We’re taking the Three Bears approach here. If Premiere Elements 2.0 (reviewed in March 2006) is too complex and Pinnacle’s Studio Plus 10 (reviewed in April 2006) is too buggy, Ulead’s VideoStudio 10 Plus could be just right for people who want the fastest route from DV cam to the TV screen.
VideoStudio 10 Plus’ new features include an shake-reduction filter to bring it up to par with its competitors, and support for HDV, multiple overlays, and MPEG-4 and Divx output. And the program includes a generous stable of powerful video effects—we particularly liked the duo-tone effect.
For performance reasons, you won’t be editing HDV content at native resolution. VideoStudio 10 uses a proxy video file on which to do your edits and transitions. Then the project is output at full resolution—supposedly. We were unable to test the feature using an HDV MPEG-2 file we captured with another application. We’re not sure why; it could just be an incompatibility with our encoding method.
One thing we are sure about, however, is performance. VideoStudio 10 just didn’t seem as responsive as the other applications we’ve tested. A very noticeable and annoying one or two second lag occurs before video playback starts or stops. We also don’t like the fact that video playback stops when you change the scale on the timeline.
When you’re nose-to-CRT looking at a scene and you want to zoom out of the timeline, you don’t want everything to come to a screeching halt. Doing a frame-by-frame edit of a clip was just downright clunky and painful. But our main complaint is with the poor documentation of the controls. For example, instead of including the keyboard command in a pop-up bubble when you hover over the soft button, you have to dig into the back of the manual to find the shortcuts.
While we think VideoStudio 10 is great for someone who wants to perform simple, straightforward edits, more ambitious editors are better off with Premiere or Magix’ Movie Edit Pro 11 (which we reviewed in July 2006).