Building a DVD from the ground up can be difficult and time-consuming, and the best DVD creators makes it as easy as possible to use their features and tools. Some programs build tutorials directly into their interfaces, while others have free lessons, guides and forums on their official websites. Additionally, many of the programs we reviewed have free trials, which you can use to determine if the application suits your needs before you pay.
We include Premiere Elements on the list mostly because it’s been an industry leader in the video editing game for some time. And $79.99 is not egregious, but we’re here to say that at that price, you’re mostly paying for the name. In the time since Premiere Elements’ inception, too many other products have surpassed it in speed and capability for us to place it among the cream of the crop. That’s to take nothing away from Premiere Elements’ usability, though—specifically for beginners.
There are two different licenses you can choose from with Lightworks: "Free" and "Pro." (The latter of which, as you might have guessed, requires that you cough up some cash.) The main difference between the two licenses is that the Pro version offers more features, including stereoscopic output and advanced project sharing. But the free version is still quite powerful, providing 100+ effects and supporting multicam editing.
Windows Movie Maker is free video editing software available on virtually every PC. Developed by Microsoft as part of the standard program suite, it was included in Windows XP and, more recently, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Even though it is not supported for Windows 10, you can still download Windows Movie Maker and install it on this newest operating system, as well. But should you really do that? You can try a powerful alternative like Movavi Video Editor Plus that gives you access to a wider range of tools and is also available to Mac users.
The main problem we have in regards to training is knowledge transfer and simplifying training of processes when on-boarding new staff. We do have some videos created from other platforms but no way to share. As we are primarily a Windows shop, using Movie Maker allowed me to create training videos using Microsoft approved codecs and made it much easier to share videos with other team members. The main benefit of course is they can now get some training from the videos we've created and cost savings by not having them go to another facility or rely on other training tools.
Notable features include professional-level color correction, GPU-accelerated real-time effects, video capture, and nearly all-encompassing format support. However, the free version is only capable of exporting MPEG-4 files with a resolution of up to 720p. Thankfully, Lightworks also offers traditional tools for importing, trimming, and seamlessly weaving audio and video together with a few effortless mouse clicks.
Tech support and documentation: One of the big distinctions between paid and free software is the level of documentation and tech support; paid software has more-explicit and -detailed documentation and guides than the free versions. That said, many software packages post instructional videos of the most popular features to YouTube, and more-complex free packages may offer extensive documentation.
I've been a Canon fan since an old sd880 point and shoot. Moved up to a T2i and then T4i. Excellent cameras. I got caught up in the mirrorless craze and about a year ago, canon was behind the competition and i went with a Panasonic gx85. One positive for the gx85: amazing camera stabilization. However, the autofocus for video SUCKS. After a year, i started to notice that a lot, if not most, of the pictures i'd taken years ago, even with the t2i, looked better than the gx85 (i was using the pana 20mm lens). i decided to go back to canon, and even considered the 77d. As i'm reviewing pictures, i am beyond satisfied with the decision to go with the m6. The m6 with the em-f 22m lens is great. sure, i miss the in-body stabilization, and i wish it had 4k video. that's why i give this camera 4 stars (and the picture review takes a second too long). But for results, this camera produces extremely clear photos, and the autofocus in videos blows the panasonic away.
Slightly different from the league is Dvolver.com which is a set up providing moviemaking services. Dvolver organizes online film festival ‘Dfilm’ that gives opportunity to the users to make their own digital films. Dfilm has cartoon based software as well which is fun to use. It allows friends and family to chat and talk through cell phones via SMS, MMS, instant messaging and others.
The best DVD creator software should also have all the qualities of a top-notch video editing program. There are DVD creators that focus solely on authoring and have few or no editing tools. If you just want to burn finished videos to DVDs, you may want to look into one of these applications. However, if you’re building your own creation from scratch, it’s best to buy an authoring program that has a robust set of video-editing features.
I like the simplicity of Windows Moviemaker. I like that the application can be used by a beginner in video editing. This application is perfect for splicing together slideshows and putting together home movies. It's pretty cool that you can also easily share your video. Furthermore, Moviemaker is versatile in that it allows the importation and exportation of a wide variety of file types.
Ok—so to those of you working with PCs, this one won’t really apply; but we’d remiss to leave it off the list. If you’re looking for simplicity and elegance, it doesn’t get much better than Apple iMovie. iMovie’s ten high-fidelity filters are some of the classiest in the video editing game; and if you’re shooting on your iPhone, or have been editing a project on your iPad, you can use AirDrop to wirelessly and seamlessly transfer your project over to your Mac.
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 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.