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There’s no end of innovation in home video technology, whether that means 3D, 4K, or 360-degree VR video, and the software you use to edit it all has to keep up. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate does so admirably, as one of the few consumer video editing programs that can work with 360-degree VR footage. It’s also well equipped with multicam editing, multipoint motion tracking, time remapping, video masking, audio ducking, and 4K support. New tools include an automatic Highlight Reel creator, color wheels for color grading, and new slip, slide, stretch, and roll editing options. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is an impressive product with a clear, simple interface, and it’s loaded with fun features, but our testing shows that it’s taken a hit in stability in the latest update.

What’s New in Corel VideoStudio Ultimate

We’ve been reviewing VideoStudio for over a decade now, and it’s been a favorite of ours for the past few years. It’s an easy-to-use but powerful tool for consumer-level video editing that contains much more than just the new features, as you’ll see throughout the rest of this article below this list. All the standard tools such as a timeline, storyboard, transitions, picture-in-picture, and sound editing are present. Corel also produces Pinnacle Studio, which targets a more pro-level audience of users. If you’ve been following VideoStudio over the years and are familiar with its capabilities, here’s a quick rundown on what’s new for the 2020 version:

  • Highlight Reel. The marquee feature of the new version is an auto movie creator that uses AI to turn a pile of photos and video clips into a compelling show.

  • New Edit Modes. As do many enthusiast video editors, VideoStudio now lets you use Slip, Slide, Roll, and Stretch modes when working on the timeline.

  • Upgraded Color Grading. A new color panel replete with color wheels is appearing in a lot of consumer video editors, and with this update, Corel joins the party.

  • Painting Creator. Hand drawn text to project that can animate like you’re writing.

  • More Included LUTs. Now there are over 30 of these pro-style color looks you can drop into your projects. You can adjust the intensity of these effects. The update also throws in new titles, video backgrounds, textures, and animated graphics.

  • Photoshop-like Blending Modes. For overlays, you can now choose Multiply, Screen, Overlay, and more.

  • 4K Monitor Support. The interface has been retooled to look better in these high-DPI displays.

  • Improved Masking Tools. The UI has been improved, there are now more basic mask shapes, and the quality and rendering of masks has been improved with smoother lines on export.

Pricing and Starting Up

VideoStudio runs on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7, and the 64-bit OS versions are highly recommended. The product is available at two levels: Pro ($79.99, and $59.99 for an upgrade) and Ultimate ($99.99, $79.99 upgrade). The latter is reviewed here, and both are frequently discounted online. The higher-end option adds effects from ProDAD, NewBlue, and Boris; lets you use six multicam tracks (as opposed to four for Pro); and allows importing XAVC (Sony 4K) content. By comparison, CyberLink PowerDirector Ultimate ($69.99 at CyberLink) doesn’t limit the number of multicam tracks even in its lower-cost version. The more consumer-oriented Adobe Premiere Elements costs $99.99, but it doesn’t include any multicam, 360-degree, or motion-tracking capabilities.

To get the VideoStudio software online, you download an app that in turn downloads and installs the not-small 1.5GB application; Ultimate’s included plug-ins grow this figure to 3.4GB. For comparison, PowerDirector weighs in at just under 1GB, while Premiere Elements takes up a considerable 3.5GB of disk space, sans plug-ins. You’ll still need a pretty big hard disk if you want to do hi-res video editing, especially for work in 4K (which even smartphones can record nowadays).


VideoStudio starts by showing you its Welcome view, represented by a house-shaped icon. Premiere Elements now has a separate welcome app that serves similar purposes, but VideoStudio’s doesn’t include options to resume projects or start new ones. On VideoStudio’s Welcome page you can find inspiration and instruction in the form of tutorials, videos, and templates. The 2019 edition gets a minor redesign, with clean, flat icons across the bottom rather than thumbnails. The Get More section offers extra-cost templates, filters, transitions, and overlays. There’s some great material in here for the video hobbyist.

Corel VideoStudio Timeline view.

