There are more video editing software applications than we can fit into this roundup of the best options, which includes only software rated three stars and higher. The best known among them is probably Vegas Movie Studio, which was recently acquired by Magix from Sony. Sony's product used a very cluttered interface that more resembled high-end professional video editing software from the early days of the craft. Magix has made some progress in simplifying it and bringing it up to par with the competition, but more work is needed for it to be included here.
For the most advanced, least fiscally prudent of beginners, there’s Apple Final Cut Pro X. $299.99 might be a little steep for a product you may well have a difficult time understanding; but for those among you who enjoy a challenge, and who aspire to some level of professionalism in video editing, why not go for it? Apple has made the transition from iMovie to Final Cut Pro more painless than ever—so if you’re the kind of guy or gal who enjoys him/herself an Apple product, and has worked with iMovie to the point of mastery, it might be time to splurge on Final Cut Pro. The power is still daunting; the interface, significantly less so.
Ignore all the unfavorable reviews of the Dazzle DM4100, unless you like AOL or would recommend AOL to a friend. I tend to be a tough critic when it comes to inferior technology, but the Dazzle TRULY IMPRESSED ME!!! 15 minutes to install on an AMD K6-450 notebook, default settings, smooth 30fps better-than-VHS capture, and a reasonable price. Yes, the video out works well too, naysayers! OK, I had to figure out a couple of software issues as I experimented with options, but if you can't deal with software quirks, you shouldn't own a PC !! ....but if you do, you probably think "AOL is #1" means AOL is the best. No, it just means an unrelenting high-budget sales campaign can easily brainwash the cranially-challenged. The rest of us just ignore the ads, and enjoy using quality products like the Dazzle 4100, without opening the manual, or whining to/about tech support.
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.