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MediaChance EditStudio Pro 6 review

Ben Pitt
17 Apr 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT

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Specifications

EditStudio Pro is less well known than other video packages and it doesn't support AVCHD or Blu-ray.

It also rejected Dolby Digital and AAC soundtracks, which meant that standard-definition footage recorded on various hard disk- and SDHC-based cameras couldn't be imported. Even Windows Vista isn't officially supported, although we had no problems testing it in Vista.

We were disappointed to see that DVD authoring isn't included, either; previous versions bundled MediaChance DVD-lab, but that's no longer available, and DVD-lab Pro pushes the price up to £230 including VAT. Our biggest concern is that frame-rate conversion and de-interlacing were handled poorly during export. As such, it's essential that you match the source footage's specifications when exporting to avoid image quality problems. These issues will be enough to put many people off, but there are still some reasons to consider EditStudio.

New to version 6 is multi-camera editing, which simplifies the process of synchronising and editing footage recorded simultaneously using up to four cameras (see Multimedia Expert on page 134 for our tutorial on using multiple cameras). This technique is extremely effective for adding interest and an air of professionalism to company videos, weddings, gigs and many other productions. It's almost impossibly fiddly to achieve in the other packages here, but EditStudio makes it easy, even surpassing similar tools in Vegas Pro and Premiere Pro.

Route Tracer is another unusual feature. It plots an animated line across the screen, and is perfect as an overlay for maps. It's easy to use and surprisingly versatile, with options to add pauses and extra animated markers to show stop-off points along the way. The Hide Face effect is also fun, pixellating an oval area of the frame. It may have practical uses for preserving anonymity, but it's also amusing to play with.

EditStudio Pro is a capable editor, with powerful features that include unlimited tracks and a wide range of blend modes for mixing them in creative ways. Its interface is responsive but it could be neater. The Properties panel, where much of the editing takes place, feels cramped. It's possible to undock the panel - or the preview window - and drag it to a second monitor. The ability to scroll around the preview window seems pointless, though, and proved annoying when it happened instead of an edit we were trying to execute. Keyframe editing is more cumbersome than it needs to be, too.

EditStudio's limited format support rules out most modern video cameras, so it's impossible to recommend. However, MiniDV and HDV tape-based cameras are well catered for, with smooth previews of 1080i HDV footage. Multi-camera editing gives it a unique advantage at this price, and there are plenty of other interesting features that few other home movie-editors provide.

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