Edius 5 Non-linear Video Editing Software Review

Real-Time Powerhouse

With this latest iteration of its Edius non-linear editing software product, Grass Valley, Inc. is entering a strong contender into the mix of advanced video editing programs.

Aimed at an intermediate through advanced level audience, Edius 5 is a powerful real-time editing system offering a number of professional features, which include multi cam editing (up to eight sources), waveform and vector scope capabilities.

In this corner, in the red and gray box (ers) – Edius 5!

The package contains three discs including the Edius 5 Installation DVD, TitleMotion Pro Installation CD and a Bonus Contents DVD. The Bonus DVD includes Corel DVD MovieFactory SE, NewBlue Art /Film /Motion Effects, ProDAD Vitascene/Mercalli, iZotope Audio VST Plugins and a collection of stock footage by Art Beats. Also included are a Quick Start Guide and USB Key.

Installation of the discs was straightforward with no issues whatsoever. The program requires a USB license key or dongle. Don’t lose it or you will find yourself looking at a 30-day countdown timer each time you open the program.

Once running, the program functioned quite well and provided a good, rapid workflow. It showed strong stability as it ran very solidly through the testing period on a Dell workstation (Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, 4GB RAM, 64-bit Windows Vista Business and ATI Radeon HD 2400 video card), with no hiccups, burps, or stalls of any sort.

He’s On The Ropes

Edius 5 aims for the advanced user and for the most part succeeds. It is deficient however in its effects collection and this lack will undoubtedly leave the advanced user wanting. A collection of third party applications has been included in an attempt to compensate for this weakness. The result is a collection of different interfaces and overlapping effects.

Edius 5 is probably most suited to the intermediate user who is willing to invest the time to learn the product. Many may find the learning curve to be rather steep as the product is not particularly intuitive. Users of earlier versions will have little difficulty but others will have to spend considerable time with the User Reference Guide, a PDF document accessed via the program’s help menu. At 782 pages, this guide covers everything you’d want to know about using this program and more. With an extensive Table of Contents and a comprehensive Index all the information is readily attainable. Though it lacks a Glossary, the guide does a good job explaining important terms.

The interface is a bit primitive. It continues to use pop-up windows for transitions and effects while Premiere and Final Cut have abandoned these in favor of more efficient integrated panels and customizable workspaces.

The Knockout Punch

Edius 5 can handle a truly impressive list of natively supported formats including:

  • Grass Valley Infinity JPEG 2000
  • Panasonic DVCPRO 50 and
    DVCPRO HD
  • Panasonic P2
  • Panasonic VariCam
  • Panasonic AVC-Intra
  • Sony XDCAM and XDCAM HD
    (including 4:2:2 50Mbit)
  • Sony XDCAM EX
  • JVC ProHD
  • Ikegami GFCAM
  • AVCHD
  • HDV

The program shines most brightly in the area of real-time editing. It achieves its impressive performance by utilizing the power of your computer’s graphics card. The ability to edit different aspect ratios, frame rates, resolutions, effects, transitions, titles and any mix of SD and HD video together in real-time, results in a much faster workflow.

In spite of its quirks, Edius 5 is a powerful program with much to offer. If your computer meets the minimum requirements, you like the idea of real-time editing and are undaunted by the learning curve, lack of effects and pop-up windows then you might like to cruise on over to desktop.grassvalley.com/products/EDIUS/index.php for a free 30-day trial.


TECH SPECS

OS: Windows XP Home or Professional (SP2 or later, 32-bit); Windows Vista (SP1 or later, 32-bit or 64-bit)

CPU: Intel or AMD with 3 GHz processor or faster (multiple CPU’s and/or multi-core CPU’s are recommended)

RAM: 1GB (2GB recommended)

Hard Drive Space: 5GB hard disk space required for installation (including third-party software)

Graphics Card: Supported by Direct3D 9.0c or later; PixelShader Model 3.0 or later is required; for SD editing: 128MB or larger required, 256MB or larger recommended; for HD editing: 256MB or larger required, 512MB or larger recommended

Capture Formats: Analog, DV, HDV, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO 50

WORKFLOW

Batch Capture: Yes

Automatic Scene Detection: Yes

User Interface: Timeline

Number of Video Tracks: Unlimited

Number of Audio Tracks: Unlimited

Nesting Tracks: Yes

Audio/Video Level Envelopes: Yes

Audio Scrub: Yes

EFFECTS/RENDERING

Keyframe Animation: Yes

Background Rendering: No

Third-party Plug-in Support: Yes

OUTPUT

MPEG-2 Encoding: Yes

MPEG-4 Encoding: Yes

Audio Output Formats: PCM, Dolby Digital DVD Authoring Software Included: Corel DVD MovieFactory

Strengths

  • Impressive real-time performance
  • Many formats supported natively
  • GPU-Accelerated 3D Transitions
  • Multi-cam editing

Weaknesses

  • Effects package weak; clunky with
    different interfaces and redundant
    effects
  • Steep learning curve

Summary

Edius 5 is a powerful editing program with excellent real-time performance and broad format support.

Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.

Grass Valley, Inc.

711 Charcot Ave.

San Jose, CA 95131

www.grassvalley.com

$799

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