HD Video Editing - what do you use?

Antharro

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I have a fair quantity of video taken from various cameras - Panasonic SD camcorder, Canon PowerShot SX1 (Full HD), Canon EOS 550D (Full HD). I've never previously bothered much about editing it as I've ever been too bothered about uploading it.

I'd now like to do something with it and publish it online somewhere. However, despite being heavily involved in IT, both professionally and as a hobby, I've never really looked into video editing.

I'm not particularly bothered about having loads of fancy effects or dozen of features I'll never use. A decent timeline and frame by frame editing would be great.

I'm aware of Windows Movie Maker but I feel I need something a bit more advanced. But not as advanced (or expensive) as Adobe Premier!

Any suggestions?
 

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Windows Live Movie Maker (Win7) seems pretty decent, and has coped with all the file formats I've tried so far. I would definitely have a play with that first, and see what you think is missing (I've not found anything myself yet).
 

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I use Studio Ultimate, but have not been particularly impressed. Too many of the 'effects' actually cost extra.

I shall be buying something different rather than upgrade again. I do actually quite like Windows Movie Maker.
 

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Lightworks is a free open source editor, much used in the film industry for top-end films.

The basic interface is simple, as is the operation but it is capable of broadcast standard editing. Best of all it's free!
 

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Do 'better' editors (compared to WLMM) actually produce technically superior output, or is it just improved ease of use and extra functionality?
 

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A 'better' editor will have more bells and whistles (unlimited audio and video tracks for example. or two hundred transitions instead of 'only' twenty) and hopefully will be more stable. It will deal with more file formats and codecs, and have serious audio capabilities. A 'better' editor will not make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

For home use Lightworks, although it is more than capable of editing an Oscar winner, is simple to use and not in the least intimidating. And it's free :bannana:

If you do use Lightworks, there is a slight problem in that it doesn't support mpeg imports (something to do with codec licences). The simple workaround is to use the free MPEG Streamclip to convert them to MOV files.
 
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Antharro

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Many thanks for all the suggestions! I've narrowed it down to Adobe Premier Elements, and I'm definitely going to take a look at Lightworks, but I will take a look at everything that's suggested here. I last used Windows Movie Maker back in Windows XP. It seemed ok but I was hoping for something aimed at a slightly more advanced user.

Thanks again. :)
 

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A 'better' editor will have more bells and whistles (unlimited audio and video tracks for example. or two hundred transitions instead of 'only' twenty) and hopefully will be more stable. It will deal with more file formats and codecs, and have serious audio capabilities. A 'better' editor will not make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

For home use Lightworks, although it is more than capable of editing an Oscar winner, is simple to use and not in the least intimidating. And it's free :bannana:

If you do use Lightworks, there is a slight problem in that it doesn't support mpeg imports (something to do with codec licences). The simple workaround is to use the free MPEG Streamclip to convert them to MOV files.
Sound's like you work for Lightworks, have you used one before ?
This years Oscar runner up was edited on it.
 
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I last used Windows Movie Maker back in Windows XP. It seemed ok but I was hoping for something aimed at a slightly more advanced user.
Windows Live Movie Maker (Vista & Win7) is a totally different beast and definitely worth a look, assuming it's already on your PC.

I recently got a new Panasonic '3MOS' HD camcorder that shoots 1080/50p, and was editing stuff from that in WLMM last night.
 

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I use AVS4YOU with my HD clips, its not free but its really easy to use and is quite stable unless you really start using lots of effects.

Windows Live Movie Maker (Vista & Win7) is a totally different beast and definitely worth a look
Bill, Does the WLMM with windows7 use a timeline?? I had a quick look a while ago but could only find the storyboard that I find really difficult to use.
 

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AFAIK WLMM it only has the storyboard display. I found it a bit weird to start with but soon got used to it - you can zoom in/out with a slider control.

I've not found anything yet that I want to do and it can't handle. Seems to open just about anything without any fiddling around - I was even able to read video directly from a DVD, which surprised me!

I'm quite happy to spend money on a 'better' editor as/when I find I need one, but so far WLMM is doing the job fine.
 

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Sound's like you work for Lightworks, have you used one before ?
This years Oscar runner up was edited on it.

Hardly!!

I've just retired after 35 years in BBC Outside Broadcasts, the last 15 or so spent in VT.

Avid used to be the non-linear editor of choice, mainly because there was no choice, but now we/they use Final Cut Pro.

At home I have been using Adobe Premiere, but have recently started with Lightworks and find it quite friendly to use. For home use they're both a bit like using an SLR McLaren just to get the paper every morning in that you use about 0.00001% of its capability, but I'm finding Lightworks is easier to do the simple home stuff.
 

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Just avoid Final Cut X, its a horribly shonky POS. WLMM is a "story board" editor as has been discussed and you will become frustrated with it quickly.

If you intend to actually go somewhere with it creatively you have to have a time line, which puts you (currently) in the Adobe/Sony Vegas/Lightworks camps. Avid is another option but you will either love or hate its work-flow (personally I despise it).

You cant lose anything by giving Lightworks a try apart from time. If I were suggesting one to buy though, it would be Adobe Elements, mainly because you can upgrade later if you feel the need to full fat Premier without much grief.
 

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^^^ Cabe makes a very good point. Don't go anywhere near Final Cut X.

Final Cut Express (a cut down version of the grownup FCP) used to be a free download (Mac only) but as a Windows user I don't know its current status.
 

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Our company is involved with broadcast, so I have first hand knowledge how truly bad it is.

Auntie Beeb have a couple of thousand FCP workstations scattered around. They were (thankfully) stymied by needing an iTunes account for each of them, which meant they waited before pulling the trigger. They probably wont ever now.
 

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