Confused About Which HERO4 To Buy?
Just to continue that shake up feeling we’re not going to discuss the models in the usual descending order, and we’re not going to go into the specifications in intricate detail. The point of this article is to help you make the decision on which model to buy. To do this we’ve gone through reviews from the Top Internet Reviewers, and looked at buyers reviews and reactions since the product went on sale.
For the people thinking:
“Ah! I’m even more confused. Now we have two HERO4 models, a HERO3+ model, a HERO3 model, and a HERO which should be a GoPro HERO4…but it’s not.”
Relax! it has complicated things a little, but the HERO3+ Silver and the HERO3 White are between the HERO4 SILVER and the new HERO entry level. This means that the cameras haven’t been directly superseded by the new HERO4 (as is usually the case) and we’ll discuss that in separate article.
GoPro themselves have always been able to play the high specification card, but with the capacity of the cameras currently moving faster than the market for viewing such high resolution material it would make sense to focus on the best (read: most realistic) specification for the mainstream user. For now that seems to be the GoPro 4 SILVER.
[easyazon_link asin=”B00NIYJF6U” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”][/easyazon_link]
What Does The HERO4 SILVER Have To Offer Me?
With everything the old GoPro HERO3+ Black edition had, plus the addition of a new integrated touchscreen, the HERO4 SILVER has possibly become the new market leader, at least for users looking for a top class specification and maximum user-friendliness. The introduction of the screen has given it two major advantages:
- It addresses one of the main limitations with action cameras, which is not being able to easily check your field of vision until after the event.
- It allows better handling of the menu navigation, which was always a little frustrating even before the introduction of an ever-increasing list of camera settings.
The screen alone sets it apart, and when you consider the 20% lower price tag for the[easyazon_link asin=”B00NIYJF6U” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”] GoPro HERO4 SILVER[/easyazon_link] compared to the current price for the[easyazon_link asin=”B00NIYNUF2″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”] GoPro HERO4 BLACK[/easyazon_link] it makes it even more tempting.
But what of you’re on the fence between the GoPro HERO4 SILVER and the GoPro HERO4 BLACK…
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Why Should I Consider Paying More For The HERO4 BLACK?
The one thing that may sway your decision on whether to plump for the BLACK is the 120 FPS (Frames Per Second) available at 1080p. For lovers of slow motion this can be seen as a real bonus, and it’s likely to be used more often than the higher resolutions of 2.7K and 4K.
For people who decide to stay with the SILVER, 60 FPS at 1080 p is still a very respectable option, and based on your own post-production ability it can still produce excellent results.
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Is A Touchscreen Good Enough Reason For Me To Buy The GoPro HERO4 SILVER Over The GoPro HERO?
Realistically the two cameras aren’t comparable. The new GoPro HERO offers an entry-level alternative [easyazon_link asin=”B00NIYNUXO” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”] at a great price [/easyazon_link] for people wanting to get into the sports camera market on a low budget.
If you were to consider a different GoPro to the HERO4 SILVER you should be looking at the 3+, not the new HERO.
OK I’ve Decided I Want A GoPro HERO4. Which One Do I Buy?
To recap, we’re not drawing parallels with other sports cameras. This is just for people who have already decided on GoPro. Check out one of our other articles if you still need to make the decision “Which action camera?” and not “Which GoPro?”.
Start by asking yourself the following questions.
- Do I have 4K monitor to fully enjoy the finished video?
- Do I have a computer with the processing power and hard drive capacity to handle 4K postproduction?
- Do I have editing software that can handle 4K?
If the answer is “yes” to all of the STEP 1 questions, and you can put the time into getting the best out of 4K footage, then you can certainly consider a GoPro 4 Black.
If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, then consider whether you want to make that investment or it’s better to leave the [easyazon_link asin=”B00NIYNUF2″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]GoPro HERO4 BLACK [/easyazon_link]alone.
- Am I still into video but don’t have all the hardware and software required to really get the most out of 4K?
