FCP vs. Premiere: what's better to edit 39 hours of HD doc footage with subtitles?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Omanda, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Omanda macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2009
    This is my first time editing and I need to make some decisions about what kind of computer & software to get. This is a no-budget project at the moment but I will be saving up to get a computer.

    I have always been a PC user and was planning on saving for a Macbook Pro (laptop is the most practical for me at this stage) and FCP - just assumed it was the standard for those of us too poor for Avid but am being pulled a bit in both directions.

    I've only played with Macs and FCP a little bit so either way it's learning a new program, and I AM poor...but at the same time I hope this won't be my only project so may as well get the right gear up front.

    It is a documentary so don't need to anything 'too fancy', but it is in HD and none of it is in English so the subtitle thing might make the difference.

    Please advise!
  2. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Well buying a Mac will give you the option of using both Premiere and FCP. So that alone might help you make the decision.

    As for the editing software itself, I haven't used premiere in quite some time, but the basic principles of these NLEs work pretty much the same across the board. Except for Avid, which requires a little more of a learning curve. I can't really think of advantages either package would have over the other for your type of project.

    As for the subtitles, I've never had to do them on the scale you're looking to do. I can only imagine that it will be very time consuming on any program you choose.
  3. olisones macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2008
    Having spoken to many editors (I edit a lot myself), I think it all depends personal preference. I currently use Premiere Pro (CS3 - Haven't jumped to 4 yet) mainly because that's what I trained on in college 7 years ago - if I have a quick project to do I know exactly what I'm doing. Plus Premiere has great integration with Photoshop and Aftereffects - something that FCP doesn't do as well (plus AE is better than Motion imho).

    When I get a spare moment I'll look into FCP but until then Premiere does a great job.

    Just my two cents!
  4. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I use FCP exclusively, have for 7 years at least. It's all personal preference. FCP really doesn't do anything at that level that Premiere can't do.
  5. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2005
    I also use FCP, and have for the past 3 years. Again, I dont think either program will do you wrong, but I picked up FCP knowing that its an industry standard and hoping that would help me in the future. If it also helps, I just finished editing a 90min HD docu out of 125 hours of footage and it served me well.

    As far as which computer to get, I would highly recommend a MBP because of build quality and flexibility (can run both windows and Mac OS X). But be aware you will be paying a slight price premium for it. I think the little extra is well worth it.
  6. anthemus macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2009
    Used both as well. I guess it depends on your external hardware, sometimes internal hardware. FCP has a huge selection of plug-ins as well as plenty of support for hardware. Bought Premiere CS3 last fall, had some issues with drivers but ultimately figured things out. Premiere does have a quick layout very similar to FCP. There both winners. Go with what you know. If your comfortable with Adobe go with them. If you like Apple's suite try them first. Either there both great tools...
  7. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    I have dabbled with both and for me, I would prefer Premiere. I found FCP a bit more complex than Adobe but as I say I've only really dabbled.
  8. Ride9650 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    I was in a video class that taught FCP, but instead opted to use Premiere since I already had it, and didn't want to spend all my time in the lab.

    Now I am by no means an expert, but based on the tutorials in class and my experience in using Premiere, it doesn't seem like there are many differences, if any.

    i would just go with whichever is cheaper
  9. olisones macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2008
    Forgot to mention that by all accounts, FCP handles HD a little better than Premiere - but that was back with CS2 so I expect they have ironed out any kinks by now. I generally edit theatre shows and use the Multi-camera set up which is great - although struggles a little with multiple HD streams (get the best kit you can!)
  10. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    My vote would be for Final Cut & A MacPro if you can afford it, Screen space is VERY limited with any laptop & to be efficent it's much better to have lots of screen real estate.
    Final Cut is the more comprehensive program IMO.

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