Windows Movie Maker
Start off with the basic. The program you should start with is Windows Movie Maker. It comes with your computer if you have Windows. It is a real basic editor, but can do some decent stuff. Some of the features it has:
- Uses a timeline method. You import the video/picture stills onto the timeline and then you can edit from there.
-Capture Video from your video camera. Basically the video on your digital video camera can be imported straight in from your camera onto Windows Movie Maker.
-Import saved video files/picture files from your computer and into movie maker.
-Comes with about 40+ video transitions that are pretty good. It has the basic ones, and a few others
-Comes with 25+ video effects that are decent. It has some value changing effects and some speed changing effects
-Can make titles of credits on the video. You can customize where you want to put the text exactly, but it can get the basics done.
Next on the list would be Pinnacle Studios (There may be a demo). This runs for about 80-100$. It has all the effects of Windows Movie Maker and some. Here are some of the extra ones:
-Custom DVD maker built into Pinnacle.
-Supports a few more video codecs.
Next on the list is Sony Vegas (There is a demo). This would be my favorite. This runs for about 90-100$, but is worth the 10$ more than Pinnacle. It has all the effects of Pinnacle and Movie Maker. Here are some of the others:
-Customizable transitions. Very handy.
-Customizable effects. Even more handy.
-More video track lines.
The final mainstream video editor is Adobe Premiere. While Premiere provides all of the editng effects of vegas, it does have a user interface with a slightly steeper learning curve. One benefit of Premiere is, however, the ability to slice(split) video in the timeline, saving alot of time when editing a large block of video. Premiere also provides a slightly more stable digitizing interface, with more intuitive and responsive controls than Vegas.
A note to the wise, don’t buy an editor just after you see a review of it. Get the demo, ask other people, look for reviews on it. Wasting 100$ isn’t the best thing to do.