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Why I Switched Back to Final Cut Pro

Tanner Shinnick

After two months with FCPX, I have decided to make the switch from Premiere. Here’s why.

A couple months ago, I posted an article about how I was considering switching to FCPX. You can read that article here for more detail on why I was considering the switch.

Since then, I have been using and learning Final Cut Pro X. Switching from Adobe Premiere Pro did present some challenges; however, the transition was not as difficult as I had imagined — especially compared to FCPX’s initial release. To be honest, I liked working in FCPX far more than I anticipated. Granted, there still were a few matters that I didn’t enjoy about the NLE, but overall it was a good experience. I’ll detail some of the reason why I like and dislike the platform.

Why I Switched Back to Final Cut Pro — FCPX

Image via fcp.co.


Pro: Touchbar Integration

Over the last few months, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Premiere and FCPX, simply because I had older projects in Premiere that I had been working on. Oddly enough, when working in Premiere, I would find myself reaching for the Touchbar far more often than I expected. This tool, which I once considered super gimmicky, has become part of my usual toolset. I find myself using it frequently to minimize and maximize timeline sizes, import footage, and a variety of other uses. It’s been a surprisingly useful tool for my editing process.

Why I Switched Back to Final Cut Pro — Touchbar

Pro: Performance and Speed

In my previous post, you can see video comparisons of FCPX to Premiere based on speed. This was the biggest selling point to me to make the switch. Apple hardware and software working efficiently together make a great combination. This is what I paid the most attention to while working in FCPX.

From my first export, I recognized noticeable speed increases over exporting the same project in Premiere that were comparable to similar tests I had seen online.

The background rendering feature is, simply put, awesome. It was extremely useful to be able to continue editing another project during an export without having to send to another program like Media Encoder — as you would have to with Premiere. When you need to export multiple videos very quickly, this becomes a very useful feature.

Pro: Third-Party Plugins

There are some great third-party plugins for FCPX. The one that I found the most beneficial was Color Finale by Color Grading Central. The built-in color tools of FCPX are a little sub-par. However, Color Finale offers professional color grading in FCPX. It is a little aggravating that you have to pay $150 for color tools that pretty much come standard in Premiere, but it is well worth the purchase.

In addition to the plugin, there are also great resources for learning Color Finale.

Why I Switched Back to Final Cut Pro

Con: No After Effects Integration

We all knew this would never happen. That aside, while working in FCPX over the past couple of months, I have missed dynamic linking with After Effects. It hasn’t been a huge issue since I can still use AE and just import the exported compositions. The issue has simply been getting used to a less efficient workflow. I had become so accustomed to dynamic linking compositions within Premiere. Yes, I could move over to Motion, but let’s not get crazy here. One step at a time.

Honestly, that’s really the only con that I’ve found. Yes, there are some things that bother me about FCPX, like the magnetic timeline, but those usually end up being user errors that I can easily find solutions for. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed editing in FCPX. So much, in fact, that I’ve been starting all my new projects with the program. I’m sure I’ll still edit in Premiere every now and then, but FCPX has won me over and is now my NLE of choice.

Which NLE do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.