Video Editing Tools?

I’ve heard that Sony vegas movie studio is a good tool for video editing, and would like to know if this could suit for me as well. Windows Movie Maker has been working for my purposes just okay until some recent Windows upgrade (or something) that made the fonts incomprehensible).

Now, I’m after some decent tool. Required functionality for my purposes are (I’m using Windows vista):

  • I can put video there
  • I can throw some comments there
  • Some effect thingies are a plus
  • Simplyish user interface (I have no need for über pro video editing)
  • No-hassle installation
  • Price: $1 – $100 (I don’t want free)

What tools are you using? If you use Sony Vegas movie studio, how it has been working for you?

Any other recommendations?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. When I got my HD cam with new & spanky AVCHD format, I did a test round of the consumer suites (ulead, pinnacle, premiere express, vegas). My need was pretty much to filter the good stuff from the rest, and maybe add a title.

    After trying a few, I realized my requirements were actually:
    1) can playback AVCHD in recognizable fashion (10+fps) in my mediocre machine
    2) it’s easy to crop clips (i.e. the setting of crop points works well in my mediocre machine)
    3) I can save the results in HD for archiving without re-encoding everything
    4) I can easily create DVD and web compliant versions of the HD clips

    In the end the only thing that was “compliant” (especially 1&3), was NERO BURNING ROM. You know the CD/DVD authoring suite with video editor!

    The point of this is that it depends on your needs, and especially your workflow. All the editing suites out there have more features than you need, but you need to try them out if they fit to what you want to do with them.

  2. Okay, thanks BoyScout – very helpful description. Will give it a testrun..

  3. I originally started out with Fraps + Movie Maker around 2004 or so. I’ve been using Sony Vegas Studio for several years now. I just upgraded, in fact, to v9 recently (my previous version was v6) and have been very happy with it. For video formats, Vegas Studio can handle any format I’ve thrown at it. The older version didn’t handle my digital camera video (AVCHD), but the current version does (this was my main reason for upgrading — no more converting!). AVI from fraps is definitely handled with no fuss.

    Note there is a difference between Sony Vegas Studio and Sony Vegas Pro — about $400 (US) to be precise. The Studio versions are “stripped down” versions aimed at home/hobby users, while the Pro version is aimed at the more professional user. You can pick up Sony Vegas Studio Platinum for under $100 and the standard Vegas Studio package for under $50 (your luck on prices may vary, of course).

    It’s doubtful from your requirement list that you need much more than the basic Vegas Studio package, though the extra fx/transitions and tools (Sound Forge, DVD Architect,etc) are nice to have. (They were worth the extra money to me since I use it for home movies to put on DVD in addition to random gaming-related video productions.)

    It’s only miss on your list may be the “simple to use”. Because it comes from the “professional” heritage, it might feel like overkill for simple projects. I find it easy enough, but some people find it’s starting window to be a little overwhelming. It has a handy (interactive) tutorial system that should hopefully get you over any initial fears.

  4. Now as we are getting here… how about video converting tools?

    Fraps saves AVIs – can Sony Vegas / Pinnacle handle those?

    Hmhp… no Pinnacle demo available. I’m download Sony Vegas thing now…

  5. I do a lot of a video editing for my work, and i always ended up using Sony Vegas for the best results.

    None the less, a mix of Fraps ($20 software for recording), Video Spin ( Free and powerful software, in between Vegas and Video maker in terms of possibilities) and Virtualdub (free open source file compression software), you can end up with really good results.

    Of course if you want something as a AAA game trailer or movie trailer, Sony Vegas with the Adobe series (Photoshop, After Effects and Premier) is a must.

    I recommend you to try the Fraps + VideoSpin + VirtualDub combo and see how you like it.

  6. Vegas targets the professional video editor/producer.

    For what you want, try Pinnacle Studio. Easy to learn and use, priced < $100.

  7. I was using Windows Movier maker as well. It was perfect for my needs. The only thing it doesn’t do, is supposrt all those video formats I really need. Such as H.264
    So I will also be interested to hear about some other video editing tools for dummies(like me, in video editing).

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