Here at The Division we create reality TV. We have a couple shows on air right now, and a few in development. Since the very beginning of our company, we've been all about Final Cut Pro for editing.
About 6 months ago, our company made the decision to switch to Adobe Premiere CS6 as our primary editing app. So for the last half-year or so, we have a few thoughts. Here's some of the features in Premiere CS6 that we have grown to really love...
Mac or PC
Don't get us wrong, we love editing on Mac, but it's no secret that you can get a similarly spec'd PC for a fraction of the price. Premiere runs on Windows or OS X, so you can set up an editing station for much less money. That's great if you're on a budget!
We deal with hundreds of clips every day. Most of them are simply labeled with the date, program name, or take number. It takes a lot of time to be descriptive when logging footage, so we tend not to do it. Hover scrub to the rescue. We can simply open a bin full of takes, and hover our pointer over the thumbnail to preview the clip. This shaves LOADS of time off our editing process.
We all have different layouts we like in a program. Some like a big screen, some make it small. Some want tons of room on the timeline, some not so much. Whatever your tastes, you can customize the layout of Premiere with a simple drag and drop. Granted, many programs offer this feature, but few have perfected layout management as well as Adobe. Love this.
Want to apply a quick curves adjustment to all of your clips? Throw an adjustment layer over your timeline! Coming from Photoshop & After Effects, we have always wanted something like Adjustment Layers in an Non Linear Editor (NLE.) This really is one of our most loved features in CS6. No more copying effects to multiple clips, deleting them, re-copying, adjusting, re-copying again. Adjustment layers give you a simple way to control the look of your whole project with just one layer.
Premiere Can Open Just About Anything
One of the most impressive features of Premiere is its ability to open nearly any file you want. From typical ProRes Quicktime movies to untranscoded AVCHD .MTS files, from jpegs to photoshop artwork, from .MP3's to.H264's. Premiere does it all. Not only that. You very rarely (if ever) have to render your files for playback! This is a world of improvement over our FCP7 days.
Mercury Playback Engine
That brings me to my next point. Mercury Playback is freakin' amazing. Depending on your hardware, you can play just about anything in real time. We have been editing one of our shows using the untranscoded full res h264 files strait out of our DSLRs. No proxies, no transcoding. That's a timesaver.
Actually Uses Hardware
And that brings me to the next point, Premiere actually uses the hardware you put behind it. Unlike FCP7, which maxed out at 2Gigs of RAM/Core, Premiere takes all the memory, processors, and graphics power you can shove in your workstation. Thats a great thing when we're using our spec'd out Origin PC. Wow, that upgraded RAM actually did something!
Sometimes you have to make a little adjustment to a shot in After Effects. Premiere makes it simple. Right click on the clip and "Replace with After Effects Comp" Boom. It opens in AE, do your work and just hit save. Now go back to your Premiere timeline and the clip is replaced with a linked AE comp. No rendering. Awesome. There are similar workflows with Audition too.
The Bottom Line
All in all, our switch to Premiere has been pretty smooth. Everyone here at The Division has been repeatedly impressed with what CS6 brings to the table. With CS6's increased performance, features, and Creative Cloud pricing, Premiere now seems to be the obvious choice if you're looking for a new NLE.