In this article I explain the major differences between Sony Vegas Pro 12 and Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12.

Many people often ask me which program is better: "Sony Vegas Pro 12 or Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 ?"

Discovering the huge price difference between both programs, should be a clear indication that Sony Vegas Pro 12 is a much more advanced program. The question I think people really want to get an answer for is:

 Which program has the features that best match the type the things I want to achieve with a video editing program ? 

Let's start with the absolute basics

Sony Vegas Pro 12 is a professional grade video editing program with all the bells and whistles. It costs approximately US $600 retail price.
Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 is a consumer grade video editing program, more aimed at the beginner to intermediate user. It costs just under US $100 retail price.

Sony Movie Studio Platinum - Great for beginners

If you are a beginner and would like to use more advanced features than what Windows Movie Maker can offer, then Movie Studio Platinum 12 is a great place to start. Movie Studio is much more user friendly than Vegas Pro. That being said, Movie Studio does require some time and patience to learn properly and become comfortable with using. There is definitely a steep learning curve that you have to follow. However, there are plenty of tutorials on Movie Studio Zen to make that steep learing curve much, much easier and enjoyable.

The big plus that Movie Studio has for someone who is planning to become fully immersed into video editing, is that the user interface is the same design as Vegas Pro. Most of the controls and functions in Movie Studio work exactly the same way in Vegas Pro. This means that you can easily upgrade to Vegas Pro one day and be able to use all the skills you learnt with Movie Studio. This is the exact pathway I took before buying my first version of Vegas Pro. It made the transition quite painless. I think I would have really struggled if I had not learnt all the core basics with Movie Studio first.

Sony Vegas Pro - For the Video Enthuasiast and Professional User

If you have never done any video editing before, I would advice against starting with Vegas Pro 12. It is definitely not a program for a newbie. Vegas Pro assumes you already have some experience with video editing and understand the core concepts and terminology used in Videoland. If you are a geek like myself, money to burn and have used plenty of other programs before, then please jump right in if you're game. Vegas Pro 12 has all the bells and whistles to create just about anything you can imagine.

A Closer Look at Both Programs

Tools and Effects (Fx) - What are the actual differences ?

If you would like to know the nitty gritty differences between Vegas Pro 12 and Movie Studio Platinum 12, then the best place to start is on the Sony Creative Software website. All Sony Creative Software programs listed on the website have a Product Comparison page, that shows exactly which Tools and Effects are included with each program and with each version of those programs.

For the purposes of this article, go directly to this link

Starting a New Project - Project Properties Window

Movie Studio Platinum 12 includes a New Project Wizard which makes it a lot easier to set the Project Properties of each new project you create. Using this tool makes it easier to learn the correct settings to use for different Video Formats and Output Types.

Vegas Pro 12 does not include a new project wizard. It assumes you already have some knowledge about different video formats and understand which settings are the best to use for each new project. So when you start a new project with Vegas Pro, you go directly into the Project Properties window. Please note that Movie Studio also has a Project Properties window.

*Press thumbnail images to see fullscreen shots

  ms-new-project-wizard  moviestudio-projectproperties  vegas-pro-project-properties

Video Formats

Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12, both support a wide range of video formats and video codecs. However, Vegas Pro 12 does support even more advanced video formats and template options than what Movie Studio does. Because it is a professional video editing program, it supports resolutions above 1920x1080p like 2K and 4K.

  templateoptions-ms  templateoptions-vp

Event Pan/Crop and Masking Tool

The number one question I get asked about Movie Studio Platinum 12 is: "Does it have a Masking Tool ?"
The answer is no. The Masking Tool which is a function of the Event Pan/Crop window, is a Sony Vegas Pro 12 feature ONLY ! It has never been part of the Movie Studio range of programs. The Masking Tool gives you the ability to cut out irregular shaped pieces of video, like using a pair of electronic scissors.

