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Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software

Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software

Easy to use video editing software image

Over the past few years all of the major video editing software companies have been battling each other in a game of who can come up with the shiniest new features to attract the attention of the public.

The end result has been that the average consumer level video editing software has become incredibly feature rich but in the process, has become quite complicated as well.

You can’t keep adding features without having to add access to those features through the user interface and this inevitably results in complexity.

They all carry the claim of being “easy video editing software” or “simple video editors” when being described by the their respective marketing departments but the truth is they have become progressively more difficult to use.

I have been asked on a number of forums and through this site to recommend some truly simple video editing programs or an easy video editor that anyone can use.

Something that has all the basic features that a user would need without the shiny “bells and whistles” and complicated interface that come with it.

I have listed what I think to be the best of this class below but keep in mind that just because they are classified as simple video editing software programs they are not crippled in any way.

They offer all of the basic features you will need to create your own videos with ease.

If you are just a beginner or really don’t see yourself spending hours alone in a darkened room editing your footage, or you just want to get your video masterpieces out as soon as possible with a minimum of fuss then you would be well served by the ones listed below.

They all cover the basic actions of cutting, slicing and dicing with transitions, audio control and a wide range of output formats.

*My standard disclaimer applies: Please, use the trials first to see how you like it and how it likes you and your computer setup before committing to a long term relationship!

Wondershare Filmora

Wondershare Fimora BoxWondershare Filmora is a recent re-branding of the company’s simple video editing software which comes in versions for both PC and Mac.

Previously it was just called Wondershare Video Editor and although not really an inspired naming you have to admire the efficiency of it!

In terms of ease of use and simplicity without sacrificing functionality I think you would be hard pressed to go past this one.

The guys at Wondershare have been bugging me to take a look at it for a while now and unfortunately I have always put it in the “to do later” file and never got around to it until recently.

To put it bluntly, this little editor is awesome! It’s so… well… easy!

It downloads and installs very quickly and I was up and running within minutes.

The interface is a “non-techie” dream come true with no hidden menus or menu items that you have to know in order to access them, it literally is “what you see is what you get.”

Everything is available through an icon that sits in the little menu bar smack dab in the middle of your screen.

Take a look at this intro video they created using the software itself to get an idea of what you can do with it and how easy it is.

The key to how they made it so good is in the time Wondershare put into the backend of the software rather than the interface.

“Intuitive” is a word that is often bandied about in the software world but what it really means is that within Filmora they have thought about every details of what the average person will be doing with the software and have anticipated those needs.

It doesn’t mean they don’t let you do things, it means they have designed the software so that you don’t have to keep answering endless technical questions about, “Do you want to do this?” or “Do you want to do that?”

If you want to add files to your library Filmora just asks whether it’s from your computer or another device… not which device, not which version of the device, not what kind of file.

It’s just “give us a little clue and we’ll handle the rest!”

The same goes for every step of the editing process and even then the software has a wizard based semi-automatic interface that you can use to make it even more simple.

On the Wondershare website there are 5 videos you can watch and really, if you just watch those you will have already seen just about everything you need to see to get up and running.

Filmora handles all the basic editing functions as far as cutting, chopping, slicing and dicing goes.

There is a range of filters for color correction and effects as well as simple yet effective audio controls.

It can deliver picture-in picture effects and even some still and motion graphics and on top of that can do green screen and capture still images from any frame in your video.

As far as sharing goes it comes with perfectly configured pre-set parameters for output to a wide range of mobile devices, online services like YouTube and FaceBook as well as burning DVDs.

All in all Wondershare Filmora is my new best friend when it comes to an easy video editing software program anyone can use.

Click Here To See Wondershare Filmora

muvee Reveal Finale

muvee Reveal Finale box shotIf you are looking for easy video editing software in the strictest sense of the word “easy,” then it doesn’t get much better than totally automatic! And that is just what this one does.

Hard to believe I know but the fact is that muvee can achieve some pretty remarkable results given that the process is almost completely automated.

By using some very specialized scanning technology it can quite accurately identify various components of your videos and stills and at the same time analyze the speed of your chosen music.

In the end it slaps the whole thing together based on its calculations and voila! Movie magic!

Well ok, maybe not Hollywood magic but pretty darn good!

Although it may sound a little too good to be true there is a very large community of Muvee users who absolutely swear by the product.

Outside of the automated features it still offers a good set of manual editing tools that you can use to make final adjustments.

Click here for the full Reveal Finale Review

Click Here To See Reveal Finale

muvee Reveal Express

Muvee Reveal Express BoxReveal Express is about as easy as video editing software is going to get while you still actually do it yourself!

This is the chopped down version of muvee Reveal specifically designed for those who want to automatically create their videos and only upload to the internet or to mobile devices.

It comes with a bunch of preset styles that you can use to make the video or control the transitions, music, audio and panning and zooming on still images yourself.

Alternatively you can just load everything up in order and let muvee Reveal Express do it automatically. The results of doing it like that may surprise you and before you finish you can step in to make final adjustments.

It can handle WMV, .mov, MPEG4, H.264 and regular DV-AVI files which should cover most of the modern methods of capturing video.

It outputs to formats for all the current mobile devices and can directly upload to YouTube and Facebook.

Click Here To See Reveal Express

CyberLink PowerDirector 15

Left facing PowerDirector 15 Box imagePowerDirector is my top choice at the moment for a fully fledged consumer level editing program and you can read the full review here.

From an “easy editor” viewpoint the CyberLink product contains within it a wizard based simple mode which the user can choose to enter either each time the software opens or as the default opening module.

Most of what I would describe as the “full” editors around today have a similar feature but for some, the implementation works more as an ill-conceived afterthought rather than as a genuine choice for the user.

Of the available choices I would easily rate the CyberLink offering as superior to the rest and part of the reason for this may be that the simple mode was developed as a stand alone concept instead of a hack of an existing program.

Of course any time you want to get out of that simple mode you can instantly switch over to the full editor.

This one is worth taking a look at if you suspect you may at some point get bitten by the editing bug and may want to take your productions up a notch.

You can click here take a look at my full review of the program.

Click Here to Look at PowerDirector for Yourself

Some Other Good Alternatives… and some not so

Some readers may be surprised that I have not included a number of well known products on this page. Here are a few and my reasons for not including them:

Roxio Creator, Nero Multimedia Suite, and Cyberlink Media Suite.

CyberLink Media Suite 14 Box ImageAll of these are multimedia packages rather than just easy to use video editing software.

They are all good products and if you have a use for ALL the features offered by these full program suites then yes, they are great and have good, easy to use video editing capabilities.

They all offer an image organization feature plus reasonably good image manipulation capabilities, audio editing, video editing and disc creation along with some kind of file distribution feature such as uploading to YouTube etc.

My only reservation with all of them is that most likely a dedicated video editor will have these features anyway while offering the full editing experience.

My pick of the bunch would be the Cyberlink offering because of a superior editing feature set, image manipulation and audio control.

You can take a look at the full features by clicking this link

Anything Else?

There are literally hundreds of video editing software programs out there and many that claim ease of use as their selling point.

You can spend the next year checking them out and still be no closer to a decision.

