Canopus Edius 1.5 test and review

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Canopus Edius 1.5

Version 1.0 of Canopus's mid-market video editing program was a few bricks short of a load. How much of an improvement is Edius 1.5, and can it compete with better established alternatives?

While the popularity of video editing has grown hugely as a result of OHCI-standard hardware and software that work together out of the box, there are benefits in ignoring standards if it gives better control of both ends of the desktop editing equation. Hardware and software can be made to work in greater harmony with increased stability and performance - as Canopus has often shown with its basic Edit software running on a selection of the company's own hardware, to produce some of the most stable desktop video platforms we've used. But that particular combination also shows the potential drawback of going it alone. Edit may be stable, but it's not as fully featured as Adobe Premiere. So, in the past, Canopus has had to rely on Adobe's software to provide more editing power.

In March 2003, however, Canopus released Edius - its own competitor to Premiere. The program has improved rapidly and is now at version 1.5, which we're reviewing here. However, despite Edius, Canopus has still pledged to continue providing hardware support for Adobe Premiere. This is in contrast to Pinnacle's termination of its long-term relationship with Adobe as the company wants to push its own editor, Liquid (previously Edition).

Edius isn't a radical piece of software, but that doesn't stop it being very effective. Canopus has done a good job so far in what is still essentially the first version of the program. As a timeline editor, it's extremely fluid and productive. With the close integration of hardware and software, we also found it very stable, and didn't experience a single crash the whole time we were editing. It's possible to perform the majority of everyday editing tasks entirely in real-time. With the appropriate Storm hardware, DV and MPEG output are in real-time, too - only web files take longer, but even Windows Media was rendering at around 7fps in our tests.

Edius has a lot of potential for the future, too. Operation is independent of resolution or frame-rate, so high definition is a viable possibility. It wouldn't take much extra code to support 24P DV or JVC's new consumer HD format in the near future. The only major omission is timeline-integrated DVD authoring. Canopus also lags behind Pinnacle - and even further behind Matrox - in terms of its range of more esoteric special effects. But, whereas Edit was limited to quite prosaic editing situations, Edius has enough to allow the sort of adventurous editing many professionals will need. It's a capable piece of software, and promises to take Canopus from being an interesting niche player to a mainstream competitor for Matrox, Pinnacle and even Adobe.

James Morris

Read the full review in February 2004's Computer Video magazine.



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Reviewed in this issue:

Primera Bravo DVD Publisher
Siren DVD Duplication Station
Avid Xpress Pro
Canopus Edius 1.5

In February's news:

DVD Workshop goes pro
Adobe editing suite on the cheap
Toshiba portable Media Center
Forging ahead in sound
Edit-ready Apple PowerMac
LaCie Toast 6 burner bundle
ADS Tech USB2 boxes
Budget Canopus ProCoder
Pinnacle Dazzles
Canopus three-way converter
Discreet 3ds max 6
Premiere Pro music-making

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