of their perceived increased future earnings potential.

          • Ben Fisher

            Yeah Adobe is the industry standard for digital art, vector graphics, and desktop publishing, but I’ll have to look at Affinity… I never have. I suppose you’re right about credit cards… I honestly avoided them like the plague until I was older which I’ve found to be wise for most people!

          • alaskacameradude

            Ha, me too actually. In fact I still only have a debit card and use my wife’s credit card if I must rent a car or something. didn’t say it would wise, only possible. You can in theory pay off your balance owed each month and pay no interest. Just most people are not that disciplined.

          • Ben Fisher

            Affinity looks eh so so for photo and maybe illustrator replacement but not Photoshop for artists nor do they have a desktop publishing app. I’ll pass for my needs.

          • alaskacameradude

            As a video company, Affinity Photo and Designer are plenty powerful enough for my needs and a one time payment of $49 so much better than the monthly charge. But I’m not a professional desktop publisher or graphic designer so I could see where you might choose differently.

  • This is really helpful! I’ve been on the fence between Premiere Pro and Final Cuts, and your explanation makes my choice very simple. I don’t do loads of video, so I’ll stick with FCP since Adobe splits out some of the functionality and FCP bundles together. Many thanks!

  • Ereny

    Do you have any videos to learn final cut 10?

    • InMontana

      Lynda tutorials are great.

  • Matt

    As someone who primarily edits on FCPX there is one benefit to Premiere, which is being able to open After Effects, Audition, or any other CC program needed for a particular clip or project. That is a major factor when I’m editing, if I need either of those programs. Casting another vote for Resolve, too!

    • Darrell Wood

      May I ask what laptop you would recommend to edit 4k on Premier. thanks I might jump ship from Mac unless they drastically improve when they release their new Macbook later in the year.

      • Matt

        I don’t know off hand since I primarily use FCPX. I know Premiere takes more time to render files, especially 4k. My laptop is about 3 years old now but still works fine. Find a good rep at the Apple store and see what they recommend.

        • Noris Noel Nyamekye

          Must agree my laptop is 5 years old and it runs fcpx smoothly compare to pp

  • T Nails

    I started with Avid, moved FCP 7, tried FCPX when it came out. Ditched it. And then came back after three years. The changes they made since its debut are nothing short of phenomenal. Coming from FCP7 and PP, it took some getting used to. But once I cut a few projects, I find cutting so much faster on FCP X. It’s a completely different (and IMO better) paradigm but it takes getting used to especially if you’ve learned on traditional platforms. It still has some glitches and stability issues. Sometimes parameters on my EFX or adjustment layers mysteriously change. I get complete freeze ups or blank timeline here and there. But still overall it’s by far a better way to edit. It’s really the only good thing Apple is doing these days. If I could only run it on a PC…….

  • Kip Beatty

    I greatly prefer using Final Cut Pro X for performance reasons. Well, that and the magnetic timeline (hard to go back once you’re used to it), but mainly performance. Editing the same 4k files on my MBP (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014, 2.5 GHz i7, 16 GB RAM) the difference is night and day. Premier is an absolute slog, while FCP rips through the project.

    I know Adobe is hamstrung in optimizing their apps as they have to maintain cross platform compatibility, but this huge advantage in Apple’s favor (making the hardware, the OS, and the app) can’t be overlooked. A regular, lowly MacBook can often turn out 4k video faster than Premier running on mid-range to high-end PC desktop with specs that should eat the MacBook for lunch.

  • robby

    I am having an issue with FCPX. I’m new in the Mac world but using an older hand me down iMac. I find on my older machine final cut works best. I just can’t seem to export with the same quality as PPro. Anyone have some tips. I see Apple prores is good but man soo big in size. With PPro I can get decent 1080P with 1.5-2GB

  • Aslan


  • telfer

    What is it with people and importing files in Premiere? I’ve seen couple of videos now where people say that You cant preview files on premiere before importing them. This unfiortunatly tells me that the person making those claims never used premiere in any professional capacity whatsoever, because anyone who uses PP on daily basis knows that media browser (whitch lets you preview files before importing them) is an essencial workflow asset in everyday work. Far more superior to FCPX in that regard one might argue.

  • Tony McGuire

    Late for joining the discussion but there is no reason to choose ONE editing system, they are all different and different companies like different workflows.

    Anyone who is “picking” a system is not a professional and I can pick out the people who are one man shows versus people who work with others and/or on larger projects.

    Premiere is good for a contained workflow that goes straight out to Resolve, After Effects, etc. (Real world use involves a lot of programs, there is no suite that is used by professional studios exclusively, most of the sound is Pro Tools, the coloring is Resolve, 3D goes into another pipeline, Titling is After Effects, etc)

    One man shows prefer Final Cut X I have started to notice as it has a decent built in tool set and with a few plug ins it’s good to go. This presents another issue whereas all one man shows are starting to use LUTs and the same coloring plug ins and every media product you can almost recognize as being done on Final Cut. Sometimes you just should go to Resolve, one size fits all LUTS are really cheesing up the mainstream, (however this is also happening in Premiere.)

    EXTRA NOTES: Resolve is not an editor, it’s simply too small and it’s multi monitor suite is atrocious, it is an excellent “fix editor” whereby you notice something when you’re coloring and go and tweak it as you color, amazing program overall for color timing only regardless of how badly they want to be Final Cut and/or Premiere.

  • vibe

    FCP is Mac only. Surely that is a disadvantage in itself.

  • The FCPX Colorist brings professional color grading tools to Final Cut Pro X users. Now, editors can adjust curves, hue, saturation and color levels like never before without ever having to open another color grading software.