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Movie Studio Platinum 13 is Sony Creative Software's new consumer level premium Video Editing software program.

Three New Versions

There are three different versions/packages of the new Movie Studio 13 software and in this review I will be focussing on Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13, which is the the heart of the new range. In a separate article here, I will also be reviewing Sony Movie Studio Suite 13 which is a "hamburger with the lot" package and offers the most features and value out of all three versions. Sony Movie Studio 13 is the basic stripped down version of the program, however I will not be looking at this version for now.

Movie Studio Platinum 13 also comes packaged with DVD Architect Studio 5.0, which gives you the ability to create DVDs and BluRay discs with fully functioning menus. With this release of Movie Studio, DVD Architect is unchanged.

Movie Studio Suite 13 comes with three extra programs - DVD Architect Studio 5.0, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 and Acid Music Studio 10. Sound Forge is unchanged from previous releases, however Acid Music Studio 10 is a brand new release. The "Suite" version also comes with many bonus features which I have listed in this article here.

Movie Studio Platinum 13 desktopMovie Studio Platinum 13 desktop

First Impressions

The first time you boot up Movie Studio Platinum 13, you will be greeted by one of the two new Edit Modes. You have a choice between Simple and Advanced edit mode. Simple Edit Mode looks very much like the new desktop of Movie Studio 13, where all the higher functions and controls have been removed from the program. My guess is that the "simple" mode has been designed to help newbies quickly create a project without getting confused and overwhelmed by too many higher functions.

Simple Edit Mode also makes it easier to use the new interface on a touch screen computer, since Movie Studio is now Touch Enabled, so there is plenty of room to move around. Part of the new user interface design includes much larger control buttons and icons to make it easier for human fingers to drag and manipulate media all over the desktop.

Advanced Edit Mode returns the Movie Studio desktop back into something that people will recognise from all earlier incarnations of the program. However, even in the advanced mode, all the controls and icons are also in a new enlarged state and cannot be changed. The traditional toolbar has been split in two, with half of the icons now living at the bottom of the timeline and the rest at the top of the screen. One disappointing thing with this new toolbar design, is the ability to customize the toolbar to suit your own needs has been removed. This is one feature I used a lot in all the older versions - please bring this functionality back Sony.

Simple Edit Mode - Movie Studio Platinum 13   advanced-mode-960

*Press on thumbnails to view fullscreen

I have to be honest about my assessment of the "New Look" interface. It looks dumbed down compared to all previous versions of Movie Studio Platinum. I am not sure whether catering for a smaller number of new people who are going to edit in "Touch Screen Mode", should be at the sacrifice of the vast majority of people who will always use a mouse. Lets face it, editing video is not a simple task. It requires fine motor control and concentration to manipulate media across the timeline. Using a mouse is the most sensible, practical and logical approach. You simpling cannot execute many higher functions using your fingers - it is just plain ridiculous.

On the flip side, the new changes to the interface will probably make it much easier for a brand new user to start using Movie Studio Platinum. 

Don't panic if you are an existing user of Movie Studio Platinum, you can still do all the same things you could do in the older versions. Once you drill down underneath the surface of the desktop re-design, you will still find all the advanced controls and settings that make Movie Studio Platinum a great video editing program. My main disappointment is with the changes that have been made to the toolbar and the fact that you can no longer customize it. If you own an older version of Movie Studio Platinum and would like to upgrade to version 13, you will be able to easily adapt to the new way of doing things, it is just a bit annoying.

One of the things I really liked about Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9, which was the first version I bought back in the beginning of 2008, and all versions following this (10, 11 & 12),  was the fact that it actually looked like a professional video editing program. Now with the introduction of LARGE BUTTONS for all, it feels more like a kids program - even though it is not below the surface. If you are an experienced Movie Studio Platinum user, you will find that all the controls and functions for tools like Event Pan/Crop and Track Motion are still there.

My belief is that Sony should have created an extra "Touch Screen Version" only in the new Movie Studio 13 range just for people who have a touch screen computer, and left the "Platinum" version feeling and looking like a real Platinum Version. The other alternative is that maybe the new Advanced Edit Mode should return the interface to the traditional customizable toolbar with smaller icons, leaving the Simple Edit Mode just for touch screen operation.

