Corel VideoStudio X8.5 Review

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PROS / This program is easy to use for beginners but doesn't skimp on advanced tools.

CONS / Newcomers won't immediately understand some of the software's more advanced tools.

VERDICT / VideoStudio Pro is an outstanding video editing application.

Editor's note: VideoStudio Pro X9 is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review Corel VideoStudio Pro X9 when we next update the Video Editing Software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about the Corel Video Studio Pro X8.5.

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Corel VideoStudio Pro has been a mainstay in our review of the best video editing software for years. This is due to its wide selection of editing tools and effects as well as its intuitive interface that appeals to the beginning user and practiced editor alike. This application leaves the user wanting little, which is why it earned the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.

  1. An editing track is where you arrange the media in your video project.
    More is Better.
  2. 3 Corel VideoStudio
    21 Editing Tracks
  3. 100 Editing Tracks
  4. 99 Editing Tracks
  5. Category Average
    64.20 Editing Tracks

Editing Tools

This video editing software gives you 21 tracks on which you build your video projects. This is an acceptable number of tracks, and it should fit the needs of most simple and even more complex projects. Other products we reviewed have up to 100 or even unlimited editing tracks. However, unless you're editing a full-length feature film or building a particularly complex video, 21 editing tracks should suffice.

Like nearly all the video editing applications we reviewed, Corel Video Studio X8 offers the familiar timeline/storyboard combination. Storyboard is considered to be the more simple format while timeline is more advanced. Whichever workflow you prefer, you can always toggle between the two modes with your edits intact. A good way for a beginner to improve his or her editing skills is to build the basics of the project in storyboard mode, then switch to timeline to make finely tuned adjustments.

The transition and effects libraries of Corel VideoStudio Pro X8.5 offer more than 500 choices. Using these effects is usually as simple as dragging and dropping them onto the clip you want to enhance. Other times, it's a bit more complicated. Tasks like motion controls, color correction and stop-motion animation require more finesse and knowledge to operate. But it's nothing a few tutorials shouldn't help you figure out.

Of all the audio editing and enhancement tools found in this video editing software, two stand out as particularly useful. The first is audio ducking, which gives you more control over what your audience hears. Sometimes background music can overpower onscreen dialogue. Audio ducking automatically adjusts the volume of background noise when it detects more prominent sound such as dialogue.

The other audio tool of note is what Corel calls Scorefitter. This is a library of royalty-free audio files, including sound effects and songs. By itself, this is nothing remarkable. However, this video editing software automatically adjusts your music and sound to fit the length of your project. And if you're not satisfied with Corel's sound offerings, the application includes 17 royalty-free music tracks provided by Triple Scoop Music.

Ease of Use

This video editing application scored high, but not perfect, marks in our usability tests. Using Corel VideoStudio Pro, it took approximately 25 minutes to build our test video project. This time was shared by the program's fellow award winners, and only one product in our review beat this time. At the end of our testing, we found this video editing software to be among the easiest to use and learn.

Sharing Options

Corel has expanded its video editing export options since its last software release. All the popular video file formats such as AVI, MPEG, WMV and MOV are supported. Corel allows you to export quickly using preset export options, but it also lets you take advanced control over the more technical aspects of exporting video like resolution, frame rate and alternate codecs with easy-to-use customizable controls.

This program also allows you to upload your finished videos to internet-sharing sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Vimeo. VideoStudio also automatically optimizes your project for whichever sharing site you upload to.

In the latest update to the software, Corel has spun off its DVD authoring tools into a separate application called VideoStudio MyDVD. This application offers a great deal of control over the look and feel of a DVD's menu, navigation and bonus features. And although it adds some extra steps to DVD burning, it's well worth the time given its expanded authoring toolset.

Help & Support

Part of what makes Corel VideoStudio a good choice for novice and more skilled users is that Corel offers a plethora of training and learning options. For example, the company provides 45-day access to StudioBacklot.tv, which is a resource with training materials, tutorials and stock media. Corel also has at least two YouTube channels dedicated to training on all Corel products in general and VideoStudio in particular.

Summary

There isn’t much to dislike about Corel VideoStudio Pro X8.5. It's one of the best consumer-level video editing applications for good reason. It takes many of the tools professional video editors use and makes them user-friendly and easy to learn.

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