So—we stretched the meaning of “software” a bit earlier; now, we’re going to stretch the meaning of “beginner.” We included CyberLink PowerDirector on this list because its interface is, at the end of the day, pretty straightforward. Head to the product page, run through the tutorials, and you’ll be alright. There is within the interface, however, an embarrassment of options and effects. If you’re not willing to invest the time in learning all of them, it can get a bit overwhelming.
I'll keep this short ... despite a bad review on Amazon, I bought this product. I received it promptly, I installed the highly regarded Pinnacle Studio v14 software FIRST, on my computer, AS INSTRUCTED. I connected the Canon DV tape camcorder to the Dazzle with the 'AV Out' cable that came with the camcorder originally, plugged the Dazzle into a front-mounted USB port on the computer, launched Studio, and imported 6 year old video from tape to disk by simply hitting the 'play' button on the camcorder ... I have a lot more work to do for video editing, but this beats the HELL out of installing a machine specific capture card. I can't think of a simpler way to capture tape-based video. You can pick from a variety of file outputs, I used AVI and I'll probably experiment more and use whatever burns to DVD the best for HD tv viewing. I was dreading the pain of capturing old video, but this has made it much easier than I expected, at a very reasonable cost considering the hardware/software package you get. In fact, it works well enough that I'm willing to stick with my DV tape camera for a while longer. More importantly I have old but good quality video of family, dogs and fun that I can now capture and save to DVD.
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.
If you are new to the video editing world, a free video editing software can be the best choice for you. Although most free video editors are feature limited, they are easy to use and can meet almost all of your basic video demands like cutting, trimming, cropping, or rotating. Our top 12 list focuses on the best free video editing software for Windows we could find, and it will give you a overview of what you can expect from each video editor.
Another impressive effect that has made its way into consumer-level video editing software is motion tracking, which lets you attach an object or effect to something moving in your video. You might use it to put a blur over the face of someone you don't want to show up in your video. You specify the target face, and the app takes care of the rest, tracking the face and moving the effect to follow it. This used to be the sole province of special effects software such as Adobe After Effects. Corel VideoStudio was the first of the consumer products to include motion tracking, and it still leads the pack in the depth and usability of its motion-tracking tool, though several others now include the capability.