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follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)

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Frank Black
follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 2:48:26 am

Hi guys,

I have been researching FCP vs Vegas for months now, and only recently -- thanks to a comment by Mr. Shane Ross, I have begun looking for answers regarding output quality.

It seems to be that for my needs, Vegas is what I need. Fast, flexible, and more affordable.

However --

Shane, and so I hope he's reading this, mentioned that FCP doesn't just take any type of file; it takes best quality files (I also appreciated his comment about RAIDs -- made me look at things different finally). And someone else had mentioned that Vegas & FCP both do the same for him, but that the FCP outcome looks "cleaner." But he didn't elaborate.

So is there a difference in quality? Regardless if I'm cutting a web-video, a music video, or a feature, if I want the better final look and sound, will FCP give me something that Vegas won't, or will both be the same?

I've got to add though, that I have a special place in my heart for the design of Apple products -- everything from the logo to the Mac to the look of final cut. But for the meantime, it looks like Vegas is the way for me to go. But will I be sacrificing even a .00001% in quality? Any ideas?

I've heard all the good things about Vegas --
1. No rendering before playback, saving thousands of hours.
2. Everything can be thrown right on the timeline.
3. Many audio tools working right out of the program.
4. Don't need too much hardware.
5. Etc.

Everyone says the same thing. But no one touches the "details" regarding quality in all the FCP/Vegas threads. Would I wanna cut Scarface on Vegas? Can you all help please? And can you please use details, but at the same time use them in simple language as I am a beginner and I don't know all the names of the technologies and processes (perhaps this will teach me), and I am looking for my first editor, and I want it to have the best look it can.

Thank you all.

VL
Brooklyn, NY


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Shane Ross
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 4:44:56 am

[Frank Black] "Shane, and so I hope he's reading this, mentioned that FCP doesn't just take any type of file; it takes best quality files "

I didn't say that. I said that FCP works with SPECIFIC FILE TYPES. Offline RT isn't a high quality codec...it is low res, meant for offline. DV...well, that's DV. It takes a lot of codecs, but only SPECIFIC ones found in the Easy Setup. MOst of them are high quality, but not all of them.

[Frank Black] "So is there a difference in quality?"

I don't think so. I know people who do quality work with Vegas...high quality. It depends what you FEED it. GIGO...Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you feed it high quality, you get back high quality. Feed it garbage, it looks like poo.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 4:55:07 am

So Shane, (thanks for your response) if the quality can be the same, then for what type of workflow would one want FCP over Vegas. And vice-versa.


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Shane Ross
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:25:10 am

Since I haven't even TOUCHED Vegas, that's pretty much impossible for me to answer. I know people who use Vegas for broadcast work (bunked with him in Vegas for a couple days)...commercial, corporate, wedding...whatever. Just need the hardware to get it out. And there is hardware for it...Matrox for example. I just know that in Los Angeles, in what I do (broadcast TV), I don't see it anywhere. Nor for feature film work....it doesn't have the ability to deal with film data.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:45:29 am

Shane, I remember you wrote that you haven't used Vegas. But perhaps in comparison tp what you've heard about Vegas, what is it about FCP that does it for you? And if you can't offer that comparison, is there anything you can tell me about FCP that I may never come across in forums.

And the following might be an amateur question -- when you say it can accept film data, you mean actual "film", right? As opposed to digital video?


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Shane Ross
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:15:38 pm

[Frank Black] "But perhaps in comparison tp what you've heard about Vegas, what is it about FCP that does it for you?"

#1 - It's on a Mac. I can't stand Windows and PCs. Just can't. So that would end that right there.

#2 - FCP does everything I need to do. Imports/Captures all the file types, has hardware to bring in and output video. Has decent media management.

#3 - Is an industry standard. In Hollywood, we need to work with editing apps that a lot of places are. Avid and FCP are those standards. So I use both of those. Vegas is nowhere to be found. So when I get hired to work on shows (A majority of the work I do is as a hired freelance editor), I go to the production company and use what they have. That is either Avid or FCP.

#4 - It comes with a suite of apps that I use. Compressor, DVD SP, Motion, COLOR! As an online editor and Colorist, I really like the addition of a very high end color correcting application.

#5 - It fits into current Hollywood workflows. From start to finish. Output EDLs for tracking footage, OMF for audio post, project files or media files to post houses so that I can output to tape.

But really, I stop at #1.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Scott Sheriff
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:41:09 pm

I give a big thumbs up on Shane's #1 and #2 answers...wait...thumbs up on all of them!


Avid, FCP, AE, and even Media 100 don't really have to 'prove themselves'. These products have been around long enough that even a modest amount of research will tell you if one of these apps will work for you, as they are pretty much 'the standard'. Ask the Vegas users how well it stacks up in day to day use against any of these.
So what Frank really should do is take a trip over to the Cows Vegas forum, as that would be a better place for this discussion. There he will find the answer.
(hint: page after page of flames from disgruntled Vegas users)

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 1, 2010 at 1:34:48 am

Scott, I gotta say, no one is badmouthing vegas. Even the FCP users, as much as they love their FCPs, they're not badmouthing vegas at all. I'm talking about those who have used both FCP & Vegas.

