Both DaVinci and VSDC mix paid features in their basic programs, but they do not explicitly mark these features as such. However, if you try to use them, you'll get an error message and an ad. We can't fault the software companies for trying to get users on board with paid versions, but just be warned that such annoyances are the hidden cost of otherwise-free video apps.


Avidemux is the Instagram of video editing software — quick, dirty, and impressively capable. The software is designed for quick trimming, filtering, encoding, and a slew of other basic features. The cross-platform software also remains open-source — with a resourceful wiki page to boot — and tasks can be automated using assorted projects, job queues, and custom scripting capabilities that push it beyond barebones functionality.
I bought this used for roughly $45. The set up wasn't too bad, of course there were things I had to figure out and work around to get this to work. The TV I used was an old tv with only composite connection, the one with red, yellow, and white. And the quality was, as you guessed, subpar at best. The biggest problem for me was the subtitles, I could barely read the blurred subtitles in my recordings. I eventually had to buy the madcatz universal cable with the S-video connection to work around this problem. You can youtube how to connect S-video with dazzle for this info.
In the production industry, when most people think about editing software, their minds don't go to Windows Movie Maker on a PC. I'm not an expert on how to achieve that, but I gather a revamped look (which seems more like a professional editing suite) that retains the intuitive, user-friendly feel would be a start. The issue may not be with Movie Maker, but more so a computer's ability to handle the rich files (raw video) and storage required to edit.
PowerDirector helps you enhance your footage with Intelligent Color Correction. This allows you to quickly and easily match color settings across your entire project, which unifies the look and feel of your video and eliminates a lot of guesswork. This might seem like a small thing, but it’s a huge leap forward for video editing software at the consumer level.
Nero Video 2017 is slightly cheaper at $50 than many competing video editing suites, but it offers most of the same features, including Ultra HD 4K support and intelligent curation features for your media library. And with H.265 format support for mobile devices and the handy ability to switch between a basic and advanced editing mode, Nero will please a wide range of users. It’s mostly intended for burning physical media, and doesn’t have good social exporting options. But even if you’re not planning to do DVDs, Nero is worth a look if you want a budget option for video editing software. (Read our full review.)
PowerDirector Ultra features CyberLink’s True Theater Color technology, which analyzes the color of your footage and enhances aspects like hue, saturation and brightness. It's a great way to get Hollywood-style color treatment on your video project. You get more than enough tools to create a video that looks like it could have been made in a movie studio. You may never edit a full-length feature film with this software, but you could.
Other recent features include a basic audio editor, the option to make previews for apps you’ve developed, and the even ability to make your own movie trailers complete with transitions and end credits. It’s not a tour de force in terms of video editing, but it’s perfectly suitable for home videos and minor projects. Consider combining it with free audio recording software!
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