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Output options and verdict
Sony has also added support for frame rates other than the usual 25 per second (in Europe) and 30 per second (in the US and Japan). Vegas will now work natively with 24p, 50p, and 60p footage. The first of these will mostly be useful to users of digital cameras that offer this frame rate, and further enhancing support for digital camera footage, the QuickTime AVC support has been improved as well. If you mix and match frame rates within a project, Vegas will handle this reasonably well, too.
So Vegas 11 has some cutting-edge features, but the interface is still essentially the same. There are a few tweaks, though. The New Project wizard has been streamlined, so now you can choose a video format and name the project within one dialog. There's now a Titles and Text plug-in, which is a new Video Media Generator, providing more sophisticated formatting tools and a variety of animations. Music soundtrack creation remains a strength, with 360 customisable options supplied. Fixing video problems is another area of strength, too. There's a capable image stabilisation filter, plus a plug-in for adjusting white balance and another for secondary colour correction. In some areas, however, Vegas lags behind both Premiere Elements and Corel VideoStudio, with just 10 video tracks available, although the times when you might need more than this will be few and far between.
When you've finished your editing, the output options have been upgraded to match the new file support options. You can upload 3D straight to YouTube, with the correct tags inserted so the online service recognises the format and adjusts playback options accordingly. You can also burn your projects to 3D Blu-ray. AVC rendering is accelerated on NVIDIA GPUs via CUDA and ATI GPUs via OpenCL, although only with compatible hardware and driver versions.
If you're not planning to edit 3D, Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 11 doesn't have a lot of new features to entice users of earlier versions to upgrade. We would also argue that its interface is still a little more opaque than even Adobe Premiere Elements. But it is a capable, well rounded package with a wealth of features, and worthy of consideration alongside the Adobe and Corel alternatives. There's lots of editing power here, and if you want to edit footage shot on your shiny new 3D camcorder, Vegas 11 is currently your only choice.
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