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Sony Vegas Pro 10 review

Verdict

None of the new features we hoped for, but still an intriguing update. Vegas Pro remains a strong alternative to its more established rivals

Review Date: 12 Oct 2010

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Price when reviewed: £494 (£580 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

Sony's consumer video-editing application, Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, recently entered our A List thanks to its streamlined, powerful editing tools and responsive interface. Vegas Pro is essentially the same software with various enhancements aimed at enthusiasts and professionals. It has a tougher challenge making it into our A List, though, with a price that isn't much lower than the supremely capable Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

The big news in version 10 is 3D editing. Left and right clips captured with a pair of conventional cameras must be synchronised manually on the timeline, whereupon they're merged into a stereoscopic clip via a right-click command. 3D footage where the left and right images appear side by side in a single video stream (such as from the Panasonic HDC-SDT750) are supported too.

Sony Vegas Pro 10

There are options to preview and export 3D projects as an anaglyph (for use with coloured glasses), and exporting in side-by-side mode is perfect for use with YouTube's fledgling 3D support. Full-screen previews are also available on passive 3D monitors such as the Zalman ZM-M240W in conjunction with an Nvidia graphics card. Nvidia 3D Vision active-shutter glasses work too, but only with an Nvidia Quadro graphics card and a compatible 120Hz monitor. These aren't the kinds of kit most people (including us) have lying around, though. Those who just want to experiment with 3D will have to make do with anaglyph for preview purposes.

Still, a pair of cheap red/cyan glasses was enough to keep us highly entertained as we explored Vegas Pro's 3D capabilities. These consist of a video effect with a simple Horizontal Offset control that sets the virtual depth of the clip, plus various options to correct stereoscopic footage that isn't perfectly aligned. The 3D Track Motion tool is considerably more powerful, with the ability to move and rotate layers in 3D space. This mode crippled preview performance, though, and its controls are clunky. We also found it quite a cerebral challenge to make the two 3D tools work harmoniously together.

In its defence, though, Vegas Pro was never an animation tool. There's enough here to edit footage shot in 3D and add a few graphical elements such as text to the 3D stage. However, the bundled authoring application, DVD Architect Pro, isn't 3D aware. That means 3D discs are limited to anaglyph or side-by-side mode, which halves the effective resolution - there's no support for the official Blu-ray 3D standard. Still, considering the uncharted territory Sony is entering here, it's an ambitious first attempt.

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