Avid, the Massachusetts-based creator of pro-level hardware and software for multimedia production, has unveiled a precision video editor for the iPad.

Avid Studio for iPad launched Thursday in the App Store. The app lets users take raw videos, photos, and audio in their iPad library--or accessed from a separate iPad camera connection kit--and arrange them into a slick-looking movie; the app can also use the iPad 2's camera to directly capture raw video. Those videos can be shared directly to YouTube or Facebook, or exported to a user's Windows computer for further editing using only the company's Avid Studio for PC software.

Avid Studio for iPad appears similar--in both price and capabilities--to Apple's own $5 iMovie app, though it lacks iMovie's compatibility with the iPhone and iPod touch. Both apps use the tablet's multitouch screen to offer pinching-and-zooming for frame-by-frame editing of video clips. Avid also offers a number of 3D animations among its transition and title templates.

The launch of Avid Studio for iPad means that the fierce desktop video-editing rivalry between Avid and Apple's Final Cut Pro--both companies routinely tout the number of Oscar and Golden Globe nominees who use their editing products--is now playing out on Apple's own tablet playing grounds. Avid is being aggressive, suggesting its new iPad app is powerful enough for professional use; Apple's iMovie is aimed more at consumer-level editors--the company doesn't offer a tablet version of its Final Cut Pro app.

Avid Studio for iPad costs $5, and is compatible with iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.