So your comment about disgruntled users at forums, was that a joke or have you actually read some. If so, any particular forum I should check out? Any links perhaps?


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Scott Sheriff
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 2, 2010 at 10:43:10 pm

Frank
"So your comment about disgruntled users at forums, was that a joke or have you actually read some. If so, any particular forum I should check out? Any links perhaps?
"

Sorry, I should have included a link, here it is:
http://forums.creativecow.net/sonyvegas

When viewing this forum in the 1 month view I saw about a dozen flames on the first browser page. Could be op errors, or real bugs, I don't know. We get the same thing here in the FCP forum. Just saying asking FCP folks about Vegas may not get you all the info to make an informed choice.

I used 'crashing' as a search term in the Vegas forum and got about 700 hits.
http://forums.creativecow.net/search.php?q=crashing&f[]=24

Not trying to bash Vegas. They all crash. But if you are thinking about making a move to this platform, this is something to check into.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 3, 2010 at 4:32:53 am

Scott, thanks a lot for the links. I'm looking into this now.


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 1, 2010 at 1:20:52 am

Shane, though I've never used a Mac for more than 2 minutes, I hear exactly what you're saying. I'm in LOVE with Macs, and an Apple for that matter, including the logo itself.

And you make a strong point about "standard."

In case I take a solo approach -- vegas that is -- what would I use instead of FCP Color, which everyone seems to compliment? Could I use an Adobe program to do just as good "color" work?


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Shane Ross
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 1, 2010 at 6:42:28 am

[Frank Black] "Could I use an Adobe program to do just as good "color" work?
"


That, and the Colorista 2 Plugin, will do a good job.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 2, 2010 at 3:51:40 am

AE & Colorista, thank you.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:11:14 am

[Shane Ross] "It depends what you FEED it."

Very funny that you chose that verb too. I used the same term completely independently.

DRW

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:06:30 am

Frank,

We live in times when everyone on the planet can have inexpensive tools capable of great quality, and it's not like there's one app that works and one that doesn't. There isn't a non-linear editor on the market that's not a capable tool able to output incredibly high-quality video, if you feed it incredibly high-quality video.

The only real differences between FCP and Vegas are as follows:

1. FCP works on Apple computers and Vegas works on Microsoft PCs.

2. FCP is used by loads of professionals, and Vegas simply isn't.

It's not because Vegas is bad or produces poor quality, it's just not as popular and not marketed nearly as well. However, if you choose to become a master of Sony Vegas, that decision will most likely relegate you to a life of working independently in virtual isolation, separated from the professionals around you who have chosen to use an application that makes it easy for them to interface with others and easy to find work. Your work will look just as good, but you'll just spend a lot of your time defending why you chose to work with Vegas instead of actually editing. If that's acceptable to you then don't sweat it.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:41:19 am

You guys are both saying that the outcome can be the same with either. This totally answers my question, though I'd love to hear anything additional you might want to say, whether related to this question or just advice you can give someone who's researching to get an NLE and researching to possibly build a PC off of Tiger Direct.

And David, you mention the two main differences. However, everyone on the forums who takes a neutral side says that "the NLE you choose should depend on what you're going to do with it." And Vegas forums are saying that there's no rendering for playback and you can throw everything on the timeline. This creates speed and efficiency. Isn't that what everyone wants? So what kinda workflow should FCP be used for over Vegas? I couldn't find many FCP vs Vegas forums so most FCP forums just discus particular FCP questions posted. So I couldn't get an FCP point of view.

One person did say though (and this was on a vegas forum) that he used FCP for his main work, but used Vegas as a swiss-army knife. This was a two year old post I believe. And it confused me because in the end he mentioned that "he chooses Vegas." Maybe that's because of the reason you mentioned -- that everywhere else FCP is what's used. But that was a maybe. He didnt confirm. So what kinda workflow should FCP be used for over Vegas?


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gabriele gismondi
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 9:26:00 am

Hi friends,
Frank said the right things..I'm using FCP after years using Vegas Pro (now out version 10..amazing stuff) and i had to go to FCP world because i've been asked to in order to get some job..the two stw are rely different in workflow and FCP as the big advantage to come in with the Studio pack (Color, Compressor, DVDStudio, Livetype..) so is kind of all-in-one video editing system, very usefull, very Apple..Vegas comes only with DVDArchitect..then you have to chose all other external apps to do the rest..
Both are great!


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 3:27:40 pm

Gabriele, I have a trial version of Vegas 10 on my PC right now. You say it has amazing stuff -- can you elaborate please.


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gabriele gismondi
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 4:08:40 pm

well, i think i've already took a look at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro for the new features regarding mostly (my point of view) the managing of HD formats as XDCAM, AVCHD and RED as native. Vegas has encreased enourmously from version 6 on and now is really fit to edit and work with the most used video formats in real time (obviously works great with fast CPU and tons of RAM..like others sftws)..and then you go! For me Vegas is something really easy now compared to FCP..to obtain same results (clips quality in timeline makes clip quality in the final output of course)..Vegas great for PC..FCP on Mac. That's it.
Last: i'm from Italy, here Vegas is quiet unkwown..I know Spain and Germany are full of users as in US.
No problems: get what makes you feel better in timeline and gives you work (if you need to).
Best
Gabriele


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 1, 2010 at 1:38:31 am

Thanks Gabrielle. It looks like from their website, that there are four or five new features in the upgrade from Vegas 9 to 10, and one of them is stereoscopic 3D. Not sure what that is or if it even is new? Did 9 have it? What is it? And do other systems have it?


