One of the cheaper options around ($49.99), Nero Video holds its own on this list—it comes well-stocked with a lot of the tricks and effects you’ll find among other products vying for video editing supremacy, and as far as software for beginners, you can certainly do worse. If you’re going to spend money learning how to edit videos, however, you might want to steer clear. Nero just doesn’t have the speed and functionality of some of the other products listed here, and if it’s value proposition is its price, $50 is still not all that cheap.
Those looking for a powerful editor with a huge variety of built-in resources and responsive technical support may be better off dropping some cash on a consumer video-editing program, like award winners Adobe Premiere Elements, CyberLink PowerDirector or Corel VideoStudio. However, first consider trying out software such as HitFilm Express 2017, VideoPad, DaVinci Resolve or VSDC, which offer all of the basics for free, and then purchasing additional features à la carte or simply upgrade as your experience and needs grow.
Our team of reviewers used each program’s editing tools, effects and export options to create identical test DVDs. They timed how long it took to burn a new DVD, complete with menus and chapters when possible. Our video experts then played the new DVDs on a large-screen television and searched for imperfections such as compression artifact, motion blur and interlacing issues. The results of these tests, as well as our reviewers’ personal experiences using each program, were used to decide the programs’ final scores and ranks. All our tests were designed to replicate the experience of an average user as well as a veteran editor.
Corel VideoStudio has all the characteristics of the other top-of-the-line products on this list, including 360-degree VR and 4k support, but it also has the distinction of being the first piece of consumer video editing software to offer motion tracking—which, if you’re not already familiar, is a feature that allows you to track specific objects throughout your cut (if you wanted, say, to point an arrow at one of your characters, blur out his face, or bestow him with a funny hat). Most of the products on this list come equipped with motion tracking, but VideoStudio still boasts one of the best motion tracking systems around.
Hitfilm Express 9's high-energy style appeals to budding filmmakers who want to put a special touch on a personal event or get creative with a video blog, but it's still easy enough for the adventurous friends-and-family crowd. The one concession you have to make is that you have to give the software maker a shout out on social media in order to download the free app.
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.
Sony Movie Studio 13 was made with the digital filmmaker in mind – once you’ve edited your video to your satisfaction, you can directly upload it to Facebook or other social media for fast sharing. Create video in beautiful 4K (ultra HD) XAVCS, or AVCHD to give your vlogs a high-production, professional feel. Movie Studio 13 Platinum is touch-enabled, too, so you can create and edit movies even faster using your PC’s touchscreen. With large, easy-to-use buttons, fewer menus and the popular Simple Edit Mode, Sony Movie Studio 13 makes video editing fast and easy, so you can keep up with the Internet’s viral pace. The software also comes with ACID Music Studio 10 and Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 to take your online media up a notch.
Although it’s said to created intros for video ads or promo videos with logo stingers, I see no reason it’s only for a particular user. With Intro Video Creator, you can hold your customers till the end of your videos and maximize your video ads. But if you’re not a vendor, or an affiliate, you can still try this amazing product to make intros for personal uses. It will be the savior for your boring presentation.
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.
We evaluated each program’s interface and workflow to see how intuitive they are. We tracked the number of clicks it takes to access and use common tools. If a tool is difficult to find, awkwardly implemented or counterintuitive, it can slow down your edits. We quickly discovered that the more accessible everything is, the better the editing experience will be. We gave each program an A to F grade based on this evaluation.
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.
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.
The free HitFilm Express 9 has a quirky but appealing interface and plenty of powerful features, including a new layout panel and better export tools. An optional Starter Pack ($9.99) adds even more editing options. It's good for prosumers and enthusiasts with cross-platform editing and compositing abilities, tracking options, 2D and 3D effects, speed controls, audio tools and an arsenal of instructional videos.
We still live in the days of talkies, so you want to be able to edit the audio in your digital moves as well as the images. Most of the products included here offer canned background music, and many, such as Pinnacle Studio, can even tailor the soundtrack to the exact length of your movie. All of these programs can separate audio and video tracks, and most can clean up background noise and add environmental audio effects such as concert hall reverb. A couple of the products have an auto-ducking feature, which lowers background music during dialog—a definite pro-level plus.