If you are a brand new person looking to buy your first "proper" video editing software, then the new changes should not affect your decision to buy. Movie Studio Platinum is still one of the best value and most feature rich video editing programs in this price range on the market. You will not be disappointed with what this program can do.

New Features

The main new features in the Platinum version include Two Edit Modes, Touch Enabled Editing, support for 4K Video and extra 3D Video Formats, and easy Proxy Video Creation to help with video playback in the Preview Window.

  • You can now pair stereoscopic 3D subclips at the track level - which I think means that 3D video clips can live on the timeline without having to display the left and right channels on two separate tracks.
  • A larger range of multistream 3D video formats are now supported.
  • Colour Match Video Effect has been added to the Video Fx library - this gives you the ability to match the colours between two different video clips for greater continuity.
  • 4K video is now supported and appears as a new option in the Project Properties Templates list. Correspondingly, there are also new Sony XAVC S Rendering templates for 4K Video final delivery.
  • New "portrait" style rendering templates - so if you have been shooting video with a mobile phone in "longways" orientation, you now also render to this same portrait style.
  • New Make Movie profile for uplaoding video directly to Facebook.
  • New Fade and Trim handles inside media on the timeline - this will make it easier when editing on a touch screen.
  • New Toolbar below timeline with new "Fade" edit mode - when you need to fade video or audio, you have to now place the timeline in fade mode.
  • You can now fade multiple pieces of media all at the same time - even mixed media.
  • Thumbnails now automatically produce in the Explorer tab, making it easier to find your media files.
  • New automatic sort folders in the Project Media tab - so Video, Audio and Stills will auto sort into folders for you.
  • Right-click functionality for Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete and Select All has been added to the Sony Titles and Text window.
  • Creation of Video Proxy Files in the Project Media window - this is a big new feature which is sure to please anyone who experiences lag in the Preview Window on a regular basis.


Movie Studio 13 works on Microsoft® Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit or Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit (including Windows 8.1)

Please note that Windows XP and Vista are not supported.

For a full list of all the technical specifications, plese refer to this page on the Sony Creative Software website.

Main Core Features

I have been using Sony's Movie Studio software for over six years now. Looking back in time, it seems like a bit of a fluke that I chose Movie Studio Platinum 8 as my first "proper" video editing sofware. There are so many different choices you can make in the marketplace, it can be very overwhelming knowing what to get. Still to this day I am very happy with the choice I made. The reason why I still say this today, is because of the many "pro-like" features and tools that are included in Movie Studio software. Movie Studio is not a professional application, however for the medium to advanced user, there are many tools that can help you create what you imagine in your head. If you are a new person and have not experienced Movie Studio software before and would like to really learn how to do great video editing, then below are some of my favourite tools in Movie Studio Platinum 13.

  • New Project Wizard
  • 50+ Video Effects
  • 25+ Transitions
  • 20+ Audio Effects
  • Track Motion Tool
  • Event Pan/Crop Tool
  • Up to 20x Video Tracks
  • Up to 20x Audio Tracks
  • 2nd Monitor Preview Display
  • Trimmer Window
  • 30+ Preset Animated Text Templates
  • 5.1 Surround Sound Mixing Tools
  • Live Recording to the Timeline
  • Slideshow Creation Tool
  • Large amount of different Rendering Profiles
  • Creation of video ready for DVD and BluRay discs

*Press on thumbnails to view fullscreeen

New Project Wizard    Video Fx    Transitions    Audio Fx

track-motion-tool    event-pan-crop-tool    timeline    trimmer-window

titles-text    surround-sound-editing    live-recording    slideshow-creator


If you are an owner of a previous version of Movie Studio, then there probably isn't that many newer features to make it worth while updating to version 13 - especially if you already own version 11 or 12.  However, if you are one of the people that experiences bad video lag problems in the Preview Window, then just this one new feature of onboard Proxy Video Creation alone, is probably a good enough reason to try version 13 out.