- Am I into my sport/activity and love re-living the best moments?
- Have I got a bit of extra cash and would really like to experiment with all the different options that a more advanced camera offers?
If the answer is “yes” to STEP 2 questions, then the [easyazon_link asin=”B00NIYJF6U” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]GoPro HERO4 SILVER [/easyazon_link] is properly worth the extra money for you.
NOTE: If you fall somewhere in between STEP2 and the next STEP 3 then you may want to look for the [easyazon_link asin=”B00F3F0EIU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition [/easyazon_link] or the [easyazon_link asin=”B00GXKTEUI” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”goprotimescom-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”] GoPro HERO3 White Edition [/easyazon_link] which are selling for really at competitive prices on Amazon right now.
- Do I want a camera that I can throw around and dropping the swimming pool with friends and family without worrying about getting damaged?
- It’s just a fun on a small budget?
The new HERO is one for you.
If you were wondering when all the cameras were introduced you can find information on each GoPro update in this article
For more information check out the articles below from some of the Top Internet Reviewers.
The 2014 GoPro’s In-Depth Review – DC Rainmaker
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/ Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:45:00 -0800
The camera itself (duh) – The battery for the camera – A mini-USB cable – An underwater case rated to 40m/131ft – An alternate/secondary door for the case that allows for better audio – A small stack of GoPro stickers – A small quick-start guide and other paper junk – A flat adhesive mount – A curved adhesive ….. But, when it comes to playback, it might be played back at 30FPS, which then results in that one-second moment of action taking 4 seconds to play back.
Read more …
Review: GoPro Hero 4 Black brings high frame rates to high …
http://appleinsider.com/ Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:09:18 -0700
Finally, the Hero 4 Black, GoPro’s flagship and the camera under review, carries over the same small form factor for which the company is known, but doubles high-resolution frame rates to 120fps for 1080p and 30fps for 4K.
Read more …
When it comes to GoPro’s new Hero4 camera, silver is the …
http://www.engadget.com/ Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:00:00 -0800
Recently though, GoPro changed things up a bit, releasing a new “Hero” entry-level camera (note, no “4”) while introducing the Hero4 in Silver and Black editions ($400 and $500, respectively). Another first was that the Black wasn’t just the Silver with a few more features or camera modes. The Silver …. Get better reviews from people who actually have this product! write a reviewsee all reviews →. No one has started a discussion about this product yet. Why not be the …
Read more …
GoPro Hero4 Silver review | Digital Trends
http://www.ecoustics.com/ Sat, 01 Nov 2014 22:00:14 -0700
If you choose 1080, you get the option of something called SuperView. This feature lets you capture a bit more of the sky and ground by taking a 4:3 aspect ratio shot and, as GoPro puts it, “dynamically stretching” it to a 16:9 …
Read more …
GoPro HERO4 SILVER In It’s Cross-hairs
This classic design remains a favorite for people riding motocross, mountain bike and many other helmet wearers. The shape harps back to the original concept of helmet-cams, as they were considered before the onslaught of GoPro et Al. The whole feel of the Drift GHOST-S is rugged, and that should certainly appeal to the rugged kind of users that it is aimed at. The Drift doesn’t have the exterior case required by many sports action cameras to protect them from the elements, and waterproofing is good to a depth of 3 meters. If you’re just reading specifications 3 meters might not sound like much, but we’re guessing that if you asked every person you know the last time they swam to this depth or beyond, no-one would be surprised by the answers. So apart from diving clubs, this is no deal-breaker. Unless you’re unfortunate enough to drop it over the drink it’s a non-issue, and in reality you’re more likely to drop it over something hard, so the 2 meter shock resistance is much more important.
Drift GHOST-S Port Access
Keeping on the subject of protection, everything you need to get to is safely protected behind the rear cap. The SD card slot, HDMI output, USB port, and the battery access are all situated here; there’s also an input for an external microphone, but that’s maybe more of a ‘nice to have’ than something of real use. The cap is secured by a screw with a large rotating head which works well until either cold fingers or glove hands become an obstacle. But Drift have thought of this, and a mount included with the package doubles to serve as a tool for loosening/tightening the large finger screw.
