Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Many of us have been editing with FCP for a few years now and were exited when Apple finally decided to re-write FCP from the ground up finally giving us a 64bit architecture, FCP only works on the Apple Mac so if you are intrenched as most of us are in the Mac platform the alternatives are AVID and Adobe’s Premiere Pro.

Sadly, Final Cut Pro has been haemorrhaging professional customers to AVID and Adobe since the introduction of FCP-10. Walter Murch reckons he has finally reached the end of the road with FCP, Vincent Laforet a big player in the USA is now editing on Premiere Pro, our good friend Alister Chapman from XDCAM USER has written this blog recently…

Alister “Well I’ve been deliberating, experimenting and talking to other editors over which NLE to adopt following the launch of FCP-X. I’ve played with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 which is really easy to transition to from FCP as it has a similar interface and editing style. I’ve experimented with FCP-X, which is very fast but has so many missing features and forces you to work in ways I don’t always like and I’ve even considered ditching my Mac’s and getting PC’s to run Edius or Vegas. Vegas is very powerful but has a quirky interface, while I hear nothing but good things about Edius, I guess I’m just not ready to ditch my Mac’s just yet. So that leaves Avid Media Composer.

For a long time my biggest issue with Avid has been the inability to use 3rd party IO devices like low cost Blackmagic or AJA HDSDi cards. But that’s all started to change. The current version of Media Composer (5.5) will allow you to use a Matrox MXO or AJA IO Express. So now you can easily connect to the external world from your Avid edit suite. A few days ago Avid announced that they will soon be releasing Media Composer 6 which is to be a very significant update.

MC 6 will make it much easier for 3rd party IO manufactures to produce cards that will work with Avid. It will also work natively with Apple ProRes, so all my old ProRes files from my FCP projects will go straight in to Avid. In addition Avid are introducing a 444 version of their DNxHD codec, so this will be a good match for my F3 and S-Log.  Avid also supports 3D editing and now comes with a comprehensive set of production tools including Boris Continuum, Boris Effects, SonicFire Smartsound, Sorenson Squeeze and Sonic Avid DVD (PC Only). Media Composer 6 is also a 64bit application show should run nice and quick.

It’s been a while since I used Avid on a day to day basis so I will have a bit of learning to do, but it’s reassuring to know that Avid are specialists in NLE software, so it will work and will do what an editor wants.  So with the software chosen now all I need to do is work out which external IO to get. As my Mac’s have Thunderbolt, the Matrox MXO boxes make an interesting and low cost option.”

Apple have made a fundamental mistake bringing FCPX onto a mature professional marketplace by re-writing and changing the game plan way beyond what many of us would accept. If you had tinkered with iMovie then you were almost there, it was a very bad miscalculation by Apple to assume everyone was now solid state and and even worse to assume we were past outputting to DVD let alone Blu-ray.

I cannot recommend FCP-10 as a professional platform as it’s fundamentally flawed by not having a bolt on DVD authoring program let alone no way of previewing your output to a professional monitor.

Preview and multicam are being added to FCPX as I write but I think it’s now too late for Apple to play catch up over AVID and Adobe and if you need a suite that gives you editing and DVD authoring all on the same platform then look no further than Adobe’s Premiere Pro for Mac or PC.

AVID in my opinion could have cornered the market if they had brought out Media Composer 6 at around £800 but at £1749 the full retail price and not having a DVD authoring program dedicated to the Mac platform it’s a price many of us are not willing to pay.

Pulitzer prize winning photographer, turned HDSLR Filmmaker Vincent Laforet, created a new hour long tutorial detailing his complete Abobe Premiere workflow. The informative video is especially useful for those disgruntled Final Cut pro X users who are thinking about making the switch to Premiere Pro.

