Sony Vegas Pro 10 review

£580
Price when reviewed

The new video stabilisation tool isn’t such a headline grabber, but the results have just as much wow factor. Handheld camerawork was totally transformed, with just the occasional motion blur to remind how wobbly the original footage was. The same effect appears in Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 10, and although we’re pleased to see proper controls in this version, there’s still no way to limit how much footage is cropped by. The software tends to crop heavily to give itself a wide margin for correction, and that often spoiled the composition and reduced detail levels.

Support for closed captions is greatly expanded, with various methods of import and export including to YouTube and DVD Architect. Caption editing and creation is supported on the timeline, although the proliferation of cryptic codes makes this pretty cumbersome. Other improvements include the ability to group tracks into collapsible folders to tidy up the timeline, and to see the individual tracks when editing in Multi-camera mode. Audio effects can now be applied to individual clips and there are VU meters on each audio track.

Sony Vegas Pro 10

Whereas Vegas Pro 9 struggled to render complex projects on our 32-bit Windows XP test PC, this time we had the chance to test on Windows 7 64-bit with 8GB RAM, and were glad to see these problems banished. Our Core i7 870 PC previewed seven AVCHD streams smoothly – an excellent result, but not quite as impressive as Premiere Pro CS5’s ten streams on the same PC.

This isn’t the only area where Adobe’s editor takes the lead. Its creative effects are more flamboyant and its object animation tools are far more sophisticated. Vegas Pro’s text animator is excellent, but moving other graphical elements around the screen produces clunky results. The new 3D effect gives a tantalising glimpse of Vegas Pro’s future, with multiple keyframe lanes and BŽzier curve editing for its parameters. These controls are thanks to a new OpenFX plug-in architecture, but sadly, the old effects and motion editors still use the old architecture and clumsy keyframe controls.

That’s disappointing because, otherwise, Vegas Pro is fully equipped for demanding use. Its interface is responsive and intuitive and, despite Premiere Pro’s superior preview performance, edits are often quicker to execute in Vegas Pro. For those who won’t be designing complex animations such as intro sequences and DVD menus, it’s an excellent alternative.

Details

Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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