Both programs do come with an Event Pan/Crop window.

event-pan-crop-ms  event-pan-crop-vegas-pro

Track Motion Tool

The Track Motion tool is available in both Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12. On the surface it functions in a similar way to Event Pan/Crop tool.

Both versions can move the Video Plane in the X and Y axis and are also able to spin the video in a circular movement. In the Vegas Pro 12 version, you can also move the video plane in the Z axis as well.

The Track Motion tool also contains controls for controlling Compositing Modes (video blending modes) in both Movie Studio and Vegas Pro. Movie Studio only has very basic functionality, whereas Vegas Pro has many advanced blending modes.

  trackmotion-ms  trackmotion-vp  trackmotion-3dmode-vp  trackmotion-blending-vp

Envelope Tools for Video and Audio

Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12 both contain Audio Envelope and Video Envelope Tools.


Movie Studio has Audio Volume and Pan Envelope functions, which gives you the ability to continually change the Audio Volume and/or Pan (Stereo nature) of your audio tracks over time. Vegas Pro has the same tools, but also has an Audio Mute Enevelope as well.


Movie Studio and Vegas Pro also contain Composite Level and Fade to Colour Envelopes for all Video Tracks. Composite Level allows you to very the transparency of a video over time. Fade to Colour allows you to shift from full colour to black and white video. Vegas Pro has an extra Velocity Envelope tool, which gives you the ability to continually change the playback speed of your video over time.

Movie Studio - Envelope ToolsMovie Studio - Envelope Tools

Vegas Pro - Envelope ToolsVegas Pro - Envelope Tools

Audio Effects (Fx) and Audio Mixing Console

Both programs come with a large amount of Audio Fx plugins which can be applied to your audio tracks. The selection of Audio Fx available is basically the same in both programs, with Vegas Pro offering a few more options.

audiofx-ms  audiofx-vp

Sony Vegas Pro 12 Mixing Console

The biggest difference in the audio department between Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12, is that Vegas Pro comes with a dedicated Audio Mixing Console can give you complete control over your audio tracks.


Video Effects (Fx) and Colour Correction Tools

Both programs come with a large amount of Video Fx plugins which can be applied to your video tracks. The selection of Video Fx in Vegas Pro offers more advanced options. The biggest difference between Movie Studio and Vegas Pro in the video fx department, is that Vegas Pro comes with advanced Video Scopes to help you achieve accurate colour correction.

videofx-ms  videofx-vp  videoscopes-vp

Transitions, Titles and Text Tools

Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12 both come with the exact same core group of Transitions and default Titles and Text Tools.

If you buy the "Suite" version of Movie Studio Platinum 12, it includes an extra Titling and Text application called New Blue Titler EX, which gives you the ability to create animated 3d style text.

Vegas Pro 12 users get two extra Titling and Text applications - Sony Pro Type Titler and New Blue Titler Pro 1.0. Both of these give you the ability to create stunning and professional style Titles and Text.

Move Studio and Vegas Pro - Transitions  titlestext-msvp

protype-titler-vp  newblue-titlerex-ms  newblue-titlerpro-vp

Trimmer Window

Both programs come with the same Trimmer Window tool. The trimmer window gives you the ability to do edits and cuts to project media, before you add it to the timeline.


Exporting Project Files to Different Programs

Vegas Pro 12 now gives you the ability to export your project files to a wide variety of very popular programs. This comes in handy when you are using more than just one program to create a project and especially if you are sharing files to other people who may be using different programs to what you normally use. This is a Vegas Pro feature only.


Rendering Your Video

Both programs come with a wide variety of Templates and Formats to select from when making a new video. The interface is the same design in both programs. Vegas Pro 12 comes with some extra output options that would be typically used in a professional video making environment.

Movie Studio Platinum 12 Output Options

Movie Studio - Output Formats #1

Movie Studio - Output Formats #2

Vegas Pro 12 Output Options

Vegas Pro - Output Options #1

Vegas Pro - Output Options #2

Stereoscopic 3D Video Editing

Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12 both have full capabilities to edit 3d video shot with a 3d video camera. Vegas Pro 12 does offer a few more pro-type options in Project Properties window.

