Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Final Cut Pro X: What’s the Difference?

The video editing world often faces the question- Which is better, Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro X? Both these applications top the chart of online video editing software, which makes it difficult to choose one. 

Thus, this blog weighs them against each other to help you make a decision. At first, we give a brief about the applications, then talk about their comparative features, ranging from platform requirements to supported output formats. For a clearer picture, we also compare their quality in terms of graphics, angle, color, etc.

What is Adobe Premiere Pro?

Adobe Premiere Pro is a comprehensive video editing software for film, TV, as well as the web. It offers a wide range of smart and creative tools to help you polish your videos. You can edit the footage in any format, from 8K to virtual reality. Plus, The essential sound panel and the Lumetri color tools add an immersive layer to the output. Adobe Premiere Pro further supports multiple platforms including mobile workstations, thus boosting your workflows.

[Source: Professional video editor]

What is Apple Final Cut Pro X?

With a 360° video editing and VR headset playback, Final Cut Pro provides everything you need for the post-production stage. It comes with a metal engine that allows you to work on complex projects with larger frame sizes as well as assures faster rendering. Additionally, Apple Final cut Pro X lets you deliver ultra-high-quality files “at the speed of thought”, along with providing a compressor. 

[Source: Final Cut Pro X]

Pricing of Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro X

Adobe Premiere Pro 

This online video editing software has varying pricing plans, based on the duration of use –

  • Annual Plan – Get access to all the latest features for a year at  $20.99/month.
  • Prepaid Annual Plan – If the duration of your use is in years, pay $239.88 for the entire year to cut costs.
  • Monthly Plan – Spend $31.49 per month if you do not wish to go for an annual plan.
  • Adobe Suite Plan – This is the best value plan, in case you use other Adobe products for video editing. You can get 20+ Adobe CC products, including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, etc at $52.99/month.

Apple Final Cut Pro X

You can purchase this video editor from the Mac App Store at a one-time price of $333.43 rather than subscriptions. In addition to all its core features like magnetic timeline, powerful media organization, etc, you can also use the new updates, improving stability and reliability.

Features of Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro X

System Requirements

The minimum requirements of Adobe Premiere Pro include-

  • Processor – Intel 6thGen or newer CPU (for Windows as well as macOS) or an AMD equivalent (for Windows)
  • Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1803 or later/macOS v10.13 or later.
  • Monitor Resolution – 1280 x 800
  • Other Requirements – 8 GB RAM | 2 GB GPU RAM | 8 GB Hard Disk Space | 1 Gigabit Ethernet (HD only)

The minimum requirements of Apple Final Cut Pro X are-

  • macOS 10.14.6 or later
  • 3.8 GB Hard Disk Space
  • Other – Metal-capable graphics card | 256 MB VRAM

Motion Graphics

Adobe Premiere Pro allows seamless integrations with Adobe CC products, including After Effects. It is a motion graphics tool that lets you import compositions and adds visual effects to the rough cut. 

Whereas, FCPX uses Apple Motion that lets you create titles, transitions, generators as well as apply/modify filters. You can also expand on the built-in effects by integration with third-party apps.

User Interface – Editing and Timeline

Adobe Premiere Pro uses a non-linear timeline and allows you to specify the settings for every sequence. You can trim and arrange clips in sequences and further rearrange sequences in one or more timeline panels. Besides, you can dock and undock panels easily as well as work with multiple workspaces.

In contrast, Final Cut Pro X uses a magnetic timeline. You can avoid sync problems and experiment with your ideas by using Compound clips or Synchronised clips. If you want to try out multiple takes in the timeline, use Auditions. While Premiere Pro offers seven pre-configured workspaces, FCPX provides only three.

Apple Final Cut Pro X: Magnetic Timeline
[Source: Final Cut Pro X]

Asset Organization

While Premiere Pro uses bins to organize project content, Final Cut Pro provides libraries and tags. You can use bins to store offline clips, main/backup sequences as well as to organize files by type like video, audio, etc. Keyword tags, on the other hand, let you automatically collect content as per pre-set criteria. 

Premiere Pro: Bins
[Source: Organizing assets in the Premiere Pro Project panel]

Color Grading

Premiere Pro provides a Lumetri Color workspace, thus allowing to grade footage directly on the timeline. You can use basic color corrections to adjust color, contrast, and light. Alternatively, you can go for advanced tools like curves and color wheels and make use of intuitive sliders/controls. 

Final Cut Pro offers color wheels, luminance curves, and saturation curves for pixel-perfect grading. The eyedropper lets you sample colors and change the hue of a particular color within the image. Moreover, you can also adjust corrections over time, using keyframes. 

Final Cut Pro: Color Wheels
[Source:Final Cut Pro X]

360° Editing

Premiere Pro has a VR Comp Editor to work with 360° footage. You can view the footage like you would see through a VR headset. Plus, the editor lets you use 2D and 3D edits to build a spherical composite.

FCPX, in comparison, only supports HTC Vive for a headset view of the footage. However, it allows you to straighten the horizon, adjust orientations, remove camera rigs, as well as add graphics to your 360° video.

Native Editing Support

Adobe Premiere Pro – 3GP, 3G2 (.3gp) | AAC  | AIFF, AIF | Apple ProRes, ProRes HDR, ProRes RAW | ASF | ASND | AVC-Intra | AVI (.avi) | BWF | CHPROJ |CRM |DNxHD | DNxHR | DV | GIF | H.264 AVC | HEIF | HEVC (H.265) | M1V | M2T | M2TS | M2V | M4A | M4V | MOV | MP3 | MP4 | MPEG, MPE, MPG | MTS | MXF | Native MJPEGs | OMF | OpenEXR | R3D | Rush | VOB | WAV | WMV

Final Cut Pro – Monoscopic and stereoscopic 360° video | MXF-wrapped media

H.264 from DSLR, GoPro and iFrame cameras and drones | JVC-created XDCAM EX | JVC H.264 Long GOP | AVCHD | REDCODE RAW (.r3d) files up to 8K | Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit SD & HD | MTS files from AVCHD cameras | PSD, BMP, GIF, RAW, JPEG, PNG, TGA, and TIFF | AAC, AIFF, CAF, MP3, MP4, and WAV | Broadcast Wave Format | SDII audio files

Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Apple Final Cut Pro X – Conclusion

Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Apple Final Cut Pro X
[Source: Google Trends]

Both the online video editing software are remarkably good, in terms of the support provided,  video quality, media management, and rendering time. However, while the UI of Adobe Premiere Pro is specifically meant for professional editors, Apple is user-friendly for professionals and home video enthusiasts alike. Final Cut Pro’s one-time price also acts as a strong determinant while picking one alternative, but you cannot choose it if you own a PC.

That said, the decision depends on your needs, period of use, and business requirements. Let us know about your experience in the comments!

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