We used each program to create a test project, using identical elements for each one. We timed how long it took each program to import our test video files. Then we timed how long it took us to make our test video. We finally recorded the time it took each program to export the final video. A program that performs even marginally faster can save you dozens of hours.
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.
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.
I won’t hide the fact that I’m a Canon fanboy. Canon just gets a lot of things right. Many of them are, in my books, the most important things, like great color science (images look beautiful and skin tones are rendered organically), the aforementioned stellar auto-focus (after all, what use is an out of focus photo or video?), and long battery life so you can shoot for hours without worry.
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This open-source software program runs smoothly with Windows 10. It has a very user-friendly interface makes navigating the program easy for those with a little experience in video editing. Your files can even be extended using third-party video filters and it supports batch processing which means it is possible to handle multiple videos at the same time. Unfortunately, even with its friendly interface, this program can be a little difficult to understand for beginners.
Mobile video editing software. Professional video editing software tools can be expected to go mobile following the trend set by top-quality photo editing systems such as Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop that launched their smartphone editions a couple of year ago. Now, we can expect vendors of video editing software platforms to launch mobile apps to provide seamless mobility and ease of use.
After struggling with GoPro Studio's constant glitches and quirkiness, I finally got fed-up enough to search for an editor that fits my needs. For me that was something simple, reliable and actually usable. I didn't need a lot of features yet, just a means of basic editing without freezing-up. Very reliable! Two things I noticed that were minor issues for me: 1. - audio/video syncing during editing/preview was an issue that was solved by rendering often, 2. - I'd like the fade transition to be more smooth and adjustable but maybe I have to look into this a bit more. Overall a pleasure to use. I actually look forward to using it compared to the dread I felt using GoPro Studio, which isn't even available to download any more. Another appropriate review I read of GoPro Studio was that it was free, powerful and dysfunctional.
This editing software offers three main ways to create your video projects. You can use the Full Feature Editor, which is the familiar timeline, or storyboard, layout used by industry professionals since time immemorial. But in case you're not ready to jump into that quite yet, there's also a simplified editor that automatically creates a video for you in just minutes. Additionally, you can use the Express Project module that allows you to fill in preprogrammed templates with your own content, which teaches you how to use the Full Feature Editor to its fullest potential.
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.
Windows Movie Maker is free video editing software available on virtually every PC. Developed by Microsoft as part of the standard program suite, it was included in Windows XP and, more recently, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Even though it is not supported for Windows 10, you can still download Windows Movie Maker and install it on this newest operating system, as well. But should you really do that? You can try a powerful alternative like Movavi Video Editor Plus that gives you access to a wider range of tools and is also available to Mac users.
Early one morning in December 2013, I wandered into where my computer desktop was located. My wife asked “What do you think about this deal?” “You’re buying me a Canon 5D Mk III?” She answered “Yes”. I said “Go for it! But let me check B&H”. The 5D package on Amazon was $4000. I found a similar package with the same EF 24-105 f4L lens on B&H for $3500. I didn’t need the cheapy tripod that was in the Amazon deal since I bought a Manfrotto in 2012.
Ok—so to those of you working with PCs, this one won’t really apply; but we’d remiss to leave it off the list. If you’re looking for simplicity and elegance, it doesn’t get much better than Apple iMovie. iMovie’s ten high-fidelity filters are some of the classiest in the video editing game; and if you’re shooting on your iPhone, or have been editing a project on your iPad, you can use AirDrop to wirelessly and seamlessly transfer your project over to your Mac.
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.
Both DaVinci and VSDC mix paid features in their basic programs, but they do not explicitly mark these features as such. However, if you try to use them, you'll get an error message and an ad. We can't fault the software companies for trying to get users on board with paid versions, but just be warned that such annoyances are the hidden cost of otherwise-free video apps.
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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.
We still live in the days of talkies, so you want to be able to edit the audio in your digital moves as well as the images. Most of the products included here offer canned background music, and many, such as Pinnacle Studio, can even tailor the soundtrack to the exact length of your movie. All of these programs can separate audio and video tracks, and most can clean up background noise and add environmental audio effects such as concert hall reverb. A couple of the products have an auto-ducking feature, which lowers background music during dialog—a definite pro-level plus.
We also spoke with Richard Dutcher, an independent filmmaker and director of eight feature films including “Brigham City,” “Falling," "God's Army” and “Evil Angel.” He told us that the time you spend learning a new program is at a premium. “I like things that are intuitive and with the fastest learning curve. The less time spent becoming familiar and proficient the better. The sooner I can get to work and putting the film together - that’s the most important thing to me.”
Adobe Premiere Elements 2018 is perfect for people who want to make home movies to share with friends, but who don’t have much video editing experience. It offers decent functionality for more experienced editors who don’t want to follow the walk-throughs, but other, more robust software might be better if you’re a power user pursuing YouTube stardom.
With the popularity of video content today, you'd think Microsoft would make a simple video editing tool even more prolific and available than they even had with Windows Movie Maker. Many times small business and particularly individuals, don't have the funds available for the more involved editing programs, or the time to learn those with huge learning curves to create even the simplest results.
I absolutely love this thing! I've been creating Halo Reach videos for my clan for the past few months, and there are very few issues that I have with it. When I record on my computer, there are 3 or 4 tiny half-circles at the top of the screen (hardly noticible) and sometimes a small (maybe 1-pixel) line that splits off from the rest of my screen, but all of that can be fixed with the video cropping tool that they have included with the software. I know a few other people who have bought capture cards for cheaper and sometimes it runs a blue line down the right side of the screen if they record in high quality, this does better quality with no blue line.
Finally, you'll want to pay attention to sharing capabilities. In the past, you only needed to worry about saving your videos to a DVD or a highly compressed video file, but the rise of Vimeo and YouTube has resulted in new sharing options. If you're looking to share your videos to your social network, make sure that your software is capable of doing so.
Next getting the software to work was another challange. despite having a fast machine with a lot of RAM, I found the Movie Star program to be very unstable. I was able to capture up to 60 minutes of video and save it to the MPEG format, but everytime I tried to edit or export the video as Windows Media or Real, it crashed the machine. I downloaded a copy of Ulead's Video Studio, but couldn't figure out how to import MPEG files. I finally bit the bullet and wound up downloading a free 30-day trial of Adobe Premier. I found Premier to be a very stable and easy to use program. I just wish it didn't cost [so much!] /injects>