What is the Right Video Editing Software for Me?
Video editing is more of an art than a science. It requires a great deal of practice to perfect, considering how many different functions need to be learned. It also take time to develop the instinct and understanding of the video language to create a well crafted and exceptional final piece.
There are a number of different software programs that you can use in order to create appealing content, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Jumping into a new piece of software may seem difficult and challenging, but the effort will pay off. Here we'll take a look at some basic editing programs, and with any luck help you choose the right one for you.
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a software for video editing and production is the cost. Some software is very expensive, and some require paying a monthly fee, which ads up after a significant amount of time. Two programs, Windows Movie Maker and iMovie, are installed by default on Windows and Apple machines. These are free, but come with hefty limitations. If all you need to do is drop in a video or two and add some music, you can probably stop now and use your built in software. From that you can learn the basics of the art portion of editing, and move on to advanced software later.
Sony Vegas Pro video editing software is one of the most popular consumer level programs, and is used by a number of well known content creators. It's especially popular with those who create simple videos for YouTube, including individuals such as Pewdiepie, the largest YouTube content creator currently. The reason the software is great, is because it offers moderate usability and as such is easy to learn and suited for most people's needs no matter what you are trying to create. Consider it somewhere between the free offerings on your computer already and pro level options.
Sony Vegas Pro offers a great place for someone to start learning. With thousands of guides on YouTube, it really is an easy software to learn and perfect. Tutorials can help you split tracks, add in text and speed up and slow down etc. There is an amazing amount of features to suit most needs. It does lack in some more professional areas, which is where Adobe Premiere could be the better choice.
Adobe Premiere is a more advanced tool for those who wish to really know their stuff. The Adobe suit is an advanced program which covers everything you will need to produce professional videos for a number of purposes, that range from large scale business projects or for creating content for YouTube. The downside of Premiere is the fact that it is a bit complicated and takes a great deal of practice to perfect it also has less information on the internet to help you learn how to use it which may make it a lengthy process especially if your trying to figure out each function.
Here at Agafilm we use Adobe Creative Cloud for nearly all of our work. This is now operated on the subscription model, with costs varying depending on if you need one program or more. Having access to After Effects, Photoshop and Speedgrade, all parts of the Adobe software suite, can really open up your editing options. These are advanced and sometimes complicated programs, and developing expertise in using them takes time. There is less in the way of tutorials and guides online than you'll find with Vegas, due to the different target market. However, if you put in that time, you'll find that you can create exceptional content much faster and more intuitively than with free programs. There is a student discount, which allows you to get the entire suite for the price of one program. If you plan on being a professional editor in the future, the investment may well be worth it... but do the math first.
If you work on an Apple system, you have two choices for professional level work: Adobe, as with above, and Final Cut Pro. FCP might be the most popular choice among professional editors. That's debatable, and may be changing due to the adoption of Windows based systems into editing pipelines. Apple has fought that trend by releasing it at a consumer price point a few years ago. You can check the prices now; it's actually pretty reasonable. In terms of functionality, Premiere and Final Cut have always been essentially different interfaces for the same function. The biggest disadvantage with FCP is that it's just a video editor. For advanced work including special effects, heavily edited still images and other add ons, there's a decent chance you're still going to want Photoshop and After Effects.
Any editing software can be a good choice for cutting your videos. All have their advantages and disadvantages. The best thing you can do to pick what works for you is to try them. Most of these developers offer free trials. Taking the time to get to know the programs, rather than just picking one at random, is certainly going to benefit you in the future. The only other piece of advice I'd give is to stay away from off-brand editing programs that aren't known by the larger community. It's not that they won't work, or will necessarily be bad. There's just a large value to having a strong, supportive community to answer your questions when they come up. And you will have questions as you learn this exciting art form.