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
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Finally, you'll want to pay attention to sharing capabilities. In the past, you only needed to worry about saving your videos to a DVD or a highly compressed video file, but the rise of Vimeo and YouTube has resulted in new sharing options. If you're looking to share your videos to your social network, make sure that your software is capable of doing so.
But you need to be prepared for situations as such as the SaaS vendor going out of business or their website going down. You need to have contingency procedures in place to combat these situations to make sure they do not have a harmful effect on your business. It is easy to subscribe to a SaaS solution, but think about the impact on your company if the platform is withdrawn by the provider.
Tyler explained that the software you buy should complement the hardware you use, as well as the type of project you’re working on. “You want to have software that will work well with your phone, digital camera, action cam or whatever you’re shooting on. If you plan on shooting on a lot of different devices, you want a program that’s compatible with a lot of different formats.”
Our biggest issue with VideoPad was not knowing which features were disabled in the free version versus the trial and paid versions. We found VideoPad to be a bit slower on our transcoding tests than Hitfilm, too. But that may not matter for those looking for an app that they can use to quickly and easily edit video and then upload to the social media outlet of their choice.
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.
4k and gif support are boilerplate features for most video editing products today, but one thing Filmora does particularly well is titles. Title tools are trending in video software, and while Filmora’s doesn’t have the functionality of say, an Apple Final Cut Pro X, which can superimpose 3D titles over your videos and rotate them on three axes, it nonetheless has some snazzy titling features for the money you’re spending.

We combined a text opener with five clips linked by a cross-fade-type transition into a 2.5-minute video shot at 60 frames per second, and rendered the projects to the MPEG-4 format at 720p. We timed rendering at both 60 fps and 30 fps. We adjusted settings to take advantage of hardware acceleration for all tests whenever possible, setting them in either the preferences or the rendering controls for the best speeds. Apple’s iMovie, the lone Mac-only app, is not included in the timed comparisons.
The T#i line is what they call a "pro-sumer" line, which is basically between a consumer line camera like a very basic DSLR and a professional DSLR camera, thus the term "pro-sumer." Typically what this meant is an DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor, decent resolution, and some hand-me-down professional features of pro-grade cameras from a few years ago. For this reason, sometimes it's not worth upgrading from one of these cameras to the next until at least a few generations have past (meaning if you have a T5i, it's not really a giant leap forward to upgrade to a T6i). However, the T7i is somewhat different. When I was doing research on what features it has and what it is missing compared to the pro-grade DSLRs that are considered "current" right now, I was surprised to find very little. The main differences really is that the pro-grade cameras have the LCD display on the top that would display all of your relevant camera settings, and then a few of them would also sport a full-frame sensor. Other than that, the differences are very minor. Something like maybe 1 or 2 frames less in burst mode or something like that. Nothing that would really jump out at you and make you regret not stepping up to the professional grade equivalent (Think it would be the 77D?). It actually has pretty much all of the big features of even their current pro-grade DSLRs, making the T7i probably one of the best prosumer DSLRs to buy.
I absolutely love this thing! I've been creating Halo Reach videos for my clan for the past few months, and there are very few issues that I have with it. When I record on my computer, there are 3 or 4 tiny half-circles at the top of the screen (hardly noticible) and sometimes a small (maybe 1-pixel) line that splits off from the rest of my screen, but all of that can be fixed with the video cropping tool that they have included with the software. I know a few other people who have bought capture cards for cheaper and sometimes it runs a blue line down the right side of the screen if they record in high quality, this does better quality with no blue line.
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.

PowerDirector Ultra features CyberLink’s True Theater Color technology, which analyzes the color of your footage and enhances aspects like hue, saturation and brightness. It's a great way to get Hollywood-style color treatment on your video project. You get more than enough tools to create a video that looks like it could have been made in a movie studio. You may never edit a full-length feature film with this software, but you could.


First is the 1.6x multiplier you get to have for free with telephoto lenses. Because the APS-C sensor is smaller, you're basically "cropping" the image that comes in a lens made for a full-frame camera. Thus the term "crop sensor" used to describe something like an APS-C sized sensor. But rather than cropping the image post-process, all of the camera's light sensing pixels work within this cropped area. So if you buy a lens that is meant to work on a full-frame camera (the way you can tell is by the prefix. An "EF" lens is a full frame lens while an EF-S lens is made for the APS-C sensor. You can use an EF lens on any camera, full frame or APS-C, but if you use an EF-S lens on a full-frame camera the edges of the image will be cut off by the edge of the lens), whatever the specifications are, multiply that by 1.6. So for example, I bought the EF 70-300mm IS II USM lens to use with this. So being that this is an APS-C camera, that lens for me is effectively a 112-480mm lens. Of course the downside of this is if you want a more wide angle, a 10mm EF lens would actually be 18mm, meaning no longer wide-angle. But for those you just make sure to buy an EF-S lens, then the specifications will be correct. For me I have the EF-S 18-135mm IS USM lens for it, and at 18mm it's perfect for general use wide-angle photography. If I wanted even wider there is an EF-S 10-18mm lens out there as well.

Creating a new video from existing ones becomes really easy by using Windows Movie Maker. It gives me the ability to prepare, edit, and deliver videos to my audience and clients, and they really love the material I deliver. I simply thin that the best thing freelancers can do is to communicate what their service is about with an awesome and engaging video.

Every other program has dedicated tracks for each type of media such as video, audio, images, etc. The fact that you can use any media on any track makes this software much more dynamic and provides more control over your project. However, the DVD authoring tools in this program fall short of the best we tested. For example, you don’t get the ability add bonus features or save a disc image to your hard drive. While neither of these things are a deal-breaker, they’re both found in our top pick for this category.
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.
Though Mac users don't have the sheer number of software choices available for PCs, Apple fans interested in editing video are well served, by four products in particular. At the entry level, the surprisingly capable and enjoyable-to-use iMovie comes free with every Mac sold since at least 2011. iMovie only offers two video tracks, but does good job with chroma-keying, and its Trailers feature makes it easy to produce slick, Hollywood-style productions.
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.

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.


The T#i line is what they call a "pro-sumer" line, which is basically between a consumer line camera like a very basic DSLR and a professional DSLR camera, thus the term "pro-sumer." Typically what this meant is an DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor, decent resolution, and some hand-me-down professional features of pro-grade cameras from a few years ago. For this reason, sometimes it's not worth upgrading from one of these cameras to the next until at least a few generations have past (meaning if you have a T5i, it's not really a giant leap forward to upgrade to a T6i). However, the T7i is somewhat different. When I was doing research on what features it has and what it is missing compared to the pro-grade DSLRs that are considered "current" right now, I was surprised to find very little. The main differences really is that the pro-grade cameras have the LCD display on the top that would display all of your relevant camera settings, and then a few of them would also sport a full-frame sensor. Other than that, the differences are very minor. Something like maybe 1 or 2 frames less in burst mode or something like that. Nothing that would really jump out at you and make you regret not stepping up to the professional grade equivalent (Think it would be the 77D?). It actually has pretty much all of the big features of even their current pro-grade DSLRs, making the T7i probably one of the best prosumer DSLRs to buy.
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