The other three modes—Capture, Edit, and Share—are where you do the real video editing work. This adds up to a handy interface that guides you through the workflow process of adding, editing, and outputting your digital movie.

The Editing mode’s pleasing dark blue-gray interface uses the familiar three-pane view with source and effects and video preview each occupying half the top portion of the window and the timeline taking the whole bottom portion. Clear buttons on the right side of the content window give access to the most commonly used tools, such as transitions, titles, and effects. I like the way icons in the source panel make it easy to show and hide video, photo, and audio content types.

VideoStudio lets you resize and move the interface panels, and you can even pull them out into separate windows. You can also choose which buttons appear on the toolbar above the timeline (including buttons for the Pan and Zoom and 3D Title Editor) and set three custom interface layouts and easily switch among them. Multiple screen support lets you see your video full-screen on one and all your editing tools on the other, for example. All this means VideoStudio rates as one of the most flexible UIs in the space.

Tools in the preview window give easy access to cropping, scaling, and moving your video content around in the frame. Guidelines help you center and align overlays and text. A cue/chapter marking tool is at your disposal below the preview window. You can adjust a track’s transparency from a button in the track head area, near the Track Muting button and Ripple Editing button. Resize the timeline tracks themselves simply by dragging the lower edge in the header down or up.

Importing, Organizing, and Basic Editing

To start a new project, you choose File > New Project. While most other video editing programs display a dialog box at this point to help you choose your project settings, with VideoStudio you’re just immediately thrown into adding content and building a timeline without any guidance popping up. I’d love to see choices about my new project’s format, or an option to use FastFlick or Instant Project, the app’s simplified editors. On the other hand, I’m certain there are advanced users who just want to start editing, without any hand-holding.

Capture Mode in Corel VideoStudio

The Capture mode (which you enter by clicking the large Capture button at the top) lets you record from a connected camera, scan a DV source, and import from Digital Media or a mobile device. Getting media into VideoStudio is simple, but, once it’s there, the app offers no tagging capability such as you get with Adobe Premiere Elements. A search box lets you more easily find media and effects, and you can sort source content by name, type, or date. I like how the buttons make it easy to view just video clips, just photos, just music, or any combination of those categories you like.

Back in the main editor, you simply drag and drop a clip from your source tray to add it to your timeline. If you double-click on a clip in the source tray, it opens in the Single Clip Trim window. This provides a handy way to set the start and finish markers of the section of the clip that you want to add, with precision to the individual frame level. Corel has increased the maximum number of tracks from 20 to 50; competitors like PowerDirector offer 100 or more, but few hobbyists will find that to be a major stumbling block.

Also added the 2020 version are more editing modes that will be familiar to professionals: Slip, Stretch, Roll, and Slide. These simply give you more options for moving media around on the timeline. The Stretch option is notable for slowing down or speeding up a clip when you use it. I’ve circled the new tools below:

New timeline tools in Corel VideoStudio

The Multitrim Video tool lets you set multiple in and out points, so you don’t have to create a lot of separate clips if you just want to remove some dead space in the middle of a clip. It also lets you detect ads in TV content. PowerDirector matches this multitrim capability, but most other editors lack it. The Corel trim tools offer easy, clear navigation, including a jog wheel and zoomable selection scrubber. That’s far more than you get with Sony Movie Studio Platinum.

As with Apple Final Cut Pro X’s Clip Connections, VideoStudio lets you group and ungroup clips. This can make editing complex projects much easier. Moving or trimming a grouped set of clips keeps them together, so you don’t have to realign everything after making an adjustment.

Highlight Reel

You first need a “library” or simply a folder in the source panel, and then you press the Highlight Reel button, which looks like a camera aperture. The tool does face recognition, so that’s one way to organize media, but it also shows media by date. When you press the aforementioned button, you’re asked if you want to import all videos and photos into the Highlight Reel. Once you do that, you’re in the smaller, less complex Hightlight Reel window.

Highlight Reel in Corel VideoStudio

You then choose All, Year, Months, Days, or Faces, and tap the blue Create button. Doing so applies Auto settings for duration and transitions, but you can customize those, as well as any content that appears in the movie. To test the feature, I dumped 135 videos and photos from a vacation trip. An Analyzing… dialog appeared for a couple minutes.

