Credit: ShutterstockBasic Features: The watchword with free apps is often which one offers the best combination of technically complex software for which you would otherwise have to shell out the big bucks. All video editors should, at the very least, have some combination of familiar features like a viewer or playback window, library, timeline, and access to transitions and effects.
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.
Cyberlink is often the first to roll out new and innovative tools and features. For example, it pioneered multi-cam functionality for consumer-level software. That technology was previously only found in professional programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Cyberlink’s basics are also top-notch. This program has a 99-track timeline, which gives nearly unlimited versatility. You can make simple videos quickly but also delve deeply into complex projects. You may never edit a feature film with this software, but it is more than capable of that task. In our ease-of-use tests, PowerDirector earned an A. Our reviewers noted that the interface is intuitive, the tools are accessible, and even the most advanced features are simple to learn. You can unlock the fullest potential of the program easily if you learn how to use the tools properly.
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PowerDirector helps you enhance your footage with Intelligent Color Correction. This allows you to quickly and easily match color settings across your entire project, which unifies the look and feel of your video and eliminates a lot of guesswork. This might seem like a small thing, but it’s a huge leap forward for video editing software at the consumer level.
The phone also has a whole lot of connectivity features. It can connect to your phone via bluetooth and wifi, and even supports NFC for easy pairing. This is great, not just for the social-media-crazed millennial but also for backing up photos in case you find yourself running out of space on your SD card (and you didn't bring spare SD cards. SHAME!! lol). But yes, this also means you can easily share photos you just took with the T7i on social media. :-)
Because it's so deeply entwined with the macOS, iMovie was one of the fastest apps when it came to encoding video. Once that's finished, it also gives you plenty of sharing options: You can upload directly to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo, and share any video frame as an image. When you couple iMovie with iMovie Theater and iCloud, you can also view your creations on any Apple device or via Apple TV.
We include Premiere Elements on the list mostly because it’s been an industry leader in the video editing game for some time. And $79.99 is not egregious, but we’re here to say that at that price, you’re mostly paying for the name. In the time since Premiere Elements’ inception, too many other products have surpassed it in speed and capability for us to place it among the cream of the crop. That’s to take nothing away from Premiere Elements’ usability, though—specifically for beginners.
At $80 Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5 combines an elegant and professional-feeling interface with high-end specialty features like 3D and 4K Ultra HD, making it one of the most satisfying and versatile consumer-level video editors on the market. It also has an elegant, modern-looking user interface, and can export to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo with all the options you’d expect. It’s versatile, efficient, and top of its class. (Read our full review.)
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Windows Movie Maker has been a cornerstone tool of the amateur video editor for an extremely long time. A lot of video graphers, amateur cinematographers, and simple weekend point-and-shooters have used the free program and have done wonders with it. However, just because something has a history, does not mean that it is necessarily the best product you can be using. After a long time as one of the best free video editors for Windows users, Windows Movie Maker has been discontinued.
As I mentioned before, one of the advantages of the platform over the fractioning of the files to edit is precisely because it is linked to its main disadvantage, and that is that Movie Maker support does not support very heavy files, or large files , because the platform loses fluency and quality, which is essential when editing. Another aspect, important is that it has many limitations of format, in addition to working with designs that are not as templates in the programmer, limited in turn to work with only a few other programs, and increasing the incompatibility of the program with other platforms. edition or reproduction of files.
I don't like that it's hard to customize the title the way you want it, especially if you want to add multiple lines of texts. I have to use photoshop to make my title page instead, but it would be so much faster if I could make it in the program. I also don't like that there isn't music already loaded in, you have to go online to find your own music. I would like a small list of pre-loaded songs.
If you had access to the video editing pro level, then you must try DaVinci Resolve 14. Except for multi-camera editing, 3D editing, motion blur effects, and spatial noise reduction which are only available on the paid version DaVinci Resolve Studio, you can almost do any professional video/audio editing and color correction with DaVinci Resolve 14.
With ScreenFlow you can record any part of your screen or the entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, iOS device, microphone or multi-channel audio device, and your computer’s audio. The easy-to-use editing interface lets you creatively edit your video. When you are done, use the built-in sharing to publish your video directly to YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox or to Telestream Cloud for transcoding. Or export an animated .GIF, ProRes file or .MP4 directly to your desktop.
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.
Our biggest issue with VideoPad was not knowing which features were disabled in the free version versus the trial and paid versions. We found VideoPad to be a bit slower on our transcoding tests than Hitfilm, too. But that may not matter for those looking for an app that they can use to quickly and easily edit video and then upload to the social media outlet of their choice.
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Purchasing the full version of VideoStudio Ultimate X10 adds a whole extra set of options that beginners will quickly love, including multi-monitor support, easier title creation, and even stop-motion animation. Corel supports almost every output format imaginable, so it's ideal for sharing socially or for hosting online for the world to see. Another highlight for beginners is the inclusion of storyboard mode, which will help draft the exact vision they have in mind for a finished product without wasting hours and days on edits that may never see the light of day.
The Edit menu also contains the new Stabilization choice if you're running Windows 8 or 8.1, as well as play speedup and slow-mo (this retains the audio, so you can have fun making you and your friends sound like chipmunks or lions). As in iMovie, all editing is done in the same thumbnail/timeline area—no popup windows for trimming like you find in other video editors like CyberLink PowerDirector.
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Mobile video editing software. Professional video editing software tools can be expected to go mobile following the trend set by top-quality photo editing systems such as Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop that launched their smartphone editions a couple of year ago. Now, we can expect vendors of video editing software platforms to launch mobile apps to provide seamless mobility and ease of use.
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.