As the demand for video increases, the video editing software market only gets more competitive. Scores of programs compete against each other with new options, refined workspaces and streamlined workflows. EDIUS 6, from Grass Valley, is a pro competitor with a solid interface, impressive features and some pleasant surprises.
Under the Hood
EDIUS 6 is a sporty video editor with high aims and a sizeable fan base. Competitively priced, EDIUS is in the company of some familiar big dogs in the editing arena like Premiere Pro, Avid and Final Cut. However, it’s only available for Windows OS users. The box contains two discs, an install manual, a registration card, a USB key and an “Edit Anything. EDIUS.” sticker. The first disc installs the program; the second holds all the bonus software and extra plug-ins. The manual contains 23 pages of installation help, the USB key is essentially a security dongle, and the sticker is just for fun.
Installation is quick and simple without additional updates or patches to download. The user interface is clean, easy to navigate and keeps important functions within reach. The arrangement and even color of the program windows is modifiable. The included bonus filters and plug-ins neatly round out EDIUS, giving it extra functionality.
EDIUS 6 is a professional product and not entirely suitable for casual enthusiasts. The learning curve can be steep for intermediate editors and guaranteed to be frustrating for folks who don’t read manuals. Absent are project wizards, templates or big, bubbly buttons with lengthy tool-tips. When setting up your project, you need to know details of aspect ratios, video resolution, frame rates and so on.
For example, there’s no preset for a 60i frame rate. In reality, 60i runs at 30 frames per second, 29.97 to be exact. And while there is a 29.97 setting, your new-to-video consumer is likely to get confused. Often EDIUS requires detailed setup before it’ll do certain functions like capturing video, importing P2 files, etc. However, if and when you get past these challenges, EDIUS 6 can really perform for you.
Both high definition and standard video work side by side in the timeline without issue. You can even shuffle assets around in a sequence while the play head is moving, without bringing playback to a halt. And, mind you, this performance is on an older 2.5GHz AMD quad-core with 6GBs of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250. EDIUS 6 doesn’t require constant rendering as it works with most video formats natively. Even clips under the dreaded red render bar often play smoothly. Another cool feature is the “watch folder” function. When new files are loaded into a designated watch folder, EDIUS automatically loads them into the corresponding project’s bin.
Individual sequence tracks can be given names up to 30 characters long. EDIUS allows switching between up to 16 video tracks in multicam mode as it rewrites the timeline accordingly on the fly. EDIUS even has an option to “check out” a project to a laptop, exporting it with space saving, low-res video files. Upon returning, the user can “check in” the project, which updates the original file to reflect any new edits. And the list of awesome features keeps going.
One challenge is when EDIUS starts for the first time, it presents a checklist with format options like SD, HD, 29.97, 8-bit, etc. It isn’t clear that if you don’t check every format you will ever use, they won’t be available when setting up new projects. You can add them later, but it takes some searching through the manual to find out how.
Occasionally, a menu option is grayed out, but the reason why isn’t readily apparent. Usually it’s a user error and you have to do some experimenting. However, something as simple as an error message to give a helpful hint could be useful. As with any professional software, patience and keeping the user manual nearby helps you sort out most problems. For any problems that you can’t quite get around on your own, Grass Valley tech support is quick to respond and quite helpful. They have 24/7 technical support for customers, and brag that they “take great pride to ensure that we respond as quickly as possible”, and our experience has shown that they mean it.
Whatever your video editing needs, EDIUS 6 can help you get what you need out of your footage. While not suitable for first timers, it sports great features and smooth format handling that’ll keep advanced editors happy for quite a while. And you’ll even get to use that free sticker in the box.
Trial Version Available: Yes
Operating System: Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) Windows Vista (SP2 or later, 32-bit or 64-bit) Windows XP (SP3 or later, 32-bit)
Minimum CPU: Any Intel Core 2 or Core iX CPU. Intel or AMD single core CPU with a 3GHz processor speed or faster (multiple CPUs and/or multi-core CPUs are recommended). SSE2 and SSE3 instruction set supported.
Minimum RAM: 1GB (4GB or more recommended)
Minimum Hard Drive Space for Installation: 6GB
Video: AVCHD, AVI, DivX, DV, HDV, MP4, MPG, Quicktime, WMV, XDCAM, 3GPP, TS
Audio: AAC, AC3, AIFF, MP3, MPA, OGG, W64, WAV, WMA
Images: BMP, DPX, ETL, GIF, IFF, JPG, PIC, PNG, PSD, QTIF, SGI, TGA, TIFF
User Interface: Intermediate to Professional
Real-time Software Previews: Yes
Optimized for Dual Processor/HyperThreading: Yes
Encoding Formats: AVCHD, AVI, GF, GXF, H.264/AVC, HDV, Infinity, MEDIAEDGE/HDMA-4000, MPEG-2, MXF, P2, Quicktime, Windows Media, XDCAM
Disc Authoring Software Included: DVD and simple BD
- Professional level options
- Very flexible timelines
- Convenient features
- Some less-than-intuitive interfaces
EDIUS 6 is an extremely competitive non-linear editor for intermediate and professional users.
400 Providence Mine Road
Nevada City, CA 95959
Mike Houghton is a freelance videographer and an independent filmmaker.