Non-linear editing system poll, which one FCPX or Adobe Premiere?



The results are in! More than 500 folks participated in my impromptu poll. Above are the detailed results.

As I watched the poll unfold over the course of the last few days, it continually held steady at around 60/ 40 in favor of Adobe Premiere, despite one user- you know who you are– who tried to stuff the ballot box, by visting the poll everyday and continually voting for FCPX for several minutes. Shame on you. You wasted your time, oh those precious moments lost in time like tears in rain. You could’ve spent that time learning Premiere ;)

Thank you all for taking part. The main purpose of the poll was to help solidify or dispell a hunch I have about which NLE to learn and teach in the coming years, months, days or however long before something else comes along and upsets the NLE apple cart.

As a bit of background, I started learning and teaching FCPX from its initial release. I’m a huge fan. It’s a truly amazing program and I suspect will only get better. It’s not perfect but neither was FCP7.  I believe that FCPX will ever be able to recover from the initial backlash after its release. It’s my opinion that all the resistance came from influential folks in the blogosphere who only dabbled in the program. They where so turned off by its initial “look” and lack of certain features that they literally wrote it off. We all listened. A few of us actually used it long enough to realize its beauty, by then it was too late, despite Apple restoring key features, the coffin was closed.

In the end, our newsrooms, universities and entrepreneurial workstations need to be editing with something. We’ve held off long enough, hoping that Apple would change their mind and restore the industry standard, FCP7. But now, we have to make a decision. I’ve decided, it’s going to be Adobe Premiere. Wait, didn’t I say I loved FCPX? Let me explain.

I don’t think we’ll see a clear leader like FCP7 for a long time. I think we’re going to be living in a divided NLE ecosystem. I also believe, if a more formal and scientific poll was conducted 12 months from now, across all industries and schools, Adobe Premiere would emerge as the only NLE that comes close to widespread adoption. If I were a betting man, I’d bet on Premiere as the one NLE that schools and workshops end up teaching and therefore setting a new trend. It’s just a hunch.

My informal poll is a step towards confirming my suspicion. I’m certainly not trying to kick the hornet’s nest about which NLE is better. I’m just trying to give a bit of background as to why I created the poll in the first place and my thought process about which NLE I’ll be using and teaching.

Enjoy the ride, whichever NLE you decide, I’ll see you during the next twist or turn.



Sorry Avid lovers it’s just not an NLE I see having an impact in the multimedia journalism world.


  1. Interesting survey. I might have stuck it out with FCPX even with all of its issues, because it has such great potential. But over this past year I’ve been getting this sinking feeling that Apple is turning its back on the Pro market. Look at Lightroom vs Aperture, as an example. Premiere may not be the leap forward that FCPX could be, but I feel more comfortable that Adobe will answer my needs. The sad thing is that it wouldn’t have taken much from Apple to have kept me and others with FCPX. I really wanted to go in that direction, but when I looked at it as a business/professional decision, I decided it was too risky to invest all that time on a new program that Apple may only slowly tinker with, even at the great price it is offered for.

  2. On a tangential note, it is not a bad idea for anyone in the moving images world to be comfortable with multiple NLE’s. While there are only so many hours in the day, I think acquiring more technical skills* than the average bear will go along way.

    (*aforementioned skills = nearly worthless without good storytelling ability.)

  3. so true i’ve found once you really dive head first into any NLE it’s not too difficult to navigate a new system. kinda like getting used to a new house, eventually you find out where all the light switch are!

  4. My crew loves FCPX and so does my employer’s budget. The cost difference between FCPX and Adobe Premiere makes FCPX the best option for us.

  5. I have grown very weary of all the talk about missing pro features in FCPX. Yes, there are things missing. But when it comes to bang for the buck, especially for newspaper shooters and those who produce short pieces – the majority of people who read this blog – then you simply can’t beat FCPX. No, you likely won’t see many Hollywood features cut on it or many TV series – though there are a few – but for the individual user cutting things while in a parked car at a news scene or putting together short docs, it will be the best $299 you ever spent.
    If you like Premier, use it. If you need After Effects, cough up the cash for the suite. Me, I’ll stick with FCPX and maybe buy a few accessories to help me shoot better video with the money I have left over.

  6. todd and mike,

    I agree 100 % with both of you. as I stated in the post– it wasn’t meant to stir the pot, I simply wanted to conduct a quick and informal poll to see where folks who follow this blog are leaning.

    In my new position as an educator, I have the added responsibility of preparing an entire class of grad students, every year, for the working world. I can’t reasonably predict the NLE ecosystem they will enter. In the past it was an easy call to teach them the industry standard, FCP7. That covered many options, from heavy documentary work to freelancing with the affordable option of FCP Express.

    I’m glad to hear your confidence in your choice–use what works for you and or your organization–it’s all we can do, now that we’ve lost a one size fits all solution.

  7. I went with FCPX for my work as a multimedia producer at Ohio Northern University and I like it. However, for my freelance work I went with Premiere. It felt more like a full featured professional program. When I teach video editing it will be with Premiere. I feel its prudent to learn both platforms.

  8. If Apple and PC computers cost the same I think more people would prefer Final Cut. The most popular editing program will be the one you can use on the machine you can afford, or your employer is willing to pay for.

  9. The poll doesn’t really measure the popularity of either product, nor does it measure who will be using which program. It only measures who will switch and the universe of FCP users is tremendously bigger than Premiere users as a professional editing tool. There are dozens of other factors that go into making a decision to acquire and/or train people to use either FCP or Premiere. The percentage could be 100% of the “impromptu” poll responders and it still would not mean very much. Obviously, the people conduction the poll want to send Apple a message and have fashion a question to get a certain measured response. I happen to agree with sending Apple a message, and one that I agree with, but don’t pretend to be survey scientists with an unbiased survey.

  10. I agree this is not an accurate poll nor are its methods unbiased. Last I checked Adobe Premiere CS6 has a discount internet price tag of $739 (B&H Photo unless you want the neutered version). FCP has one price and it’s $299. Adobe still doesn’t get it. Anyone who says Apple products and productivity is expensive is either a fool or a blind idiot.