Video Production Software Review

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What is Video Production Software?

Video production software is a professional non-linear video editing tool used to produce motion pictures, commercials, corporate communications, etc. These industry leading software packages usually require specially built computers and professionally trained editors to operate them effectively. We aren’t talking about your everyday do-it-yourself video editors here. Companies like Apple and Avid produce products that have been used to edit award-winning major motion pictures such as “Crazy Heart,” "Iron Man 2" and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Video editing, or the “invisible art,” as many practitioners refer to it, has been an Oscar category since 1934. For those of you not keeping track, nearly two out of three films that win the Academy Award for Best Film Editing go on to win the Best Picture award as well. Video editing is a big deal and the best editors in the world use the products featured on this site. Also be sure to read our articles related to video production.

Post-production video editors produce mind blowing masterpieces. Video production software is the palette these artists use to put paint to canvas by combining video, sound, and effects all in one magical package. A professional video editor wants a tool that will allow seamless integration between the various phases of the post production process.

The difference between video editing software and video production software is integration. With video editing software you can edit video and maybe apply a few visual effects; with video production software you can edit video, create visual and sound effects, mix audio tracks, and combine these elements to produce a masterpiece of cinematic proportions.

What to Look for in Video Production Software

Features
To keep up with the demand of post production you need a software package that can handle any situation. It needs to be able to manage imported media, work seamlessly with other applications in the suite, offer a high degree of customization, provide a simple and easy to navigate interface, and include a tool for authoring DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Video Editing
Video editing is the core of each of these products. Everything else is usually built to support this function. A good video editor is one that is easy to use, works well with associated applications, and offers a variety of options and effects.

Sound Editing
As one of the final steps in the post production process, sound editing is commonly overlooked or under considered. Sound editing can be as basic as removing background noise or adding minor effects, or as complex as mixing 5.1 surround sound tracks. Luckily, each application featured on this site has an audio editor. Most integrate seamlessly with the video editors and include video/audio synchronization tools.

Native Editing
How nice is it to be able to drop media into the timeline and just start editing? Having to wait for transcoding and rewrapping is a waste of time and valuable resources. These video production software packages each offer native editing to an extent, although they all approach native editing differently. Take a look at our comparison matrix for a quick overview of which formats each developer claims to offer native support for.

Supported Operating Systems
Few video production software packages are available for both Mac and Windows. Whatever your preference, it is important to know what works with your system. For example, if you are only interested in video production software for your Windows PC, don’t plan on looking at Apple Final Cut Studio.

Help and Support
Video production software featured on this site tends to be complex. Even seasoned editors will run into something they don’t understand or need help with. For that reason, it is imperative that the software developer offer product support. Support can come in the form of telephone assistance, email, tutorials, online chat, or user moderated forums.

Be sure to check out our top ranked reviews of video production software, Apple Final Cut Studio, Adobe Production Premium and Sony Vegas Pro as well as our articles related to video production.

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Software » Multimedia » Video Production Software Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Apple Final Cut Studio Adobe Production Premium Sony Vegas Pro Avid Media Composer MAGIX Video Pro X Edius
Apple Final Cut Studio Adobe Production Premium Sony Vegas Pro Avid Media Composer MAGIX Video Pro X Edius
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Lowest Price
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Visit Avid Media Composer 4.0
Visit MAGIX Video Pro X 2.5
Visit Edius 5.5
Ratings
9.70
9.50
9.25
9.07
8.88
6.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
7.50
9.38
10.00
8.75
10.00
10.00
10.00
7.50
9.38
10.00
10.00
8.75
7.50
8.75
10.00
7.50
10.00
8.75
10.00
8.13
10.00
9.38
10.00
7.50
7.50
7.50
6.25
5.00
2.50
10.00
7.50
6.25
 
Pricing
Purchase new license $1,299 $1,699 $599.95 $2.495 $399 $799
Upgrade from previous version $499 $599   $395 $299  
Features
Media Management
  
Application Integration
 
 
Resource Sharing
 
  
Customizable Workspace
 
 
Customizable Keyboard
 
 
 
External Control Surface Support
 
Script Search  
 
  
Blu-ray Authoring Support
Open Timeling
Third Party Plug-ins
Free Trial  
Video Editing
Video Tracks
Integrated Effects
Compositing
 
Stereoscopic (3D) Editing
  
Multicamera Support
Color Correction
Video Stabilizer
A/V Synchronization
Image Editing
 
Audio Editing
Audio Tracks
Integrated Effects
Multitrack Mixer
 
Voice Over
5.1 Surround Support
 
Automatic Volume Adjustment  
 
 
Background Noise Removal
Native Support
XDCAM
XDCAM HD
XDCAM EX
DVCPRO
DVCPRO HD
P2
 
R3D
  
AVC-I
 
AVCHD
Supported Operating System
Windows 8  
 
Windows 7  
Windows Vista  
Windows XP Pro SP2/3  
Mac OS X 10.4.11-10.5.4
 
  
Mac OS 10.5.5/6 (Leopard)
 
  
Help/Support
Telephone
Email
Live Chat Support       
Knowledge Base/FAQ
User Moderated Forums
Tutorials