The easiest way to get video clips into Movie Maker is to tap the "Click here to browse for videos and photos" button in the main timeline area. There's also a permanent Add videos and photos button on the Home tab. Each button opens the Pictures library, where most people's point-and-shoot videos land when they import from camera media. There's also an "Import from Device" choice in the File menu; this just opens the Windows photo/video importer, which actually does a decent job of letting you apply keyword tags and saves the image and clips to date-and-time-organized folders—not unlike iPhoto's "Events." And finally, you can start capturing video from your PC's webcam.
I bought this used for roughly $45. The set up wasn't too bad, of course there were things I had to figure out and work around to get this to work. The TV I used was an old tv with only composite connection, the one with red, yellow, and white. And the quality was, as you guessed, subpar at best. The biggest problem for me was the subtitles, I could barely read the blurred subtitles in my recordings. I eventually had to buy the madcatz universal cable with the S-video connection to work around this problem. You can youtube how to connect S-video with dazzle for this info.
Start your quest for the best video editing software by signing up for the free trial or demo offered by popular video editing software providers. This will enable you to test drive each application’s top features free of cost, do a general comparison, and gauge their suitability for your purposes. Start by visiting the websites of the following leading tools to check the possibility of availing a free trial: Adobe Premiere Pro, CyberLink PowerDirector, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate, and Final Cut Pro. These programs have received high rankings in our video editing software reviews, so check them out.
As well as being free to download and use, Movie Maker Free Video Editor comes with an expansive library of features. As well as all of the standard cutting and trimming tools, the program allows you to apply effects, filters and transitions. You will be able to turn your clips into old-fashioned sepia, mirror them, change orientations, use fades and similar transitions, and apply whatever other elements you desire to help bring your videos to life. Each of these features is available to you with just a few clicks of your mouse.
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
A lot of people ask what sort of gear we use for the Stark Insider YouTube channel. We don’t do vlogs, but I would suggest this is a highly flexible camera rig for just about every possible scenario. You could use it for weddings (though if you have the budget the Sony a7S is superb in low light and one of my top 5 camera buys), interviews, sporting events, birthdays, documentary work, live concerts… and, on and on.
Compared to HitFilm's high-energy interface, VideoPad has a simple, soothing look which makes it more approachable for novices. It works with both Macs and PCs and still lets you edit 360-degree video with the same ease as you would traditional movies, though adding text to 360-degree clips can be a bit tricky. VideoPad also lacks some of the advanced features you'll find with HitFilm, like multicam editing, high-end special effects and motion tracking, but you can purchase a number of add-ons to expand VideoPad's feature set.
That’s assuming you’re just exporting files. You may want to burn a DVD or Blu-ray disc, or upload your videos directly to YouTube or Facebook. Each of these comes with its own set of necessary features that some apps have and others don’t. For disc burning, you need not only support for the right formats, but DVD menu authoring tools so viewers can navigate what you’re presenting. On the social side, it’s much easier if the application syncs up directly with your account online and allows you to enter metadata like a description, tags, and privacy settings.
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.
Nothing makes an impression like moving images with sound. That's why digital video continues to grow in importance online. Couple that trend with the ever-increasing availability of devices capable of high-resolution video recording—smartphones, GoPros, DSLRs—and the case for ever more powerful video editing software becomes clear. Further, the software must be usable by nonprofessionals, and it has to keep up with new formats such as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), 360-degree VR video, and 4K and above.
One of iMovie’s most coveted features is its green-screen, or “chroma-key” tool, which allows you to place your characters in exotic locations—Hawaii, say—at a moment’s notice. Want to overlay the scene with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”? iMovie ties directly in with iTunes and GarageBand, so you can easily implement custom tracks and sounds. When your movie’s finally ready to ship, release it into the wild using iMessage, Facebook, YouTube, or any other of iMovie’s succinctly connected platforms.
It splits its interface into two modules: Express and Advanced. These two modes function similar to the storyboard and timeline modes most other software use. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be pleased with the quality of the transitions and effects the software has to help you create videos. Nero Video also supports third-party add-ons. However, it doesn't provide many exporting options, so check that it supports the formats you want to use before you buy. Also, even though this DVD authoring software comes with dozens of transitions, text effects and other effects, it doesn't have as many as other products we reviewed. Still, there may be enough for your needs. This application can create chapters automatically, and you can also insert music and voiceovers. When importing files, you can capture video, audio and images from your computer or any device you connect to it. Before you take the time to burn your project to a disc, you can use the playback option to see how it will work. This DVD authoring software can burn your movies to DVD, AVCHD, CD and Blu-ray discs, as well as save files on your computer or upload them to the internet.
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.
Another hidden "cost" is periodic or even constant in-line advertising or reminders that an upgrade is available. Our favorite program, HitFilm, never pushes an upgrade on you, but it makes you go through a social media and authorizing song and dance to download the product or switch computers. VideoPad (on the Mac) makes you verify at every launch that you are using the free version for noncommercial purposes.
This is great for setting your composition because it means you can take photos from up high or down low without having to look through the viewfinder. And if you’re a youtube or a blogger, having the ability to flip the screen completely around is great, because it means you can see yourself while you’re filming, which is what I’m doing right now. A little tip is that if you get one of those cheap $5 remotes off of amazon, you start and stop your recording without ever having to touch the camera.
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.
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.