iMovie vs Final Cut Pro, which is the right video editor for you?

iMovie and Final Cut Pro both are video editing software by Apple. One is free and another is very expensive. Let’s see what the main differences are there between them.


What is iMovie ?

iMovie comes free with the purchase of Apple computer or some other products. Although it is considered a basic video editor, the new iMovie for Mac can be used to create amazing videos while controlling every details of the video.

Being easy to use, iMovie is the choice of many amateur video editors. It is very ‘user friendly’ rather than a professional one. New feature in latest version of iMovive allows iCloud integration allowing users to complete the editing works on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and even in Apple TV. Easy to use themes in iMovie allows you to create videos with a structure and effects that make it look professional prepared in a few minutes. Most Mac users can get iMovie for free as part of the iLife suite.

For all the Apple mobile devices purchased after September of 2013 and runs iOS 7, the mobile version of iMovie is available for free. The iOS version of iMovie is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The iMovie can be used to edit the videos shot by the mobile device. If you don’t have a latest device, iMovie is available for download at the Mac App Store for $14.99.

iMovie Pros:

  • Very user friendly and easy to use and learn.
  • Friendly and interactive interface. The function layout and design of iMovie is friendly interface for editing your videos.
  • Easy and convenient videos sharing. The software allows to share and publish the videos you have edited in iMovie directly to the videos sites like YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo.
  • iOS version integration – Videos can be shared and edited in iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV through iCloud integration.

iMovie Cons:

  • Limited support to video file format. iMoive doesn’t support all types of video formats. That is quite annoying when your camera records in the format the editor doesn’t support or you have videos in unsupported format.
  • Storage space – Videos need a large amount of storage. iMovie takes up a lot of hard drive space. The project files make a copy of every media used in a project in a location so more and more hard drive space is consumed as the times passes.
  • Only in Mac or iOS. Not available in other platforms like Windows and Linux.

What is Final Cut Pro?

Another Apple product for video editing – targeted to the professional in the field is Final Cut Pro. The video editor is more focused on more technical features.

Final Cut Pro offers a collection of video effects, titles, animations, audio presets like that in iMovie but, with much wider coverage and better quality. Even movie makers use Final Cut Pro for editing their featured films.

iMovie and Final Cut Pro can’t be compared as they are targeted to different types of people. Final Cut Pro has a learning curve and new features are added every now and then.

Pros of Final Cut Pro:

  • Very powerful video editor – It can edit both simple and complex videos. Both for the home made or professional videos.
  • Powerful video editing tools like magnetic timeline, background processing, good organization tools—ratings, tagging, auto analysis for faces, scenes, and stabilization etc.

Final Cut Pro cons:

  • The film must be saved in a certain type, otherwise the image will mess up.
  • The interface and operation is complicated when compared with iMovie.
  • Only in Apple’s OS X operating system
  • No mobile versions of the software (like iMovie)

iMovie supported format – MPEG-4 (.mp4), QuickTime movie (.mov), MPEG-2, AVCHD, DV&HDV

Final Cut Pro supported formats – Apple Animation codec, Apple Intermediate codec, Apple ProRes, AVC-intra, AVCHD, DV, DVCPRO HD, H.264, HDV, iFrame, Motion JPEG(OpenDML only), MPEG IMX(D-10), REDCODE RAW (R3D), Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2, Uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2, XAVC, XDCAM HD/EX/HD422, QuickTime formats.

Which one is suitable for you, iMovie or Final Cut Pro?

iMovie might be for you if :

  • you want to make home videos, faster and easily.
  • you don’t have time to learn and need to use advance features in your videos.
  • you can’t spend $1K+ in a video editing software.

Final Cut Pro is for you if :

  • You are a professional videographer
  • You produce sophisticated and professional videos
  • You have time and interest to learn new things offered by Final Cut Pro

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