The Dazzle Multimedia DM4100 Digital Video Creator is very useful to import video from your TV, VCR or DVD player into your PC for editing and then converting to PC video formats. The device is exceptionally good for making videos for use on the Web or as e-mail attachments. Thanks to its use of USB its very simple to install and can be "hot-swaped" with other USB device without rebooting your computer.
With an attractive interface, a multitude of video effects and the ability to upload directly to Facebook, Vimeo, Box and YouTube, Pinnacle Studio has long been a favorite in video editing. While it is one of the more expensive options in this list, and it doesn’t have 4K UHD support, Pinnacle serves as a nice middle-ground option for those who aren’t slackers in the video editing department, but who haven’t reached pro status just yet.
With light features also comes a light footprint, and Avidemux takes up little space compared to the other programs in our roundup. It also allows users to change extensions and select individual output formats when they’re finished editing a video, but the less-than-friendly interface makes it difficult to utilize the more intricate features and worthwhile tools. It may remain a bit buggy and prone to crashing, but the program’s defaults still work as intended, making Avidemux a standout choice once you’ve learned your way around the software. Just remember to save your work.
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>
You can only install Movie Maker as the Essentials bundle, a free set of lifestyle and utility apps for Windows 7 and Windows 8 that also includes Windows Photo Gallery. The single installer for all the Essentials apps offers an initial option of installing everything or letting you choose which to install. Since you may not need the Family Safety program, for example, I recommend the latter installation option. Movie Maker installs as a desktop application in Windows 8, and unfortunately, is not available for Windows RT tablets (though they do have alternatives like ArcSoft ShowBiz).
Another program, VSDC Video Editor Pro, simply has too outdated an interface, making common tasks difficult. Longtime pro video editors will note the absence of Avid Media Composer, which is simply too unwieldy for PCMag's primarily consumer audience. There are a couple of more interesting applications—NCH VideoPad and AVS Video Editor among them—that we simply haven't tested yet.
Sony Movie Studio 13 was made with the digital filmmaker in mind – once you’ve edited your video to your satisfaction, you can directly upload it to Facebook or other social media for fast sharing. Create video in beautiful 4K (ultra HD) XAVCS, or AVCHD to give your vlogs a high-production, professional feel. Movie Studio 13 Platinum is touch-enabled, too, so you can create and edit movies even faster using your PC’s touchscreen. With large, easy-to-use buttons, fewer menus and the popular Simple Edit Mode, Sony Movie Studio 13 makes video editing fast and easy, so you can keep up with the Internet’s viral pace. The software also comes with ACID Music Studio 10 and Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 to take your online media up a notch.
There are tons of in-program effects such as transitions, titles, credits, captions and even included audio scores, meaning you won’t get held up at any step of your editing process. There are panning and shift capabilities, high-quality post-processing zoom, as well as a plethora of color filtering plugins to give you the look you’ll need, even if the raw footage isn’t quite there. You’ll have the ability to export your movies in up to 4K resolution, and the software even supports 360-degree video projects. It’s a great powerhouse for beginners.