A blast from the past.
For those who remember Sony Creative Software releasing the first version of Vegas back in 2003, kudos to you. The non-linear video editor had somewhat of a cult following as its users gave it high praise. For me, AVID was already a prominent fixture in my workflow, and in 2003, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro snuck their way in. Other than a Sony Vegas 9.0 download over a decade ago, I haven't thought of it since.
So why now? An email brought it to my attention.
Naturally, I zipped over to the website and then dove into some of its history. In 2016, Sony cut ties with Vegas, selling it to MAGIX, who then created the subsidiary Vegas Creative Software. The company offers four different software platforms: VEGAS POST, VEGAS Pro, VEGAS Movie Studio, and VEGAS Stream. Each platform has multiple software bundles that cater to different needs. Still with me?
The question that immediately came to mind was what's up with all the different software options?
Here's a quick breakdown of each platform.
Currently in beta, the streaming software integrates with YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live. It also supports up to 4 different video sources. It's similar to Teredek's Live:Air app. After adding each video source, it allows you to live stream to a connected account and switch between sources. It has title capabilities, a preview and program window–all the basic features for a live switch. The software will eventually be compatible with VEGAS Pro.
VEGAS Move Studio
This is a stripped-down version of VEGAS Pro, but still fairly robust. It's more intuitive than, say, Adobe Rush and slightly above or on par with LumaFusion or iMovie. There are 3 versions of the software: Movie Studio, Movie Studio Platinum, and Movie Studio Suite. Depending on the version, it can support up to 200 video tracks, 16-bit 48 KHz audio, chroma key, plug-ins, and dozens of other features. There's also native support for HEVC, H.264, 4K XAVC S, and XDCAM EX. Here's a comparison chart.
Cost: $49 - $99
This is its most advanced non-linear editor that carries on the tradition Sony laid out years ago. It's packed with tons of features for color grading, HDR support, compositing modes, nestled timelines, mastering in 5.1, ACES support, and more.
There are 4 software bundles to choose from. VEGAS Pro, VEGAS Pro Edit, VEGAS Pro Suite, and VEGAS Pro 365. Again, each offers different options depending on your needs. However, all the base tools of the non-linear editor are supported by each bundle. The main difference between them are the plug-ins each one supports. Here's a comparison chart.
Cost: $249 - $399. VEGAS Pro 365 is the subscription model for $16.67/mo
This is a suite of programs that goes beyond editing. VEGAS Pro is combined with VEGAS Effects and VEGAS Image. As the name suggests, VEGAS Effects is all about effects as well as 3D modeling, green screen removal, video scopes, and other features. VEGAS Image is an advanced compositing tool, that adds color adjustment, chroma key, LUT support, and more.
VEGAS Post is similar to DaVinci Resolve in that it offers multiple programs in one user interface. The main difference in terms of price is that DaVinci Resolve is free and DaVinci Resolve Studio is $299. Obviously, both software suites will have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Cost: $999. VEGAS Post 365 is a subscription model for $20.99/mo
What jumps out to me are all the pricing tiers and software bundles. I understand why but simplicity can speak volumes. Here's one product, it has everything we offer, now go enjoy it as a filmmaker. It's just less to think about when it comes to supporting workflow, especially when considering using something new for the first time. But maybe I'm in the minority here.
When looking at the alternatives, Vegas Creative Software is an uphill battle if it wants to compete on a larger scale. But maybe it doesn't. Many of the tools filmmakers use fall into 2 broad categories: does it support the story and do you like using it?
I prefer AVID and Premiere Pro because I'm plainly faster with them—the shortcut keys are ingrained. Someone who has been using VEGAS Pro could very well say the same thing. And that's what's great. Sometimes a piece of technology speaks to you more than another. Vegas Creative Software does offer free trials.
That said, there is a large VEGAS Pro community out there. Are there any No Film School readers using it? Do you like it? Is there something you want to see improved? Share your thoughts below.