With creative outlets like Youtube and Vimeo, which allow users to upload content for free you can share your creativity with a global audience. A variety of video recording equipment is available, and the same goes for editing software. Especially for Windows, you can find programs with a variety of features, as well as a host of free options. More software means more choices, but it also means more options to evaluate. Here are the ones that stand out in their respective categories.
Popular with critics and users
The Cyberlink Powerdirector 12 has received consumer review awards for consecutive years. It is also a popular choice among enthusiasts because of the way it balances ease of use with editing capability. There is even a simplified mode for beginners, which you can transition out of when as you gain skill in editing.
What makes the software outstanding:
- l it can synchronize footage from 4 cameras based on the audio track or time signature.
- l it offers surround sound panning
- l you can create 3D effects
A trade secret
Powerdirector 12 is impressive competition, but it does come with a hefty price tag, as you would expect from powerful software. There are alternatives used by professionals that don’t cost a dime. Lightworks has been used in the making of several hollywood films, such as 28 Days Later, Pulp Fiction, and Mission Impossible.
The good and the bad:
- l its interface is targeted at seasoned professionals, so beginners have much to learn.
- l it may sound simple, but autosave is an important feature for anyone who creates on the computer.
- l it offers colour correction.
- l supports a wide variety of file formats.
- l accepts HD resolution, which is rare for video cameras, but for HD film makers, you’ll be glad that the software supports it.
Choosing something familiar
For casual users, it can be daunting to learn a new system. Corel has been creating video
software for years thus making it a professional video production company, and if you’re comfortable using its format, that’s a compelling reason to come back as a returning customer. Especially at its price point, Corel certainly delivers. The current version introduces useful, new features that are worth paying for:
- l it offers motion tracking.
- l its stop-motion tools have been enhanced since previous versions.
- l it’s a clear winner when it comes to HTML5 interactive movies.
- l it continues to build on its library of video effects.
- l you have the ability to create closed captioning.
The most simple choice
Windows Movie Maker cannot match the sophistication of the options listed above. It does help keeping things simple. It’s the only program that comes with the operating system. The price has already been bundled with the cost of the accompanying software, so you might find it appealing to use a program that you’ve already paid for and comes installed.
The features are limited but will do the job. The drag-and-drop activation is elegant in its simplicity. For small projects that don’t require complex editing, consider Windows Movie Maker.