New guy questions

Zon wrote on 2/5/2005, 10:13 AM
Hi guys,

New guy here, though I'm not a Vegas user yet. I'm looking at getting into video work, if for no other reason than it's something I've been interested in for 15 years, and I'm ready to get out of the IT industry. The goal initially is wedding videos, and personal projects such as short films, but I'd like to keep my options open in the future, and learn as much as about the business from a TV and film perspective as possible.

I'm hoping some of the more experienced users out there can help out with some of the following questions. I'm interested in Vegas mainly because of the price, and the Product of the Year for 2004 award it got for best advanced editor in Video Magazine, but I'm still curious about how it compares to Final Cut Pro and Adobe Video Collection (and any other tools I should consider but am not aware of yet).

I need to buy a new computer no matter what I choose so I'll probably go with either a dual G5 2Ghz system if I go FCP, or a comparable AMD64 or P4 system.

Without further ado, the questions:

1) I've read Avid is pretty much king of the hill in the business, but is Vegas used much in the video industry in as a professional product? What major film / tv projects has Vegas been used in. I'd really like to read about some of the success stories people have had using Vegas.

2) What would be the disadvantages of using Vegas over other products? What obstacles / limitations would you run into trying to use Vegas in a professional project such as a feature film or network TV show / movie?

3) How does Vegas compare to Adobe Video Collection and Final Cut Pro in terms of speed, assuming you were using comparable systems, and creativity tools?

4) If I purchase Vegas this weekend, and a new version is announced in a month or two, what's the upgrade path? Do I get a complimentary upgrade or get shafted for the full upgrade price?

5) What is Sony's goal with Vegas in the industry? Is it aimed at small shops, or is it being pushed as a tool for professionals and jobs of all sizes?

I hope these questions weren't too redundant. I found the answer to most of my questions using the search feature, but these were a little more difficult to search for. My goal with the questions is really to find out what kind of future I can expect from using Vegas as my editing tool of choice and how, if at all I would be limiting myself for using this over other products. Once I get started learning a product, I like to stick with it as much as I can.

Thanks in advance for any answers, and any links to success stories, comparisons, etc. is greatly appreciated!


BillyBoy wrote on 2/5/2005, 10:42 AM
Maybe item one could be answered by asking do MD's go to chiropractors? You bet, but through the back door. Avid is the defacto king of the hill because its been around a long time and its used by the big boys. The Mac freaks of course think Final Cut Pro is "better" because they think anything from Apple is better. Yet they never can explain why Apple never had more than 6% market share that includes all the crap they dumped in school systems.

If you're going to work for someone else then having at least a working knowledge of Avid, FCP, Adobe's "P" may get you in the door. If setting up your own shop what does it matter that you've picked Vegas? It may cause the loss of a few snotty potential customers, that have heard about the other products and they may question if you're "professional" if you pick Vegas. Some may care, I do not. You pick the BEST TOOL for the job. In many cases that's Vegas.

With Sony behind Vegas, (they bought Sonic Foundy its creator about a year ago) I expect it to improve and develop over the coming years. Is it right for you? Download it and see. Only YOU can decide if its right for you or not.

If you need encouragement, you'll find LOTS of converts in this forum that have come from something else to Vegas, but the reverse is rare. The biggest reason may be how good the interface is. It lets you be creative and doesn't get in the way. If you're new, you don't have to un-learn methods some other applications use. Lots here would gladly tell you stories of how clumsy other application are. Again, the proof is in the forums. Here, you rarely find complaints about Vegas. Visit the other application forums and you'll see a good percentage of the posts dealing with how come this doesn't work.

JackW wrote on 2/5/2005, 10:51 AM
Zon, it seems to me that the starting point for a response to you is your statement that "The goal initially is wedding videos, and personal projects such as short films." From your description of your ambitions and experience it seems to me that Vegas would be an ideal editing software for you. For a beginning wedding videographer, whether or not the software is applicable to feature length films (it is) or whether it compares favorably or unfavorably to an Avid system or to Premiere (it's different) seems of only limited importance.

Vegas will let you do everything you'll find necessary as a wedding videographer and freelance editor for some time to come. It's reliable, with seldom if ever a crash; has great flexability; is very easy to learn superficially -- you'll be installed and editing in a couple of hours -- and has features that you'll continue to discover for many months to come. Vegas has exceptional audio capabilities and there are large libraries of plug-ins and tutorials which have been developed by enthusiastic and knowledgeable users which enhance and support the product. There were some significant improvements between vers 4.x and 5.x, and Sony continues to improve and enhance the product. Vegas is already HD capable, so is well positioned to support future industry developments.

