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Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve…The list goes on. In 2018 there are numerous options available to anyone looking for professional video editing software. But which is the best. How do you choose?
These are precisely the questions that we set out to answer with this article. How? Well we did what any sane person would do and contacted hundreds of professional video editors (ok, so maybe we’re not that sane), asking one simple question: “In your opinion what is the best professional video editing software on the market?” After all, who knows better than a pro that uses this software all the time, right? Eventually, we ended up with 116 contributions and a whole lot of insightful information.
So whether you’re a passionate hobbyist and you’ve outgrown your current setup, an aspiring pro wanting to make an educated career choice or an industry veteran just wanting to know your peers’ take on this subject, scroll down to read the results of our survey.
Top Pro Video Editing Software: How Our Experts Voted
|Editing Software||# of Votes|
|#1. Adobe Premiere Pro||92 Votes|
|#2. Avid Media Composer||11 Votes|
|#3. Final Cut Pro X||5 Votes|
|#4. DaVinci Resolve||3 Votes|
|#5. Avid Symphony||2 Votes|
|#=6. Sony Vegas||1 Vote|
|#=6. Autodesk Flame||1 Vote|
|#=6. LumaFusion||1 Vote|
|#=6. MPEG Streamclip||1 Vote|
|#=6. Adobe After Effects||1 Vote|
The result of the vote was, as you can see, pretty…unanimous. In terms of the numbers it was definitely a landslide victory for Adobe Premiere Pro. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story here.
Many of the editors that voted for Premiere Pro talked highly of Avid Media Composer too. We didn’t give them to chance to choose both, so when push came to shove, they went with what is best suited to their own particular editing requirements. And that’s the key here. We were told more times than I care to remember that it really depends on the type of editing you’re doing as to which would be considered the top rated professional video editing software.
The general trend that we noticed when conducting this survey was that for editing long-form content that is complex and data heavy, Avid is the daddy (it is the main professional video editing software used in Hollywood and TV, and has been for some time). This is primarily due to it being very robust, and its great media management and sharing capabilities.
However, for short form and digital content, Premiere Pro was by far and away the winner, recommended time and time again by our experts. The Creative Cloud and Premiere’s seamless integration with the entire package is without doubt one of the major pull factors. A few short years ago Final Cut Pro would almost certainly have come out on top, but they dropped the ball with the release of FCPX and a lot of users jumped ship to Premiere. It still has some loyal fans, and is improving all the time, but our survey showed that it still has some way to go before it can be a strong contender for best non linear editing software once again.
Rounding out this quick summary of the results is DaVinci Resolve. It didn’t get a ton of votes, but it was mentioned by a good number of pro editors as the “one to watch.” It’s already been the go-to option for color grading for a while now, and could well rival Premiere Pro as an all-round package in the near future.
1) If you’re editing shorter videos that aren’t as data heavy, are working alone, and/or work a lot with graphics, this professional editing software will likely be a good fit:
2) If you’re working on longer, data heavy videos and/or are collaborating with numerous other editors on the same project, this will likely be your best professional video editor:
Here’s What Our Video Editing Experts Said
Below we’ve posted what each of the experts had to say when we reached out to them for their take on video editing software used by professionals. There are plenty of invaluable insights in there! And if you want to read about a particular video editing program, you can filter the recommendations using the buttons below.
“It’s all about horses for courses with most NLE’s and what you are used to. As an editor who started learning on Final Cut Pro, which was very intuitive and user friendly, Premiere was designed by the same person who made Final Cut and this shows, but only has become a serious contender for industry standard recently.
I have always found Adobe software (as that’s all they make) logical and easy to learn, and when you need to learn multiple applications to do your job, ease of use is key. A lot of purists from the film and early video days prefer Avid, which was more modelled around representing film and video tape editing in a digital way, and most of Final Cut and Premiere’s best features have been lifting and improved upon from Avid, which hasn’t changed much in a very long time. Avid isn’t particularly user friendly and can take a long time to grasp for most new editors these days.
Premiere is extremely good at being able to edit many different codecs from various cameras, whereas Avid needs to transcode to MXF before editing and the new Final Cut works best when it transcodes to Pro Res (which it can do in the background which is nice). But the new Final Cut (10 or X as it is known) is quite different from any other NLE and takes a while to get your head around when first learning it. That being said it has some good features but the market for it is really pro-sumer video. It’s marketed at corporate, weddings and video journalists really and seems to be missing a few pro features I would expect. It tends to get maligned by most editors but I do quite like a lot of its features.
Premiere integrates well with other industry software like After Effects, Photoshop etc. and I think you can do the largest variety of post-production techniques without having to go into other specialist software like After Effects, Audition, Photoshop etc. compared to Avid, which is very clunky when compositing multiple effects and layers, and Final Cut Pro X which feels a bit basic and I feel lacks options at times, but I hear can be lightning fast if you know it well for sport and promo work.
The biggest problems with editing is when things crash and Premiere does this a lot and playback for things like 4K or when you are adding lots of effects to many layers of footage, isn’t great or even passable at times. The selling point of the new versions of Premiere were that you didn’t need to render before playback (saving loads of time) but unless you have a very high performance machine you will need to render or at least playback your sequence multiple times or on 1/2 or 1/4 resolution to get smooth back on complex edits or even heavy colour correction or green screen. These reasons for me is why Avid is used mostly for long form docs and films where there is a lot of footage and money at stake and there is the budget to get sound designers and VFX artists to use specialist software to add to a film’s production value.
Avid is widely known, trusted and pretty stable in terms of crashing, and it can handle big projects with complex timelines. Premiere does have a nice feature of usually saving your work when it crashes, which it does seem to do regularly especially if you have multiple external drives connected, which helps! You just need to make sure you customise your autosaves to be many and frequent.
Premiere’s menu systems are pretty easy to navigate and the interface is nice with the symbols and terminology clear and logical, so customising it is very quick and easy. Media encoder also comes with Premiere and is probably now the best encoder on the market, giving you a wide variety of video file options when exporting or recompressing your videos. Plus if you are editing lots of video you can set your work exporting in media encoder in a queue, to multiple destinations and carry on editing.
There are also cool plug-ins, templates and apps you can install to save time and add production value. You can get a built-in Vimeo app so you don’t have to leave Premiere to upload a video, or an Audio Network app so you can browse their music library for your tracks without getting distracted in your web browser. Adobe does love adding cool features every update…they still can’t stop it crashing though which seems to be the way in which the software is coded. They are constantly fixing bugs, but seem to add new ones every update.
Premiere has nice features like dynamic link where you can work bring in work from After Effects/Audition, edit for a while and then go back and alter it in the other software and it updates in Premiere. You can bring in images with separate Photoshop layers etc. You can also share sequences and projects easily between editors, which is really handy. The projects aren’t backwards compatible though so once you upgrade a project to a new version of Premiere you can’t go back and you can’t open more than one project at a time, but you can look inside other projects and playback and import media live in there, which is nice.
Unfortunately there is no perfect editing software but I feel Premiere has the edge for the sort of work I do and the speed I want to work at. I am trained in all the major NLEs and would always prefer to work in Premiere given the choice.”
Carlos Abi Torres
“As a promo editor, I believe Adobe Premiere is the best choice mainly for its Dynamic Link feature. I use Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop and Audition on a daily basis, and that integration lets me be creative, efficient and fast. The Dynamic Link feature allows me to share assets, sequences and compositions among these programs and explore different ideas quickly without the need to render the sequences or exporting clips, saving me valuable time and letting me deliver my projects on time and on budget.”
“Adobe Premiere Pro is user friendly, affordable, and its overall performance can’t be beat by any other application. I started in Final Cut Pro 7, and saw major similarities between the two. However, over the years, Premiere Pro has taken its platform to the next level- keeping up with current video formats, developing new ways to edit, and making it easier than ever to integrate other Adobe products within its program.”
“My work involves many tools that aren’t available in standard video editing software. Therefore, Premiere, despite its rather annoying interface and clunky feel, provides a smooth integration with After Effects and other Adobe products, allowing me to produce my work’s unique look.
That being said, my dream software would also include the awesome, real-time capabilities of Modul8 and Ableton Live and the fluidity of Final Cut Pro 7.
I gave up on the Adobe Feature Request Form a long time ago.”
“I am pretty sure my experience matches what many experts in the industry would say. I remember making these decisions and following the advice of what the experts I knew at the time had experienced.
Originally, my company invested in AVID software and hardware. This was in the late nineteen eighties. AVID had a large following in the industry at the time. When APPLE entered the professional markets many of us in those years ending up switching to Final Cut Pro. It seemed to do everything the AVID systems were offering and was cheaper, and in some ways we found it better. Then, inexplicably, APPLE – after capturing much of the professional marketplace – starting making stupid changes to their professional line to attract more of the consumer market. We were all stunned. Finally, as Final Cut Pro X arrived with incompatible updates (you could not go back to edit older programs you had already finished to make revisions) many of us in the professional world jumped ship and went to Adobe PREMIERE. None of us particularly wanted to change but APPLE left us little choice. They literally innovated themselves out of the pro market. I can tell you my company’s experience was not unique at all.
I recently had this exact discussion with pro editors I recently met in Boston and they all had travelled a similar path. PREMIERE was pretty easy for all of us to learn. They made it simple for us to convert by offering internal formatting options that utilized Final Cut keyboard shortcuts. I remember one editor I worked with saying, “Go ahead and make the switch – you won’t regret it and will never look back.” He was right. In my experience, the software has only gotten better over the years and its compatibility with other industry-wide workhorses like After Effects and Photo Shop and the other Adobe products has made it one of the most used editing softwares in the industry. It is certainly not the only way to go. “Best” is a relative term and it is difficult to say what is universally “best” for everyone. But, if I was asked (which you did) which software a young filmmaker should learn – I would unequivocally suggest Adobe PREMIERE.”
“The best is definitely Avid Media Composer. However, with what I usually do, using Adobe Premiere is far more comfortable and accessible. From film school, I was taught advanced editing and it’s always on Avid Media Composer. Besides the obvious that Avid has shared projects capabilities and other benefactors, Avid teaches you the proper way of hard skills editing that can be brought over to Adobe Premiere or to Final Cut Pro. Often I see forums and subreddits asking for the simplest questions about using the program, learning Avid would avoid all the silly questions. The drag and drop convenience is nice, but it’s always good to learn the proper way of insert and splicing. Once you become familiar with the proper way of editing, adjusting and customizing becomes much easier.
Video editing can be defined different nowadays. I still see video editing as the pure form of visual story telling with proper editing and without the flashy cheesy effects you see on YouTube. Avid is the best software not just as a tool, but the discipline of video editing. Of course, there are other tools out there that best suit what other people do, such as I believe FCPX is great for quick edits for YouTubers. I on the other hand, prefer using Adobe Premiere because I do a lot of VFX, compositing, and motion graphics for my work. Being able to use the entire Adobe Suite, I can be very flexible with my workflow and approach.”
“As we all know, most NLE’s share the same core capabilities: import footage, trim clips, arrange clips, color-correct clips, and then render to our format of choice. Fine. But when you spend as many hours with an NLE interface as we editors do, that NLE’s interface is key to your productivity.
Just the right arrangement of dockable windows and custom work spaces, a clean timeline without resembling the cockpit of a space shuttle, customizable toolbars and shortcut keys, and the ability to dive in deeper for granular control is what makes Sony Vegas a top-notch NLE. It looks simple enough on the surface, but that’s because the designers tucked away most of the commands in easy-to-get to tabs, drop-down lists, or context-menus that don’t clutter up the interface, but are always at your fingertips. This lends itself to more concentrated focus on the task at hand, rather than trying to find that rarely used command smack in the middle of a creative epiphany. Talk about a momentum killer! It’s hard enough to maintain that “inspired creativity” throughout the whole project, much less when your own toolbox gets in the way.
In the same way that thoughtful auto makers installed the steering wheel at just the right height as to not block your view of the speedometer, Sony Vegas designers have also created an interface that is efficient and arranged with the end user in mind.”
“After around 10 years using Final Cut Pro, they released a new version that was basically like starting over from scratch. After speaking with several contacts at popular websites, I was told that Premiere was not only very close to the old FCP, but you could customize the keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts become second-nature for an editor, so it was huge to be able to adjust them accordingly. In the TV world, Avid is the industry standard, but after many years of being a freelancer, I’m finding that the vast majority of the web-based companies prefer Premiere. Also, definitely worth mentioning how valuable the entire Adobe suite is, and the integration between applications is absolutely seamless.”
Clara Martin Roman
“From my experience I have to highlight 2 softwares: Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve. I use Premiere almost in 90% of my edits, mainly because it is a great tool, very intuitive, easy to work with and it supports a lot of different plug-ins that are very helpful on a daily basis. I love the fact that you can work with After Effects (and the rest of the Creative Cloud apps via dynamic links and render everything in Media Encoder – those 2 softwares are also Adobe) and keep working in your timeline without having to wait for the file to be exported. That saves a lot of time and at the end of the day that is something important to have in mind. Also Multicam is not bad and overall is a great software. Color grading in the other hand is not as great. You have a lot of presets and plug-ins that you can use for a fast color pass or for a special color effect, but it is not ideal for more professional work.
DaVinci Resolve is simply one of the best tools that I know so far. I use it every time that I need to edit and color grade. It is improving the editing part, so it is easily going to become my all-in-one tool. In that way you can avoid the back and forth between your editing software and your color grading / finishing software. It also allows you to do some vfx work. The tracking/stabilizer is amazing. The best thing about this software? It is fast, it is super powerful, professional, node based and free.
Sorry that I am talking about 2 softwares but honestly I could not choose just one. Both have their pros and cons and I think it is best to combine different tools in most cases.”
“I use Premiere every day. I can’t choose just one anymore, however, because Resolve has advantages over Premiere but not enough to make me switch. I use both now, and will use whatever tool best suits the task at hand.
Again, to say one program is the “Best” is not realistic. Resolve is hands down the best color-corrector in an NLE and it’s FREE, but Premiere runs rings around it with audio, even without going into Audition. Final Cut X is the best application for metadata use, and nothing has ever been as stable as Avid.
However, as of this moment, I use Premiere Pro every day, so it is my current NLE of choice. If you force me to choose right now, I choose Premiere. Of course, you could ask me to choose my favourite movie, too, but how can you compare Amelie with City Lights, or Alien with Failsafe?
