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Corel VideoStudio Pro 2020 and Ultimate 2020 Review Part 2

So now we have covered the all the new stuff let’s get into VideoStudio itself and see what it offers and how it performs.

First up let’s establish clearly here that my computer is definitely not something designed for high end video editing or testing.

It is a eight year old Intel i5 processor computer running Win 10 64 bit that was automatically updated from Win 7. It has a run of the mill hard drive and 12gig of RAM.

My point is that if I can run resource intensive processes on it successfully then just about anything can!

I installed the VideoStudio Pro 2020 Ultimate version on my rather messy, un-defragged, “junk all over the place” computer that also has about five other video editing programs on it as well.

Whilst I wouldn’t advise anyone else to do this I think it is a pretty good way of giving the program every opportunity to fall flat on its face!

The software came in the form of an installer program which then runs the download and installation of the main program and other components.

Whist the download took a while because of its size the installer offers the ability for you to: download and install, just download then install later or stop the process and resume at a later time.

The actual installation took about 8 minutes flat and the extra stuff took another 5 minutes after which the program was loaded and ready to go.

I don’t generally consider the speed of an install to be of that much importance because you only do it (hopefully) once but in the case of VideoStudio 2020 it is worth noting.

In years past the program used to be woefully slow to install and start but this new version sailed through the process very smartly.

Before you read the rest of this review take a look at the video below to get an idea of how it looks to move around the software and get things done.

User Interface

The software has always had a pretty good user interface in my opinion and given the enormous number of features and functions it needs to provide access to, I think they have done a very good job.

As you can see in the image above highlighting the Edit section of the program you are presented with a pretty standard layout.

Each element of that layout, the Timeline, the Preview Window and the Library can be moved or adjusted to suit either your specific needs or to maximize one part that you are concentrating on at that time.

The beauty of this layout is that it keeps your screen clutter free while you are working and it is only when you want to go into something more advanced does the fun begin!

When you choose to work on some kind of special effect or module a NEW interface opens to allow you clearly access to those features and once done, it packs away again.

The image below shows the interface with a clip loaded and unselected.

In this next image the clip has been selected (highlighted) so now on the top right you have a new Edit, Correction and Effect set of tabs available.

Let’s say you then add the Boris Graffiti filter to the clip so now that filter appears along with the Customize Filter button as shown by the red arrows.

When you hit that Customize Filter button an entirely new and separate window opens up in which you can now customize the effect and apply your choices as shown below.

Once you have finished, the changes are applied to the clip and the interface returns to its original state.

By keeping the advanced features and settings hidden in this way, Corel have kept the interface distraction free and a whole lot less daunting to newcomers.

Across the top of the interface there are four tabs which align with the different types of tasks you may be engaging in.

Welcome / Home

The first of these is the Welcome or Home tab providing direct access to the online tutorials provided by Corel as well as allowing for direct notification of updates or patches that may have become available.

Capture

The next tab is the Capture Tab and is pretty self explanatory.

To put it simply it doesn’t matter really what you are capturing or trying to import into the program.

Whether it is standard definition from a DV.AVI tape camcorder all the way up to high definition from a DSLR or just about anything else VideoStudio is equipped to handle it.

You can see a full list of supported file types for both input and output HERE.

This Tab also provides direct access to the Stop Motion Module and the MultiCam Capture module.

Within the MultiCam Capture module itself you can then access the Screen Recorder and VideoStudio will detect and connected webcams.

A handy tool within this module under the Advanced settings is the Performance Tool which can automatically analyze your computer resources and make recommendations on how best to capture footage.

Edit

The majority of your work will be undertaken within the Edit Tab and like most of the main players in this market VideoStudio comes fully loaded with everything anyone would need to create videos.

It cuts, it slices, it dices and lets you stick it all back together again… there’s not really much more one can say on this subject!

One area where it does excel particularly is with the newer highly compressed video file formats up through to Ultra HD (up to 8K).

These days you don’t really need to ask the question as to whether or not it can edit.

The real question is how efficiently and effectively can it edit and how well can it deal with modern, highly compressed video and the key to that will be determined somewhat by the software but mainly by the resources available on your computer.

Both VideoStudio Pro 2020 and VideoStudio Ultimate 2020 are built on 64bit architecture which allows the program to make full use of all resources available on the computer it is running on.

