Video Editing Software recommendations?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by ManW_TheUncool, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    What are y'all using for video editing software? Think I'll finally look into buying something (in the $100 or so ballpark) again after just getting by w/ Microsoft's free stuff for a while. There seems to be so many choices at this consumer level though w/ Adobe Premiere Elements being one (on the very cheap end when bundled along w/ Photoshop Elements w/ PC purchase). I used to consider going for a several hundred dollar software-plus-hardware NLE bundle back in the pre-digital, MJPEG days, but seems like maybe $100-150 on just software (running on a recent machine) should do the trick for me nowadays.

    And yeah, I plan on ordering a Dell XPS 8700 today or tomorrow (at the latest) -- and they include what seems like the most basic get-your-feet-wet editor in their lite(?) version of the Cyberlink suite, which I suppose could be upgraded to Cyberlink's full version editor perhaps... plus they offer the Adobe Elements bundle for just $50.

    I'm not looking to do very fancy looking stuff (though maybe good pan-and-zoom capability, if possible, would be a big plus on top of the usual suspects), but mainly looking to produce enjoyable, highly watchable "home movies" -- majority of them will be simple videos of the kids in music recitals that will go on YouTube/Facebook and maybe burn an occasional DVD for such.

    One problem I had w/ Microsoft's free Movie Maker is it seems to seriously darken the video on output -- 1080p source footage from Nikon D5100 encoded to 480p in WMV format at 1.5-2.5Mbps. I tried countering the darkening effect w/ their crude brightness setting, but that tends to make the video much more contrasty and alters color quality (like over-applying an S curve) and tends to crush black level (and kill all shadow detail) -- that and the video can still look pretty pixelated and/or filled-with-digital-noise particularly around small objects/details at 2.5Mbps. Hopefully, the former won't be a problem w/ the paid consumer level software (and the latter issue is at least reduced).


    And yeah, I could probably use new photo editing software too, but not sure I should really get LR 5 (for $100) bundled w/ the PC purchase -- LR 5 probably doesn't do everything I'd like to be able to do though it probably does the trick most times, and maybe I could still fall back on my ancient Photoshop CS1 for very sporadic need of layers and such. Only reason to mention this at all here is my consideration of the Adobe Elements bundle for $50, but maybe that shouldn't matter at all.


    Thanks for any help on this...

    _Man_
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    If on PC your best bet is to get Adobe Creative Cloud and use Premiere. You'll get the updates for Lr and PS too!

    Or buy a mac and get iMovie, it is very good for most video production and is good stepping stone to FCPX, which is what I use.
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yeah, looked briefly into Adobe Creative Cloud, but the subscription cost adds up so very quickly -- and I'm not the type to upgrade all the time for the costs to be comparable. I also doubt I'd actually need full version Premiere though it would be nice of course.

    RE: the Mac options, guess this is where it pays to consider jumping ship to a Mac for the new computer purchase while I'm at it... but probably still not enough to push me over yet. Too bad Apple doesn't offer iMovie nor FCPX for Windoze -- I would probably consider ponying up for FCPX if it's really that much better than the $100-150 options even for what I'd be doing.

    Thanks, Sam.

    _Man_
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I have Adobe Premiere Elements -- whatever version was being bundled with Elements version 10. It seems to do a decent job of editing video, although I use it primarily for putting together photo slide shows with music from our travels to burn on Blu-ray or save for PC viewing.

    I did try my hand at real video editing with the package. I had the noble idea of editing some of our old video footage from previous vacations into something more concise that would actually be watchable, but eventually lost interest in the project due to the tediousness of the endeavor. I no longer shoot video when we travel, as I am not very good at it -- my videos are boring, and I do not have the patience to edit them as I do my photos.

    I gained a whole new level of respect for film editors after my failed project.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Scott, I'm sorta w/ you on that though the kids having periodic music recitals and such have pushed me back into this game (w/ much more modest expectations though audio quality needs have shot up as a result, which thankfully shouldn't be a problem in this software choice). I would probably just keep using free Movie Maker if not for the couple issues I mentioned (plus the desire for better digital pan-and-zoom capability). Maybe I should just go ahead and spend the $50 on the latest Adobe Elements (v11) bundle although seems like I'll likely end up wanting something a bit better -- maybe Pinnacle Studio 16 Plus or Ultimate. _Man_Sent via HTF mobile app
     
  6. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I guess the other issue is whether the current crop of consumer level NLE software run well in Win 8. I still haven't actually decided on whether to stay w/ Win 7 or go to Win 8 for new PC... _Man_Sent via HTF mobile app
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Just say not to digital pan and zooming.
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hehheh. Sam, I'd need to buy a new video tripod (head?) and better-for-video lenses for the DSLR, if I'm gonna avoid digital zoom-and-panning. Either that or a new HD cam (or additional DSLR to cut between multiple shots). For what I'm doing (output to 480p), digital zoom-and-pan is fine enough and much more cost-effective (and require less effort). Also, frees me up to shoot a few stills instead.But yeah, ideally, for best results, no digital zoom-and-pan. Just the ideal isn't so realistic for this endeavor -- tough enough to try to get decent-to-good sound recording and keep it synched as is. :P_Man_Sent via HTF mobile app
     
  9. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I'd stay away from Pinnacle Studio - it has gone downhill ever since AVID purchased them (then sold them off to Corel).

    Adobe Premiere Elements is a good place to start, and if you like it, definitely consider upgrading to the full version included with Adobe Creative Cloud.
     
  10. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks for the warning about Pinnacle Studio, Todd.

    Looks like I'm probably deciding between Premiere Elements 11 and CyberLink's PowerDirector 11.

    _Man_
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Best way to improve your videos? Off camera mics.
     
  12. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yeah, I already do that, Sam, although I haven't tried synching audio recorded on a separate device so far.

    I have a Rode VideoMic Pro (shotgun), if I really need the isolation at the expense of stereo sound, and a mid-level Tascam DR2D portable recorder that I've been using to double as stereo mic into the camera (using the recorder's headphone monitoring output) while having its own dual-recording as fallback (in case of clipping, excessive noise/distortion via the extra D-A-D conversion, etc). If I really find a need for higher quality stereo sound and have the video/audio synching all worked out, I may try just running the Tascam recorder up close the source (away from camera).

    _Man_
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Went ahead and ordered the Adobe Elements bundle (for just $50) w/ my Dell XPS8700 PC order.

    Seems like Premiere Elements will probably do all I need for the forseeable future. If I find otherwise, maybe I'll try Cyberlink's competitive upgrade offer for their PowerDirector later.

    Thanks, y'all...

    _Man_
     
  14. swoosherst

    swoosherst Auditioning

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    Magix Movie Edit .. Very simple to use.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  16. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I'll probably make the jump to CC when and if my movie gets funded. In the meantime, I'll make do with the student license of CS I got when I took the course on using Premiere three years ago at the local community college.
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Same one as your Kickstarter or something new?
     
  18. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Currently the same one. I'm in search of a writer at the moment.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Interesting. You know I wish you all the best and will support ya what I can. It seems unusual to me to have a project you want to create and direct but not be up for writing. That seems a hard sell to someone, tho I guess Hollywood is full of script doctors and ghost writers, right? As a passion project with minimal budget I can see how it would be a challenge.
     
  20. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I've written the first draft, but looking for someone to touch it up and make sure it's feature length.
     
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