I will not use a single NLE ever again. I consider all of them to be tools in my toolbox, and if one suits the project better that is the one I will use. I plan to work more in Resolve moving forward, and it’s getting better and better with each release. Although, the same can be said for Premiere. And FCPX.
So, cast my “vote” for Premiere, but mark me down as 100% agnostic.
One thing I will also add in Adobe’s favor is that the Adobe engineers and product specialists are the most receptive and responsive development team I’ve ever worked with. Not even Black Magic can equal that level of open communication, although they’re trying. Avid and Apple, well, let’s just say they’re not known for their collaboration with editors.”
“As someone who works in Premiere, Photoshop and After Effects often, I rely on the ability to seamlessly work with files across all programs in the Adobe Creative Suite. As far as the design of the program goes, the interface is modern and intuitive. You can even use your Avid or Final Cut keyboard shortcuts to help you acclimate to the program better. Premiere is great for shorter form editing and now that they’ve incorporated multi project workflow, switching back and forth between projects is a breeze.”
Luisa C. Winters
“I have been using Premiere Pro since 1994 (when it was called only Premiere), and since then I have seen a tremendous improvement and commitment from the Adobe team to make this the best editing software available. Not only have we seen improvements in stability and performance, but the color correction tools (Lumetri), and the introduction of Motion Graphics Templates make Premiere Pro a difficult software to beat. If you add all of that to its unmatched integration capability with After Effects, you know you have a winner here!”
“When it comes to editing software, we must remember that they all pretty much do the same things, so it is really more a matter of comfort than anything else. I am very comfortable with Premiere. I love being able to seamlessly be able to go from Premiere to After Effects and other Adobe software quickly and easily. Adobe is also great at dealing with multi-formats and codecs, and in my line of business we get it all.
I do a wide array of work from broadcast sports programming to music videos to business marketing, and sometimes all in the same day. With cards and discs coming from all over the place, I need to be able to ingest and edit quickly, Adobe is a master at this. Adobe, like Apple, is also very good at not complicating the simple. Some software makes simple things hard; I like the simplicity of the layout.
When it comes down to it, Adobe Premiere is comfortable for me and my editing style.”
“In a perfect world I would combine AVID and Premiere! But if I had to choose it would depend on whether it’s a solo project or a group project. Group meaning multiple editors on shared storage in which case I would say AVID. It’s just more stable. Premiere is great for the prior. 90% of my career has been on Media Composer so I would have to choose that.”
“Mobile technology has vastly improved to the point where we are able to shoot, edit and publish professional news packages and video features using our smartphones.
Throughout my career, I have used traditional large cameras and complex desktop editing software (such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro), but the release of LumaFusion, an app available on iOS devices, has changed my workflow entirely.
LumaFusion is a multi-track video editor, which enables content creators to produce a range of content for social, online or broadcast audiences. You can layer up to three video tracks and three audio tracks, so you can essentially make a news package on-the-go.
I think the best thing about this app is its ability to share your project between multiple devices, and import footage from apps such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. You can also produce titles from your news organisation outside of the app, and then bring them in to the app for future use.
LumaFusion lets you chose the aspect ratio and frame rate you need – useful depending on where you need to share the video. I tend to film and edit in 16×9, then duplicate the project for editing in 9×16 or 1×1 – but this would depend on what you’re editing of course.
On the timeline, you can edit your video with the trim, duplicate clip and split clip tools, and there are advanced features such as clip anchoring to help you keep the project you’re working on in perfect sync. Plus, there are lots of colour effects, transitions, fonts and music beds to fit your project.
There are so many functions on LumaFusion, that it does take a while to explore, but the basics are fairly easy to pick up, and the company have a lot of tutorials – give it a go!”
Alana Sawyer Smith
“Like many editors my age, I learned on Final Cut 7 and thought it was the cream of the crop. I hated Final Cut X with passion and was reluctant migrating to it. When I moved to my current job, I needed to learn Premiere since the rest of the company worked within the Adobe Creative Suite. Now that I’ve been on Premiere for 3 years, I often wonder what I thought was so amazing about Final Cut 7 (remember when you had to render before even seeing a clip!?!)
Adobe Premiere is the perfect blend of easy-to-learn, user friendliness but strong enough to create professional videos. The ability to import projects from other Adobe programs is such a great tool, especially working at an advertising agency. If a graphic designer creates a complex ad that I need to re-use for a commercial spot, I can import their already-created file and animate individual elements with minimal effort.”
“I like Adobe Premiere, and/or the entire Adobe Suite because of how fast and easy it is to use. You can seamlessly move from Premiere into other important programs like Photoshop, After Effects, and Audition, and have those changes update right in your Premiere Timeline. It’s a snap. However, it is important to remember, that it is not your software, but instead, your ability to tell your story that will separate your work from the rest of the pack. With strong storytelling skills, you could use magic markers, construction paper, and scotch tape and make something an audience would find interesting to watch.
There are also some great open source alternatives out there. Be sure to check out KDENLIVE.
“I would say it’s a toss-up between Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere CC, both industry standard. Avid Media Composer is great for speed because editors predominantly use it for its wide array of keyboard shortcuts. However, my preference is Adobe Premiere CC.
Unlike Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere CC doesn’t have as big of a learning curve. Premiere is incredibly user friendly and is easily accessible to editors of all backgrounds and levels of experience. What really makes Premiere stand out to me is its functionality with other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite. Need effects? You can simply import / export entire sequences into Adobe After Effects. Does your sound need some remastering? Adobe Audition is there for you! The Adobe Creative Suite gives you a plethora of different programs that each have a specific focus to help make your creative video/film come to life.”
“When I first started editing around 2002, I used Premiere on my old faithful Emac! I remember cutting music videos at 320 x 240 pixels or pushing the boat out too 640 x 480! (As I sit here writing this, I’m watching Adobe Media Encoder create proxy files from 8K Red footage! How times have changed!)
When I moved into employment, the company I worked for used Final Cut Pro 7 for all of their projects, so it was natural for me to use it. I used Final Cut for many years and was happy with the software overall. But this all changed when a director I was working with showed me how far Premiere had come since I started on it back in the day. I was immediately impressed and started to migrate to Premiere for all of my work.
As an editor you are expected to deal with whatever file type lands on your desk and make it work. This is the beauty of Premiere. It can deal with virtually any file type that’s thrown its way and that still impresses me to this day.
Another important feature is the ability to create proxy files from your large video files with the help of Adobe Media Encoder. Once they are created, you can flip between proxy timeline and your raw footage at the click of a button. It’s a beautiful thing!
The way Premiere interacts with After Effects is also a key feature. If you have a clip in your timeline that needs some effects work, you can highlight it and send it to After Effects to work on. Once opened in AE and the effects are done, it automatically updates in your timeline!
Premiere also has the ability to add colour grade LUTS on to your footage. This feature is very handy for client viewing of offline edits with raw footage.
I’ve been using Premiere for a few years now and I’m still discovering new things it can do. It’s reliable, dynamic and versatile.”
Ryan Delos Reyes
“I chose Adobe Premiere Pro because of its cross-platform functionality with other Adobe products, which I also use in my workflow. It has a lot of features that can cut editing time. The only caveat is that not all versions of Adobe Premiere Pro CC are good. Some encounter program crashes more than the others (like 2015 and 2018). If you decide to choose Premiere Pro, I recommend not jumping immediately to the latest version since they aren’t always stable.”
“I started editing on tape until Avid came along. Lightworks and Media 100 were its main competitors in the beginning, but Avid was solid and worked. Final Cut Studio version 5 made a real impact and I used this up until version 7 when Apple decided to cease its support, and since then I don’t use any Apple products. Adobe Premiere is ok, but as I don’t use After effects I still prefer Avid.
Avid has the best media management and user interface, and since the shake up from other competitors they’ve upped their game.”
“I started my career using low band U–matic tape machines, before betacam/sp/digibeta. Then Avid Newscutter, onto FCP 7 – probably irrelevant info, but I think it helps to show I have a long history with editing formats. When FCP X came out I tried it, hated it and back then it was not up to the job of cutting commercials (it is now), so I looked around for alternatives.
I tried a few, but settled on Smoke as it had the most flexible environment for me. I could do all my editing and VFX within one timeline / node based workspace. Having used Shake some years before, I knew I preferred the node methodology over the track based compositing of After Effects. After a few years on Smoke, Autodesk lowered the annual cost of Flame on Mac, so I switched up as the toolset in Flame was far more advanced and comprehensive.
It’s a difficult, idiosyncratic workflow to get your head around. It’s not the most logical for a novice editor to figure out, but once you cross that point from total bewilderment to “Oh, that’s how it works!” you won’t look back. In the four years since I switched to Autodesk Smoke then Flame, I have not needed to open After Effects except to alter project files sent from a third party. I have not edited on another application, and I have no desire to.
The power and flexibility of being able to do pretty much anything you can imagine within the one application is a real time saver. The fact I can do editing, compositing (2d and 3d), animation, VFX, 3d text, tracking, rotoscoping, color grading etc, and have all that contained within a video clip on the timeline, then a whole new set of FX applied within the next shot and still just have a “standard looking” timeline is fantastic when you are working on multiple TV commercials.
As with all software, the more you use it and get to understand it, the more time you can spend thinking of new ideas and solutions instead of thinking “how do I do this or that?”
To be able to open an old edit, go into a shot and rework the FX pipeline within, make minor changes or completely change the entire look, then render it out again without worrying if you still have all the different applications, plug-ins and source files. Just brilliant.
I’ve only used the Mac version, and love it, but have heard the more expensive Linux based Flames with the right hardware are fast enough to edit and composite in real-time during client attended sessions! I don’t think there is another system that can make that claim…but don’t quote me on that!
One thing I don’t do in Flame is audio. For me, it’s not an easy task to do a “legal” sound mix in Flame, so I export all the audio tracks once the edit is finished and do the sound mix in ProTools. It’s what I know, and it is the one external task I do outside the box!
Flame has a relatively small user base, historically down to its price and exclusivity. For this reason, finding online tutorials and training is far less easy than for some other, more ubiquitous software. But it has the very well regarded Flame Learning Channel on YouTube, FXPhd have some Flame courses, Autodesk Area has a useful user forum and a very helpful and friendly Facebook user group where some very experienced Flame artists are happy to help out with advice and suggestions.
Flame is not a cheap, hobby editor. It’s a high end, professional grade tool that allows a creative editor to do some amazing things. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for my work.”
“I have tried most popular editing software, from the free ones like Cyberlink to pricey Avid. They each have their pros and cons depending on what you’re looking for. But I’ve settled on Premiere Pro as my go to editing software. I think it is the best deal for what you get, and with the great options of getting the entire creative suite basically sets you up for whatever creative needs you want from animation to brochure design.
To anyone looking to self-learn an editing software, Premiere is the most intuitive and straightforward. I was taught on Avid at University, but once I graduated I couldn’t justify the price so I decided to try out Premiere since I was familiar with Photoshop. Without even watching tutorials or reading up on it, I quickly learned how to use it and within 6 months of using it, I was editing my first feature length documentary.
One thing many people also may overlook if they are an Avid or Final Cut user is the transferability. I use a windows laptop as do many of my colleagues, but for those who use Mac, there is still a seamless transfer of files. Whereas for the few people I know who still use Final Cut, I cannot be passed along their files because they simply wouldn’t open. Also, the fact that the creative cloud is accessible online has allowed me to download Premiere on random computers when I’ve been away and need a quick export since all my files are stored on the cloud. It’s saved me from angry clients!
Overall, I think you get the most out of Premiere for the price you pay. Obviously it has its problems that can be frustrating. But it is a fast program that you can learn quickly and painlessly. Especially as a freelancer, having a program that can run on any computer I may be working on, it saves me the headache of carrying my laptop with me everywhere.”
“I have always held a prolonged belief that Adobe knows who they are marketing towards. AVID tends to be more for people who want to cut straight up narrative video, but in the current day most editors aren’t just working on short films and features. Rather a lot of editors are working on commercial and narrative, and Adobe in my opinion provides the ultimate toolbox without it being financially constricting to the customer.
In terms of workflow, Adobe’s dynamic link is a game changer, allowing for fluid integration between Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop, making your subscription a long-term affair and most optimized to take on a wide variety of jobs. Not only that, but I find Adobe Premiere to be very nicely designed, with smooth space grey toolbars and neon colours, the program’s presentation is very modern. And it updates semi-yearly, so you know you will always be up to date when it comes to codecs and file formats.
Adobe was one of the first editing systems where you could edit and stich VR video. Adobe took what AVID and Final Cut were doing, and put it together to make an all-purpose content creative juggernaut.”
“Premiere Pro is currently the best editing software on the market, because as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud it plays nice with all the other programs you’ll need in order to complete an edit efficiently. Video editing doesn’t just mean cutting anymore – it involves motion graphics, compositing, audio mixing, and more. The Creative Cloud has programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, After Effects, etc.) which all work seamlessly with Premiere Pro to tackle all aspects of the edit. And to Adobe’s credit, if you know one of these programs, chances are you won’t be lost in another. All of these programs feel like they live in the same universe. So, when it comes time to take your motion graphics to the next level – After Effects is there waiting for you. When your noisy audio really needs some lovin’ – Audition is standing by. If you’re a Premiere user, all of these other CC programs should feel familiar, and a few tutorials should be all you’ll need to continue to up your editing game.”
“Every software has its pro and cons, but I believe Premiere Pro is the “Swiss Army Knife” of NLE. With its integration with Photoshop and After Effects, it’s make life so much easier when dealing with assets besides video and audio. It’s the most intuitive to learn – not too stuck in the past and not too way out there in left field. It’s the Goldilocks of NLE!”
“Over the last 10 years, I’ve used the most popular mainstream NLEs; Final Cut 7, FCPX, Media Composer and Premiere Pro, which have all served me well on various projects. However, in recent years the nature of my work has required an intuitive platform for highly professional projects with a fast turnaround, and Premiere has become the software I consider the most practical for the post-production demands of my clients.
With Creative Cloud, getting the latest Premiere updates couldn’t be easier. The increase in functionality makes the platform extremely adaptable and quick to work with while keeping my system up-to-date with the ever-evolving media formats and workflows. Premiere is the number one cross-platform tool that allows me to do my job smoothly and efficiently.”
Wayne H Johnson Jr.
“In 1999 or so we started using Final Cut, I think it was version 1.2 or something like that. So I started my career using that software from the very beginning. We had used an early version of Premiere but Final Cut was our thing. I cut my first feature film, Ultro‑Pep The Move, on an Apple Titanium laptop using Final Cut 1.2.