What I do know is that the software on this page is reliable, fits the criteria of easy or simple and will work very well for the majority of people.

Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software was last modified: September 21st, 2016 by Lance Carr

107 comments to Recommended Simple or Easy Video Editing Software

  • Robbie

    Hi Lance, I found your review today. I’ve just bought Filmora and I like it, it reminds me of the old Windows Movie Maker. I wonder if you can help me with something.
    I’ve used Filmora to make a couple of DVDs of holiday videos and photos. They play beautifully on my computer, but on my DVD player they stutter and seem to be playing too slowly, the voices sound robotic. If I increase the speed of playing they are better and the sounds are normal, but is there a workaround for this? I’d like to be able to pass to friends and family and know they’ll manage to play them on their players. I can’t find anything that relates to this in the Filmora settings or in their support section.
    Thanks, Robbie

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Robbie,
      Sorry I got a little delayed on this.
      All the major software companies have just released their yearly upgrades so I am a little behind… on everything!
      OK two things I want you to do.
      1. Take the DVDs to a friends house and see how they play in another player. (Let’s first eliminate the player as the problem.)
      2. Once you have done that and if you need to continue this conversation hit the “Contact” button on this site and send me an email.
      Debugging these things usually takes a little back and forth before we can get to the answer.
      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Lance

  • IceeMike

    HI Lance,
    First off I wanna say I’m a “newbie” to the editing world and your list is very useful. My question is, out of muvee reveal express or power director, which would be the best for making YouTube videos?

    • Lance Carr

      Hello… Mike?

      OK, so given that you are a newbie and that the ultimate goal here is YouTube videos then muvee is not a good choice.

      It is designed for a particular purpose that doesn’t really fit with what you want.

      You are much better off with a more “traditional” type of editor like PowerDirector which allows you to enter at a quite simple level and later on if you want to keep learning you can upgrade inexpensively as you go.

  • Jackie

    Hi,wondered if you could be of assistance please? I recorded almost 4.5gb, consisting of 73 clips of various lengths (eg 25secs-3mins) on a Panasonic HDC-SD9D camera. We uploaded to Filmora and did quite a lot of editing.after burning to dvd we watched on the TV and it isn’t as good . Hard to describe the quality..maybe grainy, not as sharp, bit pale. Should I reset the settings to default? How can I find the total values of the edited files if I need to adjust the settings?
    I am new to this so please be patient!
    An example of one unedited file :
    MTS
    length: 9secs
    width 1920
    Height 1080
    Data rate 12199
    Total bit rate 12583
    25frames/second

    Any advice would be appreciated as I need to supply 30 of these DVDs to parents. It was our junior leavers prom : )

    • Jackie

      Ooo my message seems to have disappeared!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Jackie,

      OK, your cam records in HD and the file properties you have posted seem to be correct for that cam.

      So, the one thing that worries me is that you say you burned to DVD.

      DVD is by definition, a standard definition format, not high definition.

      Most likely Filmora has done what you told it to do and burned a DVD with HD files.

      To do that Filmora would have rendered your high definition files DOWN to the DVD standard.

      Any of this ringing any bells?

      Get back to me on this and if you like use the Contact button to take this to email if that’s more convenient!

  • miles

    Just wanted to say I went straight to filmora without reading further as it was top of the list. Can’t fault the software, easy enough to use after a bt of time getting used to it. IT’S NOT FREE THOUGH. I don’t know if this has changed since the article was written but unless you want a “watermark” which occupies the entire screen on your finished vid you have to pay. I was pretty erked by this and ended up paying the $34 having spent a few hours putting together my ad. So good laymens software BUT NOT FREE.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi there!
      OK, if you look back over the entire text of this page you may notice that the word “free” does not actually appear.
      So I am not sure where you got the idea that Filmora was free.

  • graham white

    Hi,
    Camera panasonic -hc-wx970m and videostudio x8 ultimate- (videos in 4k) when the finished videos come from vs any movement across the lens looks like it has droped frames ???
    Can you help

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Graham,
      OK, so the camera you are using is recording at 4k using the AVCHD file format.

      That’s just a fancy pants type of MP4 only in your case at very high resolution.

      So what does that all mean?
      I am glad you asked!

      To capture that amount of information and compress it on the fly in the cam down to manageable file size, the software in the cam itself quite literally throws a bunch of data away.

      Of course if they told you that, you would not feel so confident about the whole process so they call it “compression” to make you feel better.

      When that data is thrown away the software leaves a little note saying what it threw away and how to get the information needed from other parts of the file to reconstruct whatever was ditched.

      The task of reconstructing that data falls on your computer and the software you are using. In this case VideoStudio.

      VideoStudio can quite happily tell the computer to do the work but the question is, “Can the computer keep up while doing that work?”

      This is the problem especially with 4K because you are dealing with a lot of information.

      The first thing you need to establish is whether the jumpiness you are seeing is happening because the computer is struggling to play back your footage.

      In other words, the footage may actually be fine, it just that the computer can’t keep up.

      If that is not the case then you may have to edit using proxy files to take the stress off the computer while you are editing.

  • Mark

    Can you recommend any “intermediate” video editors? I have been using Sony’s PlayMemories Home to edit my moto-vlogging videos. I’ve used it to trim/splice and add GPS overlays, captions, and music however I find myself wanting something a little more powerful but not so powerful that I’m going to need weeks to get up to speed. Some features I’m looking for: add graphics on top of the video (e.g. arrows, pictures, etc), enhanced captions (font effects like what you’d see in MS Word/Powerpoint)…things you see in some of the more advanced motologging. Appreciate your thoughts.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Mark,
      Lucky! Just caught me in the office.

      First of all bear in mind that PlayMemories is an app designed for mobile devices.

      In order to get any more functionality from a program you are going to have to load something onto a computer.

      Mobile devices are simply too underpowered to be able to offer any real features beyond what you already have.

      I think your first step would be to go to Filmora and check that out. There is a link at the top of the page.

      First of all go through all the demo videos and see what the features are and if it looks to fit the bill.

      At a glance I would say it does but only you can really tell.

      If it look OK download the trial, check the internal tutorial videos (very short and to the point) and have a play.

      If it is still not up to what you need then you will have to go up to the more complicated editors like Corel VideoStudio or CyberLink PowerDirector.

  • Gary

    Hey I got honestech vhs to DVD to copy all my old skateboarding footage to put on DVD. I saved all my footage to one hour increments to mpeg files. Now I need a software program to edit/combine footage and add music to it. What do you recommend? If you can tell me something that’s really equivalent to “iMovie” which is an apple app on their products that would help me alot. So basically I’m looking for something that works like “iMovie”

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Gary,
      Long story short – Wondershare Filmora.

      Comes in Mac or PC flavor, slightly more advanced than iMovie because it is being developed actively. Simple to learn and use with a great feature set.

      Check the sidebar menu for the review.