The important point some people are missing is that Final Cut Pro had built up a large professional following quite a few crossing over from AVID and without doubt it was the number one editing platform, many of us are still cutting on FCP-7 and in my opinion the only company listening to the needs of professionals is Adobe…they at least not only came back to the Mac platform but gave us a 64bit version without changing the program itself…something Apple should have taken on board.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

23 thoughts on “Vincent Laforet jumps ship and chooses Premiere Pro (Updated)

  1. Really? You’re still at this? Wait until early next year for improvements. Then wait until this time next year when your post is FCPX is the revolution I’ve been waiting for. I cut my stuff in FCPX in a fraction of the time I could in any other NLE. All I need is for monitoring (coming), multicam (coming) and plug in supports (here and coming). DO you think Apple is not hard at work improving FCPX? It will evolve, and it will be a standard NLE for many. And who gives a damn about DVD authoring? If you have your export, just use DVD studio Pro or whatever you choose.

  2. Chris, 99% of my clients choose to have a DVD at the end of their edit and that’s the same for most pro editing environments so it’s a keystone in my setup.
    DVD Studio Pro is crap and does not even load in my MacPro any more, I was forced to move over to Encore 2 years ago because Apple could not be bothered to update DVD studio pro and take out a number of serious bugs.
    Apple no longer take editing seriously by excluding a DVD authoring package, they assume we are all uploading to servers or outputting to a media drive.
    They have supported DVD authoring up until version 10 and the only reason they dropt it was because of their stupid reluctance to take on Blu-ray.

  3. I agree that FCPx is flawed at the moment. We were first in line to buy it, and then first in line for a refund.

    We’ve considered Avid and Adobe’s offerings but have not been ready to take the jump yet. I kind of agree with Chris, except FCPx can’t fill our needs so we’re stuck with FCP7 at the moment, very limiting! I still feel like Apple will get there in the end and we’ll all be happy!

  4. I’ve been working with FCP7 and was considering an ‘official’ training course. I’m working with avchd files – I’m wondering if its now worth it, or should I now go to Avid or Adobe and work with a PC based system – Any views welcomed.

  5. “Final Cut Pro has been haemorrhaging professional customers to AVID and Adobe”
    Have you any ‘facts’ other than your obvious anecdotal ones to back this up?

    “Walter Murch reckons he has finally reached the end of the road with FCP”
    Is this a direct quote from Walter? No its more BS! Murch does not say this…

    “Alister Chapman from XDCAM USER”.
    Bloody hell, thats it; if he’s not using it I’m definately ditching FCPX. Run for the hills everybody!!!

    Philip I really appreciate your reviews but, you should really stop this garbage, its starting to get embarresing.

  6. Ok FCPX is still buggy (while I’m writing I’m downloading 10.0.2) and young but I agree with Chris that FCPX is very very fast for editing and now I’m addicted to it. I think you have to give it some time to grow. If you need DVD authoring you have many choices. My dvd studio pro is still running well under Lion but 80% of my clients don’t want dvds anymore. Nor blu-rays…

  7. Alister needs 3D as stated in the article…great you can get away with using FCPX, the first time you can view your final output is when it’s too late, it’s a badly designed update to a very well used program, it may very well be faster, big wow…speed does not equate to quality.

    I will stick with FCP-7 till such time Apple decide to bring ten up to spec…I have my view and you have yours, embarrassing to you as it may be.

  8. It does take a leap but I think FCPX is heading in the right direction. Give me multi camera and I will be happy. The more I use it and understand the possibilities the more I like. I spent 10 minutes with Premier… did not like it and to be honest I get less impressed with Adobe the more I use there products. I’m not interested in going back to AVID. I will continue to use DVD studio Pro and even FCP 7 if need be. FCPX and Motion 5.. way to go.

  9. I use Motion 5 myself and have played with FCPX in fact I do like the real time effects scrubbing be it video or sound but as a pro editor I should be using FCPX daily but without preview I can’t.

  10. Really? Editing a film or video is a whole separate process than authoring a DVD. I can author a DVD in many many programs without a NLE even on the computer my NLE is on. So just because FCPX has a whole in making a flashy DVD makes the NLE itself worthless? Here’s a list of the top 10 DVD softwares if you need some help Come on man. I’ll just come back to this thread in a year and see how you feel about Apples editing platforms. Yeah, Premiere was really fun to work with for a number of years. I must have forgot. FCP7 still works. FCPx is in works and mighty fricken strong already as an EDITING PROGRAM. I have great confidence in Apple and FCP, along with the many means of support it will received third party. I hope you have a tongue guard as you will be doing a lot of biting on it shortly. Think FCP1 to FCP7. Think, Ipad, Iphone, Itunes. Think differently.

