We combined a text opener with five clips linked by a cross-fade-type transition into a 2.5-minute video shot at 60 frames per second, and rendered the projects to the MPEG-4 format at 720p. We timed rendering at both 60 fps and 30 fps. We adjusted settings to take advantage of hardware acceleration for all tests whenever possible, setting them in either the preferences or the rendering controls for the best speeds. Apple’s iMovie, the lone Mac-only app, is not included in the timed comparisons.
We also reached out to professionals who use video editing software on a regular basis and asked what aspects are most important to look for in consumer-level programs. Drew Tyler, instructor of digital media at Weber State University, told us there are two primary questions to answer: “Does it fit your eco system?” and “How much do you want to grow into the software?”
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.
There are two main draws to the Creator app. First, it includes some special features for Facebook Live. Anyone using it will be able to create custom intros and outros — intros are especially handy, as it takes a moment before other people see the link and start watching — as well as the ability to add interactive stickers and a custom video frame. The app is also able to take and edit photos and post them to Facebook Stories and other platforms (it’s not clear if that includes Instagram, but it really should).
There is one major hang-up with DVD authoring software: DVDs were invented before the advent of high-definition video. As such, they can only display standard-def footage. Since most videos are now shot in HD quality, your DVD authoring program has to compress the footage before it can burn it to a disc. This compression resulted in significant quality loss in each of the products we reviewed.
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.
Compared to HitFilm's high-energy interface, VideoPad has a simple, soothing look which makes it more approachable for novices. It works with both Macs and PCs and still lets you edit 360-degree video with the same ease as you would traditional movies, though adding text to 360-degree clips can be a bit tricky. VideoPad also lacks some of the advanced features you'll find with HitFilm, like multicam editing, high-end special effects and motion tracking, but you can purchase a number of add-ons to expand VideoPad's feature set.
The best video editing applications have tools that allow you to capture, edit and produce videos recorded by action cams like GoPros and Drift Innovation’s Ghost-S. These tools are generally as good as or better than the ones in the software that comes bundled with the cameras themselves. You can use them to stabilize shaky video, correct fish-eye distortion, enhance color, and pan and zoom around your footage. They can even slow down and reverse the video.
EZ Video Creator is a first of it’s kind “done for you” cloud-based video editor that allows you to create professional-quality commercials in less than 90 seconds. Loaded up with dozens of video templates on a wide variety of topics, EZ Video Creator will be absolutely irresistible. It’s no secret that video is crazy hot right now. Thousands upon thousands of dollars are being made each and every day through the selling of commercials. Now it’s time for YOU to get a piece of that action.
Advanced abilities continue to make their way into accessible, affordable, and consumer-friendly video editing software as each new generation of software is released. For example, multicam editing, which lets you switch among camera angles of the same scene shot with multiple video cameras, used to be a feature relegated to pro-level software. Now this and many other advanced effects are available in programs designed for use by nonprofessional enthusiasts.
If you want something that is aimed more at the professional from a marketing standpoint, it couldn’t hurt to look into the Vegas Pro line. On its 15th iteration, Vegas has introduced a ton of new features, from hardware acceleration harnessing Intel QSV to a picture-in-picture OFX plug-in, all the way to a super intuitive new instant freeze frame option for referencing shots without stopping workflow. If you opt for the premium, upgraded package (which won’t run cheap), you’ll even get an exhaustive package of NewBlueFX fIlters to color your projects like a true Hollywood flick. What’s interesting about Vegas, and what we think gets overlooked, is they’ve attempted to give you an intuitive set of controls that takes the best of Final Cut, Premiere and others and merges them into one. Sure, it might not have the streamlined, Adobe CS-friendliness of Premiere, nor is it even compatible with Macs, but that’s OK. The workflow in this might just give certain users who can’t quite jive with the other guys a place to truly shine.
Next getting the software to work was another challange. despite having a fast machine with a lot of RAM, I found the Movie Star program to be very unstable. I was able to capture up to 60 minutes of video and save it to the MPEG format, but everytime I tried to edit or export the video as Windows Media or Real, it crashed the machine. I downloaded a copy of Ulead's Video Studio, but couldn't figure out how to import MPEG files. I finally bit the bullet and wound up downloading a free 30-day trial of Adobe Premier. I found Premier to be a very stable and easy to use program. I just wish it didn't cost [so much!]
The basic video editing operations such as trimming, splitting are available from the last menu—Edit—and they also snap into view if you double click a clip in your timeline. The Trim tool simply adds start and end handles to the preview window's scrubber line, but you can do the same thing from the main timeline by tapping "Set start point" or "Set end point."
Apple iMovie is the ultimate Mac video app for novice filmmakers, combining professional trailers and themes,abundant special effects and an easy-to-learn interface. Version 10.1 added 4K editing and sharing, as well as extended handling to video shot at 1080p and 60 fps. Recent updates tweaked the interface and added Touch Bar support for the latest MacBooks.
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.
Apple’s iMovie has long been one of the most consumer-orientated video editors out there. It’s bundled with all new Macs, and touts some serious practicality for the everyday user. The latest version of the software allows you to import and edit 4K video clips from a variety of external devices, such as smartphones and GoPro cameras, and sports a clean interface that is attractive and easy to navigate. The ability to start editing on iPhone or iPad and finish on a Mac renders it even more convenient.
Hay un par de cosas que no me gustan tanto: lo primero es que algunos videos cortos (menos de un par de mega bytes) pueden retrasar el software, y te llevará mucho tiempo. para terminar de subirlos a Windows Movie Maker. Por ejemplo, a veces, cargo un video corto para editar, y está listo en unos segundos. Pero luego, cargo otro video más corto para editar, pero esto lleva mucho tiempo para estar listo. Lo último que no me gusta es que el software deja de funcionar algunas veces.