The software that it came with is amazing, and works even better if you can use it correctly with Windows Movie Maker (save file as Windows Movie Maker, then import that file on Movie Maker, add effects, save, and import back to the Pinnacle software if you like). Or, if you don't want to use the Pinnacle software, that's fine too... just find on your computer where the file is saved at, and import that to whatever software you use. (As for Mac users, I suppose you could use garage band... I don't own a Mac so it would be difficult for me to say)
All the applications we reviewed fulfill the same basic need; however, they differ greatly in their interface layouts, workflows and toolsets. In our tests, we assessed how easy each program is to learn and use. We also tracked how hard the application makes it to perform common tasks like editing video footage; adding effects, transitions and titles; picking menu templates; customizing projects; and burning finished DVDs. We found that all the programs are relatively easy to use once you know your way around the interface, although some were much more straightforward than others.
We created, exported and reviewed all of the results. We watched every video we made, looking for imperfections in the video and audio. Flaws such as pixelation, compression artifact, motion blur and more were present in most of the videos we examined, but they varied greatly depending on which program we used. Each program was given an A to F quality grade based on this evaluation.
For our speed comparison, we tested all of the Windows and cross-platform video editing software on an HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop running Windows 10 Home. The laptop's 64-bit Intel Core i5 processor, with a 5200U CPU, runs at 2.2 GHz on an Intel HD Graphics 5500 system and has 8GB of RAM. We tested iMovie on a MacBook Air (late 2013) with a 1.7-GHz Intel Core i7 processor, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and 8GB of RAM, and running macOS Sierra v. 10.12.1.
All the video editing programs we reviewed can help you blend your footage, audio clips and images to create new and unique videos. They also all offer basic nonlinear video editing tools. Timelines, storyboards, transitions, titles and audio editing are all common fare for the products we reviewed. These applications also have video effect libraries. The number of available effects varies from program to program; however, a library with more than 500 effects is usually sufficient for any non-professional project.
There are times when you don't want to share your video with the entire world. Burning a disc of your video is an excellent way to finish and personalize your creation. PowerDirector comes with several menu templates, but it also allows you to build custom menus. You can add chapters to your videos as well as features such as subtitles for the hearing impaired. You can create a disc for any purpose, whether it be as a gift for family, a screener for an independent film or a professional presentation for colleagues.
So—we stretched the meaning of “software” a bit earlier; now, we’re going to stretch the meaning of “beginner.” We included CyberLink PowerDirector on this list because its interface is, at the end of the day, pretty straightforward. Head to the product page, run through the tutorials, and you’ll be alright. There is within the interface, however, an embarrassment of options and effects. If you’re not willing to invest the time in learning all of them, it can get a bit overwhelming.
In experienced hands, the VSDC Free Video Editor can produce some seriously professional-looking video. In addition to supporting nearly every major video format, the program offers advanced video effects, including object transformation and color correction, as well as advanced audio effects like volume correction and sound normalization. And unlike WeVideo, the VSDC Free Video Editor is truly free. You can use the program's full feature set without having to deal with pesky watermarks.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.