The Moving Picture: Apple Final Cut Studio vs. Adobe CS5 Production Premium

Jan OzerEventDV by Jan Ozer

The launch of Adobe CS5 brings to bear the obvious comparison with Final Cut Studio (FCS). Since life has been far too quiet lately, I decided to tackle this subject, but from the perspective of the totally new user, not the experienced user who would rather fight than switch. In other words, what would you say if a total newbie asked, "Which should I use, FCS 3 or Adobe CS5?"

Let's start with price. At Videoguys.com, you can buy CS5 Production Premium for $1,599 and FCS 3 for $949. But your newbie will need an image editor. The most likely candidate is Photoshop CS5, which costs about $700. Add that to $949, and you're at $1,649, which is close enough to the cost of CS5 to call this one a draw.

Now let's look at the suite components. For the sake of this one-page column, let's call the NLEs a draw in terms of functionality and usability. If you're a beginner, you'll like Motion (FCS) a whole lot more than the cryptic After Effects (CS5), though After Effects is clearly the professional tool that you should aspire to master. I'll call Soundbooth (CS5) and Soundtrack Pro (FCS) even, although the noise removal tools in Soundbooth are extraordinary. read more...

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