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Lawrence Farr
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Oct 31, 2010 at 7:25:46 pm

Not that it matters (nor do I have any FCP experience) but I actually do run Vegas on my Mac. Obviously, if you dislike the Win OS you dislike the Win OS. But since Mac went Intel Bootcamp, obviously the root machine platform is no longer an impediment that way.

Thanks guys.


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 1, 2010 at 1:40:44 am

Lawrence, I've been meaning to ask about this. What is Boot Camp? Will it run on Leapord or Windows? Will it limit Vegas in any way? Will it limit the Mac in any way? How much does it cost and how does it work? Thanks.


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Stephen Best
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 1, 2010 at 12:59:13 pm

If it's any help, I used Vegas and now use FCP. There's nothing you can do in the FCP suite that you can't do in Vegas and vice versa. The output will be the same, even though workflow is different.

I went to FCP because it is an editing standard. Vegas is not.

One advantage of Vegas is that it runs on PCs which are cheaper for comparable computing power than Macs. Macs, however, seem to me to be more stable than PCs, but modern Windows 7 systems are the most stable PCs yet.

My advice? If you're working on your own productions and don't expect to edit cooperatively with other editors, production companies, or broadcasters, Vegas will be fine. If you're working with or for others, however, FCP will make life easier. Indeed, in some cases if you don't know FCP you won't qualify for editing jobs.

Regards
Stephen Best
http://stephenbest.ca


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Alf Hanna
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:36:52 am

Oh good, a chance to vent on my favorite subject...
Like many here, Gabrielle, I use both Vegas and FCP. I have one monitor, and have run both on two separate machines into that monitor. I've edited hundreds of hours on both Vegas 9 and the current FCP. There is much to like about Vegas, but to be clear, the arguments about 'industry standard' are true. It's like the arguments about Windows years ago, against the Mac, 'everyone uses it'. All the videographers in my neck of the wood use FCP, and think I'm a little odd for liking something other than the dominant paridgm. So when I work with them I religiously transcode to ProRes, though I don't ever need to do waste that time in Vegas, unless I am doing a shoot with multiple camera formats and want to ease huge project rendering, by using Cineform, a much better way to transcode, IMHO.

In video production, you are much better off going through the pain of learning FCP. Believe me, I've never been as mad at a software package as FCP, given it's stupid user interface, inability to do a cross fade as easily as Vegas does, and the abysmal media management. But yes, it's "industry standard". Takes me right back to dBase programming. Vegas does many of the same tasks *vastly* faster and better. But, *everyone* is using FCP, except numerous production houses that don't..somehow they are making money...(G). Some flaws with Vegas: it has a hard time real time playing AVCHD clips, from what I've seen. Their lack of use of independent graphics card processing offloading is really criminal, and their supposed fixes for that have never worked for me. Oddly, or not, they have just issued fixes for their AVCHD playback, they claim in 10, as Sony launches support for the AVCHD standard, which they wrote with Panasonic years ago.

So I prefer FCP for it's flawless playback of my HD, and it's white balance and color correction over Vegas, though believe me, I'm no expert in grading. But I see distinct color improvement when correcting *the same footage* with FCP. Why? I have no idea. No one on the Vegas boards can clarify.

For many simple jobs, interviews, etc. I just do Vegas, and then go back to FCP. But I have had the luxury of buying both. If I had to buy only one, it would be FCP. And get FCP Power Skills to learn what the stupid documentation doesn't tell you.

I'm looking forward to being able to try out Adobe at some point. But their track record doesn't make me think they can do better than Apple. At least I'll have my choice of lower cost hardware. If they offer a decent competitive upgrade,I might just dump Apple hardware. It seems the new SE folks in SF are doing a lot with Adobe these days. And yes, Avid is out there. But I'm not that kind of pro.

So, yes, if you want to play well with others, learn FCP, drink lots of wine at the end of the day and take walks to vent the anger of dealing with a substandard user interface, and put up with it so you get jobs when they come your way.

I think we are a good 10 years off from getting the interface we deserve, the power we need, and a product that runs on cheap industry standard hardware. Neither of these products are it yet...well back to work..

(G)

Alf


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Frank Black
Re: follow-up to FCP vs Vegas (wondering about QUALITY)
on Nov 5, 2010 at 4:14:27 am

Stephen and Alf, thanks guys. In this thread and from other research, I have learned a lot about both FCP and Vegas and a lot about how editing systems must re-compress when changes are made, thereby resulting in a lost of quality, and for this reason a higher quality codec will eventually result in less of a loss. Also that it is better for system performance and finished product to work in one codec, especially if you will be jumping from system to system, such as Color.


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