One advantage of this platform is the ability to rotate the lens through 300 degrees. This means less easier image alignment, made even easier with the LCD screen, and the camera placed on a good stable base as often as possible.
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The Other Advantages
Among the other plus’ are:
- Video specification matching that of the new GoPro HERO4 SILVER at 1080p/60FPS
- Matching 12-megapixel still photo sensor
- Gorilla Glass equipped screen
- Battery that puts others to shame
- Color coded LED indicating the current mode (it you have a head for remembering what all the color mean)
- Easy-to-use remote (App available for Android and iOS)
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It’s obvious from the list that, whilst the worlds eyes were on the competition, the team at Drift Innovation have been beavering away. 2015 is going to be tough with all the “Me-Too” major manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon, so it’s good to see a real hard-core/grass-roots player still keeping it real.
Here’s a selection of the best reviews we’ve found around the web.
Drift Ghost S hands-on – Engadget
http://www.engadget.com/ Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:26:00 -0800
Drift Innovation has been making action cameras for some time now. Today sees its latest offering — the Ghost S — hit stores globally. What’s new this time? Well there’s the usual assortment of video improvements: 1080p at …
Read more …
Drift Industries Announces New, Faster Ghost-S … – Review
http://reviews.mtbr.com/ Wed, 20 Nov 2013 03:09:58 -0800
Meet the new Ghost-S, the latest POV HD video camera from Drift Innovations. The Ghost-S builds on the previous HD Ghost platform with a better lens, a new Sony CMOS sensor, more speed and improved battery life …
Read more …
Drift Ghost S Helmet Camera … – CycleTechReview
http://cycletechreview.com/ Sat, 14 Jun 2014 06:38:40 -0700
However, just like bikes, not all cameras are created equal and the Drift Ghost S makes claim to be the best helmet camera (or action camera, as they are also known) for cyclists. Go Pro may be the best known brand in the …
Read more …
Tested: Drift Ghost-S Action Camera – Flow Mountain Bike
http://flowmountainbike.com/ Tue, 28 Jan 2014 19:15:28 -0800
However, the Drift Ghost-S is a fresh camera with a different approach on life and we think it’s definitely worth consideration. It’s water-proof, without the need of extra casing; has an in-built LCD, so you can review your shots …
Read more …
Video Editing Software: Formats And Editing Suites
Whatever you do with your GoPro you’ll need a few basic supporting items on top of the mounting systems. Your GoPro is generating a whole lot of data and you are going to need to understand how to handle it and how to process it. Here we discuss video editing software formats and editing suite options. If you need information on products that hold the data such as SD cards, computers, tablets and such like, check out some of our other posts. For now here is a few basics on the data itself and the things that you will need to deal with to get the ball rolling…
Understanding video formats can be a nightmare for many people, but we’ll try to run through a few basic ideas to clear the way and hopefully ease compatibility issues depending on the intended final use.
GoPro stores its data in MP4 format in order to retain a suitably small file size. This means that an SD card can generally outlasts the battery autonomy whilst retaining excellent image quality. You really don’t need to know any more than that, but if you do…here it is. If you don’t, then read the video software reviews instead.
Formats and Software
What is MP4?
MP4 is an abbreviation of MPEG-4, sometimes referred to as MPEG-4 AVC, which stands for Advanced Video Coding. As the name suggests, this is a format for working with video files. The MPEG™ refers to Motion Pictures Expert Group who set the industry standards for digital audio and video. Several versions have been published since 1999 and the present version issued in 2003 seems to be standing the test of time and has now been widely adopted for video streaming in web applications. MP4 works by compressing the files without losing any of the quality, as MP3 technology does for music and audio files.
