Particularly intensive is the process of rendering your finished product into a standard video file that will by playable on the target device of choice, be that an HDTV, a laptop, or a smartphone. Most of the software can take advantage of your computer's graphics processor to speed this up. Be sure to check the performance section in each review linked here to see how speedy or slow the application is. In rendering speed testing, CyberLink and Pinnacle have been my perennial champs. /injects>
One thing that I didn’t mention before was that the Rear LCD Screen is also a touch screen. Now this might seem like a big deal but it really does make using the camera a breeze. Rather than having to use the dial on the side here to change your settings, you can simply use your finger to quick change what you want. It’s very similar to using your phone and it’s also very responsive. Sure it might seem like a beginners feature, but I’ve found myself using it a lot to move quickly though the menus. Not only, now that the Canon T7i has it’s new dual pixel autofocus system, you can simply touch on the screen where you want it to focus and it will quickly and cinematically come into to focus. It’s great.
Adobe is an instantly recognisable name to most, and its Premiere Elements 15 program is a great choice for both beginners and experienced editors. It isn't as complex as the more heavyweight Premiere Pro video editor (listed below), which is best suited to full-time video editing professionals. But Adobe Premiere Elements is packed with excellent features, such as face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks. And it's friendly to use, too.
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.
That’s assuming you’re just exporting files. You may want to burn a DVD or Blu-ray disc, or upload your videos directly to YouTube or Facebook. Each of these comes with its own set of necessary features that some apps have and others don’t. For disc burning, you need not only support for the right formats, but DVD menu authoring tools so viewers can navigate what you’re presenting. On the social side, it’s much easier if the application syncs up directly with your account online and allows you to enter metadata like a description, tags, and privacy settings.
Tech support and documentation: One of the big distinctions between paid and free software is the level of documentation and tech support; paid software has more-explicit and -detailed documentation and guides than the free versions. That said, many software packages post instructional videos of the most popular features to YouTube, and more-complex free packages may offer extensive documentation.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.