The long-established Vegas editing package (once “Sony Vegas” but it’s now owned by German firm Magix) has just been updated to version 15 after a year-long wait since the last major update. For many fans of the software though, the update is something of a disappointment as a read of the forum pages confirms.
The prior version was itself merely a facelift given that Magix had only just purchased it from Sony but twelve months later, there was a lot of optimism from users – ourselves included – that version 15 would be a major update with not only bug fixes but also some sorely-needed functionality.
Unfortunately, the changes can largely be summarised, we think, as a cosmestic overhaul to the interface, a couple of unnecessary plugins and some minor useability tweaks.
Fixes and improvements to the internal effects and media generators are still lacking, while essential features such as compound clips and multiple timelines in a single project have been overlooked in favour of a not-altogether successful series of cartoonish tweaks to the UI. These include thick track header bars which entirely obscure your video thumbnails when a small vertical tracksize is used (a forthcoming update version will add the option to turn these headers off)
To be fair there is some progress: a load of minor bugs have apparently been fixed, a LUT plugin is useful (despite one already existing for Vegas) and there’s support for GH5 10-bit 4:2:2 files. Hardware acceleration is also now available for rendering with a new Magix version of the AVC codec. That’s about the best we can say for it.
With an upgrade price for the editor alone of $199 (more expensive options are offered with plug-in bundles from companies such as Boris FX) it’s an expensive upgrade in our opinion. Also, since previous releases have often bundled software which fails to continue support through later versions of Vegas, we think you’re better off buying your plugins standalone.