The MP4 is a container format, which allows a combination of audio, video, subtitles and still images to be held in a unique file. It also allows for advanced content such as 3D graphics, menus and user interactivity. When converting other formats to the MP4 format, any unnecessary information, unseen to the viewer, is stripped out, leaving the files a more manageable size. This gives higher bit rates and better streaming.
As a side note, don’t be confused by the format M4A which is just an audio version of MP4 and will play in most MP4 players; so don’t try to fix it if you see this format and have no video…there isn’t any.
What is AVI and why do we have to convert?
AVI is an acronym for Audio Video Interleave. This is a multimedia container format and was first released by software giant Microsoft in 1992. It is a general purpose container and was adopted early on by many software manufacturers, hence the regular need to make the conversion from MP4 to AVI as compatibility is high for editing suites.
The container file carries data ‘chunks’ in an uncompressed format whilst in the editing software. Before importing and after exporting the files are generally reduced in size using a CODEC (COmpressor-DECompressor), which is often where the end user may see the systems short-comings. Despite high compatibility, a lack of standardization has lead to a plethora of CODECs and if the player/computer you’re using doesn’t possess the one required the playback will be either nonexistent, missing either video or audio, or the video and audio will be out of sync.
That said, in most modern editing software this isn’t the issue it used to be 10 years ago. The output to DVD and the ever increasing popular MP4 for web purposes means that, for now, the need to scratch your head whilst choosing the output format is generally just a distant memory. However, the battle over the best web format isn’t finished, so we’re sure to revisit this subject in the future.
Does MP 4 have a CODEC?
Yes, there are a number of registered CODEC’s but most equipment/software manufacturers seem to have a preference for either:
MPEG-4 Part 10 (more commonly known as H.264 and probably familiar to most people)
The Good News!
More and more editing suite manufacturers are building in direct compatibility with MP4 meaning no conversion on the importing side. This is great news and we’d like to hear from long-term users of products in this category.
Editing Suite Budget
Free Editing Suite: CineForm
The GoPro team supply some ‘free’ software in the shape of the CineForm Software Download. Most people have done little more on the GoPro website than watch the video of the week and check out the goodies. However, a browse through the support tab will enlighten you to software updates, as well as a user-friendly software interface for you to convert, edit, and apply a few post-production clean-ups.
Even if you intend to buy a more complete editing suite, the first thing to do is get this installed on your computer. Having tried several of the freebie converters out there, we can confirm that in order to keep the quality at the level of the original, look no further than this. You also require it as an interface to update your camera. They’ve done a great job, you undoubtedly pay for it in the price of the camera, so it’s a no-brainer; use it!
Consumer and Prosumer Editing Suites
OK, the CineForm does the basics, but you’re more the Steve Spielberg type and the craving to express yourself is becoming ever stronger. What are the options?
That’s down to budget and OS. Don’t over-estimate the power of your system because you’ll get frustrated as it blows a gasket trying to keep up with the heavy rendering processes involved in all those tempting features the editing suites offer. And certainly don’t over-estimate your own ability; you get what you’re paying for in expensive software, and you have to be savvy and know how to use it. Overspend and you’ll probably never use more than half of the products real power.
The most attractive films don’t use dozens of spiraling 3D transitions between clips. They have well-toned colors, direct exchanges between one shot and another, occasional basic fades. Titles can be more fun, and something with a creative titling package is money well spent as your imagination can run riot somewhat. Stabilizers are also a good option, and very often a necessity for ‘rescuing’ sports footage.
The expensive gear will allow you to get incredibly fine, balanced, deep colors and straighten warped edges and bent corners. If you’re posting for your mates on YouTube, no-one’s going to notice; don’t waste the money!
Check out some of the other posts in the Editing or Software Review Categories to see Video Editing Software Reviews.
Adobe Premiere Elements Version Tested: 11
Versions Available: 11, 12, 13
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Before we talk about the qualities of Version 11 of Adobe Premiere Elements, we’ll let you know that there is no 4k or 3D support in this product. We don’t think this should put you off as many computers can’t hack 4K either when it comes to processing the raw video, so unless 4k at 15fps gets you uncontrollably excited this may not be a big issue for the next few years.
