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I am a PC user and use Sony Vegas Pro. I really like it for editing purposes. I do not like Adobe Premier or Avid which work on Windows and believe that the top 3 tools are AVID, Sony Vegas, and Premier. Can Vegas be used for professional productions today or semi pro; is the quality and tools up to notch? Can it compare to Final Cut Pro which I see professionals use?

The criteria can vary but in general if it is feasible.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Vegas is a mature, full-featured NLE. I use it regularly for professional work from spots, to corporate video to feature films. I've also used it for semi-professional things like editing a video of my stepdaughter's choir concert for a Christmas DVD.

Here's where I run into problems. My producing partner is all about FCP. There's no clean way to export an EDL between our two systems so that we can BOTH edit. We work around it. If there's something with Sony's proprietary HD format that's somewhere between HDV and XDCAM, or DSLR footage from a Nikon, I edit because Vegas imports those clips easily. When FCP imports those formats, it ranges from not recognizing the file to displaying interlace artifacts. On the other hand, my Vegas setup chokes on Canon HDV, so that gets edited on FCP.

Whether using FCP or Vegas, the output is comparable, I'm not saying identical because of inherent differences in how MacOS/FCP and Windows/Vegas implement the various output codecs. Needless to say, though, our material from FCP and Vegas has been used in every media from Broadcast to family videos.

The tool, in and of itself, it not the issue. Professionalism comes from a.) the footage and b.) the skill of the editor. Shoot a corporate video with the onboard mic, no tripod and no lights and Eisenstein himself couldn't make that a professional looking edit. Conversely, light and mic a two year old's dance recital, shoot it with three Steadicams for proper coverage, and you'll get something worthy of a broadcast dance show.

It's just that for some projects, I need a phillips head and for some I need a flathead. It doesn't matter if Vegas in the flathead or the phillips and FCP the other. Which one is the best for the job? No one's comparing MSPaint to's just a tool, and if you use it right, you'll be very pleased wit the results.

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The way you've phrased this question makes it meaningless. Of course you can use Vegas for professional and semi-professional work. Of course you can compare the output of Vegas with other professional production tools. The problem is that "professional and semi-professional work" is such a broad field that you will always be able to find some situation where some tool is appropriate. Even MS Paint. (I'm sure someone has manually drawn animation frames with Paint and stacked them up for a music video or short animated logo)

For small projects that you can complete entirely by yourself, all that matters is the final output. If you can produce a product pleasing to your client with Vegas, then go right ahead.

For larger projects where you need to share your intermediate work with other professionals, you may need to use the same tools that they use. But those tools will depend on the other professionals that you work with.

Update: It has been a while since I've used Vegas, but I would guess that it would be a perfectly adequate tool for internal corporate communications work. On the other hand, I doubt Michael Bay uses Vegas much.

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great answer thanks, but reasonably speaking no one can use MS paint nowadays for professional work. Is Vegas the equivalent of MS paint? – Vass Jun 4 '12 at 18:47
Actually, my UX friends tell me that the latest version of MS Paint has powerful tools for UI mockups. On the "art" side, there are lots of artists who work with MS Paint at the pixel level. Can you do professional work with marginal tools? Definitely. Will you do your best work and earn the respect of your colleagues? Possibly not, depending on the nature of your work. – ObscureRobot Jun 4 '12 at 21:32
Then again, it's all about what you're going for. I kinda view MSPaint as the 2d-art analogue to creating 8-bit music with an Atari 2600 tone generator. If it's the right tool for what you want to accomplish, rock on! – dwwilson66 Jun 5 '12 at 18:56
Yes, exactly that. – ObscureRobot Jun 5 '12 at 22:20

Yes, you can use Sony Vegas for fully professional productions. I was the video producer for Media Services at a local college and I used Vegas all the time, for all kinds of productions ranging from student programs to publicity videos for the college and its website, and a huge pile of other things, like instructional videos for professors, and publicity and instructional videos for local health care organizations. I've used Final Cut Pro at our local cable access TV studio - they professionalized their production and editing area with JVC professional camcorders and Mac Pros with FCP. FCP is good - it's flexible down to the last pixel. But it's hard! They had several video instructors who were Apple-certified FCP pros. Even they couldn't get folks up to speed without a long winded learning-teaching process. I stayed with Vegas because it could do pro-level effects (we did a lot of green and blue screen) and was tons simpler than FCP.

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