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Sony Vegas

February 5, 2009

VegasPro8Sony Vegas is up to version 8. I’ve been using Sony Vegas since version 6 and this newest version adds something very significant: ProType Titler.

Lets be honest, when it come to high level video editing software there are two names that stand out:

Adobe Premier Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro

There are also the  “Home Edition” style edition packages such as Sony Vegas Movie Studio, and Pinnacle Studio, as well as free offerings from Microsoft and Apple (Movie Maker and iMovie respectively).  For some reason Sony Vegas comes in above the Home Edition software but falls below Premier Pro and Final Cut Pro (maybe because it doesn’t include the word Pro?).

Now I haven’t used Premier Pro (PP) in a few years and I have even less familarity with Final Cut Pro (FCP). Not because of any real Mac bias but on my budget it’s not easy to buy a Mac *and* FCP for the single purpose of  video editing. That would be quite an investment for me and that wouldn’t even include the time it would take to learn the package. I will, however, have to take the plunge eventually with PP and FCP even if it’s just for evaluation sake.

Back to Vegas… Sony Vegas that is since I’ve never been to Vegas,  Nevada (though I am trying to make it to NAB this year though).  Now where was I… Sony Vegas. I cut my teeth on Pinnacle Studio 9,10 just when Pinnacle was adding support for multiple tracks (3 at the most). Switching to Vegas with unlimited tracks was a big change. Also, as to be expected, some short cuts were different. But Vegas was not a painful transition. And the number of included plug-ins is inpressive.

The installation is short and painless, though for a installation neat freak like myself the fact that Sony wants to install the temporary installation files to the “Program Files” folder is a bit of a mystery. Luckily I always have a C:\Temp folder for things like that. After installation the Temp Sony folder is not automatically deleted so placing it in a specific location allows you to go back and easily delete the folder. A clean file system on an editing station is important.

Activation is a simple enough.

Then it is off to work (for a program with such a small footprint it does take a while to start up). I won’t get too indepth (download the program for free and try it for yourself) but I will point out the positives and negatives.

Positives

  1. MultiCamera support – I shot a concert using two camera and was able to sync the video and perform “live switching” as I watched. Once I am done switching I can render the editied video.
  2. Plug-Ins and Transitions – The color correction plug-in is a great addition along with the meters that help you match the color between video shot from different cameras or at different times
  3. Network Rendering – Enables you to use other networked computers to render your video on shared storage even on USB drives shared off your editing station. (Note: this does not constitute an endorsement for you to edit your files on a USB drive. You can try that crazy stunt on your own but I don’t suggest you do)

Negatives

  1. Mutlicamera support only allows CUTS and not FADES as transitions. Cuts work great for speeches and sporting events but not so great for concerts, singing or weddings. If there is a way to use FADES with multicamera support please let me know.
  2. Titling – Even with the new ProType Titler I still feel Vegas is behind other products when it comes to titling. I might have to find a few more tutorials to change my mind on that one.
  3. Lower Thirds – Vegas comes with Zip, Zilch, NADA in terms of lower thirds. You can create them in Vegas using effects and tracks but it isn’t as clean as I would like.

Any comments?

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