3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 23, 2011 10:49 AM by JMJarrige

    iMovie, FinalCut Express 4 and Premiere Elements 10




      I want to learn how make good movies and edit them well. I started off with a mini disc Sony and Sony software in Windows. It was a lot of work and my product wasn't so good. I taught myself how to use a Mac, partly because I thought that most people who work on movies use Macs. I tried iMovie, and immediately found it wasn't so friendly to a lot of mini cams like the Vado, which I had. So I learned how to convert all my movies into .mp4 with Handbrake. Then I bought a flipcam, and that was a little easier to work with. iMovie wasn't so good I thought, so I bought Final Cut Express 4. Then I gave up. It looks to me that you have to have a Ph.D to learn FCE. So here I am, I bought PRE10. I'd like some reasssurance. Is PRE10 easier to master than FCE, but does it perform (when I get skilled) at that level? Bonus question, how does iMovie compare to PRE10?


      PS to learn PRE10, I have already downloaded the basic training videos from muvipix.com, and it looks likes encouraging.


      Thanks, Chris

        • 1. Re: iMovie, FinalCut Express 4 and Premiere Elements 10
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          You can't compare iMovie to Premiere Elements any more than you can compare Premiere Elements to Final Cut. Or a Hyundai to a Greyhound bus. They are very different programs working in very different environments for different purposes.


          Your biggest issue is that you're editing video that's been created by Handbrake, which is an iffy proposition no matter how you look at it.


          Premiere Elements is designed to interface with video from miniDV, HDV, AVCHD and Flip camcorder as well as video from higher-end DSLRs like the Canon D series. Non-traditional sources, including many pocket cams, can cripple the program.


          Before you buy any program, I'd test drive it and see if it works with your source video. That should be your priority. Because if you can't get it to work with your video, everything else the program does is moot.

          • 2. Re: iMovie, FinalCut Express 4 and Premiere Elements 10
            the_wine_snob Level 9



            I cannot speak for iMovie, or FCE, but one of the beauties of Premiere (either Elements, or Pro) vs FCPro, is that the Adobe programs edit most common formats/CODEC's natively, where FCPro internally converts all footage to proxy files (usually a flavor of ProRes), for editing. This is often not that smooth a function. Depending on your system, the exact Source Footage, and a few other factors, editing in either flavor of Premiere should be smoother, and quicker.


            As of the release of FCPro X, many users are jumpting ship for PrPro CS 5.5, and after the initial "shake down" with it, are loving it.


            I agree with Steve - a test-drive is the best way to determine whether a particular software is right for you.


            Good luck and happy testing,



            • 3. Re: iMovie, FinalCut Express 4 and Premiere Elements 10
              JMJarrige Level 2


              From my small experience of softwares (Windows movie maker, Sony Vegas, iMovie and

              PRE) , I decided to use Premiere Elements on my Mac and my Vista laptop.

              Reasons : Movie maker and iMovie are simple to use, for input capture : most types of cameras

              (DV HDV or AVCHD) are recognized.

              If you want to edit movies only by doing cuts in rushes, and assemble with simple titles, they

              seem OK.

              Programs like PRE or Final Cut allow you to have multiple tracks of video/audio, and you can

              combine more easily your clips. It's a different way of editing which needs learning, thanks

              to books (Muvipix in the US, little choice in my country France...).

              For Premiere, Bill and Steve give us a lot of important things in this forum. Thanks to them.