In the past we could point the finger at the software as being at least partially responsible for trouble with these files but not anymore.

On a computer equipped to deal with them, VideoStudio Pro 2020 is more than up to the task with its improved processing utilization resulting in a faster video editor and a much smoother editing experience.

Additionally for those who are a little “resource challenged” VideoStudio still offers a proxy editing feature it pioneered a few years back.

This feature allows you to create smaller, more manageable files at lower resolution which you can use to do all of your editing.

Once you finish and are ready to create your final product the software then uses the high definition versions to create the final file.

You have all the tools you will need for cutting and trimming your video files and it has a multi-trim tool which allows you to segment larger files while they are on the timeline.

Even though the editing area of VideoStudio is the main work space, the program also offers a wizard based automatic and semi-automatic project creation function called Fast Flick.

This can be used to create a start to finish, point and click project or you can switch to the normal editing interface at any point to fine tune any aspect of your project.

Share

As you would expect from an editing suite of this quality there are numerous choices for outputting your final projects to a file.

The Share Tab shows 5 separate buttons each containing preset profiles most commonly used for that purpose.

For example the “Online” button reveals preset profiles optimized for creating a final file for YouTube, FaceBook, Flickr or Vimeo.

Each one is adjusted to suit that particular service to make sure you upload at the best possible quality and also if you add your sign-in details, it will automatically upload for you when the file is completed.

At an absolute minimum it offers 25 preset profiles for those 5 separate types of project output plus hundreds of variations in total within those profiles.

On top of that and for advanced users, you can take complete control and manually customize every aspect of your output however you want.

Either way it doesn’t matter if you want to make a file or a disc or whatever, VideoStudio is equipped to do it.

Here’s a quick video covering the Share Tab functions.

Editing Effects and Transitions

The program comes fully loaded with way more than enough transitions for those of you that love those things, most of which can be customized using key-frames offering excellent control.

Transitions can be added to a project by simply dragging and dropping the transition on to the timeline where you want it.

In the Ultimate 2020 version that are about 2000 individual effects or filters and in the Pro 2020 version about 1500 most of which can be further tailored to your individual desires.

Any specific effect or setting that you use regularly can be saved and named as a personal preset then dragged to the timeline any time you need it in the future.

There are numerous video and image correction tools within the effects library that are quite effective once you get the hang of using them.

Filters, effects and transitions can also be applied to video clips placed in overlay tracks or assets can be “grouped” on the timeline so that all assets have the effect applied to them. This

You have full control over how all effects and filters enter, depart and playback as part of your overall project.

All of these video filters, video effects, correction tools and transitions are very well organized into the library structure and are easy to find and deploy.

Final Summary

The fact is that all of the main consumer level video editing software programs have developed to the point of having enormous feature sets.

Trying to cover everything in a single review that doesn’t send you unconscious due to its never ending length is quite frankly becoming an impossible task.

Corel VideoStudio Pro 2020 or Ultimate 2020 offer everything that the home user or video editing enthusiast could ever want from video editing software.

It has a clean and easy to follow interface which is extremely flexible and with practice, will reveal the true underlying power of this program.

Corel have truly stepped up their game in VideoStudio Pro 2020 adding some very useful features but more importantly taking the time to add meaningful functionality to the suite.

I have no problem in recommending this product to anyone but, as I note with all video editing software, make use of the free trial first to make sure you, the software and your computer all get along together.

Click Here to Take a Look at Corel VideoStudio Pro 2020 for Yourself

Previous Page: VideoStudio Pro 2020 Review Part One

4.5 / 5 stars

View Comments (22)

  • Thanks for the review. I had upgraded about 2 weeks ago and was trying to see if it was worth it. While I like some of the enhancements shown in their video ad's the improvements to the system as a whole was something I had missed until you reviewed. As an example not only does mask creator work better, it is now full screen! There more I look the more I like the overall system improvements.

    Another plus, If you have PaintShop and use layering, the saved photo in native format will show up in VideoStudio with each layer in its own track. Cool for making photos animated.

    • Hi Norm,
      glad to hear you are having fun with it and thanks for the update.

