Avid Media Composer's latest version comes with a wealth of new and improved features, such as accelerated high-res-to-HD workflows and automated media management to handle background media tasks while you focus on your creative vision. The $999 price tag is steep for amateurs, but worth it if you're looking for a professional-grade software. As the editing software of choice for summer blockbusters like Star Trek and The Great Gatsby, Avid Media Composer 7 can handle any editing challenge with ease.
With an attractive interface, a multitude of video effects and the ability to upload directly to Facebook, Vimeo, Box and YouTube, Pinnacle Studio has long been a favorite in video editing. While it is one of the more expensive options in this list, and it doesn’t have 4K UHD support, Pinnacle serves as a nice middle-ground option for those who aren’t slackers in the video editing department, but who haven’t reached pro status just yet.
I won’t hide the fact that I’m a Canon fanboy. Canon just gets a lot of things right. Many of them are, in my books, the most important things, like great color science (images look beautiful and skin tones are rendered organically), the aforementioned stellar auto-focus (after all, what use is an out of focus photo or video?), and long battery life so you can shoot for hours without worry.
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.
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.
There are so many different video formats out there, and one device may capture in a different format than another. Furthermore, different devices and platforms need specific file formats for playback—and those formats may be different than what your camera captures! That means you’ll want software that can import from a variety of sources and that will support many file formats for export.
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.
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.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
The basic video editing operations such as trimming, splitting are available from the last menu—Edit—and they also snap into view if you double click a clip in your timeline. The Trim tool simply adds start and end handles to the preview window's scrubber line, but you can do the same thing from the main timeline by tapping "Set start point" or "Set end point."
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.