Apple’s Final Cut Pro X software falls into what we call the “prosumer” category because it treads the line between a product for consumers who want to up their video-editing game and one for professionals who need powerful editing tools. It lacks a traditional timeline-track interface, which is enough to scare some users off, but the software is intuitive and powerful nonetheless. It has great organizational tools like libraries, ratings, tagging, auto analysis for faces and scenes, and automatic color coding for track-specific clips, useful keyboard short-cuts and drag-and-drop media importing give Adobe’s Premiere Elements a run for its money. Unfortunately, you can't directly open projects from Final Cut Pro 7 or earlier, but there are many third-party plug-ins that will help you out there.
If you are familiar with Windows software, Movie Maker has a lot of functionality - and if you know where to look. The product has a small learning curve if you want to do simple tasks like edit video length or add audio. You can simply drop in video and the interface can easily be navigated. You can save video into different formats or extract audio with ease.
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!]
I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year. Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. Corel VideoStudio in its latest version also adds 3D Titling, though not as powerful as Apple's. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters. Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview.
Another hidden "cost" is periodic or even constant in-line advertising or reminders that an upgrade is available. Our favorite program, HitFilm, never pushes an upgrade on you, but it makes you go through a social media and authorizing song and dance to download the product or switch computers. VideoPad (on the Mac) makes you verify at every launch that you are using the free version for noncommercial purposes.
Windows Movie Maker is a free video creator that is probably already installed on your computer since it is included in Windows Essential 2012, and if it is not, you can easily download it on www.windows.microsoft.com. This software is very easy to use, you only have to import photos or videos on your computer from any device, your flash drive, your camera or your phone. Your photos will appear in your Photo Gallery once you import them and later you can use them when you will make your movie in Movie Maker. You can also record a video from your webcam and add it to the Movie Maker. Movie Maker will let you create professional movie with transition, special effects and music.
I bought this used for roughly $45. The set up wasn't too bad, of course there were things I had to figure out and work around to get this to work. The TV I used was an old tv with only composite connection, the one with red, yellow, and white. And the quality was, as you guessed, subpar at best. The biggest problem for me was the subtitles, I could barely read the blurred subtitles in my recordings. I eventually had to buy the madcatz universal cable with the S-video connection to work around this problem. You can youtube how to connect S-video with dazzle for this info.
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.