3dvideo-ms  3dvideo-vp

Multi-Camera Video Editing

Vegas Pro 12 supports multi-camera video editing, so that you can do very fast edits between multiple timecode synced video streams all at the same time. This is a Vegas Pro feature only.



25% OFF Vegas Pro Edit & 15% OFF Vegas Pro & Suite
Use Coupon Code: HAPPY2018VP


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



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...


Say something here...
symbols left.
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ranbir · 19:30 09/07/2017
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek · 01:33 11/02/2017
    Hi Steve
    Thank you for pointing out the typo!
    I actually appreciate the help in finding any type of error on the website.
    Cheers, Derek
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve · 00:38 11/02/2017
    Excellent help, thanks for posting this clarification. A great help to many others also I am sure. Being a pedant I will point out that under "Exporting Files To Different Programmes" you have mis-typed "Feature" (Featrue) Apart from that nit picky little thing though.......excellent!:)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy Wright · 05:06 08/06/2016
    Now that Magix has bought this software I hope they will add XYZ rotation to Movie Studio Platinum 14. Other consumer level programs such as Corel Video Studio, Pinnacle Studio, and Magix' own Movie Edit Pro have it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 15:48 30/03/2015
    Which exact program and version are you using ?
    This is a Movie Studio Platinum and Vegas Pro feature only.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Aaron Cavanaugh · 14:16 30/03/2015
    Hi Derek,
    This is what I was missing:
    holding down the CTRL button on your keyboard and then hovering and holding down your mouse pointer on the right edge of your video in the timeline, and then dragging the video to the right to slow it down. If you want to speed it up, just drag to the left instead.

    When you hover the mouse pointer on the right edge of your video, the icon will change to a box with a two way arrow and squiggly line underneath.

    A percentage speed box should appear in the Audio Layer for the video, once you have slowed it down. If the information box does not show, then go into View in the top toolbar and turn Active Take Information ON.

    Thanks :smile:. God Bless.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 12:14 30/03/2015
    As I said to you already, this is an area I have little knowledge on.

    What you can do in both programs is change the play back speed of the video.
    I have some tutorials on this topic here:

    Both Movie Studio Platinum and Vegas Pro have Ruler settings in the Project Property window. To see Measures and Beats in Movie Studio, right-click actual Ruler on timeline and you can set to many different measurement modes - including Beats & Measures.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Aaron Cavanaugh · 03:42 30/03/2015
    Hi Derek, Thanks for your reply. The big problem with movie studio is that BPM changes in audio do not change frame rate in video concurrently. Can you pair these in Vegas pro? Thanks. God bless. Aaron
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Moran · 16:04 29/03/2015
    Hi Aaron
    I have to admit that this is one topic have little experience with, because I am not a musician. It is something I need to learn myself.
    Instead of me wasting your time and telling you the wrong information, I suggest you Google this phrase "how to match bpm in vegas pro".
    There are lots of good results on this topic in Google Search results, including some info direct from Sony Creative Software. I guess I will be watching these tutorials with you and learning something myself.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Aaron Cavanaugh · 14:04 29/03/2015
    Hi, I am searching for a video editor to use like Acid. Sony Acid has a feature where you drop in a music track then the tracks that you drop in after are already "in sync." Can Vegas mix music videos together? Thanks. God Bless. Aaron
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Glen · 01:50 27/03/2014
    I do a large volume of quickly edited video- mainly just lectures for posting to the web with few added effects.
    My main concern is processing speed. Do both of these utilize multiple cores or hardware acceleration to the same extent?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      • Moderator
      · 09:54 27/03/2014
      Vegas Pro and Movie Studio Platinum both use the same multi-core/multi-threaded rendering engine.
      Rendering times will vary dramatically depending on the power of your computer. The CPU has the biggest influence on rendering times. A dedicated GPU may speed up rendering times for a small number of Video Formats, like Mainconcept AVC/AAC .mp4 and Sony AVC/MVC .mp4.
      Please note that a newer version of Movie Studio is now available - Movie Studio Platinum 13.
      You can download a free trial of all programs direct from here. Do this first and then you will know what to do before buying.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alex · 20:22 21/01/2014
    Hi Derek,

