Sony Vegas Pro 12 Edit review

Price when reviewed

There’s a big gulf between consumer video-editing software and professional systems, and surprisingly few editors populating it.

Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro dominate, but Sony Vegas Pro is a powerful editor that deserves to be taken seriously too. With the new Edit version costing a comparatively small £160, it’s even more enticing.

With such a low price, you don’t get disc authoring any more, but Vegas Pro itself continues to improve. Version 12 introduces a proxy editing mode, which generates 720p MPEG-2 copies of 1080p AVC footage to improve preview performance, automatically reverting to the original files on export.

The performance boost when running the preview window at 1080p was fairly small; it managed five AVCHD streams without proxies, and six streams with. However, halving the preview resolution to 960 x 540 gave a more dramatic boost, up from seven to 12 streams on our Core i7-870 PC.

Strangely, 1080p projects can’t be set to use 720p for the preview despite the fact that this is the resolution of the proxy files. Still, 960 x 540 is fine for most editing tasks, and Vegas Pro is back in pole position for preview performance.

Sony Vegas Pro 12 Edit - masks

Vegas Pro’s masking features were already highly sophisticated, with the ability to draw curve-based masks with feathered edges. However, drawing simpler box-shaped masks was fiddly and creating perfect circles was very difficult. The introduction of rectangle and ellipse mask shapes remedies this, and all mask types have handles for resizing and rotating.

The controls for feathering the edges now appear next to the mask itself rather than buried among the other parameters. And masks can now be reassigned to effects rather than clip opacity, where effects are applied to a limited portion of a clip – perfect for blurring faces or number plates.

Masks can be animated using keyframes, but the lack of keyframe lanes causes problems. After animating the position of our mask, we had to adjust the Feather settings separately for each keyframe – with lanes this would be far easier. Adding a second mask area to a clip was impossible after we’d animated the first mask – we had to start again from scratch. Animating clips’ positions is just as problematic, with location, rotation and scale keyframes becoming clogged up with each other.


Software subcategoryVideo editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?no
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?no

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