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Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer

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Kristofer Dowdell
Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:34:45 am

Greetings!

I was hoping I could get some advice on which video editing software I should get for my computer: FCP X or Adobe Premiere 5.5? It's a 2009 MacBook with 4GB of RAM running OSX 7.2.

I just started using FCP 7 extensively this semester for class projects, and the like, so that's the only professional video software I've used. I'm aware that FCP and Avid are among the top applications used in the industry, but Avid is just out of my reach budget wise. However, I am also aware that projects created in FCP 7 are not compatible with FCP X. I've also been looking into Adobe CS 5.5, as it contains Premiere and After Effects.

Since I'm a student I can get Adobe CS 5.5 for a discounted price ($449.00) while FCP X, Motion 5, and Compressor 3 would cost $400 all together. Since I'm a beginner what software would benefit me more in the long run? Which software do most companies and firms use?


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TImothy Auld
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:53:18 am

You cn get the academic version of Avid (which is exactly the same as the full version) for $299.

Tim


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Kristofer Dowdell
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:56:26 am

Thanks for the reply Tim!

I just looked into the educational version of Avid and it does fit within my budget well. I looked at the system requirements and unfortunately, my computer doesn't have the power to run the software; but it's definitely something I will consider when I purchase my next machine in the future.


-Kris


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Carsten Orlt
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:27:51 am

Hi,

Ultimately the one that you feel most comfy with. Sorry but it is a very personal thing as reading this forum will confirm.

I would start with the question what you want to do with it? Do you have tape based footage or do you need to lay down to tape? Than right now your only options are Avid, Premiere or getting a copy of Final Studio 3.

If you don't need the above but really want to get into the editing game as a profession I would probably say Avid right now as it is the most wide spread. If you don't set up your own system you will come across the others too but most likely it'll be Avid and FCP 7.

Now if you just want to cut your own stuff as you're primarily a video producer I highly recommend having a go at FCPx. I have a friend who is a professional editor coming from film and who was never comfortable using computers. Neither is he a technical person who understands all the in and outs of SD vs HD and HD's myriads of formats. When I was talking to him about future projects and the difficulty picking the right workflow using FCP7 it dawned on me why Apple was so radical with FCPx. It takes away 80% of the usual technical bull we have to deal with. I do work with it since it came out so this is not from reading but from experience.

Anyhow you'll will get many different opinions. Do your own research as everybody's conclusion might be different. My editor of choice is FCPx now and only if I need certain functionality I will use my FCP7 (capture and lay to tape, OMF). I cut our own 1 hour docs and I'm an editor for 27 years starting with NLE's 18 years ago.

Hope this helps a little

Carsten


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Kristofer Dowdell
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:47:47 am

Thanks a lot for your input Carsten!

As of right now FCP 7 is the only professional software I've used so far, since it's the only one my school currently uses, so I am pretty much comfortable with it. Also, all of the footage I've shot is on an SD card so I just want to be able to edit that kind of footage.

In addition, if FCP 7 and Avid are pretty much the most wide spread editing softwares used, as you have suggested, I may have to look into getting a copy of FCS 3. I just want to be able to have access to software that I can use when I'm not at school, but at the same time is also widely used in the field of video editing.

Question is though, will my computer be able to run FCS 3 since I have OSX 7.2 on it?

Again, your feedback is much appreciated!


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Michael Hancock
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 3:45:07 am

Download the trial of Avid and run it for 30 days to see if it chokes your system or runs. It might run ok, even though your system doesn't meet the recommended specs. Plus, the $295 cost includes 4 years of free upgrades since you're a student. It's hands down the best deal on any NLE for a student.

Otherwise, go with Adobe. You'll be hard pressed to find FCP7 anymore and I highly doubt it will be less than $300, and since it's a dead product you'll just be learning software that's being phased out everywhere.

