Digital Video Cameras

They're an ideal way to record footage of your family, friends and those special occasions: but which one is right for you?


High-end video editing applications

Adobe Premiere Pro (currently in its CS3 iteration) (www.pacific.adobe.com) is still the most widely used video editing application in the semi-professional market.

Professional-level features in Premiere Pro include strong colour correction options and new motion controls. On the audio side, AC-3 export, 5.1 surround sound mixing, the ability to record voice recordings to the timeline, and sub frame audio editing should please all experienced Premiere users.

MediaStudio Pro 7 from Ulead (www.ulead.com) offers quality editing with software only, real-time preview and output, and DVD Workshop AC3 for DVD authoring. Rounding out the bundle is Ulead's image editor PhotoImpact 8, and COOL 3D Studio for 3D text and object animation.

PC users will be pleased to know Ulead do not support the Mac platform with this software. This means that all interface, workflow and design parameters are developed with a Windows user in mind. Unfortunately, there hasn't been an update in features for a while, apart from a HD plug-in, and Ulead seems more interested in developing its consumer VideoStudio product.

Pinnacle Edition 5 from Pinnacle Systems (www.pinnaclesys.com) uses a familiar Windows interface, following a three-point editing system preferred by most professional video editors. Clips can be dragged to the source window with all the set in and out points. The ability to provide multiple sequences allows you to treat a collection of video clips as one object, which is a great timesaver when working on large projects.

If you want to get seriously into your video as well as working out your soundtrack, Vegas Video (www.newmagic.com.au) is a good option. However, be warned, all the applications in the prosumer space assume a certain level of competency; so don't expect the same wizards and step-by-step walkthroughs that are commonly available with entry-level video editing applications.

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