The tool automatically puts blurred side panels on vertical smartphone video, adds elegant cross fade transitions, and shows the date in the margin. I was happy to see that it didn’t include multiple takes of the same shot, but just chose one the AI considered best, and it was quite successful. Unlike some easy creators, there’s no automatic background soundtrack, but you can add one in the Movie Settings, and video clip audio is retained. One error I experienced was the inclusion of a completely black video clip.

When you’re finished creating the reel, the program doesn’t open it on the standard timeline, but saves it as a project file, which you can open there for detailed editing. You’ll of course want to export to a viewable format like MP4, as well. Another such limitation is that the only audio file type accepted is MP3. If you choose to match the video with the music, you get a choppier result, with all clips and photos about the same time length.

Instant Movies

Corel VideoStudio offers not one, not two, but three tools for simplifying movie creation: FastFlick, which is a separate included application, and Instant Project are joined by the previously discussed Highlight Reel. You can get to the latter by clicking the button with the magic wand icon in Edit mode, right below the Media button. This is simply template-based movie creation, with templates for your movie’s beginning, middle, and end. You can also create your own user-defined templates. You double-click a template, and it fills the timeline with placeholder clips, transitions, and a background music sound track. It’s not as helpful as Adobe Premiere Element’s templates, which give you a storyboard of what types of shots work in each placeholder.

Instant Movies in Corel VideoStudio

Split Screen templates appear in the top of Instant Project. Drag one onto the timeline, and again you’ll see placeholders for picture-in-picture clips. You need to hold down the Ctrl key while dragging a clip into a placeholder, which is less intuitive than simply dragging it on top of the placeholder, as you do in Premiere Elements’ similar Video Collage feature.


The FastFlick app is much simpler to use than Instant Movies: You just pick a template, add your media, and let the program do the rest. It’s perhaps a bit too simple, producing cookie-cutter results. You can, however, transfer its creations to the full VideoStudio editor for customization. FastFlick is a separate program included with VideoStudio for simple, quick-and-dirty digital movie creation.

You can start FastFlick from its own desktop icon or from the full program’s Tools menu. It’s also available as a standalone product for $19.99. You can create your own templates, as well. One template applied the nifty effect of turning my video back and forth from a sketch look. This feature is only partially touch-friendly, and it didn’t let me use the on-screen keyboard in my testing.

Corel FastFlick

Text tiles and background music are customizable, though if the template you choose doesn’t already have titles, you can’t add them. I like the slider that adjusts the relative volumes of the clip audio and background music. When you’re done, a button optionally takes you to the full editor, or you can produce your video in a variety of standard file formats or share it online.

Video Corrections, Transitions, and Effects

Corel VideoStudio offers over 150 transitions in 19 groups, ranging from the basic fades and wipes to 3D effect, peels, pushes, and stretches. Adding transitions to the timeline is a very simple drag-and-drop operation. If you drag a clip to overlap its neighbor, the default transition is inserted. In my test movies, the transitions were smooth and well rendered.

The very cool Seamless Transition group includes eight transition options, for left, right, up, and down, along with the rotation variation for each. The most common use of these is when the view pans to the sky and lands on the second clip. Inserting these transitions works well automatically, but you can adjust the effect in an Options Panel.

Seamless transitions in Corel VideoStudio

The panel itself includes sliders for horizontal and vertical position and scaling, but it’s not at all visual. Tapping the Customize gear icon lets you actually see where your clips are joined, as well as how these vertical, horizontal, and scaling adjustments look in your clips. I was able to get a more impressive transition by aligning the sky in two clips using scaling. Pinnacle Studio gives you more control over this kind of transition, letting you select polygons that the transition should use. The transition does give you a lot of control, letting you mark multiple points on a line that will match an area of one clip to one in the next.

