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Old February 27th, 2008, 11:33 AM   #1
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Editing Program Comparisons

I'm confused... (the biggest understatement since Noah said "It looks like rain")

I'm currently in SD & using an older version of Liquid. With Avid dropping Liquid and no indications of further support I'm looking to change platforms (PC based) for SD and then shortly HD editing.

Can anyone point me to an article, website etc. that does a good side-by-side comparison and objective testing of the major mid range (+/-$1,000) editing software. Interested in things like optimum system requirements, rendering times, workflow, compexity etc.

While DVi has been my bible for all things video - I haven't found a comparison here.

Thanks
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Old February 28th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #2
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Mike,
I thought Pinnacle was taking back Liquid and there was talk of a new version sometime in 2008.
I have Liquid too, but I decided to try Sony Vegas - you can get a sweet deal from B&H for about $190.

Vegas is a great app and it seems to do a good job with HD. For me I still have to get to used to the interface from Liquid, but I think it was a worthwhile investment.

EDIT:
-- sorry -- that price is no longer available from B&H. It's actually cheaper to get Vegas 6 from B&H and get the upgrade from Sony

Jim

Last edited by Jim Bucciferro; February 28th, 2008 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Update on price from B&H
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Old February 28th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #3
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Try Glass Valley's EDIUS - best realtime performance.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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Jim and Ting - Thanks for your recommendations. I've read the boards where each of these (and other) systems have their supporters and fans.

What I am really looking for is an article or website that has a one stop shopping comparison of all the systems with specs and benchmarking of items like render times, compression times, realtime effects etc.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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OK, I'll play Devil's advocate here. This is a v. complex subject and, yes, it would be nice to read someone's BIG review of all of them and then he (or her) says..."buy this one".

I suspect you won't find it. And even if someone gives you a link to a review that does this, would you trust it/is it truely valuable to decide on one reviewers opinion?????

My advice to you is read around, see what people say about stability/bugs/ease of use etc. etc. for the main contenders in your price range and, most importantly, download a trial of whichever one(s) seem most appropriate to you and see if it really works for you.

I personally find Vegas superb (I'm on 7e....8 seems too buggy still from what I often read... but for some it works like a dream - so what do I know?)

Basically, Vegas 7 works for me for the way I use it (HD editing on a 2.5 year old OKish spec PC), it seems so amazingly intuitive.....but you might hate it (or any other NLE for that matter) and quite easily find something else that fits your way of thinking/your specific needs. That's fine, we're all different.

Read around and try before you buy, that's my advice but take any comparitive evaluation with a pinch of salt until you've personally had hands on.

Just my two pence...
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; February 28th, 2008 at 03:38 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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Thanks Andy,
I'm NOT looking for an article with "just buy this" recommendations - just a data based analysis in one spot to compare features & specs side by side.

But from all the Vegas responses I'm hearing - If I had to buy sight unseen, it's looking good.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #7
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Don't buy any NLE sight unseen. Always download the demo version first, try it out and then buy it *only* if you really like it. The biggest difference is going to be the user interface and the way each one works... you need to base your decision on direct experience with each system (you can download free demo / trial versions of each). Features and specs will be mostly identical across the range of offerings. The question is which one is right for *you* and only you can answer that by test-driving each one yourself.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #8
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I don't know what you are editing - the source material that is. If you are editing P2 card stuff (from Panasonic) - Vegas is out. For normal DV and HDV - it works. The problem with Vegas is that it is now owned by Sony. If you have Sony's camcorders - great. Unfortunately, Sony is not enhancing Vegas to handle MXF from Panasonic - you know why. For editing P2 (MXF format) - the best PC based editor will be EDIUS. On the Mac, you need Raylight + FCP to equal the ease of direct editing of EDIUS.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #9
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I one of those weird people who edit on PC and Mac

Sony Vegas for the PC
Final Cut Pro for the Mac

My best advice is to play with as many as you can before you purchase one. Make sure your camera likes the NLE and vice versa...and read this board, I think it makes me smarter every time I read a little bit...but it really makes me realize how smart I'm not!
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:55 PM   #10
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As Andy notes, there is probably no easy comparison, simply because there are just too many variables.

I would suggest you base your decision on the following factors (incomplete list):

- Your source material. The software that edits most formats is in my opinion Edius - this might be extremely important if you receive footage from different videographers.
- What else do you do besides simple cutting? If you do complex audio edits and special video effects, you need to manipulate lots of stills, there is nothing better than the Adobe suite with its awesome integration between the 5 pieces of software.
- Are you working in a team? If so, what are the other team members use? The easiest way to continue a project started by someone else is to use the same software.
- Your delivery formats. If all you need is to deliver a DVD, pretty much any software will do, but if you have to prepare multiple formats, again Edius is probably your best bet because of batch processing and its integration with Procoder.

My subjective breakdown: Avid for film, Edius for television, Adobe for the most complete integrated workflow. Again, this is my biased view - I would not look beyond these three.

But as Chris suggests, best test of the pudding is tasting it!
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Old March 1st, 2008, 12:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TingSern Wong View Post
Unfortunately, Sony is not enhancing Vegas to handle MXF from Panasonic - you know why.
Just to make sure the why is clear here, in a thread on another forum I read posts from a Sony Creative Software person and a Panasonic person regarding this very matter, and when it came down to it, the answer is politics. Panasonic didn't want to share anything with Sony because of company rivalry ( more or less ). The Sony guy basically said right there, hey, let's do it right now, I'm game and the Panasonic person wouldn't do it. So in case you were thinking that it was the sony proprietary thing, it wasn't.... for once.

I've worked a bit with FCP, Liquid, Avid, and Vegas. I chose Vegas because it was an overall faster and easier workflow ( a little harder to pick up if you come from another editor ) compared to all the other software I tried. From my conversations with the people who made Vegas, the reason that they went with this non-standard workflow in some areas was because they wanted to remove some of the more archaic standards that had been there for years and years and served no real purpose anymore, however this makes it a little harder to learn for those that are used to the standard editing procedures. Never the less it's just a little while to learn, then you're rolling, and it's fast (especially with my VASST plug-ins). Vegas + VASST Plug-ins quite literally provides me with the fastest workflow (in certain projects) of any NLE on the market, and I'd be happy stand by that.

I'm not here for a Pi$$ing match (which this thread could easily turn into), so please don't take my comments as antagonistic if any of you have.

The main drawback that you are going to see with Vegas compared to liquid is that there is no background rendering and so when you play video with FX etc... on them they are going to be choppy, unless you pre-render or RAM render as you're working ( what most of us do ). The other drawback is because of the coding style for vegas it's difficult for 3rd party providers to make plug-ins for it (for instance we're just getting the Magic Bullet looks plug-in for Vegas Pro 8 after it's been out for months for everyone else :| ).

I guess my advice is if you're going PC, I'd pick Vegas, but I promise, if you don't like my advice I'll give you back everything you paid for it :P

Dave
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Old March 1st, 2008, 09:43 AM   #12
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You stated that your budget was +/- $1,000. Avid is out of your price range, so it's not a contender. Same with Final Cut Pro.
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