Hi there! Are you new to video editing? If you are, you're probably confused by the vast array of video editing software programs out there in the market.
When I started out in video editing, nobody gave me a proper comparison of video editing software programs. So I experimented on my own.
I tried using Microsoft Movie Maker and other free software. Over time, as I gained confidence in the editing process, I moved on to commercial software like Adobe Premiere and Corel VideoStudio.
In this article, I'd like to give you a comparison of the better video editing software programs out there so you can get more creative with your productions.
1. Beginner Level
Let's start from the basics. If you're a beginner and have not done much video editing, I recommend you that you start with a free video editing package like Microsoft Movie Maker. This allows you to understand the video timeline, splitting, cutting and how to add basic effects into your production.
Once you've some basic knowledge, get a good beginner video editor like MovAVI. I use MovAVI a lot these days to quickly edit and burn / upload my videos to YouTube.
MovAVI automates most of the post-production process for me. I simply import my video, select a default theme and the software does the rest. This saves me a lot of time, especially if I have a ton of say, vacation videos where I'm too lazy to do in-depth editing.
2. Intermediate Level
OK, moving on to the intermediate level software. These programs have basic video editing features for beginners but also contain advanced functionalities for those who want to be more creative.
In this category, my personal preference is Corel VideoStudio. I've used its competitor products like Adobe Premiere Elements and Pinnacle Studio before, but I still come back to VideoStudio because of the rich set of templates it has and the intuitive application interface.
Corel VideoStudio lets me do stuff like chroma key (removing green screens from a video so I can overlay another background), add titles, transactions and manipulate audio. I also like that I can export my video in a huge variety of formats, including uploading them online to YouTube seamlessly. This is the software I use most often for editing selected video projects where I need a fast basic workflow but have some room for creative work.
There are more advanced level video editing software packages like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro. While I do like their features (and these are industrial-grade features used by movie makers) – I find them overly expensive. Something like the full Adobe Premiere suite will easily set you back by almost $1000. I'm not paying that much money for a video application unless I'm doing this full-time.
For hobbyists, I strongly suggest using intermediate level software. The advanced features in pro-level packages like Adobe Premiere tend to be rarely used. Once you have done many video projects and want to go pro, then these packages make sense.
4. Online Applications
OK, so far we've done comparison of desktop video editing software. But you should know there are also other online video editing applications popping up all over the shop.
One that particularly caught my attention is Animoto, which is a great online application.
This is a solid, intuitive online video editor which allows you to just upload your work and apply a series of automatic edits and effects. Again, very useful stuff for those requiring a quick workflow without a lot of fuss.
5. Mobile Applications
Finally, if you're on a mobile device like the iPhone or have an Android device, you'll be aware of a slew of video editing applications appearing in your app store.
I particularly like Game Your Video for the iOS. This little app allows you to import videos from your phone library, then spice them up with effects like slow motion, Charlie Chaplin comic effects, as well as a variety of other cool stuff. Do try it out.
If you do a comparison of mobile video editing software with their desktop competitors, you'll find them lacking in features. But they make up for that in terms of portability. Just whip out your phone, shoot the video and edit. It's very quick and simple compared to a desktop approach.
Also, there are, of course, other video editing apps out there. You can try browsing under the “Featured” or “Top Charts” categories on your iPhone or iPad to see which are the best apps at the moment.
I hope the above has given you a good comparison of video editing software packages in the market. Remember, try to select a package that meets your needs. If you're just beginner, don't buy something expensive like Adobe Premiere. Get your feet wet first with simple video editors like VideoStudio, then move on to more advanced stuff when you're ready.
The other point is to just practice. I remember I went through at least 20 projects on Corel VideoStudio before I decided I'd try Adobe Premiere. Once you practice, you'll start to understand the basic elements of the video editing workflow – and those skills can be applied to any video editing application you own in the future.
Until next time, have fun editing your videos!
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