It’s the stripped-down version of Adobe Premiere, an industry-standard editing program used to create movies, TV shows, music videos, commercials and online video content from major brands. Although the workflow is much different than Premiere, Elements give you a taste of the tools used by professionals in a user-friendly way. It has three modules to make videos: Quick, which is great for making short videos quickly. Guided, which teaches you the ins and outs of the program, and Expert, which removes all the training wheels and lets you delve deep into your creative ventures. All projects made with Elements can be exported for transfer into the professional Premiere application.
It splits its interface into two modules: Express and Advanced. These two modes function similar to the storyboard and timeline modes most other software use. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be pleased with the quality of the transitions and effects the software has to help you create videos. Nero Video also supports third-party add-ons. However, it doesn't provide many exporting options, so check that it supports the formats you want to use before you buy. Also, even though this DVD authoring software comes with dozens of transitions, text effects and other effects, it doesn't have as many as other products we reviewed. Still, there may be enough for your needs. This application can create chapters automatically, and you can also insert music and voiceovers. When importing files, you can capture video, audio and images from your computer or any device you connect to it. Before you take the time to burn your project to a disc, you can use the playback option to see how it will work. This DVD authoring software can burn your movies to DVD, AVCHD, CD and Blu-ray discs, as well as save files on your computer or upload them to the internet.
He went on to say that your end goal should also play a big part in your decision, advising that if you’ll edit video infrequently, you should get simpler software. “If it’s a one-off project, the fewer whistles the better,” Tyler said. He called out Adobe Premiere Elements and Wondershare Filmora as good choices because they have easy-to-understand workflows for non-editors.
For our speed comparison, we tested all of the Windows and cross-platform video editing software on an HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop running Windows 10 Home. The laptop's 64-bit Intel Core i5 processor, with a 5200U CPU, runs at 2.2 GHz on an Intel HD Graphics 5500 system and has 8GB of RAM. We tested iMovie on a MacBook Air (late 2013) with a 1.7-GHz Intel Core i7 processor, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and 8GB of RAM, and running macOS Sierra v. 10.12.1.
After testing six of the most popular free editing suites, our top choice is HitFilm Express 9 for its lavish cinematic capabilities and high-powered interface. For Mac owners, Apple's iMovie is the no-brainer choice, because of its macOS integration, top-notch output, professional themes and trailers, and support for professional shooting and editing techniques. For YouTube and other social media platforms, the free, cross-platform VideoPad is the best option.
The most basic way to produce a finished project is to export it as a video file. You can then use this file as a master copy of your video and keep it for archiving purposes. But you can also manually upload that file to various internet sites where it can be seen and shared. However, you can skip that step by uploading your finished project directly to YouTube, Facebook, and other sharing sites from within the program's interface. It allows you to input all the necessary information, metadata, descriptions and keywords to optimize your video so as many people see it as possible.
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With Movavi Video Editor, it’s fun and easy to create wonderful videos even for beginners. Simply drop your media files onto the timeline and use the Windows-friendly editing tools to customize. Like most video editors, the Movavi Video Editor allows you to make basic changes to your clips by trimming, cutting and rotating them to any angle. With this software, however, you can also become your own movie producer by using multiple filters, transitions, titles, stickers and special effects. Show multiple videos on one screen with the picture-in-picture tool or freeze the video at any frame for added emphasis. Make video cards to send to family and friends or preserve vacation memories in a format people will actually want to watch. Automatically improve video quality with Magic Enhance, or manually adjust color parameters like brightness, contrast and saturation for better viewability. Movavi Video Editor even helps you minimize annoying motion distortion with the stabilization tool.
When it comes to video editing nobody wants to spend hours mastering nuances of video cutting techniques. All we usually need is to place several pieces together, add some fade-ins and outs, include subtitles and do this with as little efforts as possible. At the same time nobody wants to compromise with the final quality of the video. Indeed, simple not necessarily should mean primitive. VSDC Free Video Editor is a simple and easy to use video editor featuring a lot of functions even a pro editor wouldn't be ashamed of.
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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.