Sony Vegas has gained a steady following over the years with the PC video editing crowd, and after spending some quality time with the latest iteration, I can see why. As someone who only does video editing as a hobby, I was happy to discover that Sony Vegas Pro 12 is relatively simple to learn and intuitive, while sporting a wide range of features and great performance. If you’re an aspiring YouTube content creator or filmmaker in the market for a professional video editing software that doesn’t take years to learn, this software is easy to recommend.
Sony Vegas Pro 12 is a PC-exclusive program that only works with 64-bit operating systems. While some might be disappointed by this, the fact of the matter is that 64-bit processing greatly increases the speed and performance of this software, similarly to my experience with Avid’s Pro Tools 11 recording software. Installing the program is pretty much painless, and the same goes for importing video footage, audio, and other media. You can drag just about anything into your project from Windows Explorer, and the program supports just about every file type and extension which avoids the hassle of file conversion. A great new feature has been added to Sony Vegas Pro 12 which automatically matches the project to whatever media you’re importing. Also new to this version is 64-bit audio plugin support, the ability to import files from Pro Tools, shape masking tools, FX masking, and much more. Color match is a new addition that is great for matching colors between multiple cameras, or adding a color effect to multiple clips at once.
The layout and design of Sony Vegas Pro 12 is very similar to previous versions of the software. The interface is simple and easy to comprehend, and hovering the cursor over just about any part of the software will display helpful text to better understand its functionality. While it could be said that the interface looks a bit drab – it’s not exactly sleek-looking – obviously the focus here is on function rather than fashion. One aspect of the program that I found a bit frustrating is that the windows can be dragged around to various “tabs”, but it’s not easy to bring a window to full view in order to tweak parameters. Attempting to drag a window into view will usually cause it to be sucked into a nearby tab like a magnet. While the windows for effects and audio mixing were a bit too busy in terms of layout, the main video and audio edit window is simple and uncluttered. Slicing up footage, creating fades and adding overlays or additional audio tracks is a breeze in Sony Vegas Pro 12. This version even includes simultaneous video and audio fades to make edits even faster and easier.
Sony Vegas Pro 12 is built to run on a wide range of computer systems, but you’ll need at least 4 GB of RAM and a 64-bit operating system. If you have a high-end PC you should notice dramatically increased rendering times over previous versions of the program. Those with lower-end PCs might have to wait a while longer for a render to finish, but I noticed no stability problems while using Sony Vegas Pro 12. The program never crashed mid-render or forgot my preference settings, and it even auto-saves your work just in case the power goes out or someone trips on the power cord.
Sony Vegas Pro 12 has the ability to edit everything from standard definition video to high definition, 2K and 4K video in 2D or stereoscopic 3D. If you shot a scene with multiple cameras, this software has the ability to sync them up easily. Those that are looking to move to Sony Vegas Pro 12 from another competing software needn’t worry, as the program can import files from almost all of them – including the aforementioned Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, After Effects and more. If you’re uploading gameplay or other footage to YouTube like me, Sony Vegas Pro 12 has built-in render presets for 1080p and 720p videos, which might require some customization but are highly appreciated. The included settings can greatly reduce the file size (and thus upload time) for high-definition content.
Overall, Sony Vegas Pro 12 is a solid update to one of the best video editing programs on the market today. It’s easy to use, packed to the brim with video effects, transitions and audio plugins, and it’s incredibly stable with the enhanced 64-bit performance. Beginners and pros alike should download the trial and check it out.