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.
PowerDirector Ultra is our top choice for video editing software because it's easy and enjoyable to use for beginners, causal users and seasoned editors alike. It provides all the tools you need to transform the footage on your camera into a polished video you can share with family and friends. This program helps you learn video editing without compromising the power of the tools it offers.
Adding and arranging: When you're ready to make a movie, your first step will be to choose what type of files to add. Options include Video, Audio, Image, Icon, and Lyric. You can add any and all of these to the same project and then move them around on the Timeline until you have them where you want them. And if you're new to this type of program, there's a convenient Movie Wizard to guide you through the process.
Avid Media Composer's latest version comes with a wealth of new and improved features, such as accelerated high-res-to-HD workflows and automated media management to handle background media tasks while you focus on your creative vision. The $999 price tag is steep for amateurs, but worth it if you're looking for a professional-grade software. As the editing software of choice for summer blockbusters like Star Trek and The Great Gatsby, Avid Media Composer 7 can handle any editing challenge with ease.
This video editor gives you tons of control and editing power, but you'll have to know how to use it. The program could use a manual to help novice users comb through all of the features. Without that, VSDC Free Video Editor will take a lot of experimenting or previous editing know-how to figure out. It's worth spending plenty of time with, though.
Those that have followed my video posts here on Stark Insider over the years know that I’m a die-hard 70D fan. I’ve used it to shoot interviews, live music concerts, backstage Broadway segments, and various food and travel episodes. I especially like the flip-out LCD (handy for framing shots when holding the camera high or very low), the sweet Dual Pixel auto-focus with subject tracking, and quiet performance of Canon’s STM lenses.
One of the cheaper options around ($49.99), Nero Video holds its own on this list—it comes well-stocked with a lot of the tricks and effects you’ll find among other products vying for video editing supremacy, and as far as software for beginners, you can certainly do worse. If you’re going to spend money learning how to edit videos, however, you might want to steer clear. Nero just doesn’t have the speed and functionality of some of the other products listed here, and if it’s value proposition is its price, $50 is still not all that cheap.
A new standard for 4K video processing - simple, fast and quality-oriented. Edit, shrink, resize and encode 4K/5K/8K and HD/SD videos with minimal effort. macXvideo is engineered for peak performance in processing 4K videos. The unique GPU processing speeds up the workflow to where others can't, ending computer overheating or freezing. An exclusive compression engine is made to compress video like no one else, with minimum output size and every detail reserved. Within a few clicks, you can make amazing movies like a Pro.
Michael Muchmore is PC Magazine's lead analyst for software and web applications. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of web services for a general audience. Before that he worked on PC Magazine's S... See Full Bio
Direct publishing: When you think you have all of your clips, images, and other files in place, you can preview your movie right from the app's main interface. And if you're happy with what you see, all you have to do is click the button for Publish to YouTube to get your video online. Alternately, you can save the finished product to your computer to upload or distribute later on.
If I had it to do over I would purchase a Firewire card with capture software (for a little less then I paid for this device) and edit the clips with additional software. Such software is expensive ($300 - $2000) but likely has better support. I'm thinking of purchasing the Adobe program. The DVC is adequate to capture clips as MPEG and adjust their quality.
Shooting movies is also great now with the servo AF feature. My T3i required that I manually focused while shooting movies. With the servo AF, the camera will actually follow the moving subject adjusting the focus on the fly. I mean, your cell phone can do it and so could my point-and-shoot Canon camera, but their old DSLRs actually didn't have that feature, but now (well, since like the T5i I think) they do and it's very useful. Speaking of movie mode, I very much like that they added another step in the power switch for movie mode instead of requiring you to turn the knob all the way to the very end to get to movie mode. Now you simply flip the switch to it.
Disc authoring tools are another essential feature to consider if you intend to distribute DVDs or Blu-ray discs of your videos. Authoring options can be quite extensive; for example, you may be able to insert chapter markers, build disc menus and include extra features, just like in Hollywood-produced movies. The best video editor programs have a lot of authoring tools.
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.
It has tones of features and you can start for free. There is wide range of filters, overlays, transition effects and color correction abilities. This platform is designed to serve users with smooth editing experience so that even beginners can enjoy creative media projects. Thanks to its wide format support that helps to handle all popular media files with ease.
Its 360-degree footage tools allow you to set anchor points, pan and zoom through your footage, add effects, and stabilize shaky recordings. The program even has dedicated 360-degree titles that match your footage perfectly, rather than trying to warp a regular title to fit. And with the view designer, you can convert 360-degree videos to work with conventional projects.
I still use an older Sony cassette based Camcorder as a hand held unit when storm chasing and with this and the included software its very easy to pull the videos directly off of the camera and save in the Chase folder for editing. I do have several newer digital camcorders but I love the feel of the older heavier units and this makes getting those videos off the camera and into production a breeze. Excellent Product !!!
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.
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.
We still live in the days of talkies, so you want to be able to edit the audio in your digital moves as well as the images. Most of the products included here offer canned background music, and many, such as Pinnacle Studio, can even tailor the soundtrack to the exact length of your movie. All of these programs can separate audio and video tracks, and most can clean up background noise and add environmental audio effects such as concert hall reverb. A couple of the products have an auto-ducking feature, which lowers background music during dialog—a definite pro-level plus.
Anyone would love super-easy task that can be accomplished in short span of time. Makewebvideo.com, a product from Mersica, is all about this. It offers its users to create online video in minimum duration of 30 minutes to 1 hour. Just select a template, customize your video and share with friends instantly. All videos here are produced with Adobe After Effects, the most loved and accessible software ever. It has other services like free trial video and video hosting.
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>