Choosing the right nonlinear editing program…

…is a headache. Kinda like driving the same old rattrap car forever…when it dies there are way too many bright shiny new choices you’ve heard about but honestly really don’t know anything about.

So I’ve dumped Apple computers for a PC – a Dell. And I’ve been slowly trying to wean myself away from the white keyboard over to the dark and mysterious black keyboard. I’ve done some research and have narrowed the programs realistically down to AVID studio, Adobe Production CS5.5, and Edius. I also looked at Sony Vegas Pro and toyed with the idea of Pinnacle, but that was too many to review. The last two are good from what I’ve seen and heard, but as a friend (yeah, you Larry) told me – Cyndy, you seem to be stuck on the “pro” label. All too true…and not just for the label, but also the fact they are proven industry standards.

What exactly AM I looking for in an editing program? Here goes:

1. Ability to take in a wide variety of video formats into one project (AVCHD, SD, jpegs, TIFFs, etc).
2. Your basic drag and drop editing. Plus.
3. The “plus” should include filters to do color correction, audio sweetening, FX, transitions.
4. Able to take on plug-ins to add to the ability of the program to individualize projects.
5. Either have or be able to work with third-party DVD authoring and burning programs.
6. Ability to create all major video files (Quicktime, mpg, avi, wmv, flv, etc). Who knows what the client will want – I just want to be able to give it to them.
Oh – and some decent tutorials please. While I CAN and have edited my way out of some pretty deep holes, I need some technical assistance so I can find my way around the new desktop.

Stay tuned…I’ll try to keep you in the loop as I wander through the trial downloads of my prospective choices.

Done my homework and played with the programs. Almost…with a deadline fast approaching and unable to download and install Edius, I had to make a decision fast…and have gone with Adobe Production CS5.5. Avid was a breeze, but CS5.5 has all the goodies in one eacy package. And the learning curve is close to non-existent. Just need to make some fairly minor adjustments to my workflow and I should be back up to speed.

FYI – Sony Vegas did not make my cut. Too many difficulties in figuring out how to actually do an edit.

Now if I get that trial disk from Grass Valley and like the look of it, may just go for Edius as a secondary system.

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