  • Richard

    I would like to take my video clip collection captured from a combination of JVC camcorder, Blackberry, Nokia, Iphone and make a simple clip sometimes combining the footage, for example for a single event e.g. Kid’s birthday. I am very happy with Filmora for the ‘combining’ part and love it’s simplicity. Do you have any recommendations regarding the original footage and if I should edit those clips to begin with to try and enhance them. What package should I use to edit them and what file format would be the most suitable to convert them to after the editing before I use Filmora to combine them to a single clip? I’m looking at enhancements to remove shudder, improve lighting etc. I appreciate that they have been shot at x resolution and that is what I have to work with. Do you have any recommendations on this workflow? Thanks!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Richard,
      Well that certainly seems to be quite a mix of assets you have there!

      First of all I am always VERY reluctant to recommend that anyone start spending money on other software until they have exhausted the possibilities of the one they have.

      As far the array of video files you have goes I guess the most important part of it is to get them first into a common file format.

      However any “enhancement” you do on them should be done in the original format. Using filters or correction tools on digital files is always best done on a copy of the file in the original format.

      I say “copy” here because your actual originals should be archived for the future.

      Once you have corrected those copies then the next step is getting them into a common format.

      To advise you on this rather than telling me the device you are using I need to know exactly what the files are, what format and what are the properties of those files then we can go from there.

      • Richard

        Hi Lance
        Thanks for the reply.
        Yes I will definitely leave all the original files archived. Who knows what the future might bring?
        The file formats are:
        Blackberry phones: *.3GP format. Frame width 320, frame height 240. Frame rate 15 fps. Audio 12kbps.
        Nokia phones: *.mp4 format. Frame width 352, frame height 288. Frame rate 12 fps. Audio 41kbps.
        JVC Video camera: *.MOD format. Frame width 720, frame height 480. Frame rate 29 fps. Audio 384kbps.
        Iphone 4s: *.MOV format. Frame width 1920, frame height 1080. Frame rate 27 fps. Audio 60kbps.
        Iphone 6: *.MOV format. Frame width 1920, frame height 1080. Frame rate 29 fps. Audio 84kbps.

        I know some of this mobile phone footage is of a very low resolution but I’d like to have a go at it anyway.
        Thanks for the help, much appreciated.
        Richard

        • Lance Carr

          Hi Richard,
          Well that certainly is a mixed bag there!

          Just a note on the archiving idea. As yet (and I look constantly) there is nothing around that will up-res video files at the consumer level. However I think it is a matter of time before this will happen.

          I don’t think you are along in having a bunch of video files that were taken over a period of time representing all sorts of file types, resolutions, frame rates and bitrates.

          Now don’t go holding your breathe on that one but who knows!

          On the rest of it just remember one simple rule.

          You can’t polish a turd.

          In other words there is nothing at the moment that is going to get the resolution of any of those files higher than they are without dramatically losing quality.

          And the harder you push the resolution up the more dramatic the degradation of the image quality.

          You can however drop the high resolutions (1080) down to 720 and retain quality so that a pretty good starting point.

          Anything smaller than that you can add to a project as an overlay against a black (or suitable) background and have it play as a smaller picture on a full size screen.

          I really think the best thing to do is just get into Filmora and play around with it to see what results you can get.

          • Richard

            Thanks Lance.
            I will play around in Filmora and take it from there. I have made 1 combined clip from 3 different clips and so far so good. Filmora is really easy to use, by far the most user friendly software I have used.
            Do you have any recommendations on what format I should use from Filmora to produce my ‘final’ clips? I’d like a format that is reasonably efficient and can play on most devices. My first clip produced is an MKV file. Thanks again for the help, much appreciated!

          • Lance Carr

            Hi Richard,
            At the moment MP4 files are generally about the most easily distributable from a quality and compatibility point of view.

  • hussain

    hi,
    i am looking for a editor which is easy to use and it can overlay an image on a video,which one should i get?

    Thanks!

  • Alex

    I’m after the most basic video editing software that:
    1) Can take FLV input
    2) Allows me to delete frames from a video
    3) Allows me to crop the screen size of the video (e.g. Remove just the bottom 10 pixels of the video.
    4) preferably very affordable/free and doesn’t leave a watermark!

    Can anyone help me here?

    • Lance Carr

      Filmora as listed at the top of this page.

      It is simple, cheap, handles flv files, has a crop function and won’t leave a watermark after you buy a licence.

  • Sara

    Thank you so much for the article!

    I have videos from a JVC digital camcorder as well as a couple different iPhones that I would like to combine in chronological order and store for my kids to watch when they grow up. I don’t need fancy transitions or music or anything. The most important feature I need is something that can pull them in order from my computer without me figuring that out manually. Do any of your suggested editing software options do that or are they all drag and drop?

    Also, once I have a finished product what do you recommend for long term storage? I am worried about an external hard drive and DVD’s going bad.

    Thank you!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Sara,
      Not really sure what you mean by ” Do any of your suggested editing software options do that or are they all drag and drop?”

      All video editing software will have a module that generally identifies connected devices and offers to import the video or image files on that device over to the computer.

      However for your purposes I don’t really think you need that unless the camcorder records to tape.

      All you have to do is connect the camcorder or the phones to the computer. Navigate to the video files and drag them across to a folder on the computer and you are done.

      As far as storage goes that is a bit of the thorny question.

      The realities of storage are often very different to what’s advertised on the box!

      Without going into an endless discussing here my current strategy (subject to change!) would be to burn the files as they are to DVDs AND copy them to solid state memory cards.

      Wait five years and see whats available then.

  • Clinton

    Lance, i’m using corel video studio what is the best share out put setting for DVD files

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Clinton,
      Sorry you had to wait but it was the weekend and my copy of the software is on my work computer.

      The best settings for DVD are just the default ones. It’s a mature format now so no need to intervene really, the software is pretty well set up to create the ideal DVD.

      If you want to go straight to burning a DVD then go to the Share Tab, Click the Disc symbol and VS will work out which is best. Generally around 8000 kps data rate is perfect and the software will sort out the frame rate from your existing files as well as the resolution.

      If you are just saving some files or a project to be later burned to DVD then do the same as above only instead of burning just note down the parameters that the software selects for the burn then go back to the file creation Tab and select to create an MPEG2 file at those parameters.

  • RHYS

    Hi LANCE

    tAHNKS FOR THIS BLOG WAS REALLLY HELPFUL AS I AM NEW TO VIDEO EDITING/PRODUCTION. COULD YOU PLEASE ADVISE ME OUT OF THE LIST ABOVE QWHICH WILL BE BEST FOR ME TO MAKE A ONLINE NEWS VIDEO THAT I CAN ADD A VIRTUAL BACKGROUND IF NEED BE

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Rhys,
      Absolutely the one you should start off with (after checking out the free trial!) is Filmora.
      Simple to learn, good features and has the one you will need for the “virtual background” you are interested in.

      That feature is called green screen (technically it’s chromakey) which allows you to shoot in front of a green background, automatically remove that green area and replace it with another background of your choice.

      Just a little warning on that feature, the key is in the shooting, not necessarily the software so do a search on this site for “green screen” and you will find posts I have done on the subject of shooting for green screen.

      Make sure you check the tutorial videos on the Filmora site as they explain how to use the software very wqell and very clearly.

      Come back if you need anything else!