In 2005 I became a Final Cut Certified Trainer for Apple. I was a certified Trainer for that and DVD Studio Pro, Motion and Color. I really loved that stuff. We used it on everything, six short films, two features, all of the freelance work I was doing, everything. All the way up until about early 2011. Then it all changed.
Apple dropped the Final Cut series with FCP7 and moved to FCPX. All of the Training and Certification stuff they did essentially became meaningless. As soon as they did that Adobe seized the opportunity to save us. And it was kinda like saving us, at least the “us” that weren’t Mac “Cultists.”
Anyway, Adobe put out, I think, Premiere 5.5. It offered a lot of the features of FCP7. They also set it up so you could use the FCP keyboard shortcuts and they really made it feel like FCP7. So it was an easy jump.
At the time we were working on a crazy huge project of a film called Shockwave Darkside, a Stereo 3D feature film that takes place on the moon. We were tasked to do over a thousand VFX in 3D. So we decided to get off the Apple boat and build a PC. That also meant dumping FCP7 and using Premiere. It was the best decision we could have made. Adobe Premiere and After Effects really saved us on that film. No way we could have done that on a Mac and FCP7 or FCPX at the time. No way, especially considering the tiny budget we had. We built a PC faster than anything we could buy from Apple off the shelf and for half the cost. Premiere integrated with After Effects really well and with the 6.0 version After Effects added Stereo 3D camera set ups that you could just turn on. It was amazing.
As Adobe moved to the Creative Cloud it just kept getting better and really started to add all the stuff we, the professionals, had been asking for. Soon it became my new home. Also, it was awesome because we could jump back and forth between Mac and PC if needed. That makes it really flexible.
Now I’ve used and taught tons of software over the years, all the Pro stuff, some of the free stuff, consumer versions and even done some cutting with the online tools YouTube offers. But I’ve worked on six or so Feature films and hundreds of other client projects using Premiere on PC and Mac platforms and I have to say it is the most flexible tool. I know editors at the big studios like FOX and SONY and PIXAR who have workstations hooked up to huge networks and are tied to Avid or whatever the FCPX stuff is. Fine, if it works and you don’t have to do the maintenance, great. But for those of us that jump from project to project, from budgets big and small, you need to be flexible in both platform and flexible in cost.
On my last film Ahockalypse, in Premiere we cut 5K footage on a MAC Mini i7 with 8GBs of RAM. We just made PROXY files at 1080 and it was seamless on Premiere. And as an Indie
filmmaker being able to save cost by using what we have is wonderful. So until you can run FCPX on a PC or AVID updates its ugly interface, I’ll stick with Premiere.”
“One question that’s always discussed amongst editors is which editing software is best. Everyone chooses their side, and I usually stay out of it because I find it a pretty pointless argument. There are so many different kinds of editing and each one comes with its own set of needs. Are you editing a TV Series, feature films, social media content or videos of your kid’s dance recital?
Right now, I work exclusively on Avid because I work in television, and it’s a pretty standard platform throughout the industry. Many systems have come and gone, but Avid remains constant. It’s not always the most user friendly system and some of its commands may seem archaic, but it’s rock-solid stable. Its media management capabilities make it the only choice for large enterprise scenarios. At our facility, we have 22 edit rooms, and multiple editors often will work on a single project. You can’t do that with other systems. I can also find anything throughout the system through Avid Interplay (Avid’s media management software). For these reasons, I would always choose Avid myself.
Right now, Adobe Premiere is Avid’s main competition, and it’s also a good system. It works with different formats natively and interfaces seamlessly with After-Effects and Photoshop. If you’re interested in doing work that involves heavy graphics or already have experience with those programs, I’d seriously look at Premiere. It’s also got great encoding capabilities making it a good choice for editing social media content. I used it on my home system for years, but I did find it to be less stable than Avid. There have been many updates since then, so please take my experience with a grain of salt.
There are other systems out there that may be worth considering if you’re just learning about editing and don’t have a lot of money. Apple Final Cut Pro was a major competitor to Avid for years, but with the release of Final Cut Pro X, they started over with more of a consumer system with limited capabilities. I’ve heard they’ve made great strides since its introduction, but I don’t know anyone using it professionally right now. I’ve also spoken to a few High School kids who use Sony Vegas and really like it. I haven’t really used either program other than playing around with FCP X in the Apple Store (it was a very different workflow than the other systems I’ve used).
Ultimately you have to decide what kind of editing you’re going to be doing, what your budget is and choose the system that suits your needs. If you’re just starting out, get your hands on whatever you can. It’s far more important to learn and understand the principles of editing and how to tell a story creatively than it is to know a specific software program. In my experience, a creative editor trumps a technically knowledgeable editor any day, so play around and have fun with it!”
“This was a tough one, but if I had to pick only one, for the type of editing that I do, I would have to go with Adobe After Effects.
When someone, rarely, asks me what my favourite video software is, I’m usually torn between two: Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere. They both perform such different functions, and I find both so indispensable, that it’s incredibly hard to pick just one. If I’m editing a long simple video, like an interview, or a narrative story, and focusing on cuts and emotional impact, Premiere is the clear winner. If I’m editing anything more complex with motion graphics or animation, I run straight to After Effects, Premiere’s more creative and flexible cousin. So I guess the question I actually have to ask myself is, if I’m working on a typical (for me) video, which generally involves some editing, and some music syncing, and has some motion graphics throughout, which one can’t I do without? And in this scenario, After Effects takes the cake.
After Effects would have to be the logical choice, because it can do almost everything that Premiere can do, albeit Premiere does some of these things better, and a whole lot more. It is not necessarily convenient to make cuts in After Effects because the timeline only exists in layers, and previewing the timeline requires an extra step, and editing audio is a fairly limited experience, but it is possible. And once your initial edit is complete, After Effects can do things with motion graphics that Premiere just can’t rival. After Effects has amazing rotoscoping tools, animation tools, text editing tools, and expressions, which help make a video complete. So in the end, while I prefer to use both simultaneously, I can edit a video from start to finish on After Effects. But I can’t create all the graphics and animations I may want in Premiere. So After Effects will have to win this challenge!”
“Its intuitive system enables multiple collaborators to work simultaneously across a variety of the creative suite programmes updating changes in realtime. This is a life saver when working on demanding projects with fast turn around times in agencies where multiple designers are correcting files dynamically linked with After Effects through into Premiere. It’s fundamentally the multitasking god.”
“It’s not just the video editing software itself with Premiere, it’s the excellent package that comes with it. Adobe has a great variety of post-production and on-set apps, available for an affordable price. You can do pretty much everything from motion graphics to sound design, and most of the features are pretty easy to use.
It’s essential for editors today to have a good understanding of compositing, grading and motion graphics to offer more value for their client’s money. This is exactly what Adobe offers to editors. Not to mention a vast community out there who can help anytime, those thousands of freebies you can get and millions more for a relatively low price that make your life easier and your work outstanding. That’s what Resolve misses today. But their chain of editing, compositing, graphics and the famous grading software are remarkably good, and it allows you a better workflow than Adobe and therefore sometimes better quality. If they keep pushing they could be quickly at the top of this industry.”
“Adobe Premiere Pro is my choice for video editing, as a professional filmmaker. In the filmmaking industry, I’ve watched it supersede Final Cut Pro in a big way over the last few years, and for me it’s the most natural to use due to its customisable panels/workspaces and depth of functionality.
Integration with After Effects, Audition and other Adobe products is a big bonus, and I like that Premiere takes some of the most useful elements from those applications and brings them straight into Premiere (e.g. Adjustment Layers, Stabilization).
Although the subscription based service may not suit everyone, the ongoing and regular upgrades means you’ll never need to buy updated versions of the software. Adobe are fast to fix bugs, there’s a good support community online, and new features can also be requested through their website. Third party support (for plugins and extensions) is great, and Adobe supports pretty much every format going, including raw camera files.
The overwhelming majority of professionals I know use Adobe Premiere CC, so if anyone is interested in becoming a pro video editor I’d highly recommend it for that reason alone, as it’ll open up your opportunities for work in the long term.”
“Bar none Premiere Pro is the best NLE package. I have used different packages over the years and I used to be the biggest advocate for Final Cut Pro. After FCPX came out, I chose Premier Pro, the main reason being that it is easy to send edits to After Effects, which is my bread and butter. I also use Adobe Audition, and the ability to go back and forth from Premiere to Audition makes it an easy choice.”
“I’ve been working in Adobe Premiere Pro for almost 10 years, experiencing directly the tremendous amount of work the company has put over the years in developing and improving the software. The way things stand right now in the video editing field, I wouldn’t switch to any other NLE.
Premiere brings to the table some editing key features which I truly believe make the difference when it comes to smooth production pipelines. Round-tripping and file management are by far two of the most demanding and cumbersome tasks every editor has to deal with. Being able to exploit the Dynamic Link between Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition in order to efficiently share timelines and assets with different software programs, represents a huge time-saver which dramatically speeds up the post-production process.
Premiere’s main editing interface and workspace are user friendly and customisable. Hundreds of keyboard shortcuts can be quickly set up. Adobe has also shown in recent years to deeply understand their users’ needs, constantly supporting them through forums and experts.
Last but not least, the trimming tools available in Premiere are extremely flexible and efficient, perfectly capable to suit different editing styles. All in all the whole Creative Cloud package provides editors with quality and flexibility that none of the other NLEs on the market can currently match.”
“I haven’t found the perfect software yet – it widely depends on the nature of the project I am cutting, so every time I choose on the basis of a specific workflow, agreed with production and post house.
At the moment I am sticking with Premiere, as it gives me the right flexibility between short and medium forms, and because it works nicely within the Creative Suite, especially with Encoder and After Effects. This makes it very easy to work with graphics. It’s easy and user friendly, so I’d say it’s perfect for light projects, multiple formats (well, kind of…), short and medium lengths, creative agencies. On the downside, it requires a quite new and powerful machine to function properly, and it tends to fail on long and heavy projects.
In fact, when it comes to longer form (over 40 mins of length, and big amounts of rushes), Avid is still my choice, because of its stability, reliability, and clever media management.”
“It’s not the best question. The answer’s Avid but the question’s flawed because there are so many different kinds of video editing.
There are two systems which reign over the broadcast market, Adobe’s Premiere and Avid.
Premiere integrates well with Adobe’s other products for graphic design, effects work and sound design and is a popular choice as a result. Many people who are fans of it think it will be the future system of choice.
But Avid is the tool most high end broadcasters use because of its capacity to create a multi-node environment where work and media can be easily shared between many workstations working on the same project. For the same reason, most feature film making environments use Avid too. It can scale up to cope with vast projects, up to and including running a whole national TV network.
So deciding which is the best tool depends on what your ambitions are. If you just want to edit a project which is containable on one workstation and do all the graphics, motion effects and sound design yourself, the Adobe Suite is a nice one stop solution. You’ll probably need it anyway even if you chose to edit on Avid.
If you want eventually to become a professional editor in today’s market, you’ll probably need to learn both systems. I’ve ducked out of learning Premiere properly because I get offered enough work on Avid and I like only using one system, because your skill level inevitably dilutes when you switch between systems. I make little films as a hobby too and I use Avid for those as well because it’s what I’m used to.
Avid gives away a pretty sophisticated cut down version of its product so you can start using it for free and this may be all you ever need – http://www.avid.com/media-composer-first.”
“Premiere also offers tools to edit sound, video coloring, titles, and create basic visual effects. With this being said I’m currently in the process of learning to use Avid and cannot yet compare the two, but I can safely say I’d choose Premiere over a program like Final Cut, IMovie, or DaVinci, but I do prefer DaVinci’s coloring.”
“I taught myself how to edit on Premiere Pro so it’s the software I’ve always stuck by. It feels quite intuitive, but also gives me a good scope to play around with footage. I also love that it’s so widely used – I’ve produced content on Premiere Pro while working at the Mirror Online, ESI Media – which comprises of the Evening Standard, London Live and the Independent – and now at PinkNews. In fact, I can’t imagine switching to another editing software.”
“In 2018, the best editing software for my purposes is Adobe Premiere.
Adobe Premiere works with Adobe’s Creative Suite, seamlessly interacting with other software apps that I use, such as After Effects, Photoshop, and Audition. Premiere is constantly being
updated and made even better. For example, the introduction of Essential Graphics has opened avenues of template creation that simply did not exist in other editing suites in the past. The Lumetri color grading options are outstanding as well as options for video transitions. I use Adobe’s library options often, and the consistency between After Effects and Premiere’s library panel frees up time to allow editors to focus on what matters, which is creating impressive video projects.
I have been a video editor since 2006. I started off using Sony Vegas. At that time, Premiere was very primitive and I remember seeing another editor using it and thinking it was not close to what Vegas was capable of doing. In 2018, Premiere is now the leading non-linear editing choice for ad agencies and film agencies. While I have seen Final Cut still being used, the versions of that software are not the most recent, and most clients request editors who are skilled in Premiere. Adobe has certainly changed the landscape of video editing.”
“I use Adobe Premiere to edit my work because it’s fast, intuitive and easy to use. Not only does the Creative Cloud package give me access to the latest versions, but it also integrates seamlessly with all of the other Adobe software. Whether applying advanced effects to a complicated green screen sequence in After Effects, precisely editing pictures directly from a timeline in Photoshop, or even enhancing audio clips in Audition, Premiere has all the programs I need built into one. It also has the ability to sync my custom keyboard shortcuts across multiple machines which makes finishing a job easy. With each free update Premiere gets better and more advanced, so I feel like I’m constantly using the best editing software available.”
“Premiere Pro is easily one of the most professionally built products that simultaneously allows for great accessibility across the board for those looking to jump into editing for the first-time ever, or those looking to expand their editing chops into new realms of color correcting and audio mixing.
It is also remarkably versatile in working with all sorts of various video and graphic filetypes that would normally take a longer period of time to process and transcode through programs such as Avid Media Composer – which is why I prefer it, especially when I need to turnover a piece of work for a client on the fly without any headaches.”
Shawn Patrick Curley
“”I’m looking for a video editing software, any recommendations?” It’s a common question that’s frequently asked of many professionals. In my opinion, finding a software is like picking out a pair of new shoes, you’re going to want to go with something that caters to your particular style, a choice that’s dependable and comfortable for daily use. Other aspects to consider are consistency and accessibility. Is it easy to get? Do you trust the brand? I’ve worked with just about every software on the market and while they all have pros and cons the one that I’ve been able to depend on the most is Adobe Premiere Pro.
