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Sony Vegas Pro 9 for Pro Editing

Sony Vegas Pro 9, the latest version in the Sony Creative Software line of professional video and audio editing software, was released in May 2009. The product also includes DVD Architect 5, which adds support for Blu-ray Disc authoring.

Vegas demonstrates interesting developing trends in professional video editing software, from the interface to features to performance.

The most visible change is to the interface, with a darker palette. The more muted look fits better in darkened editing rooms and provides a more neutral background for working with clips. This has become popular as well in consumer applications like the Adobe Elements products, since the colors pop more against the plainer background.

Inside, Vegas is showing the way into higher performance computing and extended precision by including both the standard 32-bit application, and a native 64-bit version of the application, opening up the ability to address and processes more frames and higher-res frames directly in memory. And for extra precision during final rendering, Vegas supports shifting up from the standard 8-bit video mode to 32-bit floating point arithmetic and extended color space modes.

Another clear trend in Vegas Pro 9 is broader support for professional camera and imaging formats beyond broadcast to motion pictures, now supporting up to 4K resolution (4096x4096). Vegas supports import and native editing from the RED ONE digital cine camera, and has native import of Sony XDCAM EX cameras. It captures XDCAM-compatible MXF files from SD/HD-SDI sources. It has native import and export for the DPX and OpenEXR high-precision image formats. And it supports working with gigapixel-sized images.

More generally, Vegas tracks the transition from capturing from linear tape to importing from digital cameras with the new Device Explorer to browse AVCHD and XDCAM cameras to select clips for native import and editing.

For actual video editing, Vegas Pro 9 adds new professional lighting effects and workflow enhancements to work more efficiently. But it also adds automated assists, including automated adjustments to the source media to better match your project or rendering settings (i.e., though cropping or padding the frame size or adjusting the interlacing).

And Vegas continues to build on its heritage in audio editing -- Vegas 9 extends the precision of audio edits so that audio-only edits are no longer quantized to the nearest frame boundary by default.

The range required for professional videographers continues to broaden, from broadcast to film resolution, SD to HD to Internet videos -- and Vegas Pro 9 steps up to meet those needs for professional formats and higher performance.

Sony Vegas Pro 9 is currently available for around $599. Sony also has released a separate Vegas Pro Production Assistant plug-in with automation and productivity tools for broadcasters and editors, priced around $169. This automates a variety of frequent tasks and processes and creates customized presets for batch processing.

Sony offers trial version downloads of its products from its website, including Vegas Pro and DVD Architect. Current users can download the recent product updates for the latest versions and bug fixes.

See my full article: Walkthrough: Sony Vegas Pro 9

See summaries of video applications and versions in my Video Editing Software Gallery.

    Find Sony Vegas Pro 9 on Amazon.com

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