Apple’s iMovie has long been one of the most consumer-orientated video editors out there. It’s bundled with all new Macs, and touts some serious practicality for the everyday user. The latest version of the software allows you to import and edit 4K video clips from a variety of external devices, such as smartphones and GoPro cameras, and sports a clean interface that is attractive and easy to navigate. The ability to start editing on iPhone or iPad and finish on a Mac renders it even more convenient.


One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
The Powershot GX 3 I purchased to backup my EOS 7D Mark II didn't work out because of the steep drop-off in IQ. I decided to give the EOS M6 a try after reading up on mirrorless cameras, and noting that the M6 sports an APS-C sensor. I took it for a shoot at a botanical garden the day after receiving it, and I'm generally pleased with the results. I shot mainly with the EF-M 18-150mm lens, and I made sparing use of the EF-M 11-22. Both lenses produced some decent shots, and they kept the overall size and weight of my gear down. I've humped the 7DMKII with a Sigma 50-150mm lens, and I'm inclined to forgive a small dropoff in IQ in return for a much smaller, lighter kit. The M6 may struggle to backup to the 7DMKII for action shots. The 7DMKII focuses more quickly and rattles off 10 frames in the blink of an eye. That said, the M6 did a creditable job of capturing a macro shot of a flower-hopping Bumble Bee (photo attached). It's going to take time to get used to using the tilt screen instead of a viewfinder for composing shots, but it became more comfortable the more I shot. Bright sunlight is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. The tilt screen also helped in framing close to the ground shots without having to dig my knees in the dirt. Time will tell, but first impressions of the M6 are quite positive.
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.
More options when exporting. Possibility to change the Movie Maker mode from "Beginner" that includes todays Movie Maker functionality to "Expert" that will offer the video editing functionality for the experienced users. Like this this tool can be used by both beginners and experienced users. Because today the experienced users try to avoid Movie Maker. "Beginner" and "Expert" Movie Maker modes could increase the target group of the Movie Maker users.
VideoPad is a comprehensive cross-platform software package for the YouTube social media crowd. While this app lacks the flashy, whiz-bang appeal of some commercial apps, it’s still a rock-solid choice for simple video editing. From the main menu, you can choose which social network you want to upload to. The app offers a number of YouTube choices ranging from 480p to 4K, as well as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and Google Drive, and is free for non-commercial use.
All the other tools you would expect from consumer-level video editing software are present and work excellently. You can add titles, closed captions and other text to your video project with a few simple clicks. You also get a video stabilizer that smooths out shaky video, as well as a library of over 500 effects and transitions for you to choose from.

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.
Very simple, easy-to-use video creation software that is highly accessible to PC users. Interface is consistent with other Microsoft products (ribbon interface) which ensures some familiarity for those with experience with any of Microsoft's other products (especially recent versions of Office). It has all the basic video editing tools available, as well as a good selection of transition and visual effects.
Early one morning in December 2013, I wandered into where my computer desktop was located. My wife asked “What do you think about this deal?” “You’re buying me a Canon 5D Mk III?” She answered “Yes”. I said “Go for it! But let me check B&H”. The 5D package on Amazon was $4000. I found a similar package with the same EF 24-105 f4L lens on B&H for $3500. I didn’t need the cheapy tripod that was in the Amazon deal since I bought a Manfrotto in 2012.
However, simple editing can be done on the cheap if you’re willing to ditch powerful, high-end software such as Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere, in favor of a more modest program. Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be taking home the Palme d’Or with the film you cut on your laptop, but your home movies and YouTube uploads can take on a whole new shine with a few straightforward tools.
Despite being the cheapest option on this list, Corel Video Studio Pro X6 is simple to use without sacrificing power. Features such as motion tracking for moving effects, even better stop motion controls, an enhanced screen capture utility and a subtitle editor with voice detection make this a low-risk purchase for amateur videographers who still want quality.
We created, exported and reviewed all of the results. We watched every video we made, looking for imperfections in the video and audio. Flaws such as pixelation, compression artifact, motion blur and more were present in most of the videos we examined, but they varied greatly depending on which program we used. Each program was given an A to F quality grade based on this evaluation.
There is one major hang-up with DVD authoring software: DVDs were invented before the advent of high-definition video. As such, they can only display standard-def footage. Since most videos are now shot in HD quality, your DVD authoring program has to compress the footage before it can burn it to a disc. This compression resulted in significant quality loss in each of the products we reviewed.
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>
The fact that I can make any video or animation look professional in a matter of minutes is the best quality of Windows Movie Maker: its drag and drop tool enables me to drag the portions of video and image that I want to use. Moreover, Movie Maker´s crop tool allows me to cut any unwanted scene of my videos. Another exciting feature is its merging tool, as you can create a film quality intro by merging a high-quality title image with the beginning of your video. This way, your videos will always look professional.
Being a YouTube creator is hard. When you're not getting subscribers nor views on your videos, it's easy to feel discouraged, disappointed, frustrated, and quit. Yes, YouTube is hard and there's a lot you need to learn in order to grow a successful YouTube channel, including video editing, audience growth, storytelling, video production, business development, and more. But when you have a mission that's bigger than all that, the motivation to keep going can be stronger than all the struggles and difficulties in the process. This is how I stay motivated on YouTube and don't quit despite the struggles.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
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.
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!] /injects>
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