Both DaVinci and VSDC mix paid features in their basic programs, but they do not explicitly mark these features as such. However, if you try to use them, you'll get an error message and an ad. We can't fault the software companies for trying to get users on board with paid versions, but just be warned that such annoyances are the hidden cost of otherwise-free video apps.

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.


I have used Movie Maker mostly for small projects, prototypes and home movies. It is a great and simple tool that meets 75% of most users needs. It is not advanced, so not many professional movie maker options are available (like color correction, white balancing, etc.) However, for basic video that you'll probably want to upload to you tube, this is a pretty good tool. Love the simple and easy to use interface.
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.
Think about your budget, your current level of expertise, and how much time you’re willing to devote to learning a new skill. Whether you're looking for the best video editing software for YouTube, or the responsibility has simply fallen on you to get your team’s video marketing strategy up to snuff—don’t wait around deliberating! Get invested in one of these video editing products, and make it yours.

What Adobe Premiere Pro is to Windows PCs, Final Cut Pro X is to Mac users. It's the best video editing software for Mac. And, as you would suspect with Apple software, the must-have editor is consummately easy to use and comes packed with enough features to warrant the admittedly high price tag. We like the grouping tools, effect options and the simplistic way you can add and edit audio. If you're already entwined in Apple's ecosystem, you'll appreciate how Final Cut cleverly coordinates with your Photos or iTunes collections.

Finally, we used each program to compress a 4K video file into a smaller resolution. We then examined the results looking for imperfections in the picture such as compression artifacts, motion blur, distortion, ghosting and more. PowerDirector’s results were simply outstanding. We could find almost no indication that the video had been compressed, even when viewed on an ultra-high-definition monitor.
In experienced hands, the VSDC Free Video Editor can produce some seriously professional-looking video. In addition to supporting nearly every major video format, the program offers advanced video effects, including object transformation and color correction, as well as advanced audio effects like volume correction and sound normalization. And unlike WeVideo, the VSDC Free Video Editor is truly free. You can use the program's full feature set without having to deal with pesky watermarks.

If you have the budget, the 70D would be my pick of the litter. Keep in mind, if you own an iPhone and are simply publishing basic vlogs to YouTube, you might not need anything more. If you’re aiming to achieve “filmic” results, and want to interchange lenses (so you can capture close-ups and wide angles for instance) then definitely give these DSLR cameras consideration.


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.
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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.
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.
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.
Not an expert? Don’t know how to edit videos, have a video studio, or have a bona fide video specialist to shoot and cut your features? That’s alright! The goal of today’s blog is to show you that with the right video editing software, you too can churn out sleek, professional video content—regardless of experience—and keep your content strategy ahead of the curve.
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Movie Maker uses a very simple version of standard video editor timeline along with clips which are represented by “long thumbnails”. The thumbnail tracks provide options to show the audio waveforms along the bottom, such that you can where are the quiet and loud parts of your video. You also get five different size choices for the thumbs, along with zoom control at the bottom to let you stretch out these clip representation. You can easily trim and split clips by using the cursor insertion point combined with available edit buttons.
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.

The swivel LCD is another great feature, although not new, my T3i had it, but still worth a mention. One difference, think starting with the T6i, is the LCD is now also a touchscreen. Although I turned mine off because I don't want to accidentally change anything since a lot of things can touch the screen, from my hands to my nose... I'd rather use the buttons which have a lot less chance of accidental activation. But I know everyone has been conditioned to love touchscreens, so it's there, hooray. :-)
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.
Movie Maker uses a very simple version of standard video editor timeline along with clips which are represented by “long thumbnails”. The thumbnail tracks provide options to show the audio waveforms along the bottom, such that you can where are the quiet and loud parts of your video. You also get five different size choices for the thumbs, along with zoom control at the bottom to let you stretch out these clip representation. You can easily trim and split clips by using the cursor insertion point combined with available edit buttons.
Next, is to import the media file that you want to edit. Click on “Import” at the top left and choose the location from where you want to import the files. You can import from local drive by clicking on “Import Media Files,” download online or import from a device once you connected it to the computer. You can also, drag and drop media files to the program.
Support for 4K video source content has become pretty standard in video editing software, but the support varies among the products. For example, some but not all of the applications can import Sony XAVC and XAVC-S formats, which are used by Sony's popular DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, and professional video cameras. The same holds true for the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Most of the applications here now can import and export HEVC, though there are still a few holdouts.
Nothing makes an impression like moving images with sound. That's why digital video continues to grow in importance online. Couple that trend with the ever-increasing availability of devices capable of high-resolution video recording—smartphones, GoPros, DSLRs—and the case for ever more powerful video editing software becomes clear. Further, the software must be usable by nonprofessionals, and it has to keep up with new formats such as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), 360-degree VR video, and 4K and above.

Apple’s iMovie, which competes only with cross-platform free apps and Adobe Elements, is the obvious choice for the best Mac video editing software, thanks to its outstanding output, themes and trailers, macOS integration, and features that encourage good moviemaking skills. For the best free software, HitFilm Express 9 gets the nod for its abundant cinematic capabilities and stylish interface. If you often share your videos on YouTube and other social media platforms, the free, cross-platform VideoPad is your best option.


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.

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

The next advantage is something I already touched on earlier. The size and bulk. These prosumer line cameras are typically much smaller and lighter than their pro-grade cousins. However, I am now completely spoiled by USM lenses (specifically their new nano-USM system), and they are unfortunately bulkier than the "kit lenses" that typically come with these cameras. But overall even with the bulkier lenses, it'll still be much easier to move around with the T7i than with a 5D or a 1D...
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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