We've been very active over the past few months in LinkedIn group discussions. There are several really great groups with very knowledgable professionals participating. Some of the groups you can find us in include Video Editors, Digital Video Editing, Adobe Premiere, Creative COW, Avid, EDIUS professional users, Film TV Professionals, Post Production Professionals, FCPUG Netwrok Community and Final Cut Pro Video Editing. What I like so much about LinkedIn groups is that they tend to be filled with professionals, using the gear we sell to make money or as part of their career. It's not so much technical support discussions, but more about the business side of Video Editing & Production. I highly recommend that video professionals join LinkedIn and start participating in some of these groups.
The following post was made by Tim Kolb in the LinkedIn Video Editors group. The topic "What is the best video editing software in industry?" There are close to 100 comments already.
--Nothing is more established in the broadcast/entertainment field than Avid ...it has the most trained users there. The premise was to replace the analog tape editing environment, so its user-operations still most closely mimic the shuttle-set in/shuttle-set out, keyboard-driven metaphor.
The tradeoff: Native format support still really isn't competitive, even with AMA, so transcoding to an Avid codec is still helpful, and you're limited to video resolutions only... Also, if you're younger than 30, the operating metaphor can feel a little limited as so few us just "cut" any more.
---Nothing is faster than Edius. On a given Windows computer platform configuration, the response can be mind-boggling. Native format support is equal to Adobe and Vegas.
The tradeoff: Traditionally (I think they've been adding back some "non-real-time features over the past couple years) any features that were not able to be fast are not there.
--Nothing is as freaky-brilliant as Vegas...once you are a proficient user of the envelope features in Vegas, you've been putting video and audio tracks in any order you want them in the visual stack, and running multiple versions of the app open at the same time (though come to think of it, I haven't tried this recently), other NLEs can feel a bit lacking in the versatility department.
The tradeoff: The interface is still just different enough from the "conventional" that it can be challenging to re-learn how to think about editing extensively enough to realize the power of the feature set fast enough to feel productive quickly.
--Nothing will influence future features of its competitors like FCPX (...I'll be getting mail on this one). FCPX was a huge step (good or bad as you like) not only in interface, but in taking a stand on what features to streamline, overhaul...or leave out altogether. It's not that the resulting package is necessarily optimal, but there are interesting approaches inside the application that will be aped in various ways by competitors no doubt.
The tradeoff: FCPX will remain a tough sell on the high end as expert reseller support was usually what carried the day with FCP. Apple has never really done the integrating of FCP with the video/film world...your reseller typically knew what config was best for you and which I/O cards were right for your situation...the "geniuses" who can help you with your iPod issues will likely fall short in this area.
--Nothing has the feature film pedigree that Lighworks has... Before you tell me that Avid has more films, I will point to the fact that Lightworks has been used by some of the best known film editors out there, and had credibility in that niche that was unequalled. Lightworks' strength is that it is an editing system...very streamlined. Launching the app with a new project takes about 5 seconds.
The tradeoff: There are fewer and fewer of us who have the luxury of using software optimized for one set of tasks, as much as the speed and productivity benefits are self-evident. The feature-set of Lightworks is razor-focused relative to the Adobe Suite, and many will see that as being a bit limiting.
---Nothing has the sheer, awesome, power of destruction and creation that the Adobe Suites have. The sheer breadth of tools and the ability to avoid rendering for component tasks through features like Dynamic Link is unique, even among those software manufacturers who's software portfolios have various levels of "sibling product awareness". PPro's muscle to handle big footage like DPX is moving it into the high end world very quickly...
The tradeoff: If FCPX is a case study in how to optimize and streamline an editor, Premiere Pro is about leaving no feature behind. PPro needs considerable hardware configs to run productively, so on lighter hardware, a front-end asset transcode with Avid or FCP still has "speed of thought" advantages within the edit for many.
I am an Adobe user BTW.