Video editing is one of the most computing-intensive activities around, so you'll want the best laptop or desktop you can afford if you're serious about cutting your own movies. Most applications help speed up the editing process by creating a proxy file of lower resolution, so that normal editing and previewing aren't slowed down by the huge full-resolution files.
We evaluated each program’s interface and workflow to see how intuitive they are. We tracked the number of clicks it takes to access and use common tools. If a tool is difficult to find, awkwardly implemented or counterintuitive, it can slow down your edits. We quickly discovered that the more accessible everything is, the better the editing experience will be. We gave each program an A to F grade based on this evaluation.
This program checks in at about 26MB, which isn't gigantic, but is still relatively large. For that, you'll get a program that is a dead ringer for professional editing programs. It has the same sort of timeline editing style that lets you combine multiple cuts, add transitions, and render them into a complete project. As such, it isn't very easy to use unless you really know what you're doing. Few things are labeled or intuitive, and all of your tools are spread out across multiple menus. If you can find the features, there are plenty of ways to cut, reshape, and modify your video's picture and audio, though. You can even kick the quality up to 30 FPS and 1080p HD. VSDC Free Video Editor supports just about every video format you can think of, so you'll have no problem turning any video into a project.
Another thing I don't like is how they decided to "encode" their batteries. I'm sure there's some advantage to it, most likely safety to ensure you're using a genuine Canon battery they can quality control, but how it's affected me is that now buying an aftermarket battery means that you won't get a read-out of how much power you have left while using them. Not a huge deal, but it is kind of annoying. I like to have spare batteries, but at almost $60 a pop, no way I can afford to have a genuine Canon one. So I'll have to live with one made by a 3rd party and not knowing how much power is left in it if I have to use it... It also means the Canon charger will refuse to charge these batteries, so the 3rd party charger will be required to charge up these 3rd party batteries...
The software that it came with is amazing, and works even better if you can use it correctly with Windows Movie Maker (save file as Windows Movie Maker, then import that file on Movie Maker, add effects, save, and import back to the Pinnacle software if you like). Or, if you don't want to use the Pinnacle software, that's fine too... just find on your computer where the file is saved at, and import that to whatever software you use. (As for Mac users, I suppose you could use garage band... I don't own a Mac so it would be difficult for me to say)