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Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 Review


"How can I easily get the video off my camcorder, into the computer and produce a professional looking DVD? It’s so hard!"


Are you getting started with digital video and asking the exact same question?

You’ve seen how others create beautiful home videos all stored on gorgeous DVDs (with fancy DVD menus and all that) – so it can’t be that difficult can it?

Well, if there’s a company that knows how to capture and edit digital video, it’s Corel Corporation. Some of you might know Corel – they are a leading provider of software for digital media creation, DVD authoring, photo and video editing.

Over the years, their software products have consistently garnered awards from places like CNET.com and PC Magazine.

One of Corel’s flagship video editing products, Corel VideoStudio Pro X4, is targeted at the beginner and intermediate level digital video enthusiast.

With this software, you will be able to grab photos or video from any source, throw in great special effects and produce a great looking DVD for sharing with friends and family. It has a very simple to use, point-and-click interface so you don’t have to trudge through a thick manual to get something simple done.


1. What Can You Achieve With Corel VideoStudio Pro X4?

Well, the simple answer is: A LOT. You can do a lot with Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 and bring your digital video projects to the next level.


Grab photos and video from anywhere
First off, you know how difficult it is to capture video off your camcorder and get it into your PC? With VideoStudio Pro X4, this is easy. With a simple user interface, you can grab photos and video from anywhere - TV, camcorders and cameras with great ease.
 

Capture video from all the video sources you can think of


Edit your movie easily with cool special effects

And you know those cool special effects you see in your friends’ home videos? How did they do that? Well, with VideoStudio Pro you can do all that and more. You can easily add titles, music and other special effects to your video.
 

Video editing is easy and fun with VideoStudio Pro X4
 

With special built-in wizards, the program guides you through the video editing process – so that you can create a professional looking digital video – even if you never done it before.


Easily create movie and slideshow discs

And you know what’s the other thing that’s really cool about VideoStudio Pro X4? Well, it’s the ability to easily create discs to share with family and friends. Very often, I find that folks don't know how to do ‘DVD authoring’ – it remains one of THE most common questions on my website.

Well, with VideoStudio Pro X4, you no longer have this problem – the package includes a simple to use DVD authoring suite that allows you to produce professional-looking DVDs very quickly. There are attractive theme templates and a nice wizard that help you create the very movie or photo slide show you want.

Corel VideoStudio Pro DVD Menu

There are loads of attractive DVD menu templates in VideoStudio Pro X4

 

2. What Do You Get In The Package?

Corel has been very generous in the stuff it includes in the VideoStudio Pro package. The amount of digital video capability you get in the software is easily worth twice the selling price or more.

Here are just some of the things you get with the package:

  • Stop Motion Animation – create your own animated movie starring people, toys or objects

  • Flexible Workspace – drag to resize and move panels, even across two monitors

  • Time-Lapse Effect – easily and quickly create time-lapse sequences from photos or videos

  • Advanced Editing – have fun making movies with quick access to professional editing tools

  • Export in 3D – turn your 2D video into a 3D movie

  • Easy HD Sharing – author and burn HD movies directly to DVD and Blu-ray Disc™

  • Online Sharing – upload movies directly to YouTube™, Vimeo®, Flickr®, Facebook® and other websites
     

3. Movie Making Made Easy

Does making a digital movie have to be hard? Nope! With VideoStudio Pro X4 it’s all easy. With the vibrant videos easier with the flexible user interface, clearly defined icons and guided workflow, you can create one in minutes, not hours.

The video editing screen in Corel VideoStudio Pro X4
 

You can also select from attractive theme templates and let in-built The Movie Wizard create a professional-looking movie or photo slide show. You can also cut the final digital video to a DVD using the DV-to-DVD Wizard – simply hook up your camcorder and in two steps you have a finished DVD. No kidding.


4. Professional-looking Results

With professionally-designed theme templates and DVD menus in VideoStudio Pro, you’re not going to come up with boring, plain old DVDs. You get professional level stuff.

And if you don’t like the in-built effects, feel free to personalize your projects with easy-to-use creative options, adding titles, transitions and music tracks. You’ll not run of ideas because there are literally 100's of effects filters and content like overlay frames, objects and Flash animations to play around with.

Frankly, I sat there and played with my version of VideoStudio Pro for HOURS, just tinkering with the special effects – it’s that good.


Oh, I really need to tell you about this one. You know those vacation routes you see in videos which get traced on a map? Now you can do that, to show that you went from, say, San Francisco to Hawaii.

You can do this because VideoStudio Pro allows you to do paint, draw, or even write freehand on your digital video!




5. Share Your Video On YouTube Or DVD

And if you want in on the ‘web video’ revolution, VideoStudio ensures you’re no left out. In VideoStudio Pro, you can cut your movie and upload directly it to YouTube. Cool stuff and a great way to share your videos with others..
 

Sharing on YouTube or burning a traditional DVD - you decide.