  • Hi just brought a version of video studio ultimate 18.after a great number of years absent from the hobby of editing. I am now retired with time on my hands. My only problem I am out of touch with faded memory of my previous use of ulead. I used Media Studio Pro and purchased a manual with dvd tutorials from someone named "Charlie? " This was very useful with my limited knowledge. I am finding Studio 18 quite a minefield of a learning curve. Do you know of any instruction publication,, either hardcopy or online, similar to the product produced by Charlie? that you may recommend or suggest
    Regards George Hibbert

    • Hi George,
      Welcome back to the world of video editing!

      OK so a lot of water has passed under the bridge since the days of Ulead and Media Studio Pro!

      As far as overcoming the learning curve goes there are a number of very good resources at your disposal.

      Sadly Charlie Hill stopped making his DVDs around the time of VideoStudio 9.

      So here's what you have:
      First up your purchase of VideoStudio would have included a 30 days (I think) free pass to Studio Backlot.
      Studio Backlot is a learning portal and they have a paid course for each version of VideoStudio as it is released.
      This is probably the best way to get up and running again because there have been at least two major updates to the interface which are probably giving you grief!

      Next we have the Learning section of the Corel website here:
      https://www.videostudiopro.com/en/products/videostudio/ultimate/#learning
      There is a dedicated Videos section and a How to section both having a mountain of lessons on beginner through to advanced editing techniques.
      Bear in mind that the lessons for the previous version X10 will all be applicable in most cases.

      Finally the VideoStudio User to User Forum. Always was one of the bst around for getting fast help and still is:
      https://forum.corel.com/EN/index.php?sid=84433601a55913182f5bf250c1bfd428

  • Hi Lance.
    Thank you very much for all the info and insight you have shared on video editing software, which I have enjoyed reading. I bought a new camera recently, Lumix FZ2000, and I want to upgrade my software to match, now that I have 4K capability. After much time reading and comparing specs and features, I have decided to go for Affinity Photo by Serif, and for the video editor it was between Corel's Video Studio Ultimate 10, and Power Director 16 Ultimate. It has been difficult to decide, and reading your reviews tonight definitely helped. You are right, they are both impressive products, and have similar abilities, but I like that the Cyberlink product will make good use of my Geeforce GTX1080 GPU - I would also like to get hold of Audio Director, but that only appears to be packaged with the combined photo and video suites, hopefully I can have it as an add-on sometime, so, the price for PD16 being so much better at the moment, that finally makes my mind up. Now I am enjoying the relief of a settled mind - itsanice.
    I do have a question for you sir; do you think it is worth buying a DVD copy of the software? - about £11 - I have been using Photo Director 7, for 2 to 3 years, and found their customers service dept to be OK, anyways, I am interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.
    All the best.

    • Hi Tom,
      Well it seems you have done your home work there!

      So let's address a few things here.

      Given the fact that you are moving into 4K video your are correct in thinking PowerDirector would be (slightly) the better choice.

      Just about any software these days is set up to handle 4K but the real questions are whether the computer has sufficient resources to do it and does the software handle those resource efficiantly enouhg to get the job done.

      Regarding Audio Director. CyberLink do sell it as a stand alone product but it is pricey even with current Christmas discounts.

      Bear in mind that PD itself ships with the Wav Editor software that you can use to edit audio tracks and it is a pretty good audio editor in itself.

      This brings me to the final point of to DVD or not to DVD... that is the question!

      I do not ever pay extra for the DVDs of any software BUT!!!!

      What I always do is down load the software, create a notepad file of my licence keys and burn that as a data DVD disc myself.

      The only reason anyone would actually want to buy the DVD would be that downloading would be too difficult due to poor internet connection or connection speeds.

      The other thing I ALWAYS do is once I have burned a data DVD with licence key included and the software is installed I go directly to the software maker's site and register my copy.

      This means that I now have a record on their site of my purchase and licence key as well as a copy on DVD.

      I also opt in to have them send me emails (crazy I know!)

      The reason I do this is that if like you, there is an interest at some point for an upgrade or additional purchase (like Audio Director) I will get notifications of special deals or offers at various times.

      • Hi Tom, OK so over the weekend I was notified you had rel=plied to this thread but now I am here the reply seems to have disappeared!
        Anyway, in answer to your questions in the phantom comment here is a run through of backing up download files.

