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Patafractal's Guide to Windows Video Editors

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  • Patafractal's Guide to Windows Video Editors

    So you want to get into video editing ?
    Contrary to DAWs the market for NLEs (non-linear editors) is much wider and ranges from free to nice little consumer toys to Prosumer and Pro products similar to FL Studio and Ableton.

    Before we go any further you must consider the following questions:

    What is my footage ?
    What do I want to do ?
    What about the specs of your machine ?
    What is my budget ?
    How much time are you willing to invest in learnign new software ?

    Consider your options, go windowshopping, watch tutorials on Youtube, check the detailed specs, donwload trials or demos to see how the workflow suits you. Also consider your source material and how it should be rendered later on, not all NLEs can import or export to any format.

    All prices are in America’s very finest


    Has tons of options for video editors, audio and visual effects, 3D modelling etc.

    Tons and tons and tons of tutorials, tips, tricks and user forums.

    Free, very basic

    Windows Live Movie Maker
    Basic linear editor (no multiple tracks) for video, audio and still amages. Does what it does, simple and easy. No more support for Windows 10, may be replaced with something else soon.
    Link: dead for now

    Virtual Dub
    Basically the same, but different. Has not been updated in a while

    IVS Edits
    Basic non-liear multitrack editor. Free, but you have to cough up for support and forum.

    Free, upgradeable

    DaVinci Resolve
    Has a very interesting node system and a good reputation for its color correction abilities. Full version available for about 980 USD

    Hitfilm Express
    Both an editor and compsitor similar to Adobe stuff. Some effects packages are available seperately or in the full version. Very easy to use, will fit your basic needs. Full version also available, see below

    Unusual user interface, might be confusing for beginners. Basic version has fewer render output options and no timeline rendering (?). Full version also available, see below

    Mid-Range Consumer Toys with Large and Friendly Icons

    AVS Video Editor
    Basic editor, supposed to have very basic DVD authoring.
    Price:One-Year Subscription: around 30 USD

    Corel Video Studio Pro and Ultimate
    The Ultimate version comes with a bunch of basic effects from Boris and NewBlue and can import MXF, apart from that they look the same to me:
    Price: ca. 60-80 USD

    Cyberlink Power Director
    Multimedia suite thingy, looks intuitive. Product line is confusing though
    Price range between ca. 50 – 160 USD

    Magix Video deluxe
    comes in 3 flavours. The Premium version for 130 quid has basic NewBlueFX titles. Good for newbies with a limeted budget, but it doesn’t look like rock and roll to me.....
    Price: ca 69 – 130 USD

    muvee Reveal
    Basic editor. No timeline / storymode available. Depending on what you want to do this is either good or not so good
    Price: ca. 80 USD

    Pinnacle Studio
    Comes in 3 flavours, the Ultimate version can do 4K, 360 video and has more special effects
    Price range: ca. 60 – 130 USD

    Looks like a minimalistic version of Vegas. Has a basic title editor and a few filter effects.
    Price: Lifetime, 1 PC around 60 USD

    Vegas Movie Studio
    Formerly known as Sony Vegas, now owned by Magix.
    Very easy to use, very intuitive, likely the best of the bunch for newbies. Comes in 3 flavours, has a very intuitive DVD authoring option, effects and whatsnots. Will be updated very soon
    Price ca. 49-150 USD

    Prosumer to Pro (this is where the Fun starts)

    Vegas Pro
    Formerly Sony Vegas, now owned by Magix. Comes in 3 flavours. Esy to use, very intuitive, tons of features and output options. The Pro version comes with a camera tracker, Boris 3D Objects, 2 titlers and heaps of other stuff I can’t even mention here. Definetly worth the price tag.
    Price: ca. 400-800 USD

    Hitfilm 2017
    Not just an editor, but also a compositor. Includes a particle physics engine, can import 3D models (!), tons of cool effects. After Effects and Pemiere, but without the subscription. And the community keeps growing as well. Definetly worth the price tag
    Price: around 300 USD

    Lightworks Pro
    has more output render options, including DVD/BluRay, more networking stuff and effects from BorisFX
    Price: 440 USD, subscriptions are available

    Magix Video Pro X
    High End version of their deluxe range. Yet its future is not clear due to the aquisistion of Vegas by Magix.
    Price: ca. 500 USD

    Grass Valley Edius
    High End, can mix formats and framerates, seems to be lagging a bit behind the times a bit.
    Price: ca. 600 USD


    The Adobe Universe (with Premiere Pro and After Effects)
    Industry standard. Might be confusing for the newbie, huge and lively community, lots of tutorials, templates , yet it is a closed system. Hitfilm might be an alternative if the learning curve is too brutal. Requires time and patience. Lots of it.
    Price: around 25 USD, for one app/month, around 60 for the lot per month

    Avid Media Composer
    The mother of all modern NLEs. Industry standard. You can buy outright for ca. 1300 USD or subscribe for a monthyl fee
    Price ca. 60 USD per month, 1300 USD outright

    Have I missed summet ? Any questions or other comments ?