Dozens of special effects can jazz up your clips with things like diffuse glow, mosaic, and water flow. Among these effects, too, are image-correction tools such as anti-shake, color balance, noise reduction, and light enhancement. The anti-shake worked well in my testing, even on 4K footage, though it doesn’t show you a progress bar the way Premiere Elements does—handy for a task that can take a while. As in any high-end video editor, you can set any effects on and off with key frames, and Corel provides a separate window with side-by-side original and preview views for working with these.

Standard Transitions in Corel VideoStudio

Adding montage layer tracks is extremely intuitive: You just add an overlay track with the track manager and drag the new content into it. A picture-in-picture appears in the middle of the preview window, and you can resize and drag this around.

Another flavor of PiP is produced by the Dynamic Split Screen Video Template Creator tool. It has its own separate program window. It lets you split the screen with line or shapes. Unlike most similar tools the tool is very customizable and flexible. As you add splits and shapes, boxes appear for you to drop clips in below. Time your splits and shapes to move based on keyframes, and then save your work as a template to use in later projects.

The app’s chroma-keying tool does a decent job of cutting out a green-screen background in test clips, especially when using its color dropper tool. Finally, the Graphic tool lets you add solid colors, objects, frames, and even Flash animations like a spinning globe to your movies, for extra bling.

Springing for VideoStudio’s Ultimate Edition gets you packs of truly pro-level effects from the likes of NewBlue, Boris FX and proDAD. These let you do things like really refine the colors, giving your movie the look of a Hollywood production; add handwritten-looking text; and perform advanced image correction and stabilization.

Painting Creator is a newly updated effect for 2020. It resembles a sportscaster’s telestrator, letting you draw on the screen as the video action proceeds. I was thrilled to see that it worked with my touch-screen PC monitor. I was, however, disappointed that there aren’t more brush types, aside from Airbrush. You can select from a number of textures, however, as the screenshot here shows.

Painting Creator produces animated text in Corel VideoStudio

Titles and Captions

VideoStudio includes three buttons that lead to text tools: Titles, Subtitles, and 3D Titles. The program is highly capable when it comes to adding words to your movies, letting you choose among 34 preformatted title and subtitle animations. You can customize these by font, size, duration, rotation, and more. You can then save your new style as a preset, and when you drop it into a timeline, you see placeholders for the PiP clips.

The separate Subtitle tool is accessed from a button above the timeline. It works with your audio track, which you can split out if it’s part of your video track. It can scan the track to see where subtitles might be needed. Then you just type them in! You can adjust how long each title lasts on screen, or import a subtitle file in UTF, SRT, or LRC formats.

3D titles in Corel VideoStudio

The 3D titling tool resembles something that’s been appearing in competing software in the past couple of release cycles. It pops up its own dedicated window, in which you can adjust position, character spacing, bevel, light source, color, opacity, and more. Rotating the text on three axes and timing the motion with keyframe markers is one fun effect the tool enables.

Color Grading

The 2019 version of VideoStudio saw a new set of color grading tools, including HSL tuning, tone curves, waveform scope, and Look-Up Table (LUT) support. If you don’t want to monkey around with color controls, you can simply try the Auto Tone check box on the Color tab of the adjustment panel that appears when you double-click on a clip. If it doesn’t look right, the next thing to try is choosing from its dropdown menu; choices are Brightest, Brighter, Normal, Darker, and Darkest.

Color wheels in Corel VideoStudio

New for 2020 are color wheels that let you accentuate different hues for highlights, midtones, and shadows—or just the whole image. They also let you raise or lower the luminance of those ranges with sliders. In all, Corel’s color wheels are simpler to use than those in Vegas Movie Studio, but not quite as effective as PowerDirector’s or Final Cut Pro’s.

A color picker is available for you to select a neutral-tone object in the image to adjust white balance. This, too, has an auto setting, but if your image doesn’t have much white or gray, it gets the balance wrong. For custom tuning, you can use the sliders for Hue, Contrast, Gamma, Blacks, Shadows, Midgrange, Highlights, Whites, Vibrance, Saturation, Clarity, and Haze. (The last doesn’t work as well as the similarly named tool in photo software like Luminar; it’s more like contrast.) A Reset button is helpful here for when you get carried away with these adjustments.