  • Anthony

    Lance, Thank you very much for your advice and opinion.
    Anthony

  • Dear Lance,
    My intention is to make short videos of me lecturing, while I am sitting in front of my computer, using a Logitech webcam, then I will upload them to YouTube and my website.
    I am an absolute beginner with video-making, and I seek your advice as to what would be the best video editor for me. I seek something very simple, that will allow me to add a title or two, a word banner, and the ability to tweak my effort so that it looks acceptable. You offer such good advice, and your editor reviews are excellent, for which I thank you. Any suggestions you have will be very welcome. Thank you. Anthony

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Anthony, thanks for the kind words!

      OK I would absolutely recommend Filmora for what you want. It actually offers more than you need and is super easy to get up to pace on.

      For recording your lectures using the webcam using the Logitech product you will be able to just hook it up to the computer and then run Filmora and it will detect it and from that point you are good to go.

      There are about 8 (I think) basic videos on the Filmora site that visually run you through the steps you will need to master.

  • Ton Wel

    Hi. Thanks for the helpful reviews but I still have a problem. I want to put slide shows together which will occasionally use video. Also I need at least 3 audio tracks that can be synched to the still image transitions which will mostly be fades and wipes. These are preferred as sometimes the effects overpower the images and story. I also need MP4 or MOV file outputs.

    Can you please advise me which software packages, hopefully at a reasonable price, will enable me to do this job?
    Thanks
    Ton
    West Australia

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Ton,
      I am away from my PC at the moment so this took a little digging around but!

      Filmora supports three dedicated audio tracks in the timeline on top of any audio that is part of any video you have as well.

      Everything else you have described is also covered by Filmora so on what you have said I would still think this is the best value editor around for what you want.

  • Realeboga

    Mr Carr i read all your reviews but i was wondering is the filmora wondershare heavy on say a intel core laptop?i need to have a device that handles such a software because of university coarse{multimedia}

    • Lance Carr

      Hi there!

      Of all the current video editing software around I would say that Filmora is probably the smallest as far as the actual space it needs to install because it doesn’t come weighted down with a bunch of other modules for other functions.

      As far as resources go on your laptop this is more a question of the size and type of files you will be using.

      It is important here to understand that the stress being placed on any computer processing video files does NOT come from the software.

      It comes from the way modern high definition files are compressed and what has to occur for them to be edited.

      My advice to you and to anyone that visits this site is to PLEASE download the free trial of the software, install it and then play with it using the type of files you will be using on a day to day basis.

      Only then will you really be sure you have the right one.

  • Cal

    Hi Lance, My question may be so basic that it might not belong in your Q&A area. If that’s the case, I apologize. I have a few dozen old 8mm analog tapes, and want to transfer them to my hard drive, and later make DVDs. I have not yet bought a capture device, but am looking at Dazzle, Roxio Easy, and Vidbox Video Conversion Suite because they are all available at my local Best Buy. Right now, all I want to do is transfer the video, edit out what I don’t need, and piece together the remainder for DVD. I’m guessing that the software included with all these systems will do what I need. Can you offer any advice? Thank You, Cal
    (Windows 7, 2.20 GHz, 4GB RAM)

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Cal.
      I have very little personal experience with capturing analogue to digital so keep that in mind!

      A few years ago this topic was all the rage because everyone was converting their old stuff like you are now.

      Because of that there was a lot of discussion on many of the forums I moderate on about this device or that device.

      From memory I believe that the Dazzle product was both popular and quite effective at getting the job done.

      As far as what you want to do with the files after I think they would all probably come with a straightforward editing to DVD solution and I really don’t think you need worry too much about that.

      I have no knowledge of the Video Conversion suite product but I think both the Dazzle and the Roxio product would be OK.

      • Cal

        Thanks Lance. I just talked to the guys at BB, and they agreed with your advice. What I’m doing is pretty basic, and I can hardly go wrong. Thanks again, Cal

  • Adrian

    Filmora is poor at transition. I add HD video from the same camera using the drop and drag import , go to story board view and add a transition. Somehow it seems to add a “echo” on to the sound track so at transition you get a series of clicks or a repeated soundtrack if there is audio. Very annoying. Am I doing anything wrong?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Adrian,

      The problem you are having can generally be put down to a problem in resources, not the software itself.

      When you are previewing HD video on a computer it takes a lot of computer power to do that. If you do it when you have added transition the problem gets even worse.

      This is the most common area of trouble for people editing no matter what software they are using.

      As a test, add a couple of HD clips to the timeline and add a transition that gives you the click, pop, echo or whatever when you are previewing it.

      Then export the whole thing to a new file.

      Play the file and see if the problem still exists in the final file.

  • Hazel

    I also don’t know how to reply directly, so I’m going to ask my question here as well.
    I have been trying out the unregistered version of Filmora this week with only partial success. All I need is to simply crop and join my bits and pieces without changing the original ratio or format in any way. My problem is when I come to finish (export) I always get extremely distorted excessively wide short squashed people. This seems to happen regardless of which settings I choose. The helpline service has not been of any help whatsoever which makes me wonder if this is inherent to the program. I’m hoping it’s something stupid that I’m not doing as I love how easy this is to use, but I do need the end product to look normal.
    Hope you can help
    Hazel

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Hazel,
      Well possibly you are doing something wrong but characterizing it as stupid seems a bit harsh!

      Because Filmora attempts to keep things very simple unless you get things set up right it is pretty easy to go astray sometimes given the wide variety of video formats around these days.

      First of all I need to know that the video files you are using all came from the same source. Yes?

      Then, in Windows just navigate to one of the video files (assuming they are all the same) and right click on one.

      Select properties then note down what they are and post back here.

      If at all possible let me know if the videos were shot at 4:3 aspect ratio (standard definition) or 16:9 ratio (high definition or at least widescreen.)

      If all of that is unfamiliar to you then at least let me know the model and make of the device that you used to get the files in the first place.

      That should be enough to get the party started.

      • Hazel

        Thanks for coming back to me so quickly.

        I only join identical formats, and have been using Real Player Trimmer for years until recently when they appear to have removed support for it (I’m using windows 7 64bit).
        I’ve been testing it on a clip from ‘This Morning’ of ITV (UK) which usually videos in HD mpeg-2 TS Video in wide screen and the picture is fine. I would usually convert this to mp4 format to make it universal for everyone. I’ve had a look and all the figures are below – hope they makes sense to you.

        Most are: mp4 Video
        Some are: mpeg-2 TS Video

        Mp4 figures:
        Frame Width: 720
        Frame Height: 576
        Data Rate: 2168kbps
        Total Bitrate: 2296kbps
        Frame Rate: 25 frames/second

        Mpeg-2 TS Video figures:
        Frame Width: 704
        Frame Height: 576
        Data Rate: 15000kbps
        Total Bitrate: 15256kbps
        Frame Rate: 25 frames/second

        Mp4 figures after Editing with Filmora (file was much shorter):
        Frame Width: 720
        Frame Height: 576
        Data Rate: 1517kbps
        Total Bitrate: 1647kbps
        Frame Rate: 25 frames/second

        Thanks
        Hazel

        • Lance Carr

          Hi Hazel,
          Yes, you got a little lucky there on the reply because I was still at work!

          OK, I am guessing that the MPEG-2 TS video files are being captured by some kind of set top TV recorder.

