Premiere Pro CC Vs FCPX 10.1 Vs Media Composer 7

Premiere Pro CC Vs FCPX 10.1 Vs Avid Media Composer 7

Which NLE should I use?

If there is one question that gets asked most frequently when two editors meet it is: What are you cutting on? I don’t think that the answer matters as much now ‘kudos’ wise, although you might get some raised eyebrows if the answer is something that falls outside of ‘the big three’: Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro or Premiere. But if you’re still trying to decide which one to learn first (or next) then, whatever your choice, hopefully this post will help.

In this short video Dave Dugdale shares his thoughts on which NLE you might want to go for based on an informal survey that he did on his site. Premiere Pro comes out on top – which is more a reflection of Dave’s readership – who are far more consumer than prosumer, or even professional. Either way, interesting stats from a different perspective.

Oliver Peter’s has written up an interesting comparison of these three NLEs, from the perspective of what working post production professionals might be thinking about and covers some interesting topics like how easily you are able to move the installation between machines. Ultimately Peter’s summaries:

There is no clear winner among these three. If you are on Windows, then the choice is between Adobe and Avid. If you need 4K output today, Apple or Adobe are your best option. All three handle a wide range of popular camera formats well – especially RED. If you like tracks – go Avid or Adobe. If you want the best application for the new Mac Pro, that will clearly be Apple Final cut Pro X. These are all great tools, capable of any level of post production – be it commercial, corporate, web, broadcast entertainment or feature films. If you’ve been on the fence for two years, now is the time to switch, because there are no bad tools – only preferences.

NLE Cost Comparisons

Avid Media Composer 7

Another post that you might also want to check out is this round up I wrote over on PremiumBeat – which also compared the price points of the three systems, in which you can’t really beat the price point of FCPX $299 for a one-time purchase, although it’s a little like comparing one apple to an apple tree given the number of applications you get from Adobe for your money.

FCPX $299 | Avid Media Composer 7 $999 | Premiere Pro CC $49/month

That said, the only company still charging for updates is Avid – when making the jump between versions – while Adobe and Apple have made their updates completely free. (Well, Adobe customers are paying for them each month, so only Apple’s are technically actually ‘free’)

So, Which Editing Software Should I Learn?

Which NLE should I learn?

The simple answer is – all of them! The more languages you speak, the most countries you can comfortably inhabit, therefore the more NLE’s you can use the more places you can work.

That said, a better question is – where do you want to work? If you want to work in any heavily established post-house they are more than likely to still be embedded with Avid, so learn Avid. FCPX seems to be capable of doing the most interesting things workflow wise, (see here and here and here) so if you’re looking to be more of a maverick then go with that. Premiere is the safe option for FCP7 shops moving forward, so if those are the kind of places you are likely to be working, then this is an obvious choice.

Understanding the differences between NLEs

FCPX Grill PodcastIf you’re wondering why anyone is using FCPX instead of Premiere or Avid then the FCPX Grill podcast series from digitalCinemaCafe will help you hear from editors who are using the software as an integral part of their workflow.

Another series that is well worth checking out is Oliver Peter’s month long series of NLE Tips, which will help you learn a few vital pointers for Avid, FCPX and Premiere.

NLE Tips for Avid Media Composer | NLE Tips for FCPX | NLE Tips for Premiere Pro CC

More Posts on Comparing NLEs

Which NLE should I learn?

I’ve previously blogged about this topic a few times – here are the top 3 posts (the most recent first) that you might also want to check out because they are all packed with lots of still, very applicable insights.

Premiere Pro Next Vs FCPX 10.0.8

Comparing FCPX and Premiere Pro CS6

Premiere Pro Vs FCPX


  • Thanks for a nice survey and honest points instead of politically correct statements.

    I think one of the great things that often people tend to overlook (like I did) is that with each vendor there are enough updates and frequent enough that the total cost to keep current is just about equal (total cost of update spread over time) with the fee that Adobe offers through its’ CC version . . AND . . with the Adobe CC one has “all” the Master Suite of goodies instead of just ONE app.

    For me, it was simple, being a FCP7 user (producing over 100 TV programs a year plus events and commercials) FCP7 was getting to hard to use with file based video AND then to top it off Apple parked me in a box with making it necessary to update to Mavericks in order to purchase FCPX. Resultingly, because of all the issues we had heard of with Mavericks (formatting HDD including Ken Stone’s own Mavericks issues) Adobe seemed the only viable option. We’d already been an Avid Media Composer user and experienced minimal tutorial and forum support and almost equal experience with FCP X trial on one of our machines and were totally satisfied with the tutorial offerings with Adobe PP. 🙂

  • Great guidance jolly Jonny. I want to learn NLE professionally from an institute in mumbai & the Tutor says he only has primiere to teach me on& I can easily catch up with avid if I know primiere as only tools & interface differ. how true & practical it is according to you ? As I want to make career in film making.

    • Hi Rizo, firstly the most important thing is learning how to edit to tell stories and make the films achieve their purpose. That you can learn from a good tutor on any software. Also premiere is a great piece of software that is very affordable and will run on both PC and Mac. (As will Avid and Lightworks)

      So although lots of the established studios and TV stations are entrenched with Avid the field is pretty wide open and at the end of the day you cant ever tell what anything has been cut on when you’re watching it, so it doesn’t really matter. What matters most is telling a story well.

      So if that is the opportunity available then go for it. Or buy a copy of Avid and try to transpose your teachers input into Avid if you really want to? But Premiere is good and if David Fincher is using it on his latest film (Gone Girl) then it’s plenty good enough.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.