With Adobe, not only do you have the added luxury of cross-platform functionality between Photoshop, After Effects and its long list of creative applications, but the price point is affordable and they offer plans that can suit both individual and organizational needs. Adobe has succeeded in a consistent interface that can serve as a gentle frontier for beginners or a machine of fancy tricks of convenience for advanced professionals.
I consider Innovation to be essential, I trust Adobe with the rollout of new features and applications. For example, I recently taught myself how to ingest and edit 360 videos without having to go out of my way to search for a flimsy VR specific program, it was all within Premiere. It’s easy to get left behind in this growing industry but Adobe acts as a friend providing safe navigation to new and exciting fields. As personal and amateur filmmaking continues its rapid leap to the consumer-friendly mainstream, Premiere Pro has maintained a trusted balance between personal and professional use and it’s the program that I always recommend.”
“To me, the best video editing software is Avid when I work in a company setting. On my personal projects, I think Final Cut is more fun. When I do freelance work from home, I use Premiere Pro.
Honestly, it depends on the situation. But I like to be flexible and I try to keep working on each one. It’s necessary to switch from one software to another one and I need to keep practicing all three of them. I have to be fully efficient because the trailer houses may use Avid, Premiere or Final Cut, although I noticed that Avid is more ubiquitous in the film industry.
I prefer working on Avid because I’m used to It: short cuts, the settings and the organization. It has many features that make me work faster.
Avid is pretty solid. That’s essential when we’re working with heavy material like feature films and the many versions of it. We also share the projects. Sometimes, there can be 10 editors working on the movie promo and there is a lot of data to ingest. Avid can easily handle heavy data.
Avid Media Composer is the industry standard even if more companies in Hollywood are trying to transition to Premiere. The most professional: Avid. For beginners: Final Cut. I think Premiere Pro is somewhere in between.
Avid’s improvements are really good and they haven’t made any mistakes really with their updates, which is really appreciated. We are always under pressure (laugh) when a new update is available. We never know if it’s going to be for better or for worse. We (the video editors and assistants) have meetings when a new update comes out to share our experience and new tricks.
Because of those great updates, based on video editors’ comments, I think the future of Avid is pretty bright. When we are experimenting with a new version, Avid contacts us to get our feedback. They are really tuned into our needs.”
“In my opinion, Premiere Pro is the best video editing software to use. It’s versatile and customisable to suit your needs in various ways, from key bindings to window placement. I find the software easy to navigate, quick, and adaptable. Subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud allows for you to get the most recent updates for Premiere Pro as soon as they’re pushed out, and they are repeatedly adding new and useful features. For someone who works in an environment that’s about an efficient workflow, being able to grade to a high quality with their Lumetri Colour panel without leaving the software is more than beneficial, along with creating basic graphics through their essential graphics panel and sound design. I don’t really have to ever leave the software.
However, the software still remains useful if you have to leave the software, especially when you use Adobe’s dynamic linking between programs. For example, you can create graphics and vfx in After Effects and import that composition into Premiere Pro without the need to export it separately. You can then update that After Effects composition, which will then automatically update what you had imported into Premiere Pro. This allows for you to see how effects work within the sequence and make little changes with the instant ability to see it update cross-software. Meaning you only have to worry about render times when the final project is ready to export. The Dynamic Linking also works with other Adobe Creative Cloud software, such as Audition, Photoshop and Illustrator.
I find that Premiere Pro is ultimately an accessible piece of software. As someone who couldn’t afford to outright pay a large lump sum to buy editing software as a student and graduate, the subscription package with Adobe Creative Cloud was a perfect alternative. With the benefit of regular updates, you can make sure to stay on top of new software technology and software trends without falling behind within your industry.
If you’re new to editing, there are countless tutorials online, whether it be on Adobe’s website, YouTube, Lynda or another platform; it’s never been easier to get on board.”
“As someone who has worked exclusively in Adobe Premiere Pro since the introduction of Final Cut Pro X, I can’t speak to whether or not it’s “the best” editing software, but it’s certainly been the industry standard for every position I’ve held and serves the teams I work with extremely well.
The app has seen a steady rollout of improvements and enhancements since becoming so widely used, but the greatest advantage I see for Premiere is its integration with other Adobe Creative Suite apps. Dynamic Linking with After Effects ensures I can easily integrate motion graphics work of my own, or I can collaborate with artists on my team in a manner that’s highly efficient and streamlines our creative process. Integration with Photoshop and Audition means I can easily bounce between apps with other specialties at any point in post-production and quickly deliver quality work for my clients. The ability to batch export with Media Encoder saves an incredible amount of time by offloading renders so that I can continue working on other projects.
I’m aware other NLE’s have seen improvements and integrate well with other color correction and graphics suites, but given how standard Adobe’s apps are for teams I work with, how easily it exports work for apps outside the Creative Suite, I can’t imagine using a different app today. The affordability of the company’s monthly membership enable me to pick up freelance projects at my leisure without worrying about the cost of keeping the membership running.”
“Adobe Premiere is the most versatile editing software that’s easy to pick up, use among team members, plus having dynamic link to After Effects saves a lot of time since I’m very hands on with the work I do. Revisions and tight deadlines aren’t going away, so saving time so you “get out of your own way” so to speak and focus on your craft is great.
Avid is most definitely a major, respectable player for editing, but Premiere has given me so much more variety in the clients I work with, knowing it also is supported with the rest of the Adobe CC programs like After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, but especially Media Encoder.”
“As a motion designer, I primarily use After Effects for most of my work. But the integration between After Effects and Premiere Pro makes life much easier when I’m making a video or an animation.
The intuitiveness of the programme means I can jump between software easily without taking time to adapt each time.
I use Premiere for both editing and finessing anything I’ve created in After Effects. Including sound design and music addition.”
“In 2018, I would say Adobe Premiere.
Adobe Premiere stands out for the following reasons:
1. You can use any kind of video format. If it exists you will be able to open it and use it in your project.
2. The color correction module is also pretty impressive. With very few adjustments you can improve your video tremendously.
3. The third reason is the interface. It is quite straightforward and user friendly. I teach Premiere at UC Berkeley, and people are often able to edit using Premiere after one three-hour session.
4. One of the most impressive features that Premiere has is the exporting. With Premiere you can export your video project to as many formats as you wish. And while the Adobe encoder is exporting your project, you can be working on other projects instead of waiting for the export to finish.”
“I believe Adobe Premiere is the best video editing software because of how user friendly it is to the editor. The interface is similar to most Adobe products and they work together seamlessly. My introduction into editing had been through Premiere, but I have since worked on projects with Avid. I feel like Avid is too stringent on how it wants you to be organized and how it wants you to edit (using “Three Point Editing”). I find it to be limiting compared to Premiere. Instead, Premiere is more of an “open air” system. I will usually drag all my clips into the timeline, cut and rearrange as I want, and easily move things around. With all this being said, it’s not the software that makes you an editor. I know editors who love Avid and prefer it over Premiere. The bottom line is the software is your tool – which one do you feel comfortable using to tell your story?”
“Personally, I have no favorites among the three. Each software has its pros and cons. I know most of their strengths and weaknesses and work easily with all three. For me, it is most often the employer’s or the client’s preferences that decide the editing software for the project. In certain cases, it is the project’s own requirements that dictate the choice of one editing software over the others.
Thus, when it comes to nominating the best video editing software, I would go with Final Cut; not because it’s better than the others, but rather because of its low price and the fact that you can actually buy it and own it rather than rent it. It’s more popular with my clients, although Premiere is a close second in popularity, especially since there were some functionality losses in Final Cut when Apple made the switch from Final Cut 7 to Final Cut X that still haven’t been returned to us, like batch exporting and exporting OMFs for audio mixing, for example. But overall Final Cut works adequately for most projects.”
“One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten in my young career, is that the best camera to use to tell your story is the one you have. So many people get caught up on “what’s the best gear,” but often forget about the overall objective; to tell stories that foster real human connection. It feels like so many of us lust after new gear because they’re trying to chase after some feeling they had as a child (I think this accurately describes it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFlcqWQVVuU). Just because you have the best and most expensive gear doesn’t necessarily translate to being good at your craft. This same logic applies to non-linear editing systems.
I grew up editing on Pinnacle editing software (once frying my parent’s computer’s motherboard after trying/failing to install a physical driver properly), then moving to Sony Vegas in high school, as well as futzing around with iMovie. I went to a pre-college summer film camp where I started to learn Final Cut Pro, and then was formally trained in Avid during college. After Steve Jobs died, it felt like Apple made a lot of really bad decisions about what consumers wanted in a non-linear editor, so I, like many other professionals, switched over to Premiere Pro. It’s always daunting to switch over to a new editing system, once you’ve gotten so used to another, but this is something I’m glad I forced myself to do. I had been working in New York City as an internal Director / Video Editor / Camera Operator at various ad agencies, and many of my colleagues were working within the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. Premiere Pro seemed like the logical choice in terms of working within the Adobe creative architecture.
Does this make Premiere Pro the best option for editors? That’s really for you to decide. It’s always tough when people ask, “what’s the best camera to get?” The real answer lies within what you need out of the tools you’re using. There seem to be a lot of vloggers that use FCPX and are totally happy. I know a lot of my friends who work in reality or scripted series that edit in Avid because of the ease of editing with just a keyboard as well as its ability to handle massive projects. I know a lot of creatives who prefer to use Premier due to its relationship with all of the other Adobe applications. Recently, after upgrading my camera rig to the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k, I’ve been playing around with Davinci Resolve after receiving the lifetime keycode once you purchase one of their products.
There’s really no good answer as to which editing software is the best for you. It depends on what you’re comfortable with, what you’re looking to spend, if you have certain plugins you prefer, what cameras you’re shooting with, what your workflow will be and so on and so forth. It’s something that needs to have personal, careful consideration. Everyone is different, and so is every project. We’re lucky to be living in the digital storytelling revolution. In my opinion, the switch from analog (film), to digital cinema is the greatest revolution in storytelling since the color TV. It has democratized the art and profession. Everyone can make stunning visuals, but it really comes down to story. If you’re suppressing your creativity because you feel like you don’t have the right gear or tools, then you’re missing the point completely.”
“I work on short-form digital videos and do a lot of work that integrates After Effects and Photoshop, so they all work well together for me. I think that the “best” NLE just depends on what you do and your workflow. A program like Avid Media Composer, for instance, would definitely be better for long-form because of its management tools, and overall reliability. I’d think about what your needs are before choosing an NLE.”
“As a professional freelance editor working with a variety of companies and clients, I think it’s useful to be proficient in more than one platform – I work with Premiere and Avid. I find that some professionals favour Avid due to its stability and ability to handle large projects, whereas others prefer Premiere due to its flexibility and compatibility with a variety of formats and codecs. Although I appreciate the features that Avid can bring to a project, I would say Premiere is my preferred editing software. This is because Premiere works quite intuitively and easily adapts to how each editor works. It also links really well with other Adobe platforms such as After Effects, so if you are an editor who also produces
basic to intermediate graphic elements, or if you need to perform tasks such as rotoscoping or time-ramping, it makes a lot of sense to give Premiere a go. But ultimately your choice of software should come down to personal preference and the nature of each individual project.”
“Although Avid is a slightly more reliable choice, I like Premiere because of its accessibility and its updates. Premiere is just a bit more intuitive than Avid in terms of interface, and the things that don’t work so well in Premiere right now (like multicam and speed changes) are likely (hopefully) going to be corrected in updates that happen at least once a year.
Full disclosure: In the past several years, I’ve been using Premiere about 95% of the time, and Avid about 5%, partly by choice (on my home system) but mostly because that’s what the facilities use. Although I first learned NLE editing on Avid and used it exclusively for 10 years, lately it’s been supplanted in my circles by Premiere, so I’m now more adept and knowledgeable about Premiere by default.”
“In school, we were trained in Avid, which is a great software for working in feature films. However, everywhere that I’ve worked, since I decided to focus on the commercial world, Adobe Premiere Pro has been the standard.
I like it because it is easy to understand, easy to learn, and Adobe provides a lot of great tutorials and resources to really improve your work and how you use the program. I would consistently recommend the entire Adobe Suite. What’s great is the ability to bring together projects from other Adobe programs – if you have something in Photoshop, Illustrator or After Effects, bringing it into Premiere is a really easy process.”
“For me, Premiere Pro is the best option for video editing. I freelance, so I need a program that can handle a wide variety of projects. No matter where the footage I get comes from, I know that I can bring it into Premiere without any headaches or problems. The flexibility of the interface awesome! I can design multiple workspaces based on what phase of the project I am in, and toggle between them easily. Speed is everything when it comes to editing so I need to make sure my keystrokes are efficient. Premiere makes it very easy to customize your keyboard and that has really helped my productivity.
The greatest advantage of this editing software is that it seamlessly integrates with Adobe’s other creative applications. I use After Effects and Illustrator to create animations. It’s so easy to update illustrations and then see them update immediately in After Effects without having to import the file again. Audio editing is incredibly easy with the Essential Sound Panel in Premiere. You can use presets to enhance audio tracks depending on what type of audio it is and the desired effect you want without having to fidget around tediously with effects.
Overall Premiere is great because it is built for professional editors who crave modern design, efficiency, and user friendly tools. I have used Avid, Final Cut, and DaVinci Resolve. Premiere is my favorite so far, I really love using it.”
“FCPX simply because of two words; magnetic timeline. As an editor, if I can devote more time, speed and brain space to a project and have less to worry about (losing synch) downstream on my timeline, that is worth the learning curve and shortcut mapping necessary for working within the FCPX UI. Needless to say, there is a myriad of deeper metadata and organizational capabilities I’ve barely scratched the surface with or employ yet. Lastly, I think Apple (and Randy Ubillos) in their pursuit of freeing editorial from its old multi-step/multi-task paradigm experienced the same backlash that it always has by (to quote Jobs quoting Gretzky) “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
“I have picked Premiere Pro, as right now, along with the whole creative cloud suite, it is ideal for my needs as an editor. I learnt my trade on FCP and made the jump to Premiere Pro in my first real editing job, finding the fluidity between the various Creative Cloud programmes a huge pull.
In my current position, I move a lot between Premiere Pro, Audition and After Effects; so, it is essential that the programmes I am using have a cohesion that you don’t really get with any other editing software. I would be naïve to think that the Adobe programme was the best at everything in its field. Having explored other video editing software, I know this is not the case, but in terms of being able to cover the broad spectrum of features that I need on a day to day basis, the ease of use and accessibility that Premiere provides is a cut above the rest.
