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.
There are tons of in-program effects such as transitions, titles, credits, captions and even included audio scores, meaning you won’t get held up at any step of your editing process. There are panning and shift capabilities, high-quality post-processing zoom, as well as a plethora of color filtering plugins to give you the look you’ll need, even if the raw footage isn’t quite there. You’ll have the ability to export your movies in up to 4K resolution, and the software even supports 360-degree video projects. It’s a great powerhouse for beginners.
The motion tracking tool is great for advanced editors who want to give their videos a special look. It allows you to isolate a moving object, person or other element and then apply effects that will follow them through the video. This is great for situations such as when you want to brighten up the colors on a person but keep the background the way it is, or even change it to black and white.
Increasingly, new capabilities trickle down from professional-level software to the consumer category. That's a good thing for nonprofessional movie editors, since the more-consumer-oriented software makes formerly difficult procedures a cinch for them. Read on for a survey of the latest trends in video editing software and our top picks in the field.

True. The 80D “only” shoots up to 1080p HD. If you want 4K, look elsewhere — if you’re into landscapes or travel videography, this may matter to you. The world though is still mostly operating in 1080p. Keep in mind, 4K will multiply (significantly) your storage requirements, in addition to processing power needed to edit and render. Only you can decide if this is the time to make the jump (I still think mainstream 4K adoption is 2+ years away). I love my 4K computer monitors because fonts are razor sharp. Yet, I don’t see substantive different between 80D images and those, say, from a Panasonic G7. The latter looks somewhat digital to my eyes, though it’s still a fine little camera.


Windows Video Maker is an easy-to-use solution ideal for beginners. Although the program is offered for free and come standard on virtually every windows PC, it provides all the basic features for a perfect introduction. The software utilizes the most common workflow elements of the professional video editing systems. However, it offers an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate even for the novice editors. The interface provides a simplified version of a standard video editor timeline. The timeline features clips that are characterized by Long thumbnails and ease of use.
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.
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