Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 review
Consumer video-editing software gets more sophisticated every year, but all we really want is to be able to do simple things quickly. Selecting and ordering clips, trimming the start and end points, applying colour correction and adding the odd dissolve transition makes up about 95 per cent of the editing process. Dramatic special effects are the icing on the cake, but it doesn't matter how tasty the icing is if the cake's a disaster.
That's why Sony Vegas Movie Studio has done consistently well in our reviews over the years. Its business-like appearance and lack of extras might not endear it to home users, but the speed and precision of its core editing tools will be a hit with anyone.
Clips can be arranged and truncated without the slightest hint of delay. Colour correction is extremely sophisticated, with the ability to alter a limited range of colours plus three-way colour correction for adjusting colours in the shadows, midtones and highlights.
It doesn't score so highly for creative effects – there's nothing to rival Pinnacle Studio Ultimate's film simulation effects, for example – but Movie Studio is perfect for technically minded users who want to design elaborate effects from first principles.
Its comprehensive ripple-editing options let users control how clips react when others on the timeline are moved or truncated. For most projects, you'll want the software to automatically make space or close gaps when a clip is adjusted, but there are times when they should stay put – when editing in time to music, for example. This kind of control is frustratingly rare among consumer editors, and it's typical of the way Movie Studio puts the user firmly in the driving seat.
Sony has mysteriously dropped the Vegas brand for this latest update, and the website has no mention on new features. The improvements might not make for great marketing material but they're extremely valuable. It's now available as a 64-bit application, and the benefit to preview performance is dramatic. Whereas version 10 managed to play four simultaneous AVCHD streams on our Core i7-870 test PC, version 11 managed seven when running on Windows 7 64-bit.
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