Adobe do update the programme frequently, introduce new features and improve on features that already exist based on the feedback of their customers. It’s a great piece of software that I would recommend to anyone – beginners or seasoned professionals.”
“I started editing on Avid, then went to Final Cut Pro before finally ending up on Premiere. Integration is the key for me. After Effects is the go to graphics program and the fact that it integrates so well with Premiere is a big plus. Premiere allows me to sync all my settings and backup my project files with creative cloud. It can handle pretty much any media format without the need for transcoding. If I’m working with 4K footage, the media toggle allows me to instantly toggle between proxy media and my original 4K source file. I also like the motion graphics templates and lumetri color grading within the program.”
“If you asked me five years ago, I wouldn’t have chosen Premiere. The industry standards were undoubtedly Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro 7. However, with Apple’s release of Final Cut Pro X, that company moved in a different direction – and a less professional one. So then, anyone looking to start learning editing in a consumer-friendly program jumped ship and switched to Premiere, and I was reluctantly one of them. After all, I had grown up on Final Cut 7 and Sony Vegas.
Adobe Premiere is now my first recommendation because it’s the most consumer-friendly product that still retains a professional-grade NLE workflow, unlike Final Cut Pro X. And unlike Avid, which is very picky about file types and the optimal way to use it, Premiere has some flexibility, so you can bring more of your own organization and editorial styles. In addition, us editors are now being expected to know motion graphics, graphic design, and other tangential skills as part of their craft. Working with an Adobe product just makes sense given the popularity of apps like After Effects and Photoshop, which all work together as part of the Creative Cloud. Like all software, it has its flaws, but I believe Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing software available today.”
“Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing software for me for three reasons: Ease of use, depth of toolset and continuous updates.
The interface is very intuitive for experienced editors. Buttons are where you expect them to be and are customizable and everything is named logically. I really like the docked panels because things stay where you put them and you don’t have to constantly shuffle windows around to find what’s underneath.
By “depth”, I mean you can do everything you need to make a great video without leaving the program. Subframe audio editing, robust titling tools with templates and Media Encoder built in are the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes you need to use Audition, After Effects or Photoshop for advanced effects, but you really can polish your entire program in Premiere. I almost forgot Lumetri color tools! I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
Adobe does a great job keeping up with the breakneck pace of new formats and technologies. The first time I really appreciated Premiere Pro as an all-around tool was when a client came to me with a hard drive of footage and needed a complete promotional video done by the end of the day. We had all kinds of video from different cameras and editing systems. Pdfs, psds, mp3, file types galore. Premiere Pro took everything I threw at it that day without a hiccup. I knew then I was never going back to Avid Media Composer! Because Adobe is constantly improving and updating the product, I feel like Premiere will never let me down.”
“I love Premiere Pro’s integration with other Adobe products, such as After Effects and Audition, as well as regular updates to iron out bugs and such. Adobe also seem to be very responsive to user feedback and recommendations.
Finally the monthly payments for Adobe CC takes the sting out of paying thousands upfront for the full product/s, which I think is handy (especially for freelancers who may want to dip in and out of the subscription).”
“I think Premiere Pro is currently the best video editing software if you are working on a TV channel. The video demand on TV channels is massive in a short amount of time. With tight deadlines every day.
I am a Creative Suite user. I use Adobe audition, Photoshop, After Effects, Encoder … So, I pay every month to have the whole package. Which allows me to work in the whole Adobe Creative Suite for a monthly fee.
Also, the workflow between Adobe programs is brilliant. For example, if you want to do an After Effects transition and you are editing in Premiere, you just have to right click into the videos and import them into After Effects. The effects that you would apply on AE would be updated into your Premiere Pro sequence straight away. As simple as that. And the same thing with Adobe Audition. You can also copy and paste between Adobe programs.
The best point for me is using Adobe Encoder to queue multiple videos and keep working in premier while Encoder is exporting. This is the best time saver. I use this every day, every time. Is basic to deliver videos on time on TV.
Also I find Lumetri colour correction the fastest and easiest way to apply a decent colour grading. If you need to colour grade footage with a short period of time, lumetri is brilliant. If I am working in a long term projects, I would choose Davincci, but for my daily basis Lumetri is pretty acceptable.
Another good point of the software is the new captions to do subtitle This is magic!!
It changes the way to do subtitles. You have in one window all the subtitles boxes. You can go through them quickly easy.
I also like how easy is masking. Sometimes there is no need to use AE if you don’t need to do a proper track. I do all my lower thirds is premiere with it. Is just great.
The multiproject is fantastic. Adobe allows you to open more than one projects at the same time. I normally work in multiple projects with tight deadlines and the multiproject is so convenient to deliver the work on time when working on different projects at ones.
So, if you need a Editing program to deliver your edits in a tight deadlines or working in more than one projects at ones, Premiere is your software to edit.”
“I find the magnetic timeline on Final Cut Pro X very useful. It allows me to edit faster and there is less moving around of shots once you figure out how to use it properly. Apple’s interface in general is very user friendly and everything on the menu mimics Apple’s OS, which makes troubleshooting much easier than with other software.I also love that you can save all assets in one library and just move it around between hard drives easily.
Another great aspect of the software is that you pay for it once and it is yours. While other companies like Adobe charge you monthly in order to use it. After a couple of years of using the software the amount of money spent is quite ridiculous. They just assume that every editor is swimming in money and charging their clients tons of money in order to afford the software.”
“Over the past ten years, Adobe Premiere has become the workhorse of video editing systems. It doesn’t hold your hand like FCPX, but then again it doesn’t slap it away like Avid sometimes does. Like all Adobe products, Premiere has a bit of a learning curve and if you are just starting out, it can be a bit steep. For those who know their way around FCP7 or Avid, you can get up to speed very quickly; that familiarity has gone a long way to bring a lot of editors into Adobe’s fold. The fold — aka Creative Cloud — is one of the major selling points of Premiere. Not only does it come with most subscriptions, but its integration with industry standards, like Photoshop and After Effects, means you can skip a lot of exports and format conversions with both still and motion graphics. While it might not be as rock solid as FCPX or as highbrow as Avid, Adobe has taken Premiere from an obscure underdog to a downright heavy hitter and the steady stream of added features, Windows and Mac compatibility, and integration with the Creative Cloud make it look like it will be there for the long haul.”
“Adobe really brought the sauce when they started to compete with Apple and FCP 7. I switched over to Adobe after Apple decided to discontinue updating FCP 7 and haven’t looked back. I enjoy the ease of using Premiere while also the cross-platform functionality that Adobe incorporates in all their programs. It really helps me work with other artists and churn out the best product for the client in a timely manner. Adobe continues to improve on their product every year and tries to incorporate different functions to make the life of an editor easier.”
“I’ve used a few different NLE’s, starting when I was just messing around as a kid with Pinnacle Studio to when I started getting serious with Final Cut Pro.
In my first job, working part-time as an associate editor, I was introduced to Grass Valley’s EDIUS. Not many people are aware of this program, but a few years ago EDIUS did what a lot of other programs could not. It was fast, it could handle different codecs at once, and it was easily customizable. It blew the competition away. So you are probably wondering why my vote is for Premiere? Simple, Premiere evolved where EDIUS stayed the same.
With the introduction of Creative Cloud, Premiere suddenly became very affordable… especially when you throw in powerhouse programs like After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, (the list goes on, you get it). No more upgrades, no more dropping thousands on these necessary programs, and Premiere was bundled right in. The best part, they all link together. As an editor working in digital publishing, time is precious. So when you can link these programs together to make real-time changes, it makes all the difference.
There are different NLE’s for different editors, but for me Premiere is king.”
“I love using Premiere Pro because of its simplicity, intuition and versatility. I made the seamless transition from FCP7 around 4 years ago and I instantly saw the advantages to switching and choosing Adobe over Apple.
The Creative Cloud as a whole has proved extremely useful, being able to save settings, workspaces and then share these between computers has saved me some time in the past, not to mention the fact that Adobe works on both Mac and PC, so I can quickly and easily log in and get to work. I use most of the Adobe Suite because of how cleverly the programmes integrate with each other. I could create artwork in Illustrator, create layers which I can then animate in After Effects followed by creating a GFX template, which I can import into Premiere and easily replace text without having to go back to AE to render out multiple times.
Premiere is constantly finding ways to improve my workflow with frequent updates, adding new features which have always proved beneficial. Even when I think I know everything about Premiere, I’ll stumble across an article from other editors who have shared their discoveries.
Any new way to make my workflow quick and seamless is always welcomed as this job is all about short deadlines and high expectations. And so when I was learning Premiere I was quick to pick up the many keyboard shortcuts Premiere has to offer which have allowed me to become a speedy editor, I can alter audio levels as well as switching to roll, ripple, trim and track all within a few taps.
The list of positives for me is endless, and I could continue on talking about all the great little things Premiere can do which have helped me to become a better broadcast editor, but it’s usually more fun to go figure it out for yourself – after all practice makes perfect!”
“I was part of the Final Cut Pro 7 revolution. It was great! A truly well-made and “easy-to-use” EDL software. Right when it seemed like everyone was using it, Apple stopped updating FCP 7 and came out with Final Cut Pro X. I couldn’t believe how different it was, and for the worse. It seemed like iMovie and myself, and a lot of other industry professionals, couldn’t believe our beloved software had been discontinued.
I started searching for what my options were. Did I have to just accept FCP X? Could I just keep using FCP 7? Was there something better? I found Adobe Premiere (again). I say “again” because I had used Premiere in high school and remembered not liking it. However, much had changed since high school in the world of Adobe Premiere.
I was already using Adobe Photoshop for photos, Illustrator for logos and text, and After Effects for motion graphics. Except I was having to render out separate files for every graphic. The main point is that I was already in the Adobe world. I was noticing many of us, ex-FCP 7 users, jumping to Premiere. So I buckled in, learned some new keyboard shortcuts, setup the interface just like my old FCP setup and was up and running. And it was better.
You can Dynamic Link between After Effects and Premiere, which saves lots of time and hard drive space. You can color right in Premiere, and it’s very good and user friendly. Adobe updates all the time. I remember even being stoked that I could make the markers different colors, something I’d wanted to do forever! Media Encoder is better than Apples Compressor for exporting your files.
Needless to say I’ve been pretty happy with Adobe Premiere and the entire Creative Suite and would recommend it to anyone.”
Gil Becker Machado
“Well my choice of NLE (editing software) is FCPX. First off, I like the way it can manage all of your data in as much detail as you need. It is the fastest editor I’ve ever worked on in my 35+ years. There isn’t anything I’ve thrown at it that it cannot do. Though you do have to be creative in how you do some of these complex edits.
Out-of-the-box, so to speak, FCPX has lots of extras and there are tons of great 3rd party plug-ins. There is a slight learning curve when coming from another editing software. But most of that has to do with managing you data, files, projects and libraries. I’ve been editing 4K in FCPX for about a year now. It’s professional and gets the job done right.”
“I feel that Adobe Premiere is the best option for most people these days. It works great on Mac, even better on PC, it’s super customizable, and it comes with enough tools and features that you don’t even have to leave Premiere for most projects.
The most important things to consider when choosing your editing software would be the ecosystem and shortcuts. Adobe has perhaps the best ecosystem since its apps are so well integrated and play well with one another. For instance, if you mix audio in Audition, design in Photoshop, or render animations in After Effects, you’d greatly appreciate being able to import your projects into Premiere and see any further changes you make to the original document appear in Premiere in real time.
Adobe also lets you customize your shortcuts seamlessly. I first learned to edit on Final Cut 7 (RIP), but Premiere lets you use the shortcuts from that program in their preferences. For anyone coming from Avid or Final Cut, this is definitely a big help when getting used to new software and helps you to maintain your editing speed and muscle memory as well.”
“Over my almost 15 years as a video production professional I’ve used just about every major editing software, including Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere. In my experience, Premiere is far and away the best of them. I find it to be intuitive and easy to use, updated regularly by Adobe to add new features and fix any bugs, and also visually appealing to the eyes.
At this point I really don’t know anybody that uses FCP anymore, but obviously Avid is still widely used. I think it just depends on what you are editing. Avid works better for post-production houses that have full-time Avid technicians who can maintain the software and hardware, and companies that don’t produce videos regularly with fast turn-arounds. If you are doing more long-form videos and videos that don’t need to be turned around for air the same day, Avid can work. But otherwise, I’ve found it completely useless for most of the video editing I’ve done in my career.
Premiere is fast and easy to use. If you ever need to do any type of graphics work in either After Effects or Photoshop obviously those programs work together seamlessly. And now they’ve released Team Projects, which in my mind was the only thing that previously was better about Avid than Premiere. Team Projects let you edit projects with other people, for example an Assistant Editor stringing out takes of a scene for the main editor to view and put together. It really does everything you need in a non-linear editing system.
As I mentioned above, I’ve used many different editing systems, including all of the major ones, and for my money, I choose Adobe Premiere as far and away the best of the bunch.”
“To be clear I’m choosing Premiere Pro because it’s the NLE that I am most comfortable with. I have been using it for 5 years now and in that time it’s become widely accepted by the industry. As a side note, I don’t have extensive experience with Avid or Final Cut X, so some of the features I mention may apply to them as well.
Although clunky at times, the way each program in the CC suite talks to each other makes customized workflows very easy. The dynamic link feature between After Effects and Premiere shaves hours off of importing templated lower thirds into a project without having to constantly export new assets.
Being able to generate proxies in the background while I work and then having the ability to switch between the RAW and proxy with just a click makes colouring a project a little easier.
In recent years, the introduction of the essential sound panel has helped me get faster at adjusting my audio mix. Along with the ease of bringing a project into Audition to paint out any background noise and then seamlessly bringing the audio back into premiere for a final conform.
At the end of the day I like Premiere so much because I’m fast on it and I’ve learned how to avoid some of the quirks that some people hate about the program.”
“As someone who learned how to edit on Final Cut Pro 7, transitioning to Adobe Premiere Pro was the most similar in terms of functionality and flexibility. It boasts a lot of versatility in being able to work with multiple video formats, framerates, and projects from different editing softwares pretty seamlessly. Its integration with other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite such as After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop is also a huge plus. That being said, it really comes down to personal preference and comfort. Other programs are just as capable of getting the job done and not all companies use the same one. The more programs an editor is familiar with and proficient in, the more value they can provide to prospective clients.”