Adobe Premiere Elements Version 11 appears to have upped it’s game after bumping along for a while. More attention has been paid to what Adobe may have been considering a lower priority to it’s big brother, Premiere Pro. The somewhat unresponsive interface of previous versions now sees excellent preview quality giving smoother playbacks, which improves the whole user experience. Unless you start getting heavy on the overlays you should be happy with the speed of the workflow.
Interface and Workflow
With a cleaner all-round look than previous versions of Adobe Premiere Elements, the access to major functions such as transitions, effects, and color-correction filters is straight forward. That said, dealing with some of the parameters once inside can be more difficult to get a handle on. Some of the default behaviors could have been better thought out, like the dissolve when overlapping clips which seems to cut frames. Maybe altering the set-up preferences will sort this out, but nevertheless a dissolve is still a staple operation.
The fact that this filters down from a larger set of tools (Creative Cloud) is evident when looking at the integration with it’s brother Photoshop Elements. If you are looking to advance, or already have, this has a creative advantage over some of the other suites. It could also be good training for jumping the fence into the professional suites like the Creative Cloud itself, so challenging yourself a little to get to grips with it may well pay off.
the Film Looks library will appeal to those wanting to get that real film feeling from compiled effects giving cinema like colors, without all the hassle of figuring it out for themselves. Working in either Quick or Expert will
We would recommend Premiere Elements for anybody looking to progress whilst still having the option of throwing something out quickly when required.
On the whole this product performs as it should. It doesn’t make the presumptuous claim of ‘Pro’ as some of the competitors do, and leaves this job to it stable-mate Premiere Pro. This means that it’s performance is well and truly within the Consumer market standards and the amateur user has more that enough to go at. The Instant Movie feature may automatically remove the dross from some one your less watchable GoPro footage which could be a bonus for those not wanting to scrub through ten hours of film looking for the best bits.
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- Affordable platform with some of it’s big brothers benefits.
- Cleaned up interface.
- Good Multi-layering, especially with stills, offers progressive tool.
- No 4k support.
- Snapping and overlapping clips seems…different.
CyberLink PowerDirector Version tested: 11 Ultimate
Versions Available: 11, 12 or 13 / 11, 12 or 13 Ultimate / 11, 12 or 13 Ultra / 11, 12 or 13 Deluxe.
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Interface And Workflow
Providing all the standard tools to trim and adjust footage CyberLink PowerDirector leaves the originals files untouched which is always good methodology in this digital age. Cropping or zooming, clip speed adjustment, or catching a freeze frame are all possible and automated image enhancement is available for those unsure of themselves when it comes to knowing the different between their chroma and their luminance.
Drop and drag is now the standard way of placing transitions, effects, etc., so no surprises there and the Magic Fix/Magic Motion tools give the opportunity to cure shaky hand syndrome or pan/zoom within scenes. In fact, everything seems to be magic; Magic Cut finds the best quality footage, whilst Magic Style slaps on a pre-designed template.
The work-flow interface allows so many tracks that you, or rather your computers capacity, will get tired before the software. If you really want to use 200 video and audio tracks then maybe you should be working at a TV network because your home PC isn’t going to like it – prepare for a crash…
Sensibly most people wouldn’t even go there, in which case CyberLink PowerDirector optimizes soft and hardware performance to give a healthy increase the rendering process speed compared to previous versions.
Importing and Exporting
More than 20 formats can be imported into the Media Room, so if you have other equipment as well as your GoPro it’ll do the job. As with most editing suites, you can use a microphone to lay on a dialogue during post-production if you have to mute the screaming or the wind-noise from the original.
Export formats allow videos to be played on smartphones, PlayStation 3 and Xbox among other things, and end products are easily uploaded to the well-known social media sites. Single- and Dual-layer DVD formats are supported as is Blu-ray, and the tools to add titles, menus, and navigation on such formats are included forming part of this professional looking package.
