Compared to most of the suites on test, Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 is a startlingly intimidating editor – at least at first glance.
At this price, most interfaces are sleek, with clear options, and a wide array of wizards to guide you through the more complex features. Vegas is big, confusing, cluttered, and extremely unfriendly – even with its excellent interactive tutorials.
As just one example of this, when you apply new effects, they're all controlled and stored in a pop-up window rather than being integrated comfortably into the main interface.
To get away with this, a product has to pack some serious power - and while Vegas isn't as strong as it really needs to be, many of its features do exactly that. The majority that it offers are at least as good as its competition, with a few that surpass it – like the Secondary Color Corrector for fixing issues that simple tweaking and white balancing can't handle.
With this, you can pick any colour in your video and shift it as much as you like – the tutorial demonstrates this by recolouring the yellow stripes in a bumblebee costume into pinks, greys and more, without affecting the other colours.
Another unusually advanced option is a dedicated levels control, which lacks the graph you'd expect in an image editor, but works under the same principles.
A few of the package's features let themselves down in odd ways though. The biggest disappointment is the video stabiliser effect. Technically it works, but it's far too crop-happy.
When you finally learn where to find everything, you won't want for much. Vegas is powerful, and in its own way, efficient. However, unless you really need one of its unique features, or you feel like taking off the training wheels, it's hard to justify the hassle involved in using it.
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