If you are brand new to the world of video editing and are eager to really get creative and learn as much as possible, I suggest you take a serious look at Movie Studio Suite 13. This package not only includes Movie Studio Platinum 13, it also includes a terrific group of supporting programs and plugins. Movie Studio Suite 13 is still my number one personal recommendation, because it offers the most features for an amazing price. You can read more about the Suite version in this article here.

If you only want to do some video editing, but need to make sure you have enough advanced tools to get the job done properly, then Movie Studio Platinum 13 is also a great choice. No matter which version you are gravitated towards, please remember that you can download a free trial direct from Sony Creative Software and test it out before you buy.


Buy the latest version of Vegas Movie Studio here !

MAGIX Software & VEGAS Creative Software

If you already own an older version of Vegas Movie Studio, you can purchase a discounted upgrade via this link.

Use this link to find more SPECIAL DEALS for Vegas & Magix software on the MSZ Deals page!



About Derek Moran
Derek Moran is the author of all articles on Movie Studio Zen.
You can find me on YouTube, FacebookTwitterRead more about Derek...


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  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Lisa · 20:44 23/10/2019
    Hi Derek. Not sure if you can answer this one. I have to upgrade my laptop to Windows 10 as Win7 is winding down. The IT tech said that they would have to disable my graphics card in order for Win10 to work on my 7 year old laptop. Do you think that will affect using Movie Studio Plat 13?
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      • Member
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      · 00:27 24/10/2019
      I have never heard of anyone say this ever!
      "They have to disable my Graphics Card for Windows 10 to work"
      That does not sound right at all. Very strange that they would say this....
      I don't know a single person who upgraded from W7 to W10, who had to do this.
      Movie Studio really needs to have a working Graphics Card to work properly. I cannot predict how it will work without a working graphics card.
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Lisa · 14:45 24/10/2019
        Thanks Derek. They're able to upgrade my sisters laptop fine but as my laptop is older they said Win10 is not compatible with that graphic card so they will have to disable it. Maybe I'm an unusual case, maybe not. But at least you have informed me that I do need to have a working graphics card. So I'll have to buy a new laptop. I guess I can transfer Movie Studio from one laptop to another.
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          · 18:21 24/10/2019
          You can install Movie Studio on up to 2x different computers.
          If it will not register on a new computer, you can login to your Magix account and de-register Movie Studio from the old computer, then the license will be reset to use on a new machine.

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    Werner · 05:51 06/09/2017
    Hi Derek. I own Movie Studio 13 Platinum, and am thinking of building a new PC using one of the new AMD Ryzen CPU's. I am considering the 4 core 4 thread Ryzen 3 1300x or the Ryzen 5 1600 6 core 12 thread CPU.

