Video Essentials

Feeling Let Down by Final Cut Pro X? Adobe Invites You to Switch

Update: Citing high demand, Adobe has extended its switcher campaign deadline to October 31, 2011.

“Ironically, we have a better workflow from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro than to Final Cut Pro X,” says Al Mooney, product manager of professional video editing at Adobe.

Adobe received an unexpected gift with the release of Apple Final Cut Pro X. While the software is innovative and seems ideal for many creating video for the Web, many others felt let down by its inability to transfer Final Cut 7 projects and the lack of multicamera editing.

To entice those unhappy editors, Adobe has a switcher campaign running that touts the benefits of Premiere Pro. Actually, the campaign predates the release of FCPX, but it’s getting more attention now.

“More heads are turning” since the release, says Mooney.

For Mooney, Apple’s move to FCPX was “pretty extraordinary” thanks to missing features that make professional work impossible. The thing that amazed him most was the lack of project support, that Final Cut Pro 7 users had no path, and that Apple ended all support for the older software. When it did that, it dropped support for many livelihoods, he notes.

The new attention that Premiere Pro has been getting has been well received at Adobe.

“We’re pleased to have it confirmed that the strategy that we’ve been building the product by has been corroborated,” Mooney says.

If you’re thinking about leaving Apple for Adobe, there’s a few things Adobe would like you to know.

1. There’s a Smooth Learning Curve with Premiere Pro
Adobe created the core editing functionality of Premiere Pro so that it was similar to that of Final Cut and Avid. It’s not identical, but anyone swapping programs will find the controls familiar.

“You’re going to be comfortable in front of Premiere Pro. It works the way you’re used to,” says Mooney.

2. Adobe Has Loads of Resources Online
Start by visiting the switcher page. Adobe offers online help, training videos, and links to other resources on the Web. If there’s something you can’t figure out, check with Adobe first.

3. Premiere Pro Has Excellent Format Support
You can open just about any video in Premiere Pro and edit it in its native format, says Mooney.

4. It’s Speedy, Too
Thanks to the Mercury Playback Engine, added in Creative Suite 5, Premiere Pro is a 64-bit powerhouse. And it’s offered background rendering since CS5.

5. It’s Simple to Transfer Files from Final Cut 7
You won’t get your FC7 files into FCPX, but you can load them into Premiere Pro. Export your work as XML, says Mooney, and when you import it into Premiere, you’ll get identical folder structures with all sequences mapped. Effects, color corrections, motions, opacity, scaling and more should all come through perfectly. Some plug-ins and transitions won’t transfer, he explains, but Premiere Pro will point out the few areas that you need to correct.

Besides those features, Mooney points out that Premiere Pro provides regular updates, that there’s a trial version, and that users can take advantage of subscription pricing.

“If people do switch over from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro, the vast majority of the functionality that they’re used to will be there,” Mooney says.

But Mooney says Premiere Pro is more than a Final Cut equivalent.

“I want someone to switch to Premiere Pro and say ‘Wow, this is better than Final Cut Pro 7!'”

If you’re ready to give Premiere Pro a try, download the trial and check out Adobe’s switcher campaign. Adobe is offering discounted pricing for Final Cut and Avid users until the end of September.

(Video courtesy of Beet.TV.)


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  1. I had Final Cut Pro X on my mac for a few days and it ended up in the trash can and not in my application folder, because of the learning curve. I was never a fan of the new iMovie and I’m not of FCPX. So for now I’m trying Premiere Pro and I like that there is a trial and I also like what I see. 1. There is a timeline, 2. Audio tracks can be adjusted, 3. It’s compatible with Final Cut Pro 7 files, 4. It’s fast! 5. Supported with all the other softwares from Adobe. 6. Thanks to the similar feel to FCP 7, learning has been fun and easy.

    More could be said, but I’m leaving Apple. 1. No FCP Studio anymore. 2. FCP X is a joke! 3. No Professional file exchange. 4. Apple’s wavering and discontinued support of Professional products.

    Apple is no longer operated by artist, but their drive is how to get the most money as possible…greed.

    Posted by Lee | July 22, 2011, 1:37 am
  2. I’m considering a switch to Premiere Pro, too, but is it compatible with Final Cut Pro 6?

    Posted by Daniel Wilkinson | September 4, 2011, 12:08 am
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