With so much to offer, including 4K and 3D, you would be hard pushed to find such a good no-nonsense highly power piece of software at this price. In fact we’d probably say at any price, as the complexity tends to rise along with the currency. With nice touches like the beat detection to help you line up video with your music, this is where the amateurs smart cash would go.
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- Wide user base and community.
- Supports 4K footage.
- Version 12 now includes some new effects, such as tilt-shift.
- Can consume computer resources.
Corel VideoStudio Version tested: X5
Versions available: X7, X6, X5, X5 Ultimate, X4, X4 Ultimate
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All of these Corel video-editing packages open to reveal a classic interface, with preview timeline and content windows all evident. However, the workspace is also flexible allowing dual monitor set-up and the possibility to drag, drop, and stretch all the windows into the configuration that suits the user. This allows you to organize the work-flow depending on which point of the creative process you are focusing on.
The two modes provided give the opportunity to have a simplified overview for a quick drop and drag operation for less complex projects, in the case of ‘storyboard’ view, or a more in-depth multiple track ‘timeline’ view allowing the user to overlay video, stills and audio to create effects that are more visually pleasing with a good visibility of the content.
The track manager allows you to add or remove video and audio tracks making for effective use of the available screen area. Any added effects are indicated by an icon sitting on the timeline content giving a quick visual reference of the post-production work carried out on individual clips. Edited clips are saved as new files so the originals stay intact, whilst clips sat on the timeline can be simply dragged to increase or decrease their duration without the necessity of cutting.
The standard transitions and titles are more than adequate, if not as numerous as other packages, and the royalty free audio clips are a nice touch but should be considered as more of a showcase item as the beats can sound a little cliché. Whilst standard formats of your own music library can be imported on to the timeline, the Smart Sound audio format restricts the possibility of using your own loops in its Quicktracks library. There is also a surround mixer if you want to take the time create your ambiance.
Time-lapse and stop-motion is easily handled with a self-explanatory interface showing frame removal positions, and can be used to great effect to shorten moments you’d like to keep, but appear mind-numbingly never-ending viewed at normal speed.
The whole process is relatively smooth and the technology used can keep pace with all but the most athletic editor. Provided that you heed the minimum specification recommended for each of the products, the HD or 3D formats that are rapidly becoming the norm will not pose processor problems.
Ultimate versions have the added bonuses of being bundled with the Mercalli SE image correction and stability manager (although basic) , which is almost a must for any sports cineaste, and the Boris Graffiti titling software for the more adventurous.
Importing and Exporting
Corel VideoStudio Pro uses the classic Explorer mode to import videos, stills, and audio from all manner of devices, whether they are held on your hard drive, exterior camera, or require ripping from a CD or DVD of one of your previous projects. All content is then held in tabs and options can be switched on or off to view single formats i.e. audio only if you are concentrating on the soundtrack.
There are enough export options to suit everybody’s needs from the web to Blu-ray, passing by all the obvious mobile and tablet formats. Even 2D can be rendered into a 3D simulation. Direct uploading to social media sites is also possible.
Disc menus and chapters are no-nonsense affairs and everything is burnt without the need to export to another tool.
Corel VideoStudio offers a good street level product, a higher background spec, but a few less visual offerings. The ProX5 version is one of the first products on the market to have Sandy Bridge and Fusion CPU optimizations, along with HTML5 output, but do you really need it? If your computer is lacking the spec you’ll get better results with ProX4 and all-round performance will be better.
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- Brimming with tools giving the opportunity to produce professional-looking movies.
- Create 3D movies…in a fashion.
- Versions available with Boris Graffiti titling and Mercali SE stabilizing.
- For the more adventurous there are less tracks (especially audio), transitions and objects available that other suites.
- Windows only.