          The problem you are having is because that box (or whatever it is) is capturing the video at a resolution of 704×576.

          That means the picture size is 704 lines wide and 576 lines high.

          The actual standard for TV in the U.K. and for any country using the PAL TV system is 720×576 so whenever you place any footage from that source into Filmora it is automatically stretching the 704 lines to 720 lines and it will look stretched.

          Take one of the MPEG-2 TS files and load it on to the Filmora timeline.

          Go directly to Export and choose the MP4 option.

          Click on Resolution and clear the contents of that box so it is blank.

          Enter this exactly as I have typed it here 704*576

          Choose Best Quality and let it run.

          Get back to me with what happens.

          By the way so that you understand, you are not recording in High Definition… sorry.

          You may be recording in widescreen but it is not HD. The minimum resolution for HD in your case would be 1280×720.

          • Hazel

            Thank you, thank you, thank you,
            Success – I have normal shaped people. You have made my Christmas. No more stressing out over computer problems. I will certainly order the full programme now, it’s a shame Filmora’s help team didn’t want to help me.
            FYI this was recorded on an integrated USB port using a memory stick in a HD TV, hence I just assumed it would automatically record in HD format.
            Have a great Christmas or if you are reading this after the holidays, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
            Oh I’m so happy
            Hazel

          • Lance Carr

            Yay!

  • Maria

    Thanks for the fast response!
    I don’t know how to reply directly, so I’ll answer here: I’ve been trying out filmora this week (unregistered) and get frustrated every time I want to trim at a precise time. Their trimming-tool is hard to work with when it’s comes to seconds.

    Again, thank you so much!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Maria,
      OK, I am a little confused by your comment there!

      To trim a clip you just move the cursor to the end of the clip on the timeline, click and drag it.

      The counter on the right hand side under the preview window shows hours, minutes, seconds and even frames so I had no trouble trimming clips by only one frame.

      Given that there are around 25 or so frames per second that seems pretty accurate to me!

  • Maria

    Hi!
    I’m not even a beginner, I’m at the bottom. Just started out this week with a little funny video for my friend’s birthday, and found it quite funny. I like the old silent film style, with title/ dialogue card, and was wondering if there’s a software that offers/is capable of that. And also cropping.

    Though I’m a fast learner I’m still new to this and will only make some videos not longer than five minutes for friends and families, so I don’t want to spend a fortune on a little fun hobby.

    Appreciate your help! And sorry if the English is bad!
    Sincerely, Maria

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Maria,
      First up the English seems fine to me but then again I am Australian so what would I know!

      The kind of thing you are looking for is quite simple these days and stuff like the title cards are just basic parts of the titling module and the old film effects are just filters you apply.

      Nothing too technical there!

      So for you I would still recommend Filmora that is mentioned at the top of this page. I am pretty certain it has everything you need… and probably more!

  • andrea

    I had used adobe premier elements before it got to complicated. Looking to purchase new software. I have a bunch of home videos that I want to make into a home movie set to music and with pictures etc…. I will require to put to music, as well as have voices from videos playing at same time. What would you recommend? I have windows pc.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Andrea,
      I understand what you mean about things getting complicated!

      The reality is that all the big software players like Cyberlink, Corel and Adobe have been developing their products over the years to encompass more and more features.

      This is mainly driven by market demand but in the meantime if you want to keep things simple you end up in your situation.

      My current favorite in the category of something simple is Filmora which is at the top of this page.

      I think you will find it does everything you want but isn’t loaded with a bunch of extra stuff you probably will never use.

      • Cody

        Lance,

        Could you give me the best step by step process on editing videos from a gopro with filmora? I’ve always used the gopro studio for simple editing but I’d like something a bit more advanced so I went with filmora. I read a lot of reviews saying it was great for gopro. Anyway, with gopro studio, the final product always looks very crisp and clean. I edited a video with filmora and the quality was poor. Am I doing something wrong? I know that with gopro studio it converts the compressed footage from an MP4 to an AVI cineform for editing. With filmora I’m simply pulling in the raw MP4 off of the gopro and editing that. Is that what im doing wrong? Should I find a way to convert the file before editing and then export back to an MP4? I have a few gopros. I’m usually filming in 1080 and/or 1440 for POV shots. I haven’t found a step by step for gopro with filmora. If you could provide one for the best footage that would be great!

        • Lance Carr

          Hi Cody,
          The rule to keep in mind here is this:

          Every time you convert any digital video file from one set of parameters to another or from one file type to another you will suffer degradation.

          Even if you only change one thing there will be a deterioration in the quality. Sometimes it is so small no-one can see it, sometimes it is very obvious.

          So in editing any kind of digital footage you are seeking to maintain the original parameters of that footage all the way through to the end.

          The GoPro editing software is not converting the MP4 to anything! AVI Cineform is just a particular type of codec used for MP4.

          I can only guess here at why you are suffering from a loss of quality but I’ll shoot my mouth off anyway!

          Pull the files directly off the cam making sure there is no processing of those files going on. Just drag them off the cam on to the computer.

          Pull them into Filmora and do your editing.

          Hit the Export button then highlight the MP4 option.

          Now look to the right of that dialogue box and click the “Settings” button.

          Enter values here that EXACTLY match the parameters of your GoPro footage and let it run.

          Get back to me if your life is not now better!

  • Jim McKeny

    Hi Lance,
    I have been a Pinnacle Studio use for years, but only the versions which Avid created. I am stuck in Studio 15, the last version Avid made prior to selling out to Corel and thus handing the reigns over to compete and utter incompetence.
    Nothing in my opinion has ever equaled the intuitive ease of Studio 15. I have been trying to use Cyberlink 13 and while it has nice features the simple fact that the timeline tracks are so darn small makes it tough for me.
    Any editing programs out there to your knowledge with adjustable timeline tracks height/size views? I know Corel’s Pinnacle has some adjusting capability but not enough for me.
    Thanks,
    jim

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Jim,
      In the version of CyberLink PowerDirector I use for testing I can adjust the timeline tracks so that they occupy two thirds of the height of the screen!

      Seems to me that is plenty big enough.

  • Lisa

    Hello,
    I have been working on a movie for several years now. I started with Adobe Premiere Pro, but it was too complicated for me. I’ve switched to Windows Movie Maker, but I am worried that the quality will not be very good. Is there an editing program that I can switch to, that will look sharper, and do a little more than WMM? Something that will be compatible with what has already been edited, or that I can convert the files to, without losing more quality?
    Thanks so much! I am learning as I go!
    Lisa

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Lisa,
      Can you let me know a few things so I can help?

      What are the spec of the videos you are using to edit with. If you are not sure let me know where they came from so I can get a clearer picture.

      What are the specs of the videos or video sections of the project you have already created in Movie Maker?

      • Lisa

        Thanks Lance!

        I’m not sure exactly what specs are. I used two different cameras to film. Most footage is from an old Sony Handycam DCR-HC26, and some from a newer Sony Handycam HDR-CX110.Does that help?

        Thanks again! I really appreciate it!
        Lisa

        • Lance Carr

          Hi Lisa,
          Yes that helps a lot.

          OK, I am going to reply to you by email on this because continuing this in the comments section of this page is going a little off topic so stand by for an email OK?

