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.
Dual Pixel AF is, no question, best-in-class. And it’s still the primary reason to look at the 80D (or even the older 70D from 2013). In my experience focus is superb — dead accurate, fast tracking, silent. Perfect for video. Even if you’re a purist, and prefer manual focus (which you should always learn) nailing initial focus is a treat with the DPAF (45-point); then once you’ve got that you can flick the switch to manual to tweak from there or adjust as a scene develops.
Magix is a bit of a sleeper as far as movie editors go, and honestly it does fall short in some of the higher level features that you’ll find in the big dogs like Final Cut and Adobe Premiere. But let’s start with the basics of what makes it great for a beginner, and that’s the fact that, well, it handles the basics really well. First off, it’ll run on most modern Windows machines, up through Windows 10, which is great for beginners because those people most likely won’t have the budget or desire to shell out for a Mac. So it’s software that will work out of the box for your affordable Windows machine. According to their website, the software has been going strong for 15 years, delivering upwards of 93 percent customer satisfaction on its iterations.
There are two different licenses you can choose from with Lightworks: "Free" and "Pro." (The latter of which, as you might have guessed, requires that you cough up some cash.) The main difference between the two licenses is that the Pro version offers more features, including stereoscopic output and advanced project sharing. But the free version is still quite powerful, providing 100+ effects and supporting multicam editing.
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.
Headquartered in New York City, Animoto is online and mobile video maker which enables a user to choose his own pictures, music, clips and turns into magical video slideshows. Founded in 2005, the website creator offers great digital experience and cloud-computing service with options like vast music library and video style options. Animoto bags second position in the countdown.
Cyberlink PowerDirector 16 Ultra is a prosumer video editor that aims to bring every feature under the sun to a video editor that is accessible and affordable. There’s nothing else in this price range that brings you this many well-implemented features, especially in 360 video. Complexity is its one challenge: The user interface is not always self-explanatory, and the inclusion of so many features means it can be difficult to find what you want. Read our full review.
The Dazzle Multimedia DM4100 Digital Video Creator is very useful to import video from your TV, VCR or DVD player into your PC for editing and then converting to PC video formats. The device is exceptionally good for making videos for use on the Web or as e-mail attachments. Thanks to its use of USB its very simple to install and can be "hot-swaped" with other USB device without rebooting your computer.