By James Morris | on November 06, 2009
Price When Reviewed: £469
Pros: Stable native 64-bit version; RED ONE 4K file support; bundled DVD Architect Pro 5 can author and burn Blu-ray.
Cons: Ugly interface; Cinescore plug-in didn’t work with 64-bit Vegas; Vegas and DVD Architect Pro missing some presets.
This camera is reviewed as part of our group test of Video-editing applications
Sony Vegas was the first PC video editing program to offer a native 64-bit option, and this came of age with version 9. With a 64-bit operating system’s lack of memory constrictions compared to 32-bit, this theoretically makes Vegas 9 a more stable platform for dealing with HD and higher-resolution footage.
This is handy if you’re planning to use the software’s support for 4K footage, including R3D files from the Red One camera.
The Vegas workflow now handles other solid-state recording formats, too. You can browse XDCAM EX and AVCHD devices directly from the editing app, showing thumbnails to help you grab the clips you want. There’s native support for XDCAM EX files, and you can capture XDCAM MXF files over HD-SDI.
Version 9 of Vegas added customisable workspaces, with the ability to save up to nine preset positions. You can choose to edit in the faster 8-bit mode and then switch to 32-bit mode for precision rendering.
However, Vegas is a less fully integrated package than some of its rivals. For example, the bundled DVD Architect Pro 5 is a powerful authoring tool with the ability to create Blu-ray discs, but it’s essentially a standalone app. You output projects from Vegas and then import the resulting video into DVD Architect Pro.
Where Vegas is very well-integrated, however, is with the bundled Cinescore Studio 1 (although this uses a 32-bit plug-in so doesn’t work with the 64-bit Vegas).
This provides sophisticated loop-based soundtrack creation. Cinescore is ideal if you’re producing corporate videos requiring quick-and-dirty royalty-free music, or to provide a general idea of the feel you want to a real-life composer.
This makes Sony Vegas 9 good for audio-focused projects. It’s also the most keenly priced package here. With wide native support of video formats and a capable – if not heavily integrated – disc authoring package included, Vegas is a good choice for independent producers.