  • Winona Zeitgeist

    Hi! I am an advanced user with free iMovie. I use it to edit my music videos. (None are published-yet.) The problem with iMovie is that it doesn’t do much. Can you recommend some software that does more than iMovie but is just as or near as easy to use? I do not want to spend more than $150.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Winona,
      There are two choices I think are appropriate for someone wanting to move up from the level at which you are operating.

      The most basic is the top one on this page, Filmora, so you can click through the link to see what that one has to offer beyond what you already have and I think is around the $40 to $50 mark.

      The other one is a jump a little higher on the editing food chain and that’s ScreenFlow which offers a little more in the editing department but bear in mind it is geared towards screen recording rather than pure editing.

      It comes in at around $100.

      Aside from them I am not familiar with any other good programs for Mac that fit into that price point before you go way up to the top of the heap.

  • Debbie

    My daughter needs to do a movie project with a group for a school project. They will be recording, gathering pictures etc from multiple sources. They need to have sound from probably iTunes or something. My daughter has used movie maker before and one of the others in the group has iMovie, but I was hoping to get her something that may give her more functionality but at the same time easy to use. Can you recommend a program? I don’t really want to spend $300, maybe $100.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Debbie,
      I really think the Filmora choice on this page is the best way to go.

      It will look similar to what your daughter is used to but adds just a bit more functionality and control without overwhelming them with all sorts of bells and whistles.

  • Melissa Sargent

    Helpful Article. I have a local radio show and I produce and voice weekly 1 to 2 minute audio history moments about El Paso and the region. I will be using lots of old pictures,and some old film footage pulled from internet that I want to put into a slide/video. These are going to be used at our History Museum on the digital wall that is touch interactive. So I will need to be able to produce MP4 video and also for internet You tube, Facebook etc. I am a self taught, so the easier the better! Your advice will be most appreciated.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Melissa,
      Strange! I have a friend with exactly the same name but she is a fashion designer in Australia so I am assuming you are not her!

      Anyway, given the requirements you have laid out I would still go with the Filmora choice at the top of this page.

      From what you are saying you don’t really need anything beyond that and it is very simple to learn how to use.

      On the other hand if you suspect you may be wanting to take this whole video thing further in the future then your first program should offer some kind of upgrade path to accommodate that.

      In that case I would go with the basic version of PowerDirector 14 from Cyberlink.

      Hope that helps, get back to me if you have any other questions.

  • Mike Lamp

    I am looking for a simple PC video collage maker that takes your clips and photos and applies a premade template with effects, transitions, etc. – like Replay Video Editor, Clipper on IOS or Magisto for IOS/Android/desktop. I use adobe premiere for full video editing but am wanting to do many very, very quick video samples for free for clients and want something to be made instantly on the desktop (not on the phone only on the pc). Magisto does this exactly as I would like – but they apply their logo to finale even if you have paid the monthly/yearly fee (on the phone their logo does not appear but DOES on pc). Any suggestions on reasonably priced program? Reveal X looks like a solution but don’t want to spend $80 when phone apps are like $3 – $30. Thanks for any help. Mike

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Mike,

      Sorry but I can’t think of anything other than muvee Reveal X for doing that type of thing on an automatic basis.

  • Connie

    Lance:

    Looking for editing software that allows me to add graphics, crawl, green screen…similar to a news broadcast to my short instructional videos I am working on. Any recommendations?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Connie,

      Not sure what you mean by “crawl!” Usually you don’t need software for that, a good bottle of red wine usually does the trick!

      From you description of the things you want to do you would be fine with either of the two top choices for a video editor on this page: http://diyvideoeditor.com/best-video-editors-compared/

      However the software on this current page “easy video editors” may not be feature rich enough for your ultimate needs.

      One other thing to keep in mind is that if when you say “short instructional videos” you mean recordings of actions on a computer screen then the second choice, Corel VideoStudio is the one more suited.

      It comes with a separate module for screen recording whereas the CyberLink product does not.

  • Hi,
    Could you advise a novice going into You tube? I’ll be making vlogs and tutorials etc but I’m clueless about which program to use. I’m a quick learner but want something easy to use, simple and fast. Thank you so much.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Monika,

      When it comes to vlogging the general consensus is to keep it simple.

      You need to have a camera set up such that you can record video of yourself, transfer it to the computer, clean it up and post it to YouTube… nothing fancy!

      To do that I stand by my recommendation of Filmora. It is simple, elegant, easy learn and use and is not weighed down by endless effects and modules you don’t really need for what you are doing.

      However!!!!!

      You also mention tutorials. So the only thing I need to add on that point is if they are onscreen (computer screen) tutorials then you will need screen recording software.

      If you mean creating tutorials on camera then you are fine, but in the case of screen recording you will need something more high end than Filmora.

      I think the best option is Corel VideoStudio Pro X8 because it comes with a screen recording option as well as (obviously) the full editor.

      It is more feature rich than Filmora and as such more complicated to learn but has great online learning videos that a “quick learner” could use to easily get up to speed.

      Please use the trials!

  • Lance,
    It’s very generous of you to solve our editing problems! thank you.
    I’ve been cutting clips in Movie Maker and have mastered this easy but irritating program. I’m ready to step up to a “real” system (I worked as a TV producer so I know the concept and look of an AVID timeline) that is still easy to use.
    I’ve downloaded Corel Video Studio X8 and like the set up and the desktop but MOV files are jittery and out of syc. MP4 files, no prob. I’m not getting answers from their help options, but I like the software if I can sort out the MOV file thing.
    Any suggestions? thanks again.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Gai,

      Yeah… mov files, what can I say?

      In fact I just did a search for “jittery mov files and a whole bunch of posts from all over the place come up!

      The core problem here is that the Mac vs. Windows war seems to still be on or we are at least still suffering from it.

      Jittery mov files can usually be attributed to an underpowered computer (for mov files).

      I am not saying your computer is underpowered because as you say you are handling MP4 ok. I just suspect that your system in conjunction with the program has to probably perform one or two extra steps in dealing with mov files and in that process things back up.

      The usual work around for this is to note down the parameters of the mov file and then just render it to an MP4 with exactly the same parameters. Then use that to do your editing.

      It is an extra step and a pain I know but this problem has been around for ages and since things went to high definition it it seems to have gotten a little worse.

      Just make sure that you are not using different types of video on the timeline when editing and that your project settings match the video you are working with.

      • Ken Turner

        When you said “The usual work around for this is to note down the parameters of the mov file and then just render it to an MP4 with exactly the same parameters. Then use that to do your editing”. What does that entail? I’m having same problem as Gai Reid and the computer I’m working off of does not offer the option of adding more RAM so I’m stuck working around the lag and sync issues .mov files give you.

        • Lance Carr

          Hi Ken,
          The procedure is to load the offending mov file on to the timeline in the editing program.

          Now right click on it and select properties.

          Note down those properties, Frame rate, resolution, bitrate etc.

          Now without doing anything to the file just go to the Share tab and choose MP4.

          Enter all the file properties you noted down and create a new file.

          The new file will to all intents and purposes be an exact copy of the original mov only (hopefully) a little more Windows friendly.