Many who post on this bulletin board are advanced film makers and many run production houses that use Vegas exclusively. I use Vegas daily in support of my company's post production work and find it to be a program that supports both the technical requirements of complex editing and my own artistic vision and goals as an editor and videographer.

You can make your life a great deal more complicated by opting for FCP or Premiere but I can't imagine why you'd want to. Maybe later, if you decide to give up wedding videography and go to work in a large high-end production house, you'll have a reason to learn other software; but to acquire the skills that will lead to your competence and artistry as an editor and support the kind of work you describe, I don't think you can beat Vegas.

Jay Gladwell wrote on 2/5/2005, 10:54 AM
#1. Yes, Vegas is used by professionals, i.e., all major networks. Some have been mentioned here. Try doing a "search" to find those threads.

#2. The only disadvantage to Vegas is it does not generate EDLs. It's not for use with "film," it is stricly a video editing software.

#3. It terms of "speed," there is nothing that beats Vegas, and you must take all things into consideration when asking that. Vegas allows for faster turn around from start to finish. It's very user friendly.

#4. To the best of my knowledge, there will be no new release of Vegas within the next month or two, so you're safe. Go ahead and buy your copy today! But that has not been an issue in the past, to answer your question.

#5. Only the folks at Sony marketing could answer that accurately and with any knowledge. Simply put, Vegas is a true "professional" application. The word is spreading, as is the use of this great NLE.

One other thing... there is no support network for any other product like there is for Vegas. This forum is clear evidence of that.

If you want complicated and you want freezes and you want crashes, then buy FCP or Premiere.

If you want uncomplicated, stable, fast, and user friendly then Vegas is for you. Not everyone agrees, and we respect that!

Grazie wrote on 2/5/2005, 11:43 AM
I just wanna add that Vegas aint just about faster for doing that f a s t job .. . It's also about getting your ideas down, real fast. . . I liken it to using my graphics tablet with a graphics "pen" - you just do it! It just tries to keep out of your face. From making my first tranisition, by just "pushing" to events together, to dragging and dropping an effect straight onto the event, I've found Vegas to be pure - mostly - intuitive.

MUTTLEY wrote on 2/5/2005, 11:56 AM

" there is no support network for any other product like there is for Vegas. " HERE HERE ! Wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for these forums.

My lil ol production company in Austin uses Vegas as its primary editing software, supported by programs such as Photoshop and Particle Illusion. I've used it for one documentary, quite a few music vids, and various commercial projects. Feel free to check out some of what's I've been able to accomplish with Vegas at the link below.

- Ray
Tattoo wrote on 2/5/2005, 12:19 PM
I'm new to Vegas, and certainly no pro, but I'll echo BillyRoy's statement. The primary reason I chose Vegas was because of the forums. I found very few users on other forums who had used Vegas more than superficially and chosen another product, versus a number of folks here who have converted to Vegas. Also, I found a higher percentage of posts about "this doesn't work" on other forums, versus mainly "what's your technique/opinion" on the Vegas forum.

That was a year ago. If you have the time to search/monitor the forums of the major products for a couple weeks, I think you'll find the same.

Zon wrote on 2/5/2005, 1:08 PM
Thanks everyone for all the quick feedback. It's been a big help. I'm trying the demo now, and will be ordering equipment in a week or so. Right now Vegas is at the top of the list based on price, features, and community. Looking forward to learning from you guys and jumping in with both feet.

eejackson wrote on 2/6/2005, 7:47 PM
Just my two cents.....
Hello Zon and welcome to the Vegas users forum. I certainly do not have the expertise as the others that have answered your post do, but I just thought I would share my experience with you. About 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to go into the wedding and event video business. We attended a local seminar that featured hands on trainging and demo of Avid, Vegas and Pinnacle. I was already using Pinnacle, and I can't even begin to tell you the problems we encountered. In any event, at the seminar, the Avid demonstrator fell flat on his face. HIs presentation was so terrible that people began to walk out in the middle of his presentation. The Vegas demonstrator blew us away with his extensive knowledge of the product and what it could do. When the seminar was over, we decided to purchase Vegas right there on the spot. It has been the best investment we have made. It is rock solid and the things that you can do with it are remarkable. I'm running Vegas on a Dell Dimensions 8200 that I install a second internal hard drive to for storage of my captured video and upgraded my memory to 1.5g's. I use digital juice Wedding Editors Took Kit sparingly for some special effects and use their Backtracks 1 and 2 for my music.

I wish you well with your endevor,
Lori J.

PS: The support that is available to you on this forum is amazing. I have reached out to my Vegas buddies many of times and I have alway been able to acheive a resolution for my situations based on the help of other users here.

Good Luck