PowerDirector Ultra is our top choice for video editing software because it's easy and enjoyable to use for beginners, causal users and seasoned editors alike. It provides all the tools you need to transform the footage on your camera into a polished video you can share with family and friends. This program helps you learn video editing without compromising the power of the tools it offers.
Adding and arranging: When you're ready to make a movie, your first step will be to choose what type of files to add. Options include Video, Audio, Image, Icon, and Lyric. You can add any and all of these to the same project and then move them around on the Timeline until you have them where you want them. And if you're new to this type of program, there's a convenient Movie Wizard to guide you through the process.
One of the program’s benefits is that it’s easy enough for a novice to use but has the features advanced users need. This DVD maker can also act as a very effective training ground before advancing to one of the professional applications widely used in the industry, which have similar tools, workflows and features. Another reason PowerDirector is the best choice for DVD authoring software is it plays nicely with every file format and codec we look for in this type of program. You can capture content from nearly any device and export your final product to a disc or save it as any other file format. Moreover, this application allows up to 100 video- and audio-editing tracks, which is more than you could reasonably use in a consumer-level project. This means you have enough room to work with as many videos, sounds, images, effects and transitions as you want. When you're ready to burn your disc, PowerDirector has plenty of menu templates to choose from. This disc creator also allows you to add extra features and divide your project into chapters. You can burn movies to any type of disc, including single- and dual-layered DVDs and CDs.
Many independent vendors, who are often sole proprietors in charge of the software, make themselves available to users via social media and email to assist with problems, troubleshoot, take suggestions and criticism, and otherwise oversee the software. Programs with intuitive interfaces and tool-tip hints, and even built-in tutorials to greet new users, make free software popular.
We include Premiere Elements on the list mostly because it’s been an industry leader in the video editing game for some time. And $79.99 is not egregious, but we’re here to say that at that price, you’re mostly paying for the name. In the time since Premiere Elements’ inception, too many other products have surpassed it in speed and capability for us to place it among the cream of the crop. That’s to take nothing away from Premiere Elements’ usability, though—specifically for beginners.
At $80 Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5 combines an elegant and professional-feeling interface with high-end specialty features like 3D and 4K Ultra HD, making it one of the most satisfying and versatile consumer-level video editors on the market. It also has an elegant, modern-looking user interface, and can export to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo with all the options you’d expect. It’s versatile, efficient, and top of its class. (Read our full review.)
Support for 360-degree VR, 4K, Ultra HD and 3D media help round out the export opportunities available with Pro X10 and, while they may not all be supported by YouTube now, it’s good to know you have the capability for when they are. The user interface isn’t for beginners, but within a short amount of time, you’ll be a master at capturing, editing and sharing.
As easy as CyberLink makes this software to use, there may be times when you need help. To that end, the company established DirectorZone, a community of videographers, filmmakers and aspiring editors. This allows you to connect to, collaborate with and learn from other video makers. DirectorZone is a great resource for editors of all skill levels.
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.
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.