    I don't want to spend money unnecessarily on cores that won't be used by MSP13. Which cpu would you recommend? How many cores does MSP13 effectively use? Thanks.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
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      · 12:38 06/09/2017
      Hi Werner
      Movie Studio can use 4x rendering threads for each Core your CPU has.
      Video Editing programs always work better with more cores, so I would strongly recommend you get Ryzen 5 1600.
      If you upgrade to a newer version of Movie Studio one day, it would be much better to have a more powerful CPU.
      There is a lot of development going on with Vegas at the moment, which means future versions of the program will be better optimised for modern computer hardware.
      Never regret spending more money on a CPU now, because in the long run it will be worth it.
      I built my computer in 2011 and put the best Intel 4xCore CPU (i7-2600k) they made at the time and this CPU has proved to be very long lasting. I'm glad I made that decision back then. Soon I will build another computer and use an AMD Ryzen CPU.
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Werner · 01:44 08/09/2017
        Thanks Derek. I will go with your recomendation and get the Ryzen 5. Just to be clear though, as things stand, MSP 13 cannot utilize more than 4 cores in its current form?
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          · 11:19 08/09/2017
          I did not say that. On my own computer, I have a 4xCore Intel i7-2600k (2011 model) and in MSP13, 16x rendering threads are available. That equals 4x threads per core. I cannot predict how a 6x Core CPU will behave in MSP13. My guess is that you may get all cores working, but I can't be sure. What I do know, is that in the new released of Vegas Pro 15, many more rendering threads are now available. When Movie Studio Platinum 15 gets released, the same will probably happen for that as well.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Chris · 23:41 05/08/2017
    Derek, I use Sony Platinum 13. I take a lot of video of sports, baseball, football, basketball, etc. Is there a function that allows you to highlight an individual in a video clip as it begins, but then stop it as the action takes place in the clip as it continues?
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    Joe · 00:31 04/07/2016
    Derek, Have you done green screen with Movie Studio 12 and 13, if so is one better than the other. I have Magix movie edit pro 2016 premium but it seems to leave a green around a person. I tried the trial of Sony Movie Studio 13 and it seem to do a better job but wanted to know if Studio 12 also was as good or if 13 added a better keying for green screen.. I really only do green screen not much of anything else.
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      · 02:00 04/07/2016
      Green Screen is one of the most difficult things for a program to do successfully. Movie Studio and Vegas Pro are no better than Magix. The best green screen software which I have started to use myself, is from Hitfilm. They have an advanced chroma keyer that has the ability to remove the green tinge. I am planning to make a video about this soon.
      I bought Hitfilm Pro 4, which also comes with 140x extra plugins for Vegas. One of those is the Chroma Keyer.
      Watch these videos here. No.3 is the advanced tutorial.
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Joe · 01:10 05/07/2016
        Thanks SO much for the info on Hitfilm Pro 4, I downloaded the Hitfilm Pro 4 express that is free forever and it is the best I have ever used. I get no green outline around anything and look so good, much better than any other program I have ever seen. I may get the paid Hitfilm Pro 4 as it comes with so much other stuff but I cant imagine it could de better green screen but I guess it could depending on the setup but for now I am so happy. Thanks so much for the info !!!
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          · 02:01 05/07/2016
          Green screen in Sony Vegas use to drive me crazy before I discovered Hitfilm, that's why I never talked about it.
          I love making green screen videos now and have a lot to learn.
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    Dan Little · 03:14 03/06/2016
    Derek. Recently got Platinum 13, and a new Asus Zenbook, with Windows 10 and a 15" 4K display. For some reason, the Text and Titles dialog box in 13 will not open out large enough to allow access to the text entry box --- nor any of the buttons that control type/text features. I can open the outer box, but the inner box with the location buttons, color picker, etc. does not open/enlarge when the outer box enlarges. As a result, I cannot do anything with Text/Titles. It is completely unusable. And changing resolution/size in Window 10 does not solve the problem. Any other suggestions ? Do you think it is likely that a un-install/re-install would help? Thanks.
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    Sam · 22:43 20/01/2016
    Hi Derek, thanks for a valuable insight about the suite 13. I am planning to use a canon 70D dslr to shoot videos, short videos, what I am not able to find clearly in web is that whether platinum 13 will support importing .MOV file directly for editing or should I convert the video file compatible to platinum 13 before editing. I even tried getting this clarified from Sony, Sony replied that to try the video importing first by trial version and then buy. I need a experienced person to guide me. But in my mind I have already fixed that I need to buy suite 13, just require this clarification before doing so. Thanks
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site. · 06:19 14/12/2015
    Thanks for the very informative review and following your recommendations i won't be upgrading from 12 to 13., Good video editing app, great work Derek!
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      · 12:09 14/12/2015
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    Aziz · 14:15 02/11/2015
    Hello Derek,
    Thank you for an excellent upload about "How to" using Platinum 13.
    I'm still using a trial version since I am just awaiting for my new FDR-AX100 4K camera anytime soon.
    I know that there's a free version bundled with the camera.
    I managed to get through the course as per your tutorials with ease.
    Been using Power Director 12 prior to this.
    Have a question,
    How do you fit AVCHD on to a DVD-R with Platinum.
    Tried using Platinum 13 and Movie Architect but failed.
    Have no issue with Power Director 12 burning AVCHD 1920x1080 onto DVD-R.
    Would appreciate your help.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
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      · 16:05 02/11/2015
      Hi Aziz
      DVD Architect Studio only makes DVDs and Blu-ray discs according to the official DVD and Blu-ray specifications. It cannot burn AVCHD video to a DVD or Blu-ray disc.
      Every DVD you have ever bought, only uses MPEG2 as the video format, because this is the agreed specification for encoding discs. Blu-ray can encode with MPEG2 or Mainconcept AVC.
      If you want to burn HD video to a disc, you should be creating Blu-rays discs, not DVDs. DVDs only use Standard Definition video. Programs that burn AVCHD video to a DVD are creating a Data Disc, not an true type of DVD that you would buy from a store. I have many tutorials on this website which explain how to make a DVD or Blu-ray disc. The superior method involves rendering an MPEG2 or Mainconcept AVC video first with Movie Studio Platinum and then importing this directly into DVD Architect.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    • Member
    · 21:59 06/11/2014
    Hi Derek
    I'm new to using Sony Vegas Platinum 13, I trialed it before purchasing the suite, which is excellent value for money.

