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.
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.
There are more video editing software applications than we can fit into this roundup of the best options, which includes only software rated three stars and higher. The best known among them is probably Vegas Movie Studio, which was recently acquired by Magix from Sony. Sony's product used a very cluttered interface that more resembled high-end professional video editing software from the early days of the craft. Magix has made some progress in simplifying it and bringing it up to par with the competition, but more work is needed for it to be included here.
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.
What Adobe Premiere Pro is to Windows PCs, Final Cut Pro X is to Mac users. It's the best video editing software for Mac. And, as you would suspect with Apple software, the must-have editor is consummately easy to use and comes packed with enough features to warrant the admittedly high price tag. We like the grouping tools, effect options and the simplistic way you can add and edit audio. If you're already entwined in Apple's ecosystem, you'll appreciate how Final Cut cleverly coordinates with your Photos or iTunes collections.
Next, is to import the media file that you want to edit. Click on “Import” at the top left and choose the location from where you want to import the files. You can import from local drive by clicking on “Import Media Files,” download online or import from a device once you connected it to the computer. You can also, drag and drop media files to the program.
Our video experts examined each of the test DVDs, looking for imperfections in the picture such as pixelation, compression artifact, general distortion and interlacing issues. While no program performed perfectly, the best ones minimized the quality loss caused by compression. At the end of our evaluation, we gave each program a quality grade from A to F.
I've been a Canon fan since an old sd880 point and shoot. Moved up to a T2i and then T4i. Excellent cameras. I got caught up in the mirrorless craze and about a year ago, canon was behind the competition and i went with a Panasonic gx85. One positive for the gx85: amazing camera stabilization. However, the autofocus for video SUCKS. After a year, i started to notice that a lot, if not most, of the pictures i'd taken years ago, even with the t2i, looked better than the gx85 (i was using the pana 20mm lens). i decided to go back to canon, and even considered the 77d. As i'm reviewing pictures, i am beyond satisfied with the decision to go with the m6. The m6 with the em-f 22m lens is great. sure, i miss the in-body stabilization, and i wish it had 4k video. that's why i give this camera 4 stars (and the picture review takes a second too long). But for results, this camera produces extremely clear photos, and the autofocus in videos blows the panasonic away.
In experienced hands, the VSDC Free Video Editor can produce some seriously professional-looking video. In addition to supporting nearly every major video format, the program offers advanced video effects, including object transformation and color correction, as well as advanced audio effects like volume correction and sound normalization. And unlike WeVideo, the VSDC Free Video Editor is truly free. You can use the program's full feature set without having to deal with pesky watermarks.
VideoPad is a comprehensive cross-platform software package for the YouTube social media crowd. While this app lacks the flashy, whiz-bang appeal of some commercial apps, it’s still a rock-solid choice for simple video editing. From the main menu, you can choose which social network you want to upload to. The app offers a number of YouTube choices ranging from 480p to 4K, as well as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and Google Drive, and is free for non-commercial use.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.