D. Max Walters
“I’ve used AVID, used and taught Final Cut Pro 7, and used and taught Premiere Pro. With Premiere’s integration with the rest of the Adobe suite it makes sense for me because of the amount of time I spend in After Effects and Photoshop. The direct integration with the other products makes the workflow seamless and allows me to directly edit original images, compositions, and audio files while editing.”
“I think there are many standards of software available and it’s ultimately what you’re comfortable and confident in using. However, Adobe Premiere Pro in particular sets a universal standard for editing.
It’s accessible, affordable for students and businesses alike and has all the tools and capabilities that a professional video editor will need. It’s hard to quantify this as the best exactly, but it is one of the most popular editing software to use.
It’s extremely intuitive. If you are already familiar with the likes of Photoshop, Illustrator, you will be familiar with the Adobe layout. And even if this your first video editing software that you’re venturing on, with the interface and tools available, you’ll be proficient in no time at all.
But more than the user interface and getting to know the software, the best part about Premiere Pro is that it is an Adobe product.
There are a host of other Adobe software available that pair seamlessly with one another. Photo editing software like Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Audition amongst others. These are industry grade software available in just a few clicks. With enough time and dedication, you can go from being an enthusiast to being a professional.
Of course there are more favored video editing software, but this will vary from editor to editor, and different production companies. It’s all about finding the best one that works for you. Once you learn those principles, it can be easily transferred and applied to any other software you get your hands on.”
“My preferred video editing software is Final Cut Pro X. I find it to be fast, easy to use and feature-rich. When Final Cut Pro X was initially released, I found it to be a struggle to transition from using Final Cut Pro 7. However, Apple has gradually added new features over time. I find the FCP X interface to be clean and easy to read. I also like the Magnetic Timeline which makes it simple to move clips around and try new things without worrying about syncing issues. Final Cut Pro X also does a great job of clip organization. By allowing me to tag clips with keywords, FCP X lets me quickly search my video library. I appreciate the time-saving benefits of being able to create a large database with detailed metadata. Multicam editing is another strength and allows for an impressive amount of camera angles to be viewed simultaneously. Overall, Final Cut Pro X serves my video editing needs and I look forward to what Apple has in store for the software.”
“From my experience the only software to consider is Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer. I don’t know any professionals that use Final Cut X. It might be great for a small production company on a budget, or someone that edits small projects, but I don’t know of any professionals that use it.
There are pros and cons with Premiere and Avid, but I feel like Premiere is much better than Avid. Avid has a lot of bugs, and doesn’t work as well on a Mac as it does on a PC, and most creatives I know use a Mac.
Avid is good for serious professionals. Its main advantage is sharing projects. You can have multiple people working in the same project which is great for long form content. It also converts everything to its own codec, so there are never any issues with using footage from different sources, or playback issues. That also makes it much better for in session editing with a client as there is no lag and it plays back in full resolution at the proper frame rate. Granted, if there are a lot of effects that won’t always be the case, but that’s the same with any software. It also has an amazing media manager, which is very helpful for companies that create a lot of content. The main cons of AVID is that it tends to crash quite a bit, and robust audio editing isn’t as easy as it is in Premiere. It’s also expensive, hard to install on a mac, and not great with staying up to date.
Premiere is affordable, and incredibly easy to install and update. It also works seamlessly with Photoshop and After Effects. If you use a lot of GFX, it works very well and is much faster in dealing with revisions. As of right now there is no project sharing, but they are working on it, and they may have that out soon. It also allows you to import just about any kind of media, which is great, but an inexperienced editor can come across a lot of issues if they don’t have their project set up correctly. It is lacking in its media management tools. It could be easy to fill hard drives very quickly if you don’t pay close attention to what you’re doing. Another con is that if you move stuff in the finder, it will go offline in your project (something that doesn’t happen with Avid).
They are both excellent, and Premiere continues to improve. Premiere is also much more accessible and what I would recommend to anyone that isn’t running a large company.”
“I come from a Final Cut Pro 7 background, which I always found fantastic. When that came to the end of its life, I wanted a program that was as intuitive to use so I could essentially hit the ground running. Premiere completely allowed me to do that.
As with most programs, Premiere has its quirks, but it also has some very powerful features that mean my edits are never held back by the software. That ease of use is the most important factor to me. I don’t want to be navigating clunky software when I’m up against a tight deadline.
It can’t hurt to have a working knowledge of all of the major edit programs available, and most editors will have their favourite. For me, Premiere is hard to beat in terms of its overall offerings. Its seamless integration with After Effects and Photoshop mean I can quickly add graphics into an edit. Plus if I don’t want to use a more specialised grading program like DaVinci Resolve, it has the powerful Lumetri grading tool built in. Best of all, you can pretty much throw any file type at Premiere and it’ll happily work with it, cutting out the hours and hours of transcoding you once had to do.
There may be cheaper and simpler options on the market, but with the full Adobe Creative Suite at your disposal, I don’t think there’s a better value for money choice.”
“If I had to select one video editing software as the best, it would be Adobe Premiere. The Adobe ecosystem alone is the biggest pro, since all the relevant apps talk to one another. For example, if you are working on an edit and there is a crackle in your audio, you can right click and send the audio to Adobe Audition, fix the problem, hit save, and the audio in Premiere is automatically updated. This workflow is a true godsend.
Now I shouldn’t forget the feature of the program being cross-platform. This is key when working with different editors on different platforms. Although I always prefer to work on a mac, I have plenty of colleagues and clients who only work in windows. The only real con this program has is that it can be unstable and with every update I always fear something breaking i.e. plugins.”
“I have to say that Avid Media Composer has been the standard for the industry for many years for a reason. How Avid manages the Footage/Data is more reliable, but at the same time, they keep the interface, logic, tools, etc, the same way they had a decade ago. And in these times, you as a software developer, have to innovate and give us more significant upgrades to be able to compete with others software around, in this case with Adobe Premiere Pro.
Personally, I never liked Premiere Pro, because the similitude with Adobe After Effects’ interface. When Adobe refreshed and turned Premiere Pro into a whole new software, editors around the world started to migrate from Final Cut Pro, Avid, etc, to enjoy such an amazing software.
Adobe Premiere Pro gives you the ability to handle all different video formats in the industry, no transcoding process needed, straight from your external hard drive and keeps everything in one place. The best thing about it though is ability to “collaborate” with the whole Adobe Creative Suite to make everything even easier, from editing (Premiere Pro), motion graphics (After Effects), audio mixing (Audition) and file delivery (Media Encoder). All of this in one package.
Color Correction Tools are outstanding. You can send a sequence from Premiere Pro to After Effects with One Click, keeping the same cuts ready to be intervened in different ways and send it back to Premiere Pro the same way. Only Premiere Pro does that, and for me as a Creative Editor/Postproducer it is the best choice.”
“Having worked with many video editing systems for periods of time, I find myself gravitating toward Premiere as a sophisticated editing tool. While Final Cut Pro once appeared to be the industry leader in NLE systems, Apple decided not to put much support into its video processing line. Sophisticated applications I used frequently, such as Color, Motion and back in the day even DVD studio Pro were simply dropped, no longer supported and finally, with recent system updates became obsolete.
While there are many other professional video editing systems, I found that Adobe has the most user friendly product family that is streamlined so you can channel your work seamlessly through Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop and really all of the apps in their product family. Plus, it’s inexpensive. This is sophistication. And Adobe is not going to abandon their products anytime soon.”
“Oh how to begin… I first learned to edit using Final Cut Pro, but I switched to Adobe Premiere after the great Final Cut X-odus of 2011. Premiere’s workflow was relatively similar to FCP, so it was a quick transition. Here are some of the main reasons I’m a Premiere fan girl:
- Over the years it’s been a phenomenal tool for getting edits done quickly without interruptions and delays from processes like logging, transcoding, and rendering.
- Dynamic linking is a godsend for videos that require intermediate-expert level motion graphics and audio mixing.
- For the types of videos I create, the built in color correction tools (mainly lumetri) have been all I need to do a first pass on color and to add a little style to my footage in the grade.
- Adobe Media Encoder comes with Adobe Premiere and the integration has been really great for queueing renders up without interrupting current edits.
- With the arrival of Creative Cloud, Adobe has been incredibly responsive to feedback, and patches to bugs come out relatively quickly.
- One of the last major updates introduced a collaborative editing option called “Team Projects.” While it’s not perfect, I’ve used it on several large editing projects with success and I’m excited to see how it evolves over the next few years.”
“I find myself using MPEG Streamclip in nearly every project I work on involving file conversion, which is roughly 95% of all the projects I’m on. When I’m making a h.264 file for sharing, quality control, or review, I want to maximize quality while keeping decent resolution and file size small. MPEG Streamclip delivers every single time because t’s simple, useful and FREE! I know many editors and motion graphics/VFX who swear by it.”
“While Avid is the industry standard, Adobe Premiere Pro is a great choice for editors. The program is easy for beginners to learn and intuitive to use. It works seamlessly with other Adobe programs such as After Effects, Audition and Photoshop.
One of my favourite features is the ability to import an After Effects project into Premiere and edit the text of titles. Adobe is constantly updating the software and adding new functions. It makes the post-production process efficient and seamless. Using Premiere, I’m able to quickly edit and turn around a project.”
“In Premiere you can cut together a small personal piece or a massive multicamera production. It’s powerful and intuitive allowing experienced editors to sit down, arrange their workspace and get down to cutting instantly in the NLVE experience they’re used to. The integrations with other Adobe products, as well as vital tools to the modern editor like Cinema 4D, are priceless to creatives and vital to our workflow. Adobe commands the video editing market and it’s clear they respect the professionals who need to work day in, day out on their applications.”
“For years, my go-to video editing software was Avid. Throughout college and the beginning of my career, I sought to become an expert in what, to me, was the ultimate industry standard. As my career progressed, my projects became more complicated and varied, and I began working in an agency environment that had projects featuring more and more graphics. I realized that software like Avid could often create barriers to a seamless and speedy workflow. I would often be juggling multiple Photoshop files, After Effects compositions, and sequences that would need to be updated on the fly. With turnaround times as quick as they are, Avid’s workflow became dead-weight.
When I fully switched to Premiere, my entire process freed up and became incredibly intuitive. If I need to make adjustments to files, or create missing pieces, I’m able to stick to one platform. At the end of the day, editing is about story, and all of the NLE’s are merely a tool, but as projects demand more and more “flare,” and an editor is responsible for more than just the edit (think graphics, minor color correction, etc.) in ever shortening deadlines, Premiere has become an indispensable tool.”
“For me, Premiere Pro is the workhorse of video editing programs. The ease at which it can handle almost any video codec thrown at it, to the depth of the finishing tools included, for me it has to be the number one editing program out there. I’ve worked with NLEs since the days of Final Cut Pro 5, and they’ve come on leaps and bounds since those heady days of just about handling HD video content. Whilst I’ve professionally used various other suites (including AVID, FCPX and Da Vinci), none of them seem to have the ability to just do everything out of the gate.
Now don’t get me wrong, Premiere Pro does sometimes get a bad rap for it’s glitches and bugs, and I’m not denying that, but for a piece of software that continues to innovate year on year, it’s to be expected. So if I had to recommend one piece of video editing software to get your head around, I’d recommend Premiere Pro.”
“Most editing programs work basically the same way. There may be variations in the interface and keyboard shortcuts, but at the end of the day, I could get a similar result from any of them. What makes Premiere Pro my preferred tool is the ability to put Adobe project files directly on my timeline. That visual effects shot needs tweaking? Just jump into After Effects and adjust as necessary; no need to re-render a huge lossless file just to see if the fix worked. With Creative Cloud, this extends into Cinema 4D projects through After Effects. So I now have editable 3D elements right on my Premiere Pro timeline.”
“I get asked a lot over the years about what editing software someone should use, and I usually respond that software is simply a tool, with the editor being the most important component. But if I had to pick the best tool? Avid Media Composer.
First and foremost, Avid Media Composer is the most used software across the entertainment industry, and it’s for good reason. Though the interface is old-school, it’s also robust and handles large projects well. It’s fast, yet heavily customizable, meaning I can change the keyboard, layout, and commands to fit my style as an editor. Finally, it’s stable and I experience less technical hiccups with Avid than with any other editing software.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the creative vision of the project and how well the editor can use their chosen tool to bring it to life.”
Pedro Acioli De Jesus
“Right now, it’s kind of anybody’s game. FCP has come out with a pretty good tool and people that use it swear by it. It used to be that Premiere kind of took the cake for the last 5 years, but recently it seems they just got greedy with the subscription model and kind of alienated up and coming creators. I’ve been playing around with DaVinci Resolve and really like it. If it wasn’t for other agencies needing project files in Premiere CC, I think I would switch over completely to Resolve and give those guys a full shot.
As I mentioned above, Adobe had a great compilation of programs for editing like Premiere, After Effects, and even Media Encoder. But the more I use it now, it feels like they stopped making the experience any better. The funny thing is people will argue the 2014 CC version was the best and others say 2017 CC is the best, and neither one is a good look for Adobe. To make matters worse, they have such expensive prices for their subscription that the new generation has no choice but to become more apt to using Resolve or FCP.
I think FCP has recently made a huge comeback and has once again created a really seamless editing experience for the user. I also believe Resolve and Fusion (the equivalent of Adobe’s After Effects) is going to be the wave of the future. They are already using these programs for Hollywood films and the latest Avengers used a ton of Fusion. But…much like the stock market, it’s anybody’s guess who’s going to be the dominant creative tool of the future. For sure, innovation will be the key.”
“I chose Adobe Premier Pro CC as my go to video editing software for a few simple reasons after experience with other programs. When I first started video editing in 2012 I practiced with iMOVIE to see if I was truly interested in this career field. Then I quickly upgraded to Final Cut Pro once I started receiving more projects to edit. After about 2 years of editing music videos for local Chicago artists and networking with other videographers, I was introduced to the Adobe Suite.
Inside the Adobe Suite the main program I needed was Adobe Premier Pro. Instantly this software caught my attention and I was hooked. The freedom was incredible, I honestly couldn’t believe it. The ability to reverse effects, having to actually add on effects & pre-sets myself without some easy to use templates definitely made me step my game up. Seeing how detailed I can get with each effect was remarkable, especially with the endless possibilities you have with a clip after you mask the intended area was amazing. Also the freedom I have with making titles for each video was great, like having to actual create the movements & design yourself showed why I truly fell in love with video editing.”
