Video editing conclusions

After a week of trying out all the NLEs out there available for a PC (Ulead, Pinnacle, Premiere Elements, Sony Vegas and heck, even Movie Maker), I decided on the least of all evils: Sony Vegas. It supports 24p timelines (even if it doesn’t do 3:2 pulldown), it is mighty stable, it works well with 1 GB of RAM in HDV mode, and it’s the best value for your money overall.

Close to it is Premiere Elements, which I would probably prefer it as it supports After Effects’ plugins, if it wasn’t for its bugs (including crashes on load), it runs out of memory all too often, and it doesn’t support 24p because “it is a feature reserved for the Pro version”. In my experience — and if I judge from Adobe’s forums — Premiere Elements is a buggy joke, possibly developed by second class engineers (it seems that the good engineers are reserved for the Pro version too).

Currently Amazon has a big sale on the Vegas 7 Platinum Edition, at just $70. I am getting that, along with the best book for it. And when Vegas 8 comes out, which will probably support Blu-Ray writing, 3:2 pulldown and AVCHD among others, I will upgrade to it immediately as their upgrade scheme is very good.

If I ever need to go “pro”, my choice would be Premiere Pro & After Effects CS3 ($1700) instead of Final Cut Studio ($1300) because of the plugin support, but for now, what you get for very little money with Sony Vegas 7 Platinum is already a big deal. Especially if you couple it with the Action Movie Essentials elements, you can already achieve a lot as an Indie film maker.

I have a script idea for a short movie that I would like to shoot, and if I manage to get my head around all the lense/exposure/shutter tricks that JBQ is trying to teach me but I have hard time putting into my skull (I need good background blur and movie-like ‘feel’ you see), I might pursue the idea further. The only problem will be for how much I can rent the… Fremont Peak Observatory of Astronomy for 3 hours.

Update: A breakdown of the sub-$150 most major NLEs in the market today, in terms of feature-set.

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