GCN LAB REVIEW

Corel VideoStudio Pro X2

If you are new to video editing but need to use advanced editing features, Corel’s VideoStudio Pro X2 is the best program available.

Corel Video Studio Pro X2 screenIf you are new to video editing but need to use advanced editing features, Corel’s VideoStudio Pro X2 is the best program available. Designed to provide smooth playback and stacked with features inside the most intuitive interface in this review, VideoStudio Pro X2 is nearly perfect. It easily achieved a Reviewer’s Choice designation.

GCN LAB TEST

Corel VideoStudio Pro X2

Pros: Best interface in the roundup; easy to find and use features
Cons: No Mac operating system version.

Performance: A+
Features: A+
Ease of use: A+
Value: A+
Compatibility: B-
Price: $69
GCN Lab Reviewers Choice small logo

It costs  $69, the same price as CyberLink’s product. Also like CyberLink, unfortunately, Corel VideoStudio Pro is PC only, so no Macs allowed.


Lead story: Video-editing tools cut to the chase


That shortcoming aside, features such as the ability to draw or paint freehand on your video or insert professionally designed overlay objects makes it hard not to like VideoStudio Pro. For example, we could use footage of Obama’s inauguration for instructional purposes by circling content and adding comments to the video in Freehand to demonstrate security strengths or weaknesses. Those features would be a huge benefit in teaching proper procedure.

The interface for VideoStudio Pro also is the most intuitive and easiest to use in the review. All its features are upfront and easily accessible, while most of its competitors hide these features in what seems like endless menu bars.

Wizards constitute another advantage VideoStudio Pro has over its competitors. After starting the program, VideoStudio Pro X2 launches a wizard that gives you three options: the VideoStudio Editor, Movie Wizard and DV-to-DVD Wizard.

Little things can make or break video-editing software. For example, the ability of the DV-to-DVD Wizard to take video directly from your DV camcorder and burn it to a DVD in a simple two-step process is a nice feature, especially when you just need to capture and produce a video quickly.

The Movie Wizard is like the DV-to-DVD Wizard, except it lets you capture and import video and do a few basic edits before burning it to disc. The Movie Wizard has automatic scene detection and splitting, multitrim capability and DVD menu templates. This additional but basic functionality puts it between the DV-to-DVD Wizard and the full VideoStudio Editor.

Playback in VideoStudio Pro is a lot smoother than in PowerDirector or Adobe Premier Elements, largely because of VideoStudio’s Smart Proxy technology, which Corel has enhanced in the Pro version. Smart Proxy editing uses low-resolution files, allowing more tools and advanced features to run on slower machines and at a smoother pace. Because VideoStudio Pro X2 is more efficient and requires fewer system resources, you get a smoother and faster playback and editing of your video.

Another advantage of VideoStudio Pro is that it gives you the option of configuring your aspect ratio to 16:9 for wide screens in the start-up wizard. With other programs in the roundup, users must hunt for this capability.

VideoStudio Pro also is customizable. Saving your video file is crucial. We’ve all had the experience of working hard on something only to have to redo everything when the computer crashes and your file wasn’t saved recently. VideoStudio Pro gives you the ability to automatically save your work at a frequency you select, making crashes less likely to result in lost work.

Corel, 952-217-9000, www.corel.com

About the Authors

Carlos A. Soto is a former GCN Lab technology analyst.


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