Corel introduced LUT support in the 2019 version but it didn’t accept Adobe’s options for film looks and special lighting effects, such as candlelight and day-for-night, unlike every other program with LUT support I’ve tried. Nor did Corel include any LUT presets with the program—that’s all changed.

LUTs in Corel VideoStudio

You now get 34 LUTs to use in the software, including black-and-white treatments, Bleach, Invert, Technicolor, and the very effective Orange Teal. Third-party LUTs like Adobe’s .cube files for Candlelight and Night from Day also now work,

For Ultimate owners, the Tone Curve and HSL tools are also enabled. The first will be familiar to photo-software users and can either correct lighting or produce surreal effects. You can work with curves for red, green, and blue separately if you need to. HSL (hue, saturation, and lightness) adjusters work with even more colors, and a great extra is a cursor that adjusts the colors under it when you drag the mouse. Weirdly, this set of tools does not include a reset button. A final admirable touch is that every adjustment discussed in this section can be saved as a preset for later use. The color tools are powerful, but as you might expect, they fall short of what you get in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Pinnacle Studio, which offer color wheels and vectorscopes.

360-degree video in Corel VideoStudio

360-Degree Video Editing

Corel includes support for dual fisheye, equirectangular, and single fisheye views, along with source from more camera models. You can add 360-degree video content from your Samsung Gear 360 ($189.00 at Amazon) or similar hardware to the source panel, drag it into your timeline, and then right-click and choose Insert as 360 Video.

You see seven choices here, for conversion to single fisheye, double fisheye, equirectangular, and standard video formats. 360-to-Standard is the most useful choice. This opens a full-screen side-by-side view of your video in a new editing window. Here, you can position the angle of the video that results in a standard 2D view. Move the crosshairs around in the left side’s original view or pan around in the right side’s flattened view to choose the resulting angle. After you hit OK at the bottom of the window, your clip appears on the editing timeline using the angles you chose.

If you choose a 360-degree end product, you can only output 360 projects to a local file; there’s no built-in support for popular online services that support 360 video, like PowerDirector has.

Tiny Planet effect in Corel VideoStudio

The popular tiny planet and (its converse) rabbit hole effects are available options for 360-degree content. To use them, you insert the clip as Spherical.

Pan and Zoom

This window gives you a lot of control over the popular pan-and-zoom effect. You can use keyframes or manipulate the effect on the fly as your video plays (which creates keyframes), by dragging a selection box in the source video window. You can tilt the video angle as well as panning and zooming. A three-by-three grid lets you position the zoom box exactly in a corner or the middle of a side. The tool gives you a fun way to draw your viewers’ attention to parts of the frame you want to highlight.

Video Masking

VideoStudio’s Mask Creator tool lets you cover an area of your video with an effect based on an area selected in an overlaid video or photo. If you create the mask from video content, it follows the masked object using motion tracking—without any of the complexity of the full motion-tracking feature I cover below. You create a mask using either a brush (with edge detection) or a shape (rectangular or elliptical). The motion tracking works for one frame, to the end of the clip, or to a specified time code. It took over a minute to track a short clip in my testing, so it’s not an instant effect.

Video Masking in Corel VideoStudio

Masking is similar to using the Chroma key effect, and indeed, after creating a mask, you can use it as a Chroma key without the green screen to overlay an object on your movie. Using this option also lets you invert the mask. For example, instead of having a head covering the background, you’d have the background only show through where the head was. Both this tool and PowerDirector’s mask editor let you fade transparency in and out for a ghostly effect, but PowerDirector makes it easier to use get this cool effect.

You can create masks with text and free selection as well as shapes. You can move, tilt, and resize the text to taste, and choose from literally hundreds of fonts. When finished, you can save the mask for use in other videos.

The 2020 release adds some masking improvements, including an updated interface, more mask shapes, and better quality and rendering of masks, with smoother lines on export.