        This is how I do it once I have decided I am going to purchase a piece of software.
        1. Right click anywhere on the Windows Desktop and choose to create a new folder. Rename that folder to the name of the software I am getting.
        2. Open that newly created folder and right click again and choose to create a new notepad file. Rename that file as Information or License Keys or whatever.
        3. Go to the relevant website and make the purchase. Usually once the purchase is made you will be directed to a page that has your license key, receipt record and a download link for the software.
        3. Copy the license key, receipt etc to the clipboard and then paste to that new notepad file.
        4. Click the download link and save the file to the Folder you created on the desktop.
        5. Go have a cup of coffee or beverage of choice as this will be a big file!
        6. The installation file will be a zipped file so once downloaded, right click and choose to Extract all files. Make sure it is going to extract the files from the zip file also into the desktop folder you created.
        7. Now install the program and don't forget to copy your license key to the clipboard. It makes it easier when the program asks you for it later when installing.
        8. Once the program has been installed choose to register the program on the website it came from (it will offer you the choice) and as part of that create an account.
        9. After registration and you have confirm the email they will send you copy your username and you password to the notepad file you created.
        10. When everything is running and we are all finished with the installation save and close the notepad file then close the folder on the desktop.
        11. Right click the folder and select properties to see what the size of that folder is. If it is less than 4.5 Gb you are good to go for a DVD.
        12. If the file is bigger then deleted the extracted files only leaving the notepad file and the original zip file.
        13. Load a DVD into your burner and choose to just open it.
        14. Click the folder on the desktop, right click and choose Send to DVD. Follow the prompts and you will have yourself a perfect backup of your original download and all the data you will need in the future if something goes wrong.
        15. Bear in mind that you can also always re-download from the manufacturers website using your newly created account.

        • Hi again Lance, and thank you again.

          I see there is a £10 reduction on Affinity Photo, which I intend buying tomorrow, so I will be happily making use of your back-up DVD instructions sooner than I expected, unless, you know of any pending upgrades from Serif that would be worth waiting for, even into next year.

          Strange indeed about my reply going AWOL.

          Best wishes,

          Tom.

          • Hey Tom!
            Generally speaking most software companies go for discounting in November with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals then post discounts leading up to the Christmas period.

            That's where we are now. So the discounts you are seeing will go away by January and everything will settle down to normal pricing.

            The next round of discounting usually arrives in about June but this varies from company to company depending on their promotional models.

            Bear in mind that the June discounting is probably only going to get you back to the pre-Christmas levels anyway.

            Lance

  • Hey Lance, I’ve been using Corel video studio since 2008 ......I’ve got prox9 version at the moment. I’m thinking of upgrading to prox10... My question is If I want have video stabilisation do I have to get the ultimate version.? Thanks for your help 👍
    Regards Darryl

    • Hi Darryl,
      Yes, you would need to get the Ultimate version because the stabilzer is actually the Mercalli stabilizer and that 3rd party effects pack only comes with the Ultimate version.

  • Hi Lance, can Corel Video Studio be used, as is, to capture video from a vhs or hi8 unit, or would an additional, dedicated, capture device need to be purchased and installed between the vhs or hi8 unit and my pc? Thanks, Glenn

    • Hi Glenn,
      No, VideoStudio nor any other video editing software like it can do that.

      The reason is that an analogue signal coming from the playback device has to be digitized on the fly and converted into some kind of digital video file type like MPEG2 or MP4 etc.

      All modern video editors are designed to deal with digital media only so regardless of the software you have to get analogue footage into digital form first.

      It has been a long time since I have answered any questions on suitable devices but from memory the Dazzle range by Pinnacle used to be considered the best around.

      http://www.pinnaclesys.com/en/products/dazzle/dvd-recorder-hd/

  • Great articles thanks Lance.
    Question... I've seen advertised on the net UPGRADES for Pro x10 and Ultimate x10. With eligibility requirements exclude Acedemic, Home and Student OEM.
    Can you explain the upgrades and are the exclusions referring to eg Windows 10? Is Windows10 Pro needed?
    Thanks

    • Hi Adam,
      Gotta be honest here, I have no idea about the upgrades as far as eligibility for those categories go.
      It's probably easier for you to directly communicate with Corel on their website, they are usually pretty quick to reply... especially if they can smell a sale in the air!