    The only thing I would like to add is that Vegas Pro supports scripting - it is an extremely powerful feature to automate the editing process. There are a lot of free scripts that you can find on the official forum [url][/url]
    [url][/url] and other Vegas Pro forums. There are also very powerful commercial packages [url]][/url]

    Thank you for your website and articles!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michelle · 23:02 12/11/2013
    Hi Derek,

    Thanks so much for all of your info on Sony Vegas! I'm completely new to editing video, so this is very helpful.

    I DO have a big question though:

    I'm currently working with a trial version of Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12. I would like to animate some text and make it rotate/spin in on the Y-axis, like 3D text does.

    Online tutorials tell me I need to choose "3D Source Alpha" from the compositing mode icon on a track and then set a value for the Y axis and some keyframes in the track motion dialogue box. The videos show a long menu list when they click on the compositing icon, but mine only shows two things: "Multiply (Mask)" and "Source Alpha."

    I've done searches both online and in the menus and help sections of Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12, but for the life of me, I CANNOT find how to do this!

    I think it's a version issue.

    HOWEVER, I'm really just trying to rotate 2D text on the Y-axis, nothing more. Is it possible to do this in Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 or no?

    I'm going CRAZY trying to find the answer. I'd really appreciate the help!

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Juc · 22:55 09/10/2013
    Hey Derek,

    Thanks for your article. I like [url]]this video[/url] and in particular the animations (text etc) - could you maybe please take a look (2 minutes long) and tell me if either Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 or Sony Vegas Pro 12 do something like this? Or is there anything difficult in this that they couldn't do? Thank you...
    • This commment is unpublished.
      • Moderator
      · 00:40 14/10/2013
      Hi Juc
      Sorry for the delay in answering your question.
      I watched the video. Movie Studio Platinum 12 and Vegas Pro 12 could both make 95% of this video. Most of the effects used are actually pretty basic. There where only a few animations of non-text elements that could only be made with a special effects program like Adobe After Effects or Hitfilm.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Juc · 01:32 15/10/2013
        Hi Derek,

        Ok I look forward to giving it a try, thank you...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Darci · 01:04 25/09/2013
    Hi, great explanations. Please keep going...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Freddy · 01:36 22/09/2013
    Thanx Derek!
    This was just what I needed. Got Movie Studio Platinum 12 and got a deal to upgrade to Pro for US$250. About 50% off they say, but I think I'll need to improve my Studio skills first and hope a similar deal comes along in the future. Anyway, thanx a lot!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      • Moderator
      · 00:10 02/10/2013
      Glad to be of assistance.
      Sony Creative Software is always offering special discounts through email promotions. If you are subscribed to their newsletter you will definitely be notified when the next sale is on.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Richard · 20:29 15/08/2013
    When upgrading to studio 12 from an earlier version, should/ when
    should/can the older versions be uninstalled?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      • Moderator
      · 14:25 16/08/2013
      You do not have to un-install older versions. It will not cause any problems.
      I would encourage you to keep your older version installed for a while.
      Please note that V12 of Movie Studio comes with the 64 bit and 32 bit version. All older versions of MS were 32 bit only. So if you open some older projects in the 64 bit version of MS12, they may not work properly. If that happens, use the 32 bit version of MS12.

Zen Social Media


© Copyright 2018. Movie Studio Zen. All Rights Reserved.

Support Movie Studio Zen

patreon 200

Movie Studio Zen is a fully independent site and all our content is free. You can help support the site by visiting the MSZ Patreon page or by making a PayPal donation.

Translate Language


MSZ Security

Positive SSL

Back to top

Like most websites Movie Studio Zen uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used.