Time Remapping

Slo-mo, speedup, reverse, freeze-frame—these all come under the heading of Time Remapping. VideoStudio already included a rudimentary freeze-frame tool (more about this later), but this feature catches the editor up to Premiere Elements and PowerDirector with the addition of the other effects mentioned. A button lets you preview the time-remapping results, but scrubbing through with the tool is awkward. I wish it opened to the spot in the clip where the timeline play head was located.

Track Transparency

Corel’s higher-end video-editing program, Pinnacle Studio, recently introduced a track transparency tool very similar to the one available in VideoStudio. You open the tool by right-clicking on the track header and choosing Track Transparency. This opens a new view in the timeline with a yellow line for adjusting transparency. You can either drag the whole yellow line down to increase a track’s transparency, or click on the line to set a key frame to increase and decrease transparency during playback. It’s a good tool that can create some evocative effects.

Lens Correction

Because of the popularity of GoPros and their ilk, several of VideoStudio’s competitors, such as PowerDirector, have come out with dedicated action cam editing spaces. VideoStudio tips its hat to this phenomenon with a basic fisheye distortion corrector. You can still do most of the effects found in the other products, such as freeze frame and stabilization, but it’s nice to have them all together in one window. VideoStudio offers preset corrections for GoPro Hero 3 and 4 models, and you can individually adjust the focal length, radial distortion coefficients, and tangential distortion coefficients. Needless to say, that’s probably beyond the ken of the average street shredder, let alone of this consumer software reviewer.


VideoStudio was the first major consumer video editor to offer a built-in stop-motion tool. One really nifty thing is that you can actually control a DSLR from within the software, for hands-off-camera stop-motion shooting. Controls include white balance, image quality/size, exposure settings, and ISO. In my testing it was actually a little difficult to get the desired results with autofocus using this remote control, but manual focus is also available. These unmatched tools let you create really high quality stop motion movies.

Multicam Editing

Multicam editing lets you switch among camera angles shot at the same time. It’s a feature more associated with pro-level video editors such as Apple Final Cut Pro X. You need to select clips first and then enter the separate multicam editing window to get started. The program can align the clips by audio automatically, or use markers or time codes. In my testing, the multicam tool did a good job of syncing up two clips using their audio tracks.

I then created an angle-switching video easily by tapping the clip previews in the four-pane source panel. Within the multicam window, you can edit your multicam movie by extending or shortening an angle entry in the top timeline, but once you hit OK in the bottom of this window, the multicam is a new clip in your main source panel, and you can no longer adjust sub-clip durations, as you can in other apps, such as PowerDirector.

Multicam editing in Corel VideoStudio

Multicam Capture Lite is a tool that simply lets you capture your PC screen along with input from your webcam. It’s a separate app with a Record button and picture settings, but it doesn’t create a picture in picture; rather it just creates multiple clips you can use in the editor. You then use the Multi-Camera Editor feature to switch between the sources or use the PiP tools to get an inset video of yourself talking.

Multipoint Motion Tracking

VideoStudio was the first consumer video editor to include motion tracking, which lets you attach an object, text, or effect to something that moves in your video. Think of the obscured license plates or faces or naughty bits, or just adding a caption that moves along with someone. Simply select a clip in the timeline, tap the Track Motion button to open the Track Motion window, and place the crosshairs over your moving person or object. You can add multiple items to track, and select either a point, a rectangular area, or multipoint sources to track. The last option automatically resizes the effect or overlay object as the source changes size. So, in my sample I selected points for a bike’s axle, the rider’s head, and body, and then hit the Track button.

Motion tracking in Corel VideoStudio

The tool creates paths for each of the tracked points, and you can move the ends of the paths marked by red dots. You can also save the paths and name them. If no objects block your moving object, the tracking works just right. The tool itself lets you apply mosaic effects, but to add overlay text or graphics, you need to use the separate Match Motion tool. Once you get past the complex dialog, this impressive tool works as advertised.