  • Hi Lance,
    I am wanting to create short (under 1 minute) testimonial videos for clients.
    I require the program to be really easy to use and for the videos to be of sufficient quality to use for Facebook, youtube and on clients’ websites.
    Can you please suggest a program?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Peter,

      Boy! Sorry I missed this question! I am supposed to get notified but for some reason I wasn’t.

      Anyway, from your description I would suggest Filmora.

      Simple, easy to use, has everything you will need and will faithfully maintain the quality to capture at.

  • George Melendez

    Hi Lance,
    Nice article and very useful. I would like to know what would be “your” choice for “free video editor for good and easy but still professional looking videos”? I have been using Wins Movie Maker but I find it to be to basic and would like try something new. I have been considering Wondershare Filmora Free but would like to know what you think. Maybe you can suggest 2 video editors for me to look at. Thanks,

    George Melendez

    Puerto Rico

    • Lance Carr

      Hi George and thanks for dropping by!

      OK, here’s the deal.

      You may have already noticed this site has no section for free video editor and there is a reason for that.

      The problem is that creating a video editing program is a hugely complex undertaking but even then the creation of the software is only about 20% of the task.

      Once it has been created then it has to be maintained in line with changes to file formats, computer operating systems, problems with other software and on and on and on.

      Most free projects start with an enthusiastic programmer or a group and from there the reality sets in and slowly they sink into apathy!

      Windows movie maker is about the best free one around for the Windows operating system.

      My choice for free?

      I am just so past even worrying about that path anymore… it is a dead end I have gone down many times.

      Even if you give the free Filmora a try you will soon see it has not much more (if at all) than Movie maker unless you upgrade to a paid version.

      Sorry I have no awesome freebie to offer you or suggest but that’s how it goes, ya gets what ya pays for!

  • Carmahgedom

    Para mi propio uso colecciono videos de conciertos de los 80’s, con 16:9 no hay ningun problema pero con los 4:3 — Uso el WonderShare Video editor para alinearlo a la izquierda, y poner algun motivo, foto o video a la derecha para rellenar y que resulte un bonito video 16:9. Con los 4:3 @ 25 FPS no tengo problemas y salen de lujo. – Pero cualquier video en 29.97 FPS o incluso 30 FPS el video resultante siempre tiene mala la cinematica (No fluye la imagen sino se notan los quiebres). ¿Que hago en WS para usar videos 29.97 FPS?? , casi me lo se de memoria y no hallo opciones.
    ________
    For my own use collect videos of concerts of the 80’s, with 16:9 but there is no problem with the 4:3 — Using Wondershare Video editor to align to the left, and put some reason, the photo or video right to fill and make it a nice 16:9 video. With the 4:3 @ 25 FPS I have no problems in and out of luxury. – But any video at 29.97 FPS or 30 FPS the resulting video is always bad kinematics (image not flow but the breaks are noted). What do I do to use WS 29.97 FPS video ?? , I almost know it by heart and find no options.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Carmahgedom,

      Unbelievably I think I can actually understand your question!

      The problem you are having with the motion in the videos being strange is because of the difference in frame rate.

      You simply cannot expect an entry level, simple video editor like Wondershare to be able to change a 29.97 or 30 frame per second video into a 25 frame per second video smoothly.

      For every second of footage it has to somehow get rid of 4.97 or 5 frames and yet still retain smooth motion. That’s asking too much and to be honest even the top end editors have trouble with conversions like that.

  • Genie

    My son has combat footage from Afghanistan on an external hard drive. He wants to edit it to share with his fellow soldiers. He is not technologically adept nor has any equipment, including a laptop. What laptop should he buy for this purpose and which editor? This footage is important to him and his battle buddies. Money is limited. thanks

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Genie,

      Without knowing exactly in what format the video has been taken and then transferred to hard drive it’s kind of hard to advise you.

      However I am assuming he doesn’t really want to go into too much complication in the editing process so the Wondershare product on this page is probably the best.

      As far as a laptop goes I can’t really help there except to say that all you can really do is go for the best you can given the price constraints.

  • Hi Lance,
    I’m a job developer for an agency that provides services for people with disabilities. One visually impaired client and I videotaped him disassembling, cleaning, greasing and reassembling the lower power assembly of a bicycle. We ended up with 45 minutes of tape that we’d like to edit down to about 7 minutes to demonstrate his skills. We transferred the tape to disk. It’s in MPG format. When I open it with Windows Media Player, or Windows Movie Editor all I get is the sound, no visual.

    He (his wife) can run it with Pinnacle. They said Pinnacle has a feature that converts files, and they are trying to figure out how to convert it to MP4.

    I checked out your reviews and understand that you’re not a fan of Pinnacle, especially for the casual user. I looked at Filmora and was about ready to pull the trigger, but I found that they have a companion program that converts files. The price of the editor isn’t bad compared to a free one that doesn’t work, but I don’t know if it makes sense to buy both.

    Any advice?

    Scott

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Scott,
      Thanks for dropping by!

      So first of all unless we are in a rush here can you please just not do anything.

      Theoretically as a website owner I am supposed to get you to just buy Filmora and collect a commission from the sale so I can go out and buy some candy or some bright shiny objects. Unfortunately I suck at marketing!

      So the first thing I need to know is what you mean when you say you “video taped” your client at work.

      What is the format of that “tape?” (If you don’t know give me the make and model of the camera)
      How did you get it on to the hard drive?
      What kind of MPEG is it? MPEG2, MPEG 4 (MP4), MPEG 1?

      The reason Windows whatever can’t play it is probably because it does not have the correct video codec to do so, but Pinnacle does!

      Although I am not yet a fan of Pinnacle (they are getting it better) I am a huge fan of the software you have, as opposed to the software you think you need to buy!

      Yes, Pinnacle has the ability to just load up a file and then convert it to whatever your little heart desires… BUT!

      I am assuming you want the final video to be at least watchable so the way you go about all this is crucial.

      Every time you convert or re-render a digital file to another format you lose quality so it’s best to get all your ducks in a row first.

      So the sequence has to be, original media transferred to editable file – editing – rendered file for playback.

      One last question! How will your intended audience be watching your future masterpiece?
      DVD, YouTube, Mobile Device, Etch A Sketch?

      If you answer these questions I can give you a better idea of how best to proceed.

      Lance

  • Bob Estabrook

    I am a soccer coach, I video tape my games in 1080p and have a Pinnacle Studio system installed in my custom computer with a 100GB solid state hard drive and a very good video card. whenever I want simply to make a DVD to show the players, my results vary but always end without a finished product. I can make a date file and show it on my computer but it is not what I want to do.
    Do you have any software suggestions to show up to 100 minutes of game tape?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Bob,

      First of all congratulations on being able to create something in Pinnacle in the first place! (OK, that’s being a little harsh on Pinnacle.)

      The problem with DVD is that it is a Standard Definition set of parameters.

      That means that to create a DVD you have to have an MPEG2 video file at a maximum resolution of 720 x 480 and a frame rate of 29.97 (interlaced) frames per second.

      It is natively a 4:3 aspect ratio but can display 16:9 (widescreen) provided you don’t mind black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

      If you do that then you will usually be able to create a 90 minute video to fit on a DVD.