- Can Hang or crash
Sony Movie Studio Version Tested: Platinum Suite 12
Versions Avaiable: 12, 13
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The Sony video editing software comes packaged along with Sound Forge Audio Studio, DVD Architect Studio for both DVD and Blu-ray authoring…hence the Suite name. With everthing on hand, including in-program Show Me How tutorials will get you swiftly on you way for some reasonably rapid results.
Interface And Workflow
Once over the intimidating first glance the guidance from the desktop tutorials will have you up and running relatively quickly. Simple drop and drag makes it easy to place everything that’s needed on the time-line, and with over 500 transitions and effects it would be difficult to run out of choice.
As usual there’s a but; with so many transitions it seems Sony completely forgot to throw in a few templates for the less adept user. A reality that may push some potential costumers in the direction of products that at least allow them to flip a coin when deciding whether to do it the easy or difficult way. That doesn’t change the capacity of the software, it just narrows the target in terms of who would choose it. If you’re one of those, we don’t think you’d be disappointed from a creative point of view, but at this price point it’s neither entry level nor professional so tempting keen newbies without giving them the option is a little unfair.
On the upside the Magic bullet plug-in allows you to set the scene and define your style and lighting with over one hundred presets, and that has to be an advantage worth considering. It could be worth checking if your graphics card is up to the job for fully benefiting from the whistles and bells that the suite offers, as some of the more advanced feature may tax your computer.
Finding your way around the interface on your own takes more time as icon size and direct access tools are fewer than other ‘cleaner’ or more amateur targeted suites, so the workflow is maybe not as intuitive as it could be. People who have already used an entry level product will probably be more comfortable having a better knowledge of tool names and terms.
The Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite has what it takes for the more adventurous, giving the opportunity to venture into the audio department a little deeper, which is actually not a bad thing. Plenty of add-ons to help progression to the next level of production, so it could be a choice to avoid paying premium price.
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- Powerful editing tool.
- Possible to customize of interface.
- Integrated audio production.
- Interface could be less complex.
- Can crash.
Magix Movie Edit Pro Version tested: 2013 Premium
Versions available: 2013, 2013 Plus, 2013 Premium. Now goes up to version 18.
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Interface And Workflow
We’ve included this more advanced product as the recent price level (reductions of 50% on standard retail price) is bring it in reach of an amateur. Crop, split, and move your files around with ease, and drop and drag on to one of three work-flow interfaces. Timeline, Storyboard or Scene are the view options in this package and there is a large catalog of over 1000 templates, effects and audio clips to build up a professional looking movie.
Some thoughtful touches like the multi-cam editing, which synchronizes footage of a single scene taken from two cameras by aligning the soundtracks, gives confidence that this is a well thought through product. Stability seems a strong point as processing appears smooth and response time is good whilst moving assets and rendering. We can’t say that everything is at your fingertips as the icons appear quite small, sometimes making it difficult to find the tooling you are looking for. Video/audio files can be previewed cleanly before importing, and switching mode to get an overview of a project is instantaneous.
Color correction adjustments is impressive and easy access to them improves the overall work-flow during production. Professional looking templates are at hand, however if you want to access the full library of additional material you may have to spend a while on line to download it.
Learning support for Magix Movie Edit is available on their official YouTube channel, with a multitude of tutorials to help you reproduce the kind of effects that are within the capabilities of this product. Further technical support is available upon registration with free 12 month ‘Premium Support’.
Importing and Exporting
Full HD capacity for goes without saying when wanting to use GoPro footage, and this software promises to import mp4 directly, which it handled for us without any problems. This saves considerable time (and drive space) in the total process, as there is no need to pass through the GoPro CineForm conversion stage. Most video editing suites now claim some kind of enhanced programming to reduce the drain on system resources, especially during final render and export and Magix Movie Pro is no different. It did a good job, quickly rendering some panning, zooming, and fading projects that we ran through it.
Initially a little daunting for a beginner as the Premium version is maybe targeted towards more experienced users, however those wishing to persevere may reap the benefits of this well-priced product.
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- Over 1000 templates, effects, and audio clips.
- High community subscription.
- Time spent downloading content could be a drag.