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.
So—we stretched the meaning of “software” a bit earlier; now, we’re going to stretch the meaning of “beginner.” We included CyberLink PowerDirector on this list because its interface is, at the end of the day, pretty straightforward. Head to the product page, run through the tutorials, and you’ll be alright. There is within the interface, however, an embarrassment of options and effects. If you’re not willing to invest the time in learning all of them, it can get a bit overwhelming.
You can choose among a few different speeds, and the app will show you how long the hyperlapsed video will be for every speed in comparison to the length of the video in real time. (So a 40-second video in real time will become roughly a seven-second video in Hyperlapse at 6X speed.) It's a really cool way to capture something that usually lasts a while -- like a sunset or an event setup.
It’s little sister, Adobe Premiere Elements provides a taste of what you can expect from Premiere Pro. It’s great for quick and easy DVD authoring, making professional-looking discs from the computer you’re using right now. It should be noted that the workflow is much different in Elements than Premiere Pro. Nevertheless, it teaches you the ins-and-outs of video editing by boiling it down to its most basic functions. Once you learn the basics, and feel like you’re ready to graduate to the full program, you can use transfer your Elements projects to Premiere Pro.
However, it doesn’t have all the features and tools we look for in DVD makers, though it has enough to fit the needs of a novice. Before you can burn a DVD, you need to transform your raw footage into a compelling narrative. As such, this program’s video editing tools are its main selling points. It has a standard timeline/storyboard workflow – you compose the broad strokes of your video in the storyboard and fine-tune it in the timeline. One of the software’s biggest drawbacks is you only have eight editing tracks to build your project, and only one is dedicated to video. This limits the program’s versatility and hinders its ability to create complex projects. As a beginner, you might only need eight tracks; however, as you gain experience, it may become a frustration. In addition, the included DVD burner can’t add menus or chapter breaks.
Simple video editor programs have an easy or basic mode for beginners. This is distinct from the familiar timeline and storyboard modes and often reduces editing to its most basic concepts and tools. Some applications make the process even easier by scanning your media and creating a video with it automatically. The best video editing programs let you manipulate the automatically generated video after it has been compiled.
It starts with its simplest feature: a storyboard mode that allows you to lay out your narrative on a simpler, at-a-glance screen. That way if you don’t want to drill down to the details, you don’t have to get bogged down with all kinds of extra proprietary controls. But if you do want to drill down to a more detailed approach, you can do so with its Details mode that allows you to mix in 200 multimedia tracks, giving you seemingly endless possibilities for your project.
One of the things that can be a pain in the neck is that if you're working with a long video, and you want to give different types of effects to different parts of this video, then you have to cut out the parts of that same video you need to change, and later, you need to apply the type of effect you want to each of these pieces of videos separately, and then save them like different files. After all that, you need to join them together. It would be lovely that there was an option to achieve this without so much work.
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>
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.
Many video editing apps now include tools that cater to users of action cameras such as the GoPro Hero7 Black. For example, several offer automated freeze-frame along with speedup, slowdown, and reverse time effects. CyberLink PowerDirector's Action Camera Center pulls together freeze frame with stabilization, slo-mo, and fish-eye correction, and color correction for underwater footage. Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium includes the third-party NewBlue ActionCam Package of effects. And Wondershare Filmora lets you subscribe to new effect packs on an ongoing basis.
While most professional-grade software can handle multi-cam editing, Premiere Pro goes one step beyond, handling as many sources as necessary with as many angles as required. The inclusion of the bundled Lumetri Color Panel allows advanced color adjustments to be handled with ease. Additionally, Adobe’s integration with After Effects and Photoshop adds even more reason for professional grade editors to choose Premiere Pro.
Video editing is one of the most computing-intensive activities around, so you'll want the best laptop or desktop you can afford if you're serious about cutting your own movies. Most applications help speed up the editing process by creating a proxy file of lower resolution, so that normal editing and previewing aren't slowed down by the huge full-resolution files.
This editing software offers three main ways to create your video projects. You can use the Full Feature Editor, which is the familiar timeline, or storyboard, layout used by industry professionals since time immemorial. But in case you're not ready to jump into that quite yet, there's also a simplified editor that automatically creates a video for you in just minutes. Additionally, you can use the Express Project module that allows you to fill in preprogrammed templates with your own content, which teaches you how to use the Full Feature Editor to its fullest potential.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.