If you prefer the traditional DVD format, you can simply choose to create stunning animated Hollywood-style menus. They are all in-built and for you to point and click. If you prefer, you can even send movies by email or share them on mobile devices.


6. Works With Cameras, Camcorders And Cell Phones

Some video editing packages don’t work with certain video sources. For example, I know of packages which don’t work with cell phones or digital cameras. VideoStudio Pro works with the whole gamut of devices out there. We’re talking about the ability to import photos and video from digital camcorders, the internet, TV, digital cameras and cell phones. Everything.


7. Really Easy To Use

You know, some folks I know get scared off by the ‘complexity’ of video editing packages. Some fear the video editing process so much that they ‘leave out’ video editing and keep the videos (unedited) in their camcorder! Or others ‘outsource’ the video editing to third parties.
 


The flexible user interface allows you to start editing in a matter of minutes


Let me tell you, don’t be afraid to use the video editing package. It’s loads of fun! VideoStudio Pro has a flexible user interface, clearly defined icons and guided workflows. Produce professional-looking movies or photo slide shows with the Movie Wizard. Burn video straight to disc with the DV-to-DVD Wizard - hook up your camcorder and in two steps you have a finished DVD. Two steps! Nothing could be simpler to use.


8. Powerful Creative Tools - If You Want To Experiment

If you’re a bit more in-depth in your knowledge of video editing, don’t think that VideoStudio Pro doesn’t allow you to ‘grow’ and experiment with advanced features.

There are powerful tools like sophisticated picture-in-picture and montage effects with transitions on overlay tracks, and audio/video cross-fades. You can also create animated titles and add color backgrounds. Plus there’s solid support for Dolby Digital® 5.1 Surround Sound audio.

And what about creative tools? Lots of them! You can paint, draw, or write freehand on video with the new Painting Creator. Make photo slide shows come to life with Auto Pan & Zoom. You know those ‘blue screen’ backgrounds you use in your video to overlay a background? Use the Chroma Key tools to replace those backgrounds.

Gosh, I could just go on and on about all the neat stuff in there. Sophisticated DVD menus with unique disc menu transitions, 100s of effects filters, and the ability to make your video look like old film with NewBlue® Film Effects filters (in the Pro X4 edition). See the old film effect on the right? That's what we're talking about!




9. End-to-end HD Support

There’s one more thing to say – and that’s concerning High Definition (HD). As you might know, HD video is now all the rage. Want to watch your home movie on a large flat panel TV? You’d better film it in HD to avoid a ‘poor quality’ look.

The good thing about VideoStudio Pro is that you can import video in leading HD formats, including HDV™, AVCHD and Blu-ray Disc®.
 

Editing HD video takes up TONS of computing power. And I mean TONS. If you have a powerful new PC, you’ll want to make full use of it by utilizing the dual-core and quad-core CPU capabilities in your machine. VideoStudio Pro provides native support for these CPUs so that editing HD content is fast and not agonizingly slow.
 

And if you want to produce a shining new Blu-ray disc instead of a DVD, VideoStudio Pro can do that too! I really find it amazing how Corel can roll out Blu-ray support so quickly – it just shows the amount of research that these companies pump into their products.
 


10. The Shortcomings?

Well, there aren’t much that I can think of. VideoStudio Pro is an excellent video editing package – perhaps the only shortcoming is the fact that it lacks the overall video editing power that a competitor package like Adobe Premiere Elements has.

However, you should remember that Adobe Premiere Elements is a touch more complicated for new users to get to grips with. What VideoStudio Pro lacks in in-depth video editing power, it makes up for in its supreme ease-of-use.


11. It's An Award Winner!

Ok, I know I’ve been ranting and raving about Corel VideoStudio Pro for quite a bit. And saying how good it is and all that.

But you know what? The truth is, the product is really very good. Corel took over this company called Ulead (which I’ve been an ardent fan of), took one of its flagship products (Ulead VideoStudio 11) and improved it to become Corel VideoStudio Pro X4.

They obviously have done something right, because Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 has garnered awards from CNET Download.com and PC Magazine.


Here’s what CNET (5 out of 5 rating) says:

"We like the new paint feature which lets you draw or write freehand on your videos making it easy to add thought balloons or draw your travel route on a map..."


And here’s what PC Magazine (4 out of 5 rating) says:

"This is a very good consumer-level video editor, and it's an especially fine choice for users with less-powerful PCs who want to edit HD video."




 

Conclusion

I think Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 is really a very good choice for beginner digital video enthusiasts who want simple-to-use features in their software but yet want the option to ‘grow’ into the product and try out advanced level stuff.

Some video editing software packages are too simple and don’t offer any creativity tools. Others are insanely complex and hard to learn. I think Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 has hit just the right balance between ease-of-use and complexity of its functions.

If you’ve just started out in digital video or are an intermediate level user, Corel VideoStudio Pro is hard to beat as a all round video editing tool.

You can find out more about Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 here.




 

© 2012 Desktop-Video-Guide.com