      Keep in mind that DVDs and CDs are “marketed” as being capable of playing back for certain times but this is not strictly true.

      The actual playback time is limited by the data capacity of the disc and the size of the video file you are trying to burn is determined by the Bitrate at which the file was created.

      Bitrate is simple the amount of digital data that is being used per second or minute to display the video.

      If you drop the quality of the footage (lower the bitrate) when burning you can get a longer playing disc.

      Now here’s the real problem you are hitting.

      You are recording your video at 1080p but have not mentioned the frame rate although it is most likely 30 or 60 frames per second.

      This means the original footage you are using is most likely an MP4 (H.264) file at High Definition (widescreen 16:9) and consists of a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

      In order for Pinnacle to try to follow your order to create a DVD it first has to decimate (that’s actually the word they use!) the resolution of the video down to 720 x 480 and at the same time somehow turn 30 or 60 constant frames per second (progressive) into 29.97 frames per second interlaced AND convert from an MP4 to an MPEG2.

      This is no mean task for any software!

      My advice would be to take an existing project and render it to a DVD compliant MPEG2 file first.

      Then load that file into Pinnacle and try to burn a standard DVD and use any kind of “fit to disc” function the software has so that it can automatically re-encode the data at a rate that will allow the completion of a DVD.

      If that fails or you can’t work it out please come back here and let me know and I will try to come up with something else for you.

  • Tiago

    Greetings, Lance!

    Thank you very much for the list you posted.

    I’ve two camcorders shooting a 3-5minutos lecture. I’ll record voice sound in my iPhone and I’m willing to mix everything (sound + video 1 slices or video 2 slices) plus watermark in entire video.

    Which video editing software would you recommend me?

    Thanks!!!!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Tiago,
      Given that you are going to use footage from two sources etc. I think you are probably best to go with the basic version of PowerDirector.

  • I am a performer, shooting promo videos, and I want to create stunning videos to submit to potential clients. The bad part is that I don’t know much (which is to say almost nothing) about video editing. I need effects, audio leveling, and such. Any recommendations?
    -Greg

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Greg,

      First up let’s take a step back and look at what you really need rather then what you think you need!

      The last thing you actually need is “effects!” Greg! You ARE the effects!

      All you actually need is short high definition videos of segments of your performances, not the whole show, just parts that showcase your abilities.

      You need to get a consistent “look” to them and that’s about it.

      You need a camera that can capture high definition shots and they don’t have to be multi camera set ups, just single angle from one fixed point that shows one trick, start to finish.

      You need to make sure the camera has a jack for an external mic so that you can get good quality audio.

      You need to go on to some site like fiver and pay someone to make you one standard intro segment and one standard outro segment.

  • Ian Johnson

    Hi – Would you please help me with some advise – I have a Sony camcorder (HFR20), (just taking family stuff) – I have been searching for suitable editing software. All I need is basic editing, I don’t require the bells & whistlers (transitions voiceovers etc), all I want is to place the clips on a time line cut and edit put some extra photos in to be used for the title and the end, then I type simple titles and perhaps some instructive subtitles – simple, but its effective – most important it must be of the highest HD quality (I want to get a Blue Ray player if you think that’s necessary). I have just downloaded the trial version of Power D. 13 ultra, unfortunately there are problems with this software (errors etc – just not working well – is this the case with P.D.?! or maybe its my laptop – My laptop has been checked -It meets the requirements. So, is P.D. my best option, it seems to be a bit expensive for what I need (on special though at the moment) but I like using this software. Would also like your opinion on the camcorder – is there something better? I also do a bit of diving -would the Gopro be suitable – PLease, help with your opinions and suggestions.

    Thank you — Ian

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Ian,
      Sorry about the delay!

      To be honest for the type os editing you want to do I really think muveeReveal X is more than enough.

      Although it kind of presents itself as an automatic solution it actually allows far greater control than that.

      You can just load up the footage and images you want to use and let it do its thing.

      However you can also step in at any point and take manual control of the process.

      It’s good to go for HD so no problem there.

      I never recommend anyone get a new camcorder until they are certain the one they have is either broken or they have maxed out it’s capabilities.

      Too often people look at their videos and think the problem is their equipment when really they just need to get a little better at what they are doing and buying a new camcorder won’t fix that!

      GoPros are great but remember that they were designed as action cams so they have a very slightly different lens than the usual.

      If you look at GoPro footage you will notice a very slight “fish-eye” effect coming from the wide angle lenses they have.

      This is great for a maniac screaming down a forest trail on a mountain bike but not so for a family get together!

  • Andrew Rezk

    I have been using Camtasia studio for editing my videos, however it freeze and crash many times while editing the video timeline. I’m thinking to try CyberLink PowerDirector, Do you think it is faster or better than Camtasia for producing videos?

    I hope i can find a video editing software that will not freeze while editing :/

    Appreciate your advice,
    Andrew

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Andrew,

      First of all it is very unusual for Camtasia to be freezing crashing like that.

      Rather than looking at the software I think you should first start looking at the video files you are dealing with and just how process intensive they are.

      It sounds more to me like your computer is having trouble keeping up with everything and falling over.

      What are the specs of the video files you are using and what are the specs of your computer?

      • Andrew Rezk

        Hello Lance,

        I bought this computer a year ago, it’s:

        Toshiba Satellite, Windows 8
        Intel core i3, 2.5 GHz
        6 GB RAM
        64-bit operating system

        I usually record screen videos and edit them with Camtasia, i noticed that when i edit the time line for long videos (50 minutes or longer) using Camtasia, it always run slow.

        Although, my computer performance is good for all other applications, I wonder if this is because of my PC specs or the software itself!

        • Lance Carr

          Hi Andrew,

          To be honest I don’t think the problem is really coming from Camtasia as such and I don’t really think using another editor will change things that much.

          You computer specs are OK but the problem is that what you are doing is VERY resource intensive.

          Your computer is probably like most people’s computers in that it is not purpose built for video recording and editing and is most likely somewhat packed with a range of other programs that you use for other purposes.

          A 50 minute video file recorded on the fly with Camtasia is going to really stretch any system especially a NoteBook running a smaller processor.

          Not only does the software have to capture the onscreen events in real time but then has to convert it all into a video file and then slap it down on the hard drive somewhere.

          You may want to try to set up the computer before you start recording each time.

          To do this first of all install something like Ccleaner (Google it Free) and run the cleaner first then the registry cleaner.

          Then make sure the hard drive is defragged and all tidied up.

          Make sure that there are NO unnecessary programs or processes running in the background of Windows and do the recording.

          At this point, at the completion of the recording, you can assume your RAM is packed with all sorts of stuff and everything is in a general state of disarray!

          Now, close Camtasia and check to see if the disc has become fragmented by the recording process. Defrag as needed.

          Now open Camtasia Editor and begin editing and see if things are a little better. Remember, editing video place huge strain on the system so take your time and let the program keep up with you.

  • Douglas

    Every video editor I have checked out, lacks any useful manual to teach you how to use it.

    I have a gopro camera, but their free software comes with no instructions, and runs poorly on my HP dual core laptop.

    Any suggestions ?

    Thanks for your kind attention.

    Douglas the Rolfe

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