“Fast-turnarounds are key to most of my edits, so it’s important to have a set up that I know like the back of my hand. Adobe Premiere is where I feel most at home. I was one of the many editors that jumped ship to Adobe when FCPX replaced FCP7. At first it slowed my editing down to a crawl, but I soon picked up the many new shortcuts and innovations. As new versions come out regularly, I’m impressed by how quickly the technology is moving forward. Some things don’t always work perfectly and I can’t deny there can be some nasty bugs from system to system, but once you hit a sweet spot, it’s a very enjoyable experience.
I’ve tried editing in DaVinci Resolve where I do my colour grades, but I almost always revert back to Premiere. It’s just got everything exactly where I need it to be – fully personalised in window layout and shortcuts that can be quickly moved between computers by simply emailing yourself the presets. Like most editing apps these days, it plays almost any native format, exports to almost any format and doesn’t require rendering to playback in real-time. Also, as most of my edits are short-form, I rarely find the time or the need to make proxy versions. I can easily cut 4K straight from the camera. Premiere is my weapon of choice and it’ll be a hard sell to get me to jump ship again. At least for now…”
“Premiere Pro comes with its quirks, as does any editing system. However, I feel that for the fully rounded and dynamic editor I have become, it meets my needs more than anything else on the market. Talking specifically from a 360 video and VR point of view, Premiere and its accompanying additions within Creative Cloud make the whole process of working with rushes completely fluid.
Adobe’s relatively recent acquisition of Mettle SkyBox, a suite of VR post-production tools, has pushed Premiere and After Effects to the front of all 360 editors’ minds. The ability to quickly and easily control an image that could become unwatchable without the correct workflow is vital. Being able to work with a 360 equirectangular image at a minimum of 4K without any stress has been key – I have even recently finished a project at 8K stereoscope (8192 x 8192 pixels), all within Premiere and After Effects. I’ve not attempted to try other editing software for this, although having a working understanding of all other non-linear editing systems out there, I can say Premiere offers the best for me.
I’m increasingly finding myself in situations where a client will want the smallest thing changed, be that a colour tweak, addition of VFX, audio edits or titles, all of which I can make on the same timeline, in the same software. Having the tools available to develop skills in everything: from audio to VFX, has allowed me to become mostly self-taught across all post-production demands.
As I have hinted to before however, Adobe software doesn’t come without its flaws. I’m sure many other editors have their preferred tools, which also have drawbacks and advantages. I can only say that within a 360 VR post workflow, I couldn’t imagine using anything else at present.”
“Many editors will tell you that it’s not about the software, it’s about the art of storytelling, and I agree. I know I can technically achieve what I want in any professional program (Final Cut, Avid, Premiere, Resolve). However, if I had to choose one, my preference is Adobe Premiere.
I’ve rarely found myself reaching creative limitations from the program, especially if you include After Effects as its companion. Not only After Effects, but all the other Adobe Tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. If you use these tools, which it’s likely you do, the Dynamic Link feature is awesome. You can drop PSD (Photoshop) files into your timeline and they work natively. Not only that, but if you make a change and save to the PSD file, it will auto update on your timeline.
Premiere comes with Media Encoder, which is amazing. I can queue multiple exports and change settings on the fly… set it and forget it. I love that it will upload directly to Vimeo or YouTube if I choose.
If your footage has large data rates, like 4k, or if you are editing on a laptop, you’ll most likely want to use a proxy workflow. With Premiere, you can make proxy files in the background and automatically link. There is a toggle proxy button on your program monitor to quickly switch back and forth between full resolution and proxy media… it’s the best I’ve seen on any program.
I love being able to edit multiple codecs, file formats, and frame rates in one timeline… it really boosts my performance so I can spend more time being creative and less time thinking about how to technically achieve an edit.
Lumetri color is another great tool… It’s so fast and intuitive. While it might not be “as powerful” as Davinci Resolve, I love the way the color panel works. I think it needs some improvements, but since its release it’s been a real game changer.
Overall It has a ton of features and works incredibly fast, I love using it on a daily basis.”
“For me, I almost exclusively use Adobe Premiere Pro for my work now. As I used to be a Final Cut Pro 7 (pre-the current style that’s out) editor, the move over to Premiere was very easy. I do cut with Avid from time to time, and I have no issues with it at all, however I feel Premiere lets me work quicker and more efficiently. The other thing with Premiere is the regular updates. It’s always updated to be ready for new camera profiles within a few weeks of them being out. I have found that most other editing programmes are much slower at being ready for new codecs etc.
Don’t get me wrong, there are bugs and things that drive me crazy, but quite often the problems stem from server based work rather than just running off a hard drive. Now for a lot people that will be a big problem, but again, these bugs aren’t always there. Just remember to have your auto-save set up at regular intervals, and perhaps a backup to creative cloud! If you’re working locally, the bugs I encounter are almost completely non-existent.
It’s hard to say it’s the best editor, but for me it is. If you’re from a Final Cut Pro 7 background like me, you’ll certainly find working with Premiere an easy cross over.”
Alvaro del Val
“For me, Avid is by far the best editing software there is. When the digital cameras came around in the early days of this century, Final Cut Pro did a better and faster job adapting to those workflows. But once Avid caught with that, it didn’t have a rival.
Premiere Pro is nowadays the natural substitution for Final Cut Pro. They are almost the same software, and it’s the way to go if you plan to finish your project in that machine: visual effects, conform, color, etc.
But if we are talking about strictly editing, Avid is much more stable, faster and gives you better tools to edit than the competition. And by competition I’ll be doing a direct comparison with Premiere, which is the direct rival right now.
In general, the control and precision you have when editing in Avid cannot be compared with other software. Avid may look harder and more complicated than Premiere at first, as is not as intuitive and requires more effort to learn, the same way it also requires more effort to prepare your footage and transcode in a very specific way. But once you get all that right, you really save much more time in the long run.
Getting a little more into specifics, I’ll give a couple of examples:
As most editors do, I work doing selects of the footage before actually editing. Then I use those sequences in my source window to bring clips to my editing timeline. The way this works in Avid is using the Toggle source/record button, which lets you visualize the sequence in the timeline from the source window. This is very well designed and has become a pillar for me. Premiere has an option that tries to do something similar, but it’s much harder to use, it really slows everything down.
Another example is how Avid works with speed ramps. It has a special window with a graphic where you can visualize and create ramps easily with absolute control. With other software like Premiere, you need to do it inside of the clip in the timeline, which is really hard to do in comparison, and you don’t have at all the same amount of control and precision as in Avid.
There are many other examples of functions, like extend clip or the way you add transitions and dissolves to the clips, that are really more versatile in Avid. Beside the fact that if you edit with a Wacom tablet, Premiere creates a lot of ghost clicks that mess things around, while in Avid it’s really precise.
But in general I feel like, even though Avid has many things to improve, like adding shortcuts to enable/disable clips, nudge up/down clips in the timeline etc, it’s a much better software, more stable and efficient. You just need to make the effort to learn how to use it properly. But the editing process is really much faster in Avid. You don’t have this level of control of your tools in any other software.”
“Okay… the truth is there is no one “best” editing software. All of the major players are good. And all the major players could be better. That said, I encourage every professional editor to know them all, use them all, and be prepared to be delightfully surprised by Blackmagic Design’s end-to-end editing solution… DaVinci Resolve 15.
Full-disclosure… I have used all of the major editing platforms. As a working editor, it’s incumbent upon me to be familiar with/proficient in any program that my clients utilize. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from having my favorites. And to a certain extent, I have loved them all for various reasons. Enter Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve.
First and foremost, I love the “end-to-end” workflow. Ingesting, organizing, adding metadata, syncing sound… and actual editing is intuitively designed. Translation, it’s quick, it’s easy and it works. That, to me, means that I can spend more time “being creative” than managing a clunky interface.
Of special note are Resolve’s trim tools… optimized for either the mouse or the keyboard, trimming can be performed in Resolve’s standard timeline mode. There’s also a set of tools called Dynamic Trim Mode, which initially were a bit confusing, but I’m attributing that to the operator (yours truly). In theory, the Dynamic Trim Mode allows you to get around the limitations of the Trim Edit Mode… but I’ll need to play with it a bit more.
One of the new features that I especially like is the “Annotations” mode. Yes, it’s similar to Markers, but with one really stand-out difference… you can draw directly on the footage to highlight a specific area so the producer/director/editor/colorist knows exactly to what you are referring. Wonderful!
Another great feature is the ability to edit subclips so you can access all of the media outside the marked range without needing to go back to the original source clip.
Oh… and did I mention the fact that you have CPU and GPU optimization?
These, and all of the other truly cool features that they’ve built into DaVinci Resolve 15, are just the icing on the cake. What makes DaVinci Resolve my current favorite, is the ability to seamlessly, and instantly, move between editing, color, effects (yes, Fusion is built in) and audio (Fairlight, also built in). Whether working alone, or collaborating with a team… it works.
Yes… there is still some opportunity for improvement… but the good folks at Blackmagic Design seem determined to meet and exceed the needs and desires of professional editors. I, for one, think that they’re definitely on the right track.
In the end, your favorite editing platform may differ from mine, but if you haven’t yet tried out DaVinci Resolve, give it a shot. You may or may not be ready to make it your current go-to editing program… I, myself, change editing platforms regularly dependent upon the client and the project… but it’s definitely worth a look.”
“I personally prefer Premiere CC as my editing software of choice because it has dynamic linking with other Adobe products, is ascetically pleasing, and has all of the features I need to use every day. While I have used both Final Cut X and Avid in the past, I finally switched to Premiere when I joined a production company that used it and I haven’t looked back since.
While I loved using Final Cut 7, I felt that Final Cut X was lacking a lot of essential tools and I hated the ribbon of footage. Essentially it felt like an introductory program to video editing because of its lack of depth and flexibility. I’ve heard it has improved but I only know of one production company that uses it (for the reasons mentioned above) and, therefore it’s not worth looking into again in my opinion.
As for Avid, I feel that the issues are the opposite. It is a needlessly complex program that uses mechanics not implemented in any other programs I’ve used, which creates a steep learning curve. It is also less ascetically pleasing than both Premiere and Final Cut Pro X. The only reason I could see preferring Avid over Premiere would be if I was working on a project with a very large team, as this program has implemented a lot of great sharing abilities. I do know a few production companies and post houses who use Avid and it’s usually used on very high quality projects because the program is so stable and robust. Though, because it is so stable and robust, it is very taxing on computers and therefore makes it hard to choose over other programs when not working on a big team.
I feel that Premiere is a great in-between program that is nice to look at, easy to learn and use, has sharing capabilities, has dynamic linking to other Adobe programs, and has all of the essential tools a video editor would need. As well, almost all the production companies I’ve worked for or looked into use Premiere, with a lot of places switching from Avid. Due to that fact, it only makes sense to use the program that is quickly becoming the gold standard in the filmmaking world.”
“Currently, I prefer to use Adobe Premiere Pro. Despite the barrage of bugs every new release, Premiere continues to be the most versatile tool to adapt to any size project with flexibility to move between different machines and operating systems. Though, I’m hoping one day Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve will be as powerful of an editing tool as it is for color — It’s definitely the next tool to keep an eye on.”
“I think Adobe Premiere is the best editing software on the market. In my opinion there are 3 top dogs when it comes to editing, Premiere, Avid, and Final Cut, and yes in that order. Premiere to me is a fusion of the two; it provides the robust professional quality and reliability that Avid offers with a simple to use, easy to navigate work space like Final Cut. Final Cut dropped the ball with Final Cut X. Although it’s great that it accepts various video codecs, frame size, and frame rate with no converting, it just feels like a more convoluted version of movie maker. The way projects are organized with events and libraries is just overkill and confusing to the average user. It doesn’t give me a high-end, professional feel.
Avid just feels like its stuck in the 90’s to me. Its menu, setting options, how you ingest/transcode video. It just feels clunky and not user friendly. So many things in premiere are intuitive; right click, drag and drop, hamburger menu, etc you don’t hunt and peck when editing. If you don’t know where something is or how something works, it’s easy to figure out. With Avid, I think you need more of a formal class room training to really get up and running with the program.Think of an iPad. You don’t need an instruction manual because of its easy to use and common-sense type of menu and interactive flow. Meanwhile Avid is like Ikea furniture, where 15 minutes into your build you’re wondering how many parts are missing and “is this part A4 cause it looks like B7.”
At my current job we use Avid, so I am on the system an average of 8 hours a day and because of its nexus server and its sharing capabilities it works well for our team. However, we constantly face issues like the hours it takes to ingest footage. If we try to AMA to video, even at 1280×720, it lags, freezes, and crashes. Projects that contain various frame rates, frame sizes, and codecs, require us to create various projects per video type. All of this is just unnecessary, and we haven’t even begun editing yet; this is just getting video onto the computer!!! To run Avid well you also need certain processors, ram, and graphics cards. Don’t get me wrong, Adobe also has certain specs and hardware it prefers. However, you can cut 1080 video off of a 1500rpm drive, with an average student’s computer and not run into crashing issues.
For the price and all the software you get, the CC cloud is a better purchase than just Avid and Protools combined, and you get A LOT more software. Any serious video editor knows the industry is changing. You need to be a graphic designer, a motion/visual effects artist, an audio engineer, as well as a great story teller. You can’t just “edit” anymore. If you’re serious about your craft, the Adobe suite provides all of the programs you need to successfully run a video production company and most jobs that come with it.”
“Most probably Adobe Premiere Pro. Having to work over 4 years with Final Cut Pro 7, I felt like this was the upgrade I needed. Even though I miss elements of FCP, I am now fully converted to Adobe Premiere.
Since I studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, the Adobe Creative Cloud Package was something we were always encouraged to use. Therefore editing on Premiere Pro allows me to easily import files from After Effects, Photoshop and other software provided by Adobe. So if you are dealing with graphics, logos or any sort of animation, importing them all in Premiere seems to work the best for me.
Another great thing about Premiere based on my personal experience as a freelance video editor, is that Premiere Pro seems to be the most widely used editing programme among different creative production companies. So if you are looking to do some freelance work for other companies, it’s a great bonus as well as timesaving as you don’t have to learn new software each time.
Additionally, if you are getting into colour grading, Premiere Pro is a great start. Even though I would encourage people to colour grade using DaVinci software, Premiere Pro allows you to learn the basics. And there are several LUTs you can download, which you can tweak later on to suit your style.
However, Premiere Pro does seem to crash every now and then, especially when working on high volume projects. So make sure you’ve got your work backed up and auto-save it regularly.