  11. I’ve always been an avid Avid fan (no typo there) and MC6 is making it even better – 64 bit, avchd support via linking, native pro-res support, and a really nicely designed new interface. And at BVE North yesterday (where where you all btw?) I picked up a leaflet saying that FCP7 users can move to Avid 6 for £999 – that’s worth every penny in my opinion. There’s a reason Avid is still a favourite of post-houses and broadcasters – it’s very very good.

  12. You’ve had a handful of comments here and they all disagree with you. You even use the hook FCPX to draw views. I suggest you keep getting familiar with it. I edited a Corporate piece today with green screen work in FCPX in the time it would have taken to ingest my footage into other NLE’s. In fact, I delivered a copy of that edit for review the internet in HD in the time it would have taken my clips to ingest.

  13. No, I suggest keep using FCP7 and learn its in and outs, so that when you’re ready for FCPX you’ll be ready, creative, free thinking, and it will be blazoning fast compared to what you’re used to.

  14. “Adobe and work with a PC based system – Any views welcomed.”

    Paul, I’m working whith a Sony AX2000, AVCHD codec, full HD (1920×1080). And I edit the material with Premiere CS5.5 in two differents rigs: one old Quad core 2.7 MGHz. with 12 Gigas DDR2 RAM and one old Dual Core 3.0 MGHz. whitl 8 Gigas DDR2 RAM.
    This computers CAN’T WORK alone with AVCHD files. It’s unusuable… but if you install a Nvidia card and do the “hack” (it’s a child operation) the machines works like a bullet. A 2 hours of full HD AVCHD video render 640×360 tooks 12 hours without Nvidia card and 2,5 hours with it. AWESOME. The Mercury Engine (only works whith Nvidia-Cuda cardas) accelerates all, incredible speed. And the best part is that works with cheap cards like GTS450 and GTX550 (medium-low cards). I have one 450 and one 550 and I can’t belive what Adobe have done to accelerate the previews, grading, renders… I bet for Premiere CS5.5 WITH A COMPATIBLE NVIDA CARD. If you don’t have this card, the system is quite slow.

  15. All this talk about the best NLEs – Hands down it’s Edius – NOTHING else comes close to real time editing – NOTHING!

  16. LOL, just because you change the name doesn’t give this post any more meaning. ROTFL!

  17. Chris you are missing the point…Vincent Laforet is a major player and has a lot of influence as is Alister Chapman, FCPX is missing some crucial pro features thats putting a lot of seasoned editors off not to mention its quirky way of editing which is also putting people off.
    It also works and looks like a grown up version of iMovie which does it no favours with pros who would not touch iMovie with a barge pole…my point is that Apple have not thought about the consequences of re-inventing the wheel and forgetting to add the tyres from day one !

  18. Philip, Just to let you know – there are some of us out there who get your point.
    I can see why people are disenchanted with FCPX and I can see why they would invest in the competition or simply stay with FCP7. I don’t find this a hard point to understand.

  19. Vincent is a mjor player? In what? The last time I looked he hadn’t any Oscars. And neither has Alister!

  20. As a cameraman\editor I do not follow anyone who has won an Oscar or even care, it’s not about what you have won it’s about influence…if enough people follow Vincent and his blog writing about his recent film made with a Canon C300 they are going to realise that Premiere must be better than FCP or he would not have switched over.
    As yet you cannot injest 1080 50p footage into FCPX…reason, I have tried it myself with my FS100 footage yet Premiere 5.5, Edius and Vegas 10 can all input 1080 50p footage.

  21. Guys,why does it have to be one editor, for small jobs that are appropriate I use FCPx is cheap and overheads are not great…for other larger jobs using CS5.5 is better with its quick ingestion and rendering and after effects ease.Finally If working on l Tv scripted events ,and large films media composer 6 is just there with its meta data tracking and now third party support(Yaa!) low cost pc work and Mac mini,s with new thunder bolt expansions chassis are a treat on set … stop arguing and go out and do a project …no perfect a camera no perfect , no perfect editing suite for video or audio just different flavours…Adapt or die like the dinosaurs..LOL!

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