As we explained in the introduction to this review, EDIUS’ party piece is its real-time editing prowess. Even in software-only guise, it compares very favourably with the competition. In our dual 2GHz Opteron 246 workstation, we were able to mix around five streams of DV in real time. The system could handle two streams of HD with a 3D picture-in-picture effect and filters applied, and even three streams over short periods. Canopus has a unique ability to allow short sequences beyond your PC’s real-time abilities, too. It can cache up to 96 frames in memory, and use these to get it through processor-intensive areas.
Despite looking virtually the same as its predecessor, EDIUS Pro 4 has a number of brand new features, which bring it more in line with the Adobe and Avid competition. Multicam editing has been added, with up to eight camera angles. This is a separate mode, which allows you to sync your clips and switch between angles during real-time playback. Related to this is the new ability to nest sequences – which will handily allow you to nest a multicam edit within a normal one. Each sequence is tabbed along the top of the timeline, like Premiere Pro, and can be dragged into another sequence, where you can apply any effects you like just like a regular video clip. Playback will even be in real time, if hardware power permits.
The most exciting new effect is Time Remapping. This is akin to Avid Liquid’s Linear Time Warp. It allows you to vary a clip’s playback speed dynamically with time, speeding it up in some places and slowing it down in others. This is an effect much loved in advertising, and Canopus makes it relatively easy to use once you know how the keyframes work. The Time Remapping has the unique ability of being able to change playback speed without altering the length of the clip. It works in real time, too, unlike Avid’s Linear Time Warp.
There are also sundry additional capabilities. You can now import and edit WMV, including WMVHD. Dolby Digital audio can be imported and edited, too, which is handy if you have a camcorder which records its sound in this format, such as JVC’s Everios. The Speed Encoder is also now included for free. This takes advantage of multiple CPUs and/or cores when encoding HDV from the timeline ready for output back to tape. We’ve already mentioned the ability to edit video at 1,920 x 1,080. This was new with EDIUS 4 as well.
However, one feature which we were expecting in this version is noticeable by its absence – filter keyframing. The colour correction filters have had this facility added, but most of the others are still static, forcing you to use the same settings throughout the clip. This somewhat hampers creativity, considering even sub-£100 editing software offers this ability these days.