This is one feature that competing apps such as Premiere Elements have had for a while. And VideoStudio’s Freeze-Frame feature is pretty basic by comparison: You simply scrub to the spot you want to freeze, choose Freeze-Frame from the Edit menu, and a window with just two options pops up—how long to freeze and whether to split audio. The latter stops audio on other tracks during the freeze. By comparison, Premiere Elements and PowerDirector let you add additional cool effects such as reverse and then forward and slo-mo.

Audio Editing

VideoStudio has improved audio tools for normalizing and ducking sound levels, and it also now offers audio filters right alongside video effects in the source panel. Normalize lets you even out audio level among multiple clips, and ducking lowers background audio during narration. You can now fine-tune the lead in and out for ducking in VideoStudio.

One of the buttons above the timeline is for the Sound Mixer. This opens audio controls that show a surround-sound diagram of a room with speakers. You can stretch audio to match your video’s length without changing its pitch, record voiceovers, fade in and out, and apply filters like hiss reduction and resonance. Many of the filters are adjustable, but resonance unfortunately isn’t. Audio is one area where CyberLink is also strong, with its powerful AudioDirector companion program.

Audio Ducking in Corel VideoStudio

Other audio tools include normalizing and ducking. The first is good for when your movie includes clips shot in different environments, because it makes the movie audio consistent. On my test movie, it did a good job. Ducking turns down background soundtracks when speaking occurs. This also worked as expected, and a level line in the audio timeline track lets you increase or decrease the effect.

Output and Authoring

VideoStudio has some support for H.265, the newer compression codec that allows higher resolutions like 4K with smaller file sizes, but the support is contingent on whether your hardware—either the CPU or the GPU—includes support for the codec. You still get support for all the more-standard standards, such as AVI, MPEG-1 through -4, M2T, WebM, 3GP, and WMV. You can output compatible files for Apple, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft devices. The 2018 version added support for XAVC-s, popular among users in Japan.

Though DVD and Blu-ray discs aren’t as big a deal as they once were, users of enthusiast video software such as Corel VideoStudio like to produce physical discs they can share. VideoStudio is perfectly up to the tasks of creating menus, chapters and subtitles. For Blu-ray creation you’ll need to pony up a $7.99 license fee.


Corel supports Intel and Nvidia video hardware acceleration in the latest version of VideoStudio. It felt mostly responsive on my powerful test PC in normal editing usage and started up snappily. This version crashed on me a few times, however, with a larger project in play; thankfully the autosave let me pick back up where I left off. I informed Corel about the crashes, and they issued a patch that reduced them, though not completely.

With the move to working home rather than in the PCMag labs, I’m unable at this time to present comparison of hard performance numbers among all the video editors. I did run a rendering time test by creating a movie consisting of four clips of mixed types (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K) with a standard set of transitions and rendering it to 1080p30 MPEG-4 at 15Mbps, H.264 High Profile. Audio was MPEG AAC Audio: 192 Kbps. I tested on a PC with a 3.4GHz Core i7 6700 CPU, 16GB RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro.

The app’s rendering speed for this test was a spiffy 1:08 (min:sec). The only comparison I have at this time is with Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, which rendered the project in a far slower 3:41.

Note that, for best, results, you have to turn on hardware optimization in Settings. I prefer when an app gives you an estimated time to completion, as PowerDirector and Vegas Movie Studio do, rather than just a percent completed.

Your Own Video Studio

Corel VideoStudio continues to be an intuitive and powerful enthusiast video editing application. Support for slip, slide, stretch, and roll editing; color wheels and LUTS; multicam editing; powerful motion tracking; and detailed audio options nearly push it up to the professional level. Those, along with loads of other effects, fast rendering performance, ease of use, and a low price point earn Corel VideoStudio a high 4-star PCMag rating, though instability in our testing prevents it from being an Editors’ Choice for consumer video editing software. CyberLink PowerDirector is now the sole possessor of that award.

Corel VideoStudio Ultimate Specs

Number of Video Tracks 50
Motion Tracking Yes
Multicam Editing Yes
3D Editing Yes
Supports 360° VR Content Yes
Keyword Tag Media No
Supports 4K XAVC-S Format Yes
Exports to H.265 (HEVC) Yes

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