Why Would You Switch to Final Cut?

There are reasons to stay with the editor we know, the one that comes with our monthly subscriptions. But, could you be convinced to reconsider your decision? Here are 5 reasons I believe are strong enough to make you do just that.

In order to compare apples with apples, I will assume you use Photoshop, Lightroom, and then Premiere Pro for either a side-hustle, hobby, or as part of your service offering. You might also use After Effects, but it’s not something you’re specialized in.

Reason 1: You’ll Own the Software

Since 2011, you could buy Final Cut Pro, and it’s yours for $300 still today. That’s a very low price for an NLE, especially if you compare it to a subscription like that of Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Let’s do that with the $299.99 for Final Cut with Photoshop and Lightroom, and a year’s subscription of Creative Cloud. Adobe also offers a Photography subscription, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom for desktop and iPad and a 20GB cloud storage space on their Creative Cloud. It costs just $9.99 per month.

Premiere Pro User

FInal Cut User

Creative Cloud (pm)


Final Cut Pro


Apple Motion


Lightroom + Photoshop  (pm)


Over Time

1 Year (12 x $50)


12 X $11,99 + Final Cut and Motion Cost


2 Years (24 x $50)


LR+ PS Sub ($11,99 X 12 x 2)


5 Years (5 x 12 x $50)


LR+ PS Sub ($11,99 X 12 x 5)


10 Years (120 x $50)


LR+ PS Sub ($11,99 X 12 x 10)


So if we do the calculation, for the first year, you would save $167 if you switched to FC. In fact, you can even add a 2TB iCloud or Google Cloud subscription for $9.99 and you’ll still pay less than the Creative Cloud option. So it’s not really saving you much, but it’s giving you more bang for your buck during the first year for sure. And, because you don’t have to rent the software or buy it again, it gets really interesting in the second year. You would save $1032, which is the price of a great lens.

At the end of the fifth year, you would save $2580. We’re talking about a whole new camera body’s cost over here. Or, you could pay off your fully speced-out Macbook Pro if you’re switching to Mac from PC.

Ok, So It’s Cheaper, But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Better

Sure, dynamic linking to After Effects and the way to get good sound for the dialogue with Audition is really simple and works great. But, I would say Final Cut, Apple Motion, and Logic has even better quality media coming out of it, and the file management, the magnetic timeline and the way to tag certain cuts make editing much quicker and much more fun than in Premiere Pro.

Reason 2: File Management

With Premiere Pro, you have an in (shortcut ‘i’) and out (shortcut ‘o’) which you use to select the certain part of the footage in the clip you want to use. With Final Cut, you can have several ins and outs per clip, so if there is one long piece of footage, you don’t have to go drag it in, cut it up, and Ripple Delete as you do in Premiere Pro. You can set your multiple ins and outs, and you can add to the tags or let it create automatic tags so It’s all done and ready to be added to the timeline by just dragging it in.

For the project I was testing, during the import, it was working in the background and created smart filters with tags for single person shots and close-ups. So it’s already giving me filters to work with, so I can get the usable footage ready to take it into the timeline. The ones framed in red were done automatically, and the ones framed in green are the ones I made.

Reason 3: Editing

You can scrub through footage, without any delay or dropped frames, and find certain shots in long clips and tag them with keywords, which you can then use when moving into the cutting process. So it’s as though they’ve changed the idea of editing, which I always considered to be when working in the timeline. Now, the pre-cutting phase would be to keyword and tag clips and parts of clips to make the editing easier and quicker.

You can also use the Audition feature. This feature lets you select several clips that you think will work well in a certain spot in the sequence, and exchange them with a click to preview which one suits the story best. Premiere Pro doesn’t have anything like this.

The Magnetic Timeline got a lot of flack since 2011, but I would recommend that if you’re really interested, you watch this video that was filmed by the audience and edited together after the event. It gives you a great overview of why certain things work the way they do in Final Cut.

I like the Magnetic Timeline. It makes me feel at ease and not like I’m going to break the sequence if I move something around. The Final Cut Timeline isn’t as frail as that of Premiere Pro. And, if you’ve used Logic, Apple’s music production app, the magnetic timeline is rather familiar, and not having it seems primitive.

Finally, these tags will make life much easier and interesting in the long run. You’ll be able to create a showreel for the year by just using the tags you’ve created during the year. I always wondered how Casey Neistat found the footage of his past so conveniently, to use in his daily vlogs. He’s an avid Final Cut user. Go figure.

Ok, But It’s Not the Industry Standard

Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but it’s hard to say which NLE really dominates. According to some, Avid is the most-used NLE in the TV, broadcast, and the film industry. Premiere Pro dominates the creative motion graphic orientated video market and perhaps the YouTube video space, but Final Cut is used across both of these industries. It’s made to facilitate telling visual stories, and it does that very well in any shape or form.

Reason 4: It’s Built For Mac

The same company that builds the hardware builds the software, and with the new M1 chips, it’s going to be very hard for you to find a dropped frame or any lag. It’s going to be stable, and faster than any other NLE on the market.

Reason 5: They’re Giving Us a 3 Month Trial

That’s right, you can download a trial version and learn how to use it for free. That way, you can continue with Premiere Pro if you like, and compare what works the best is for you.

What I Don’t Like

The naming of the file structure is confusing. Apple is supposed to make things as intuitive as the home button used to be on an iPhone, but I think calling it Library, Event, and Project can put some people off the process of actually learning how to use the software. So my advice is to watch this video, and follow the steps.

With Apple, there is an eco-system. And, they build complete solutions, and don’t make it easy to move your projects to other NLEs like DaVinci Resolve for colorists to work with. So the collaboration is possible, but not done as easily as with Adobe’s new Teams functionality. Creativity is collaborative, and it should be something they focus on next. 

What I Like

I liked the three month free trial so I could try it out. I liked the ease of scrubbing and the application running in the background doing its tagging, stabilization (which can be deactivated in the preferences) of all the clips you’ve imported. I liked the fact that I could scrub over effects and see what it would look like on the actual footage I wanted to use it on, all live and in the playback monitor. It was a different experience of editing, and made me think about the story I wanted to tell instead of going straight into the edit like I used to do with Premiere Pro. It’s almost as if it was guiding me to think in a more creative way while removing any distractions and technical settings and letting me get going with plotting it all out. 


If you’re going to be producing video with music from stock libraries like Epidemic Sound or Artlist, or if you’re going to be making the music and modifying the audio yourself, Final Cut Pro is going to be a great NLE to work with. If you’re thinking about changing to Final Cut Pro, check this video to understand even more. 

What NLE is your preference, and if it’s Premiere, can you tell us why, other than it being included in the Creative Cloud subscription? Please let us know in the comments.


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