A tough category as all the programs have a large range of effects. Over the years the programs have all had various extra effects plug-ins from other companies bundled with the program. Here we just look at the effects that currently come with the program.
The colour and image correction offered in EDIUS is very good, and it has a lot of extras like chromakey and keyframablefeathered masks, which let you isolate an area of a shot and apply and effect to just that area or to rotoscope out a section and replace the background. You can also track the motion of a mask. A good range of plug-ins is also available although not as many as with Premiere or Avid.
EDIUS's frame-blended slow motion is excellent although most programs now include "optical flow" slow motion. With frame-blended slow motion the program cross fades frames to produce a smoother result. With optical flow the program invents details to make better quality slow motion. Optical flow slow motion is a promised future update to EDIUS 8, but we do not know when it will be added.
EDIUS realtime playback of effects is excellent and uses the computer processor - so the better the processor the less rendering you have to do. We very rarely render anything in EDIUS using its built-in effects.
Premiere Pro also has a good range of effects, with similar quality colour correction. In a recent update Adobe added keyframable masks which can be used to limit effects to a particular area. These masks can also be motion tracked which makes it easy to, for example, obscure a person's face in a video. Adobe have a very nice keyer in Premiere called "Ultra key".
Adobe recently added After Effects' optical flow slow motion to Premiere which is one of the best available in our opinion.
Premiere's realtime performance is also excellent although only if you have a good graphic card in the system (£200+ card preferably).
Avid has a huge range of effects and very nice colour correction. With the permanent licence of Avid you do not get the Symphony option which gives you secondary colour correction and the ability to change the colour of every instance of the clip on a timeline; you can buy it as an extra and it is included if you buy a monthly subscription.
Beyond that Avid's effects are similar to EDIUS with decent chromakey (arguably better than EDIUS) and animated masks and the option for slow motion which is similar in quality to After Effects. The way the effects work, by nesting them with other effects, can be hard to get used to if you are used to working with any of the other programs as it just works in an "Avid" way. There are also peculiar omissions such as no "sharpen" effect. These can be added with plug-ins of course, but they cost extra.
There is also a large range of plug-ins available.
Realtime performance is not as good in Avid as it is in the other programs - for example, you can't play a clip in reverse in Avid without rendering. Some Avid effects are accelerated by using a good graphic card, like Premiere Pro. This acceleration used to be limited to just nVidia Quadro cards but now it works with just about any reasonably powered graphics card.
Vegas has a large range of effects, nice colour correction with colour matching and good quality slow motion (although no optical flow).
Vegas lets you have effects on the clip or the track level - so an effect can act on every clip on the track. One unique effect in Vegas is the 3D picture in picture effect. All the programs can move video around in 3D but although you can move clips backwards and forwards in "z" space each exists in it own little world, meaning one clip cannot fly around another. When used as a track effect Vegas video clips can interact, something normally only found in a compositing program like After Effects.
Vegas also has nice options for de-interlacing footage, although Avid's de-interlacing does produce slightly better results.
Vegas can also be bought in a bundle with HitFilm, a comprehensive compositing program. This also adds an extra range of effects into Vegas. These plug-ins can be bought separately for the other programs.
Resolve quite clearly beats the other programs for grading. It was invented for grading and is used by many blockbuster feature films so you would expect this is the best area of the program. With the other programs we have had to develop ways to export the project to Resolve for grading and then sent them back to the editing program, because the grading is so good.
However, it is more complicated than grading in most editing programs, and many users are happy with what is achievable in the editing program.
In terms of other effects Resolve can do good keying, and can have motion tracked masks on clips - which can be used for making an effect restricted to a certain area or cutting a hole in a clip. Blackmagic have also added a large range of useful effects in 12.5, although 3 of these only work if you buy the Studio version.
Resolve also had good slow motion including optical flow - although Adobe's optical flow is better. Nearly all effects in Resolve are done by the graphic card and if you do not have a powerful enough card, or have enough memory on the graphic card, some effects will fail - optical flow slow motion being a case in point. This means your graphic card is a very important component when using Resolve and unless the card is good enough some parts simply won't work. Of course, as there is a free version you can try it out and see what happens on your hardware. The paid for version, Resolve Studio, also includes good noise reduction and motion blur effects as well as a way of correcting lens distortion caused by using an extreme wide-angle lens. Premiere has this same kind of effect but it is slow to render. Resolve's is realtime with the right graphic card.
Apart from grading, keying and masks there are some basic transitions. You can add OFX plug-ins however, and plug-ins from HitFilm and Boris do work in Resolve.