Turn home movies into blockbusters with the right editing software.
What if your family and friends actually wanted to see the footage from your week away? You'd be proud to show off your home movies if they had a little extra flare, and editing software can take you from amateur to award nominee with just a little more time and effort. Whether you've been editing since you bought your first camcorder or you're just starting to think that this software is a good idea, we have a list of the best home video editing software that everyone can use.
- CyberLink PowerDirector 14 Deluxe
- Adobe Premiere Elements 14
- Corel VideoStudio Pro X9
- Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 Plus
- Windows Movie Maker
- Adobe Premiere Pro
CyberLink PowerDirector 14 Deluxe
For the beginning editor or the seasoned pro, CyberLink's software delivers. It comes will full tutorials but also allows you to bypass them if you just want to dive in.
The Express Project option is where you learn the basics of video editing. It includes over 500 effects and a number of preprogrammed templates that you can load your video into. In only a few minutes, the video clips from your last tour of London are threaded together and ready to be published to Facebook or YouTube.
If you already know your way around this kind of software, jump right to the Full Feature Editor option. The storyboard and timeline features help to keep your work organized while giving you complete creative freedom. Here, you can sync video from multiple devices so that every angle of your project is covered. Those who would like to create a DVD with a full menu can do so easily. If you're looking for straightforward, easy to use software, CyberLink is a strong contender for around $70.
Adobe Premiere Elements 14
Editors who are familiar with Adobe PhotoShop will find the transition to video editing easy with Premiere Elements. First-time users of either program might find it a bit frustrating at first, but a little time and patience go a long way.
Premiere Elements features high-resolution video and enhanced audio. It's easy to share your finished movie with friends online, and most users report that it's a good choice for basic software. Since it can be downloaded as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, many people use it as an introduction to editing software. Before too long, you'll be slowing down dramatic sequences to add suspense or showing some artistic flare with black and white films. For Adobe fans, Premiere Elements software is going to be the hands-down winner for around $84.
Corel VideoStudio Pro X9
Corel's software is another that appeals to both new and seasoned editors. Beginner programs, like Instant Projects and FastFlick, make it easy to use preprogrammed templates for faster editing.
For completely original work, there's the Timeline feature. You can combine video and audio from multiple cameras into one video, so make sure you get your hands on everyone's footage from the last big group trip. Corel also includes ScoreFitter, a royalty-free library of music and sound effects. You can also select from your own collection.
There are over 1,500 visual effects and hundreds of presets for adjusting color or noise filters. The interface is exceptionally user-friendly, and for the reasonable price of this software, you're getting an impressive and high-quality deal. If you're looking for software that is the total package, Corel is the way to go for roughly $86.
Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 Plus
There are two editing modes in Magix: Storyboard and Timeline. Storyboard is a simple interface that is ideal for beginner editors, and Timeline includes more intricate editing tools for those who can already maneuver through the editing process.
Magix includes Movie Edit Touch, a simplified app for tablets that lets you edit in a very basic mode while you're in the recording process. The overall software also allows you to sync audio and video from different devices, so if you are in the habit of using additional mics, you'll appreciate this feature.
When your masterpiece is nearly ready for public viewing, Magix lets you create a trailer with preprogrammed templates, complete with transitions and effects. Upload the trailer to Facebook and watch your friends beg to watch your winter vacation epic. If you can't live without movie trailers or tablet-friendly software, Magix is exactly what you're looking for at around $60.
Windows Movie Maker
You may already have your hands on decent introductory software. Windows Movie Maker can be updated, depending on your OS version, and if you've never used video editing tools before, this could be the introduction you're looking for. Plus, it's free, so there's no money lost if you don't like it.
Movie Maker allows you to upload video from multiple devices. You can use the preset themes in the Auto Movie feature to add effects, transitions, titles, and even credits. It's fun to watch your name appear as the director, producer, writer...you get the idea. Tools for editing time are simple and straightforward, and it's a matter of selecting the right song from your desktop and dropping it in when you want to add a soundtrack. For an easy introduction to editing software that won't cost a penny, Movie Maker will do nicely.
Adobe Premiere Pro
The Adobe Premiere Pro is a downloadable, subscription-based app that could be just the thing you're looking for. It's CreativeSync feature connects all of your work and files across your desktop and all of your mobile devices, so you can literally take your show on the road.
Adobe Premiere Pro is loaded with tutorials, everything from creating a YouTube video to creating a feature length film from your family memories. Tools within the app fix shaky footage, adjust colors, and thread together media from a variety of sources on a user-friendly interface. The extended version of the app includes over 55 million royalty-free videos, graphics, and images courtesy of Adobe Stock's library. The app can be purchased on its own or as part of the Creative Cloud with over 20 additional apps included; alone you're looking at around the $20 mark, and the package will set you back around $50 (both on a a subscription service plan).
The bottom line
Before you make a purchase, think about what you'll be using this software for. If you haven't experimented with Movie Maker or similar free programs, that's a great place to start. See what kind of interface works for your skill level, and what kinds of files you are comfortable working with.
The software on our list made here because they all work for new editors or wannabe Spielbergs alike, and they don't cost a fortune. If your software of choice isn't listed, shout it out in the comments and tell us why it may lead you to Oscar glory.