I learned on Avid and used it on my first three jobs, been on FCP for the last 8 months at my current job and in January we're transitioning completely to Adobe. It's worth it to know Avid, and if you know FCP7 then you pretty much know Premiere Pro. They're very, very similar.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Kristofer Dowdell
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:32:59 am

Thanks for the reply Mike!

One of the things I like about the Adobe suite is that I can get several applications at an extensive discount instead of paying $999.00 for it. I would definitely be getting more bang for my buck.

Also, if I were to go ahead and go with the Adobe CS 5.5 what training books would you recommend? I used the Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro 7 in class and it was very helpful and easy to follow along. I want to know if there are any books for Adobe that are similar to the FCP one?

-Kris


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Michael Hancock
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:01:21 pm

[Kristofer Dowdell] "Also, if I were to go ahead and go with the Adobe CS 5.5 what training books would you recommend? I used the Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro 7 in class and it was very helpful and easy to follow along. I want to know if there are any books for Adobe that are similar to the FCP one?"

I really can't make a recommendation on training book. I just opened the program and started using it. When I ran into a roadblock I'd search the web (mostly CreativeCow and adobe.com) or read the help files.

These videos helped explain the program: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/moving-to-adobe-premiere-pro-/

Premiere operates sort of like Avid and sort of like FCP. There are some things about it that drive me insane, but overall I feel like it's a great replacement for FCP but not to Avid's level yet. I expect Premiere Pro 6 to see huge improvements as the FCP crowd moves over and starts submitting feedback (I submitted about 10 feature requests the first day I used it).

Good luck with whatever you choose, and make sure to visit the Premiere or Avid forums here when you get stuck.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:04:13 pm

I would get the Production Premium Suite from Adobe in which the academic version is $445. With this you not only get Premier Pro but you will get After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Audition among even more applications. With Avid or FCPX all you get is a video editor. Ask anyone doing editing and I'd be willing to bet 99% of them use Photoshop or some equivalent program somewhere in their editing. After Effects, bar none, is the premier effects generating software package to own. I know lots of FCP editors, that use AE on a daily basis for generating their effects. I think you will get the most bang for your buck with this purchase. If you already started to learn FCP, you can set up PP to use FCP keyboard shortcuts and the layout of PP is very similar to FCP. I use PP, AE, Photoshop, Illustrator & Audition on a almost daily basis. Getting the entire suite for that low of a price is a steal.

I would do what some others have recommended too, ie, go ahead and download the 30 trial of Avid MC6. I just did that myself. It is a very impressive package. For me and the customers I serve, it's incremental improvements over PP and FCPX are simply not worth the cost delta as I really don't require those features, but it's nice to have 30 days to check it out non the less.

As far as training goes, especially for the Adobe suite, nothing beats Lynda.com. The total number of training videos that they have for PP, AE and Photoshop alone are gold vs any how-to book you can buy. For $250/yr you can get access to all of their entire library sans download of the material. For $375/yr you can get the material for download. Lots of free training on all of these apps on the Cow, YouTube too. I'm sure you've seen that YouTube is a bit of a mixed bag. I've seen some good training vids there but for every good on there are about 20 terrible ones. Takes you a bit to sift through all the noise to find something worth while.


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Dominick Verstoep
Re: Recommended video editing software for amateur video producer
on Dec 18, 2011 at 9:18:55 pm

Hi,

Do take into account that the final cut pro x apps (motion and compressor included) are the commercials ones, so you are allowed to edit other projects that only your private/school projects.

With avid educational and Adobe education you can only edit private projects and when you finish school your license will become worthless. Avid checks up with your school and they also confirm the date you will be finishing up, they will let you know you have to buy a new license.

With adobe the same, they state on their website it's for private use only, so you can still use it after school but not in a commercial sense. So putting it on youtube and earning money from adsense is 'commercial' so not allowed under the license.

This is the reason I went with FC(P)x for now, it's a affordable piece of software which only gets better, I hope.....


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