Firstly, make sure you get this product here. Had to get this in a hurry from a high street store and lost out on £20.
The actual s/w is actually not bad. I was surprised at how easy it is to pick, maybe because of my exp. with moviemaker. There are alot of good features here for the novice and intermediate user, such as the different codec formats to use, straightforward insertion, clip reduction, a host of text label formats, some very good tranisitions that work well with text, pictures and clips. The options for the above features is also quite extensive, more so that then free moviemaker.
Actual generation of videos is easy once you have your clips uploaded. In Mpeg2, its superfast. However, I had to use WMV9 compression on raw data capture which slowed down processing to something like 1.5 hrs for every 90 sec film.
There are however alot of bad points. Stuff that wont stop you doing what you need, but will have you pulling out your hair wondering why?
For instance, every time I tweaked a clip, an eternity passed before the clip was reloaded into memory. Now while this isnt necessary if you want to do a quick and dirty film generation, if you actually want to preview the video, before you generate then you will need to make sure that everything is loaded into memory so you can see.
Furthermore, on a few occasions, the clips would jerk if transistions overlaps, something that couldnt be helped if the clips were shorter than 5secs. Thre was no workaround.
Another thing is the amount of diskspace using this product takes up. I had 30GB on my C: drive before I started and it basically used up the lot. However, this was for over 90 x 90 sec flims. Not to bad, but the problem being that it keeps all the saved info w/o telling you on older versions of your work projects. There maybe some native option to purge those files but I couldnt find it. It took for me to look at the hardrive area using explorer to discover that 25GB was being used up with old project files, which had to be removed manually!!!
So while the product does contain quite a bit of stuff, I wasnt impressed by the overall package. Generation times for anything other than RAW or MPEG was slow, very slow and the product had a few niggling problems when editing. However, overall apart from the slow generating times and lag during editing, its a good, better than average product.
Personally, Id love to have been able to get a copy of Sony Video as Id needed to do more picture and camera work, composition, but this product is very good to use - if you can overlook the issues it possess. The main plus for me was the ability to create end movies in formats bigger than 720x480 (movie maker size max).
You can produce HD and higher res formats (not used by me).
For the record my specs:
AMD2 2.2Ghz, 2GB Ram, 7600GTX Geforce, With 50GB of free space.
Personally, Id advise you go for the Sony Vegas studio (w/o trying it), as this just isnt worth the money I paid for it! If SVS ever comes back into stock here, Ill be ordering it fast!