Increasingly, new capabilities trickle down from professional-level software to the consumer category. That's a good thing for nonprofessional movie editors, since the more-consumer-oriented software makes formerly difficult procedures a cinch for them. Read on for a survey of the latest trends in video editing software and our top picks in the field.
Other programs have jumped on board with 360 VR support, including Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro X, and Magix Movie Edit Pro. Support varies, with some apps including 360-compatible titles, stabilization, and motion tracking. PowerDirector is notable for including those last two. Final Cut offers a useful tool that removes the camera and tripod from the image, often an issue with 360-degree footage.
Since people now watch, store and share videos on tablets and smartphones, it's important for video editing programs to be able to export to these devices. Nearly all the products we reviewed can do so to some degree, but the best ones have companion mobile apps you can sync with their desktop counterparts, which makes transferring faster and more secure.
The motion tracking tool is great for advanced editors who want to give their videos a special look. It allows you to isolate a moving object, person or other element and then apply effects that will follow them through the video. This is great for situations such as when you want to brighten up the colors on a person but keep the background the way it is, or even change it to black and white.
If video isn’t already an important part of your content marketing strategy, odds are it’s about to be. Web content is taking a turn toward video whether SEOs and content marketers like it or not. Nearly 50% of marketers are adding YouTube and Facebook channels for video distribution in the next year; one third of online activity is spent watching video; and video itself is projected to account for more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. 80%!
Filmora Video Editor for Windows (or Filmora Video Editor for Mac) is a popular video creator for new beginners as well. It contains all the features that a beginner need to create his or her videos. Basic editing features are: cropping, splitting, merging, trimming. Stabilizing videos is available if you think your footage is not great enough. Hand-picked motion graphics, filters, overlays, transitions, split scree, titles, and more will make your videos quite different and great. Now you can download the free trial version to see whether it is suitable for you or not.
You’ll find the familiar timeline/storyboard workflow, along with other basic tools such as titles and credits, effects and transitions, and a chroma-key (green screen). It also has some, but not all, of the advanced tools you need to make an outstanding video. You’ll get a video stabilizer to smooth out shaky footage, 4K compatibility for footage from the newest cameras, 3D editing, motion tracking and more. These are all great tools, and it’s a great bang for your buck. But there are some significant trade-offs. For example, there are no themes or templates. So, you’ll need to build every project from scratch – not very appealing to beginners. It also lacks an automatic video creator and slideshow creator, which are also great for novices. This program lacks multi-cam and 360-degree editing features that you would find on more expensive programs. If you want the newest, greatest effects and tools, this is not the program for you. In addition, the program’s interface is in bad need of a face-lift, and has been for years. It’s kind of hard to get around, and it will require working through a few projects before you can use it effectively.
I won’t hide the fact that I’m a Canon fanboy. Canon just gets a lot of things right. Many of them are, in my books, the most important things, like great color science (images look beautiful and skin tones are rendered organically), the aforementioned stellar auto-focus (after all, what use is an out of focus photo or video?), and long battery life so you can shoot for hours without worry.
Premiere Clip is perfect for creatives whose videos are bound for social media channels like YouTube and Instagram. You can easily import video clips from places like your phone, Lightroom, Creative Cloud and Dropbox, and then use the app’s Freeform editor to trim or split clips, adjust exposure and highlights, add audio and more. And, of course, you can add filters, which is a given in today’s social media sphere.
Windows' included video editing software is all about simplicity: There's really no simpler way to combine your clips into digital movies with titles, transitions, background music, and effects. In earlier releases, the program was so simple that it wasn't capable of doing things people commonly needed, but little by little, stuff like voiceover recording and even anti-shake have made their way into what is now a very useful free app for digital video editing. Let's be clear, Movie Maker still lacks a lot of effects and tools you get in Apple's entry-level video editor, iMovie, not to mention enthusiast-level products like Adobe Premiere Elements or CyberLink PowerDirector, but for basic needs and ease of use, it hits the mark.
Here's my first experience. I use Windows 2000 on a PIII 550Mhz, with 256 RAM and 20 Gig EIDE harddrive. When Dazzle arrived, I followed the directions and installed the software and put the plug in the USB port and then discovered that this software only works with Windows 98. I visited the Dazzle web site and found out that you have to purchase a program called Movie Star is you want to use it with Windows 2000. I wound up ordering the software for [more $] plus shipping. Once, I received the new disk, I installed it, and once again, it did not detect the unit when I plugged it into the USB port. And again, I visited the Dazzle web site. I discovered that they have posted a patch for the Movie Star software that fixes "some minor problems." I downloaded and installed the patch and after rebooting the machine, I was able to get it to detect the unit.
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.
Also, you can't leave it powered for too long at a time. I have noticed that if I record small clips for 1.5+ hours then the number of frames that drop increase dramitically, and I have to unplug it to let it cool down. If you want to record voice, it only records voice that comes through the speakers of your television (meaning, if you're recording voice on xbox, go to preferences and set voice to "speaker only" or "Both Headset & Speaker"); however, sound effects of blasts and explosions of games come through very well. The quality of voice recording is pretty bad, but I didn't buy this for voice recording, I bought it for video.
The T#i line is what they call a "pro-sumer" line, which is basically between a consumer line camera like a very basic DSLR and a professional DSLR camera, thus the term "pro-sumer." Typically what this meant is an DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor, decent resolution, and some hand-me-down professional features of pro-grade cameras from a few years ago. For this reason, sometimes it's not worth upgrading from one of these cameras to the next until at least a few generations have past (meaning if you have a T5i, it's not really a giant leap forward to upgrade to a T6i). However, the T7i is somewhat different. When I was doing research on what features it has and what it is missing compared to the pro-grade DSLRs that are considered "current" right now, I was surprised to find very little. The main differences really is that the pro-grade cameras have the LCD display on the top that would display all of your relevant camera settings, and then a few of them would also sport a full-frame sensor. Other than that, the differences are very minor. Something like maybe 1 or 2 frames less in burst mode or something like that. Nothing that would really jump out at you and make you regret not stepping up to the professional grade equivalent (Think it would be the 77D?). It actually has pretty much all of the big features of even their current pro-grade DSLRs, making the T7i probably one of the best prosumer DSLRs to buy.