  • Hi Lance. Thanks so much for this review! I'm new to editing videos and, like others, I'm torn between which software editor to use. I had it down to two options: Pinnacle Studio 20 and Corel VideoStudio Pro x10. Based on your review here, coupled with the feedback you've provided to others' comments, I'm going to try VideoStudio using their free trial download.
    Thanks, again, for your review and comments!

  • I am using the trial version VideoStudio Pro X10. When the finished video is played, it is not clear. There are distortion like the pixels becomes too visible (Squares). I downloaded the clips from my GoPro device. 2K recording. Is there a setting I didn't use right ? Help please

    • Hi Sam,
      OK, so if VS was playing the 2K video normally while it was on the timeline or if you can play any of the 2K video files in a video player on your computer normally then it is not a resource problem with the computer.

      Possibly what has happened is that you have set the output of the video to something either cray high or crazy low resulting in a file that is super compressed resulting in macro blocking or super high and the computer can't keep up.

      Reload the project and go to the Export tab and render the file again but take careful note of the settings VS is going to use.

      Get back to me on it.

  • Hello, and thank you for the wealth of information you have provided. Like many others, I am trying to make a decision to stay with one or change to another. I have used Pinnacle since early versions up until 14 Ultimate. By that time, the kids were off to college and we weren't so involved in recording each moment of their lives. But with weddings now and new possibilities on the horizon for accumulating even more Gbytes of video data to sift through, I'm interested again.
    Having experienced problems with Pinnacle when upgrading to Win 10, I haven't even reinstalled it on my machine when I last replaced the ssd operating system drive with a larger ssd and a clean Win 10. I checked for an upgrade to Studio 20 Ultimate and was immediately confused by the comparison to Video Studio x9 (9.5?) Ultimate as I began to read. Both by Corel---some review sites seeming to say one is "better, faster, supports H265" while another site indicating the reverse or other problems. More direct comparisons are confusing since the Studio Version is 19 (or 19.5).
    Specifically, I have a couple Tbytes of existing data go back over and organize with new stuff certain to come. I have an i7 machine with 32 Gbytes of ram, dual video cards (crossfire, I think), and multiple 2 to 4 Tbyte drives (and a hotswap bay for standalone bulk storage drives). I'm long retired and just do these very amateur projects for my family. I'm not intimidated by tech and don't mind learning (specially with the wealth of information now available---like on your page---wow, so different from the early days figuring out the jumper settings on my old 8086 in my basement dark ages). I do like to play with all the goodies and effects sometimes just to see what can be done.
    Upgrade price to 20 Ultimate is good. New price to Video Studio 9 Ultimate not so much difference.
    Any real advantage with either program? Or as I have read on one of your comments "no real reason to switch".
    Sorry for being so wordy and thanks in advance for an opinion.

    • Hi Ron,
      OK, so compared to most people visiting this site there is one thing we don't have to worry about and that is your computer resources.

      You have an absolute beast there so that's out of the way!

      You have also uncovered one of the hidden secrets of video editing software at this level... they are all pretty much the same!

      That's why it gets so hard to choose because the points upon which you can separate them are tiny.

      So, if you are down to Pinnacle and VideoStudio let's not complicate matters any further and keep it at that because they are both fine.

      Pinnacle offers a more direct system of access to the features within the software and as such, requires more understanding of how to get things done.

      VS can do the same things but instead of providing direct access it uses plugins that don't come into play until you actually use them.

      It all comes down to alternate methods of skinning a cat.

      The hooha about Pinnacle and Win 10 is just that, a bunch of hooha.

      Not one person making that claim has ever provided any actual proof of the problem.

      Sure they may have had problems but the idea that Pinnacle is unsuitable for Win 10 is just a guess at best.

      Pinnacle and VS were re-written about two versions ago (like just about every other brand of software) to adjust to the changes in Win 10 so don't sweat it.

      Given that there is very little separation between the two if it were up to me I would go with VS.

      Why?

      Because I am more familiar with the interface and that's the only reason.

      I think the reverse would be true for you because you are already more familiar with Pinnacle!

      You are already qualified for a cheap upgrade to Pinnacle 20 right?

      Why not download the trial of VideoStudio (lord knows you have the space!) and give it a run to see how you like it.

      If not then upgrade to Pinnacle.

      Have a play!

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