Our team of reviewers used each program’s editing tools, effects and export options to create identical test DVDs. They timed how long it took to burn a new DVD, complete with menus and chapters when possible. Our video experts then played the new DVDs on a large-screen television and searched for imperfections such as compression artifact, motion blur and interlacing issues. The results of these tests, as well as our reviewers’ personal experiences using each program, were used to decide the programs’ final scores and ranks. All our tests were designed to replicate the experience of an average user as well as a veteran editor.
PowerDirector helps you enhance your footage with Intelligent Color Correction. This allows you to quickly and easily match color settings across your entire project, which unifies the look and feel of your video and eliminates a lot of guesswork. This might seem like a small thing, but it’s a huge leap forward for video editing software at the consumer level.
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.
Credit: ShutterstockBasic Features: The watchword with free apps is often which one offers the best combination of technically complex software for which you would otherwise have to shell out the big bucks. All video editors should, at the very least, have some combination of familiar features like a viewer or playback window, library, timeline, and access to transitions and effects.
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.
We evaluated all of the software based on functionality, ease of use, performance, sharing options and new features in the latest versions. We also judged the packages based on real-life uses for a number of categories, including best overall, best free app, best for beginners, best for YouTube maestros, best for Mac users and best for Windows platforms.
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.
Corel VideoStudio has all the characteristics of the other top-of-the-line products on this list, including 360-degree VR and 4k support, but it also has the distinction of being the first piece of consumer video editing software to offer motion tracking—which, if you’re not already familiar, is a feature that allows you to track specific objects throughout your cut (if you wanted, say, to point an arrow at one of your characters, blur out his face, or bestow him with a funny hat). Most of the products on this list come equipped with motion tracking, but VideoStudio still boasts one of the best motion tracking systems around.
We have been reviewing video editing software since Top Ten Reviews launched in 2003. We have watched these programs grow from simple timeline editing to include tools that were only dreamed about for programs at the consumer level. Every year, our expert reviewers gather all the best software and use each program to create dozens of videos. The reviewers who evaluate video editing software all have a background in media production, particularly video. They have used the programs they review in a professional environment and in their personal lives. Their reviews and evaluations are informed not only by the hard data they collected but by years of personal experience using these types of applications.
Very simple, easy-to-use video creation software that is highly accessible to PC users. Interface is consistent with other Microsoft products (ribbon interface) which ensures some familiarity for those with experience with any of Microsoft's other products (especially recent versions of Office). It has all the basic video editing tools available, as well as a good selection of transition and visual effects.
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 lost my CD that came with my Dazzle, so when I go into my computer and try to reload using the code that came with the product it doesn't work. You can never get a hold of anyone on the phone at the company. And if you push technical support for Dazzle or Avid they tell you to file a claim and see how to get a new ASC code that YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR. That is a bunch of crap, since this is their product. I would not recommend this product to anyone. They say the code they give you when you purchase the product is good for one customer service call, then after that you must purchase another code each and every time you need assistance. Obviously means this is a bad product, if you have to purchase technical support code each time you call them. Wouldn't recommend any of their products.
All the other tools you would expect from consumer-level video editing software are present and work excellently. You can add titles, closed captions and other text to your video project with a few simple clicks. You also get a video stabilizer that smooths out shaky video, as well as a library of over 500 effects and transitions for you to choose from.
There are the times when you just want to edit a video -- no fancy collages and no splicing. For that, there's InShot, a handy app that lets you trim, speed up, or add music and filters to video. It's pretty fundamental, but with that comes a high ease of use. You can also add a background, if you like, though we think it's pretty cool to have an overlap of images, like we did with the video below.
I purchased this product last weekend and love it so much, I'm buying a second copy later this week! I teach college and my summer project is to put all my lectures on Powerpoint. I hate learning new software and don't have the time for a drawn out learning curve. It took me minutes to set this up, and another hour or so to discover that this actually does almost everything I need (a phone call this afternoon to the tech help desk which kept me on hold for less than five minutes--a resonable wait in my opinion--explained that I couldn't do what I asked about. But I can do everything I need as far as audio goes, I can record decent video via VCR, and the television image I can monitor with software on my 'puter screen is actually clearer than on my television monitor (albeit much smaller). So I'm happy enough to try another copy (for work). I suppose in another year or so something better will come out, but for the casual video-editor who doesn't want to pour over tech specs, this is great!
Windows' included video editing software is all about simplicity: There's really no simpler way to combine your clips into digital movies with titles, transitions, background music, and effects. In earlier releases, the program was so simple that it wasn't capable of doing things people commonly needed, but little by little, stuff like voiceover recording and even anti-shake have made their way into what is now a very useful free app for digital video editing. Let's be clear, Movie Maker still lacks a lot of effects and tools you get in Apple's entry-level video editor, iMovie, not to mention enthusiast-level products like Adobe Premiere Elements or CyberLink PowerDirector, but for basic needs and ease of use, it hits the mark.
A unique mix of video editing, visual effects and 3D compositing for filmmakers and professional motion artists. Everything you need in one product. Free edition HitFilm 3 Express also available. From short films to documentaries, commercials to vlogging - HitFilm has features for beginners and experts alike, combining depth and sophistication with an intuitive simplicity. Chief among the advancements are a powerful video editor, greater realism when rendering 3D scenes, advanced animation controls and a refined interface. Also included is HitFilm Ignite (over 140 plugins for all major video platforms), mocha HitFilm and BorisFX 3D Objects to create incredible title sequences.
The second big draw is communication. The app creates a unified inbox for comments on Facebook and Instagram and messages from Messenger, so that you don’t have to bounce between different apps in order to respond to people. The app doesn’t seem to cover every possible messaging vector inside of Facebook’s services, but it sounds like a handy start. <<