Top positive review
187 of 198 people found this helpful
Comprehensive Review of the top 7 video editing software titles
on March 5, 2010
Sorry about the formatting, Amazon is removing all my spaces when I publish even though it looks fine in the editor.
Intel Core2 Duo @ 1.86 GHz
2 GB RAM
256 MB Video
Added 2 videos.
Added image stabilization to one
3D transition between them.
Rendered the project.
AVCHD in and MPG2 out (both in full HD, 1920*1440, Dolby 5.1 if available)
Video length 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
**** Corel Video Studio Pro X3
**** Cyberlink PowerDirector 8
*** Sony Vegas Movie Studio Pro Plus 9
**1/2 Adobe Premiere Elements 8
** Magix Edit Pro 15
* Roxio Creator 2010
* Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 14
My reviews are against the top versions of each product line. You will find that most of the differences between the top versions and the base are Blu-ray export options, and some add some extra sound options. See for yourself the option that suits you at the manufacturer's website in their respective product comparison guides.
All seemed to work for me in windows 7, 64 bit with 4 GB RAM. I didn't do any tests with it b/c I wanted to use an older machine that would come closer to representing the average computer. This includes Roxio 2009, but not 2010 for reasons stated below.
If you want something super easy to use, then I would go with Cyberlink PowerDirector 8. If you want something with a bit more power that you can grow into, I would go with Corel Video Studio Pro X3. Sony Vegas Movie Studio Pro plus 9 may very well be good, but I see no reason to purchase it with the power of the Corel package.
If you are a masochist, go with Adobe, Magix, Roxio, or Pinnacle.
Adobe Premiere Elements 8
65 min render time
You can search effects
Layout was good but not great
Interface was pretty straightforward
Virtually locked my system
Slow and temporarily froze frequently
Output menu was cumbersome
Corel Video Studio Pro X3
19 min render time
Great Output menu
Easy to use user interface
Autofit for timeline
No search function for effects
After further review of this software, I had to knock it down from 5 to 4 stars.
I noticed more and more buggyness from the software the more that I used it.
It wasn't enough that one couldn't use it, but it was enough to be a bit frustrating at times.
Cyberlink PowerDirector 8
30 min render time
Output menu was nice
Very nice and easy to use layout
No Blu-ray output
Blu-ray output is available on Ultra.
After further use of this program, I have some issues with it and have lowered it to 4 from 5 stars.
I was disappointed with the menu editing in that you can not do text only menus, you can't really "customize" menus, and their stock menus total a whopping 2. They state they have thousands online, but almost all of these are menus that are horrible junk ones that others have created. There are literaly a few that are good or better. In addition, you can not search these menus, and the sorting is poor at best to browse them.
Magix Edit Pro 15
41 min Render time
Poor user interface
Oversimplified (Too simple I think for most people)
Very Cumbersome to use and add effects
Output options were confusing and cumbersome
Extremely limited options for PC output (which is what many will be doing)
A couple of lock ups
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 14
Nice little finished project to see what can be done
Nice interface for editing
ONLY SOFTWARE that I was not able to import a video
Locked up my system many times and left errant process running at 80% CPU
Took 50 seconds just to load the import video TAB
When I selected videos to import and hit start import, absolutely nothing happened
Tried one of their movies and went to help to find stabilization and it crashed on me b/c I didn't have enough memory
No Blu-ray output
Cons on install on windows 7 computer:
Failure on export of file on all formats
I actually tried Pinnacle about 10 years ago and had absolutely nothing but problems. Spent many days downloading patches just to get it to work. Then, like a moron, I did an entire project and when I went to burn it, the burn failed every time. I see a decade later, I still can't export a file.
Roxio Creator 2010
They don't allow a trial download. I contacted them asking them if I could download a trial and even noted that I was a current customer. I personally like the 2009 Roxio. It was a nice "all-purpose" program. They told me that I had to buy it. I was offered a money back guarantee, but to do so, I had to send in a letter of destruction. This is way too much effort on my end to see if your software works for me.
I find it ridiculous in this day and age that you can't have a trial version of something, especially when EVERY ONE of your competitors does. In addition, this is how they were treating an existing customer!
You throw in all the compatibility issues that can occur in software in general and video software in particular, and that leaves me to think they have something to hide.
As icing on the cake, the following sentence was in their reply.
"Creator 2010 does support AVCHD software and hasn't been know to have any issues thus far!"
I replied to them about this OUTRIGHT LIE! First, you can read the compatibility issues on Amazon. Second, as a person that writes programs, there is no such thing as bug free software, especially video editing software.
Sony Vegas Movie Studio Pro Plus 9
14 minute render time (NO ANTI-SHAKE IN RENDER, see below)
Computer stayed pretty responsive during render
Savable packages of effects
How to guide is nice
Couldn't search effects
Very, very cumbersome to use
Couldn't find stabilization
The render time approximation stayed at around 1 minute or 2 left the entire time
Here is my issue with Sony Vegas. I have compared its features with many of the other programs and they are all very similar. Now, when compared with Corel Video Studio Pro X3 and Cyberlink PowerDirector, they are virtually identical. I personally think Sony leaves their software cumbersome so that it "looks/seems" more powerful.
I was definitely most disappointed in this product because it was the one that I was looking the most forward to using. When I say that it is cumbersome to use, it doesn't mean that it can't be used. Let me give an example. I am a programmer, and in something like excel, I like the ability to write my own code to create functions and tools that it doesn't offer or to tweak ones that it does. HOWEVER, when I want to enter numbers in boxes, I just want to enter numbers in boxes. I don't want to click in a box, go to a menu or right click, select some gadget and then enter a number. It is ok for complicated things to be complicated, but simple things should not only be simple, but also INTUITIVE.
The main thing that I saw that you could do in Sony Vegas that you couldn't do in the others is change your transitions (both audio and video) ramp as far as how quickly they come in and go out. I am not talking about changing the time, but how your out video accelerates out and how you in video accelerates in during that time. It is a cool feature, but something that 99% of people will only not use, but won't care about either.
Another thing, the image stabilizer should be easy to do, and it may be. However, I did a search in help for stabilize, stabilizer, sta, shake, anti, etc. and could not find out how to do this very simple thing. This worries me greatly that if this isn't readily available in the help docs, then much of the other stuff probably isn't either.
*A note on proxy editing.
Proxy editing is basically you working on a very low def version of your file, but when it comes time to actually render your output, the original file is used. Some view this as a crutch because they say you should be able to optimize the software to work with the high def video. My opinion is that if I can work faster, then I will work faster. Who cares what my resolution is while I am editing. If you have the fastest software out there for HD, and you can do your edits in very low def and it is even faster still, then why would you not want that?