Even though people may have different preferences with regards to the software they use – editing comes down to your skillset and software is just a tool to help you fulfil your vision, so use whatever you feel comfortable with.”
“As you know everything is not always perfect or always going to be the best. Something new always pops up that is better than the last. Everyone has their preferences when it comes to editing software. The best editing software in my opinion would be Adobe Premiere. Whether you’re just starting off or editing professionally, Premiere is easy to learn and amazing to work with.
I love working with this and it loves working with me. My favorite thing about Premiere is how easy it is to use. For instance, if I bring a photo into Premiere and see something in there that I don’t like, I can simply bring that photo into Photoshop, make my edit and hop back into Premiere and the edit is done. The same goes for After Effects. Dynamic Link is a savior.
Another huge advantage for Premiere is the “Sandwich Timeline”. This is the ability to stack multiple timelines on top of each other and work from there. So basically one timeline can be selections of the best clips and the other timeline can be used to build. I find this very helpful in getting projects done extremely fast because you don’t really have to sub clip, or keep clicking and scrubbing through to see what’s in the clip. This is a simple click, drag and drop and watch your story unfold in front of you.
I have worked with a bunch of different softwares such as Avid Media Composer, FCP7, FCX, Edius etc. And I strongly believe that Premiere is incomparable. What Adobe really reeled in was the look. This is a program that looks and feels up to date. Not like the others. Avid, FCP7 just feels old once working with them. Premieres default interface is extremely easy on the eyes with being all black. Whereas Avid and FCP7 have an uncomfortable gray look to it making it harsh on the eye and old. Very old.
I like the direction Premiere is going with everything and I only see them getting better. A lot of companies have made or are making the switch over to Premiere because of how dynamic it is. So if you’re wondering which software you would like to use to get started with, I would strongly suggest Adobe Premiere.”
Anthony J. Cortese
“I am an Avid guy first and foremost, but I see the benefits of Premiere.
While I admit to liking the open nature and flexibility of the Adobe suite (not to mention comparative price), many of my projects are shared across a number of edit systems and Avid just has project sharing down to perfection. For long form work, the way that Avid keeps everything organized is sort of magic and gives me a level of comfort and organization that I simply don’t experience in Premiere. I’ve worked on large projects in both platforms and I’ve found Premiere just gets to be a mess quickly, even with its new “Shared Project” and “Team Project” features, if you are not extremely careful.
I will say that the knock on Avid has traditionally been that it was not welcoming to multiple formats/frame rates within the same timeline, and it was fair criticism. But, I simply don’t find that to be the case anymore. Avid will even allow you to simply point to media and throw it on a timeline, just as you would in Premiere or FCP, via its AMA linking feature. Full disclosure: this method is definitely not for the sluggish CPU.
My latest project incorporated footage in every frame rate imaginable… 25, 23.98, 29.97, as well as off-speed footage all living in a 30p timeline (Facebook Watch delivery) and it did not blink an eye. I simply transcoded at the media’s native frame rate and let Avid’s FrameFlex do the math as I went along.
With the exception of the woeful Title Tool, (which I joke that Avid seems to have lost the source code to because it has not improved in over a decade) Avid remains the leader in my mind when it comes to big, complex, shared projects. It’s been in the game a long time, and it shows.”
“As a professional editor for the last two-plus decades, I’ve worked on editing equipment that has evolved from linear tape-based machines, to the early days of non-linear, to the reign of the big-box systems, to the rise and fall of Final Cut Pro, and the eventual rule of software-based, subscription based tools.
So what’s the best system? Unfortunately, that’s not an easy answer, as most tools have their pros and cons. Gone are the days of editing on a proprietary piece of hardware/software that you can count on. Everything now is third-party this, firmware that, codec this, driver that, breaking, crashing, drifting, color-shifting — and every company is racing to try and stay ahead of the curve as newer and higher-raster cameras hit the market. This break-neck development has led to lots of bug-riddled software, and it’s a full-time job just making sure the software you are using isn’t betraying your work. To me, it’s about having a tool that doesn’t interfere with the creative process, and is derived from the features an editor needs — not just ingest, assembly, polish and export, but file-management, flexibility, conforming and versioning. And most importantly, it never fails you with the fundamentals.
I’ve worked on CMX, Video Toaster, Avid, Avid DS, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut X, Adobe Premiere (and the CC Suite), Autodesk Smoke and Flame, and Resolve, but given the choice, the program I most prefer for creative editorial is Avid Symphony — which is just a slightly more advanced Media Composer. Final Cut X is a niche system and terribly inappropriate for integrating into Post-Production pipelines. Adobe Premiere may have overtaken the world as the most popular and diversified package, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the speed at which one can churn through massive amounts of footage with precision. Premiere’s file-management features are atrocious, it doesn’t like to adhere to (or even prioritize) timecode, audio sync, color-accuracy during capture or layoff, consistency or project cleanliness, and rudimentary procedures frequently take multiple steps to execute.
Media Composer/Symphony on the other hand, is fast, flexible and powerful in all the things an editor needs day-in, day-out. Need to relink a sequence to material other than what originated it? You can do that. Need to track down files associated with a 1000 edit show, or quickly figure out which files are related to what? There are many ways. Need to trim or edit complex groups of clips without first locking out material you don’t want affected? Yes. How about change clip durations filled with keyframes with or without affecting timings. Or timewarp something without losing timecode. Or apply source settings to groups of clips from bins. Or have multiple iterations of material (even with the same name) with different compressions linking to multiple sequences? How about moving projects between systems without random loss of renders? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
With Avid, metadata is king. And that data can be changed without permanently breaking everything linked within. There are source timeline views, a powerful markers tool, easy to read timecode fields all over the place, and iterative operations (like entering a numerical value on a trim and repeating it over and over).
Now with all of that, why don’t more people use Avid? One reason is it’s deeper, and therefore has a steeper learning curve. It doesn’t come with a complete package of supporting applications for one tidy price. And generally speaking, the majority of users don’t need (or care) for the deeper features a professional editor requires. Conversely, Premiere has a much wider user base, most grass-roots companies (and even agencies) exclusively use the Creative Suite, and it really has focused on being first to adopt new technologies.
So, ultimately, the best system is one part project type, one part market location, and two parts preference. You can always learn both!”
“In my career I worked on basically every edit software there is. When I was in my first year of my BA in Video Editing I worked with Sony Vegas 8. In my second and third year I worked with Final Cut. In my final year of Uni and my freelance work after that I started editing with Premiere Pro. When I went to work in broadcast I worked with Avid. I also had a project where I had to do amends in the DaVincivideo editor. Currently I am working with Premiere Proand the wholeAdobe Creative Suite.
So having in mind that I worked with a lot of software through the years I can safely say that Premiere Prois my favorite to work with. Every program has the basic tool of video editing, but what makes Premiere Pro amazing in my opinion is the easy way you can jump to After Effects, make changes to a graphic and jump back into editing without wasting the time of our clients in unnecessary exports and renders. Also the huge library of all sorts of plug-in for Premiere and After Effects is a big draw for me as well.
Premiere Pro is well supported and often updated by Adobe and with the big family of the Creative Suite plus the huge library of plug-ins, makes it my top choice for editing.”
“Depends on the need. I personally choose Premiere because it’s a really well-rounded program that integrates well with the entire Adobe suite of software. When Final Cut Pro 7 had no professional successor, Premiere was the logical next step.
That being said, there is a solid base for using Avid, especially if you are working with large post-production teams with many shared assets.
When I initially switched to Premiere, some of my crews were still using tape, while others were using XDCAM, P2, SxS cards, etc. It was wonderful to have a software that could read media in its native format, without conversion. This, of course, is standard practice now. At the time, however, it was one of my biggest draws to Premiere.
The reason I have continued to use it is simple: I have no need to switch.
Were I involved in a Hollywood production, I’d use Avid. Were I working at a news station that required live newsroom integrations, I’d use Grass Valley. Were I an expert colorist, but not an editor, I’d try DaVinci Resolve’s editing platform. Were I just starting out, I’d look at Final Cut X.
It’s like going to buy a car. They can all get you from A to B, but they don’t all look the same, sound the same, or have the same features in the luxury package.
Have you ever driven a Toyota Yaris? It’s a tiny car, but what it lacks in luxury, it makes up for in exceptional gas mileage and reliability. I drove one around Ireland once, and then I edited all my footage of the Irish countryside in Premiere.”
“In my experience and in my career I’ve had the opportunity to edit on Avid, Final Cut and Adobe Premiere. Even though each offers distinct ways of working, ultimately the end result is up to the editor not the software.
Over the past 5 years I’ve edited exclusively on Adobe Premiere and that’s largely due to the industry in which I work. In digital media, I would say most companies prefer to work with Premiere. It’s a simple non-linear editor that is very flexible with media, allowing you to drag, drop and edit almost any format. Adobe is constantly updating the software and adding new features, like the Lumetri Color panel, that allows me to quickly grade my footage right inside Premiere. This is important for videos which often require quick turnarounds.
It’s also helpful that Premiere works well with After Effects, Photoshop and Audition. These programs natively talk to each other and essentially add built-in tools and templates that are fully functional inside Premiere.
Film and television have their own industry standard, typically it’s Avid, but for the new world of digital media whose audience lives on smartphones, Adobe Premiere is the tool of choice in most productions.”
Michael R. Colao
“It’s almost a tie for 1st place between Adobe Premiere and Avid, but I have to go with Adobe Premiere.
As an editor, we often wear many hats and the ease of working on a single project across several programs from a single timeline is EXTREMELY powerful and an incredible timesaver. The tools at an editor’s disposal with the Adobe Creative Suite is by far the most impressive/comprehensive of the big 3 (FCP, AVID, ADOBE).
All that being said, every job/project needs the right tool. When I do documentary projects, I prefer Avid. For straight up Multicam Edits, I’ll even consider FCPx (used exclusively at TED). Resolve has also sparked my interest lately. All in all though, I spend 90% of my editing time in Adobe Premiere.”
“I’ve used Premiere Pro as an extension of my experience in animation and visual arts. The direct and intuitive way one can manipulate video effects and juggling a wide range of media give it an edge for short-form projects. Moving video layers will be immediately familiar to heavy Photoshop users, and animating in After Effects is just a link away.”
“Avid and Adobe Premiere Pro are the two best to my knowledge, although I’ve always personally loved working with Final Cut Pro 7.3. But since that really is not heavily supported any longer by Apple, and I’m not too experienced working on Final Cut Pro X – I prefer Avid and Premiere. Premiere, I feel, is bit more user friendly in that its interface is reminiscent of FCP 7. It’s also a lot more seamless when working with After Effects. I like working with sound and navigating the timeline better on Premiere than Avid.
Avid is an amazing editing application overall, however, it still to this day can be a little on the clunky side in terms of ease of use. Personally, I have a love / hate relationship with Avid. Some days it’s my best friend and other times it feels like trying to navigate on a PC (vs a Mac). But overall, in terms of strength, finesse and reliability, I feel Avid is the current nonlinear post-production champ.”
“If I was selecting software to use for the editing jobs I currently do then I would choose Avid Symphony. However, I don’t think it’s the best for all jobs. Each piece of software has its own strengths and different jobs have different requirements.
Avid editing systems are the ones I have used the most so am most familiar with both in offlining and onlining. For the online jobs I currently work on – which are mostly broadcast documentaries and daytime shows – Avid Symphony does an all-round good job.
I think it is important to learn as much as you can about any system you use. That way you can often work your way around limitations and get the result you want.”
“Premiere Pro is both powerful and intuitive, and my go-to when compared to AVID or Final Cut Pro. While AVID is the software most post houses are using now, we’re seeing a shift toward Premiere in many video production companies for its ease of use and ability to handle many different formats of video without issue.
Premiere allows for a considerable amount of control of the editing workflow, but does a lot of work on the back end to ensure that the editing experience is intuitive. This is useful to people who started editing digitally, where AVID is a wonderful software for those who started cutting on film, that has translated editing from the physical film process to a digital platform. It’s not still a
favorite for people who started digital, but I find its tools and particularities to be more cumbersome to learn than Premiere’s. Premiere has a UI that was made to streamline editing digitally, which cuts out a lot of extra steps when working with media that I’ve come across in AVID. This makes it a great editing platform for the “piece-it-all-together” style of online videos and large-scale productions alike. All of the control with less of the tediousness when it comes to setting up projects and transcoding media.
Premiere’s also very powerful because of its connection to the Adobe Creative Suite. “Round-tripping” between Premiere and After Effects (which is the industry standard for motion graphics) is built to be easy. Also, color correction/title creation within Premiere, while not quite as powerful as in DaVinci, AE, or Photoshop, is effective for quick jobs.
I currently work in a small video production company that reaches millions of viewers on YouTube and have worked on film sets using RED and ARRI cameras, and Premiere Pro has served me well in both arenas. I don’t have as much experience in Final Cut Pro/X, but the control over effects and over the editing timeline didn’t compare to Premiere Pro’s when I learned how to use it.
There are tons of tutorials on PP out there so I encourage anyone interested to jump in and give it a try. It’s only made editing (by myself or with a collaborator) easier with every update, and the subscription is affordable.”
Amy Lee Hochman
“The software I would recommend depends on what kind of organization one works for and the workflow that is particular to this setting. For example, most of the time, one will not have the choice but to work with Avid in a broadcast setting. I find that with Avid, it’s easy to be incredibly fast, which is essential to working in news, and that it has the capacity to work well in a multi-user server-based environment. The problem with Avid is that it is not remotely intuitive – one has to learn it. And, Avid crashes. A lot.
For the at-home user, I recommend Premiere Pro. Hands down. I have mostly mapped my keyboard to reflect my Avid settings, as I work most often with Avid, but when I do work from home it’s on Premiere. Even though my keyboard is mapped, I still find Avid to be faster. But I’m not cutting news from home so it’s not as much of an issue.
I like the ease of use with Premiere – I had a job to do from home last year and just downloaded the program and started using it without very much of a learning curve. It also integrates, as it should, seamlessly with the rest of the Adobe products that come with purchasing the whole suite.
And, it’s very cheap – $600 for the entire suite for the year. Depending on one’s level of expertise, that’s less than one day’s pay – totally worth it. If one doesn’t want the whole suite, one can buy the program individually, but I wouldn’t recommend that – as Photoshop, After Effects, and Audition, and Media Encoder will most likely be very useful for the at-home user.”
About Chris Herbert
Founder & Chief Question Asker @Whatsaytheexperts.com. I'm seriously passionate about publishing content that helps. I also love a good coffee!