    I have been using Edius (originally by Canopus, now by Grass Valley) for 10 years, but I really prefer Sony Vegas 13 Platinum.

    I am considering upgrading to the Sony Vegas PRO version.

    I would like to know if the projects which I created in Sony Vegas 13 Platinum will open properly in Sony Vegas Pro.

    Keep up the good work.

    Treflyn Jones
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      • Member
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      · 00:41 07/11/2014
      Hi Treflyn
      Yes you can open Movie Studio Platinum 13 projects in Vegas Pro 13.
      This function was added very recently to Vegas Pro 13 in the latest build version.

      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Tom · 01:59 29/07/2014
        Thanks for the great reply. I do have a follow up.

        Where the crashing issue is concerned, Adobe Premiere was crashing ALL the time regardless of how good the computer was. That's why I'm looking elsewhere, and Sony was recommended. Can you or anyone here tell me if this is a common problem in the Sony product as well?

        Also, does the Sony product render well? Many people were saying that the program renders choppy even on really solid computers. Has that been your experience?

        Also, version 12 of this program looks a lot more like the layout of my friend's Sony Vegas Pro 11. I'd like to use a program that is as close to what he has as possible so he can work with me and mentor me. Would I be better off with one of those versions for that reason, or is version 13 still close enough in terms of its layout.

        Any info appreciated. Thanks again for the great response to my initial question.
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          · 18:32 31/07/2015
          No you cannot open Vegas Pro projects in any Movie Studio version.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Leonard · 06:51 24/10/2014
    My experience proved to be happy, with Sony.
    I told you in another comment, that I tried several products out there,
    and I don't understand why Movie Studio is so underrated.

    E.g. I bought Corel Videostudio Pro X6, a couple of months ago.
    I read many reviews about many video editing apps.
    They were saying about this app, that you can do, basically, professional video on it, or at least begin learning how to edit in a more advanced way (totally more advanced than Windows Movie Maker, haha).
    Videostudio is in top 10, video editing apps out there.

    I tried now Sony Movie Studio 13 Platinum and it runs SMOOTHLY on a regular laptop. My humble opinion, Movie Studio is far more versatile and pro than Corel, Cyberlink's stuff and others.

    I found a website where you can download video presets, to get cool video looks.
    Or you can add plugins.
    Corel, at least, is much more closed to such things.
    You have to think about such things also.
    What software has more reviews and tutorials on the net, made by people like you and me, that explain some tricks and tips.
    What software is more upgradable (add third party plugins, if you wish to put free ones inside or buy new ones, in the future, so you don't have to buy a new workstation again and again).
    Things like this.

    I would go with Sony, and I do not want to overrate them or anything.

    Just try the TRIAL, like I did.

    P.S. Mr. Derek, when will a new 50% off campaign be launched again?
    Otherwise, I am buying Movie Studio Platinum 12 SUITE, for 40 Euros on Amazon
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Don Shrumm · 04:48 29/05/2015
      This is a VERY buggy piece of software that I must restart any time I use it. Annoying.

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