All the video editing programs we reviewed can help you blend your footage, audio clips and images to create new and unique videos. They also all offer basic nonlinear video editing tools. Timelines, storyboards, transitions, titles and audio editing are all common fare for the products we reviewed. These applications also have video effect libraries. The number of available effects varies from program to program; however, a library with more than 500 effects is usually sufficient for any non-professional project.
There are two main draws to the Creator app. First, it includes some special features for Facebook Live. Anyone using it will be able to create custom intros and outros — intros are especially handy, as it takes a moment before other people see the link and start watching — as well as the ability to add interactive stickers and a custom video frame. The app is also able to take and edit photos and post them to Facebook Stories and other platforms (it’s not clear if that includes Instagram, but it really should).
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.
Its 360-degree footage tools allow you to set anchor points, pan and zoom through your footage, add effects, and stabilize shaky recordings. The program even has dedicated 360-degree titles that match your footage perfectly, rather than trying to warp a regular title to fit. And with the view designer, you can convert 360-degree videos to work with conventional projects.
Corel’s Windows-only VideoStudio offers an equally robust set of features comparative to Adobe or CyberLink’s product line. Right off the bat, it’s easy to see why VideoStudio is a great option: It offers support for 4K, 360-degree VR, multi-cam editing, as well as a large library of royalty-free music. Beginners will quickly learn to appreciate features such as "checkmarks," which can either let you know which clips you’ve already used or can apply effects to all the clips currently in your timeline at once. Additionally, voice detection helps you match subtitles to speech in your video clips.
The whole experience is geared around making it as easy as possible to turn your project into reality. There are two modes in this program: Easy and Full Feature. Easy mode guides you through the video editing process step by step. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the process. You can create some fine videos in this mode, but to really take advantage of Filmora’s wide toolset, you need to use the Full Feature Mode. This mode gives you access to tools from basic trimming and cropping to advanced features like picture-in-picture editing, audio mixer, chroma-key, split screen, video stabilization and much more. Filmora excels at teaching users to use these tools, and anyone with the patience to learn will find it useful. Filmora also has some of the best sharing options of the programs we reviewed. When you’re done with your project, you can export it to a file, upload it to YouTube (or other video-sharing site) or even burn a DVD.
I'm in the market for a free or inexpensive movie editor. I am hoping to find editing software that allows you to attach audio clips to still photos or video clips. Imagine that you have 20 vacation photos each playing for 5 seconds. You add audio to describe each photo. Then, you drag the 3rd photo to the 11th position. I need (want) an editor that will drag your audio along with the photo. In Windows Movie Maker when you moved a photo the audio did not drag along with it.
One of the cheaper options around ($49.99), Nero Video holds its own on this list—it comes well-stocked with a lot of the tricks and effects you’ll find among other products vying for video editing supremacy, and as far as software for beginners, you can certainly do worse. If you’re going to spend money learning how to edit videos, however, you might want to steer clear. Nero just doesn’t have the speed and functionality of some of the other products listed here, and if it’s value proposition is its price, $50 is still not all that cheap.
Credit: ShutterstockBasic Features: The watchword with free apps is often which one offers the best combination of technically complex software for which you would otherwise have to shell out the big bucks. All video editors should, at the very least, have some combination of familiar features like a viewer or playback window, library, timeline, and access to transitions and effects.
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.
Although it’s said to created intros for video ads or promo videos with logo stingers, I see no reason it’s only for a particular user. With Intro Video Creator, you can hold your customers till the end of your videos and maximize your video ads. But if you’re not a vendor, or an affiliate, you can still try this amazing product to make intros for personal uses. It will be the savior for your boring presentation.
PowerDirector helps you enhance your footage with Intelligent Color Correction. This allows you to quickly and easily match color settings across your entire project, which unifies the look and feel of your video and eliminates a lot of guesswork. This might seem like a small thing, but it’s a huge leap forward for video editing software at the consumer level.
This free video editor makes it a cinch to export your creations to YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive and an assortment of mobile devices through a simple pull-down menu. You have to sign in to these services first. And while YouTube uploaded directly to my channel without incident, you may have to save your video to your hard drive with social media specs and then upload to the social network yourself.
Finally, we used each program to compress a 4K video file into a smaller resolution. We then examined the results looking for imperfections in the picture such as compression artifacts, motion blur, distortion, ghosting and more. PowerDirector’s results were simply outstanding. We could find almost no indication that the video had been compressed, even when viewed on an ultra-high-definition monitor.
The Easy Editor launches the Magic Movie Wizard to help you create a finished video in just a few minutes. All you have to do is load the clips you want in the video, select the style of video and pick your background music. The program then analyzes your footage with its Magic Style algorithms to pick out the best shots in your footage and arrange them into a finished project. When you preview this generated video, you have the option to do some fine-tuning in the Full Feature Editor.
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.