Video Editing Software Review 2011 | Video Editor Software | Video Editing - TopTenREVIEWS

Video Editing Software: Endless Possibilities

Video cameras have been around for decades, but it's become increasingly common to have a video camera. Most cell phones come with video capabilities, giving you the perfect opportunity to capture the moment. Now the real question is: what should you do with all your video files and photos? Simple. Video editing software is the perfect way to compile all of your videos and photos, edit professional home videos and distribute the movies to friends and family.

We looked for the best video editing software available on the market. We looked at the three stages of video creation which are import, edit and export. With these three steps in mind, we evaluated and reviewed a long list of products and narrowed it down to our top choices. Our top three picks for video editing software are CyberLink PowerDirector, Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 and Adobe Premiere Elements. For more information, check out our articles on video editing.

Video Editing Software: What to Look For

When you are looking for the perfect video software there are three main aspects to consider: import abilities, editing features and export options. Each of these elements is important for creating and sharing professional-looking videos, so we looked for products that include tools and features to address these needs. To ensure we recommend only video editing software that has all the features you need in an easy-to-use interface, these are the criteria we used to review each product:


Video Capture/Playback
This section addresses how you can import videos from various devices and in diverse formats. A good application will work with virtually any camera, camcorder or even VCR and let you pull the files you want directly from the device via your computer. We also look at how well the program will play the video during the editing process. Some applications have a choppy or disjointed playback so it is difficult to tell how your final product will look.

Ease of Use
Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing an application that is difficult to use. We looked at the different features available for video editing and how simple it was to perform various tasks. This section also includes the design of the user interface and how everything is organized in the application. There is no point in purchasing a program if it is going to make tasks more difficult than they should be.

Editing Tools
Editing tools include everything from changing the background lighting and color tones to clipping the video so you get the perfect segment for what you need. This is the section where we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each application's editing tools. We specifically look for whether the application includes a storyboard and timeline layout, a video stabilizer and the ability to add text to the video. Without editing tools, the application has little going for it in the way of presentation.

Export/Production
There is no point in making a video if there's no way to view it. With the export and production options you are able to save your movie to a variety of discs or locations. Some programs even have a direct upload to YouTube. Not only do you have to worry about what disc to save your movie to, but it is also important to consider the format of the file, whether you want a MPEG or a MOV file.

Editing Effects/Transitions
The features we look at in this section are what really define the abilities of video editing software. This is where you add all of the fun transitions between pictures and videos. Some applications are even set up for adding 3D effects to videos as well as working with HD. It is these transitions that really make your video unique so you will want to make sure that the application you choose has all of the options you want.

Disc Creation
This section is different from the Export section in a variety of ways. This section covers whether you can make menus and divide your movie into chapters. This makes it easier to navigate through your finished videos. Another aspect this section covers is whether the software itself is capable of burning discs. If the video editing software can burn the discs you don't have to worry about finding another application to transfer the files from your computer to your Blu-ray Disc or DVD.

Audio & Photo Editing
Not only can you have video within in your movie, but you can add photos and your own audio to the mix. There are separate editing tools for both audio and photo. By editing the audio clips you can time your music to your videos. And with photo editing, you can have even more options when it comes to showcasing your latest adventure since you won't be limited by having only your video files.

Help & Support
When working with any complex software, having manufacturer help and support can make or break an application. It is the nature of video editing software to be feature rich and if you run into a snag you should be able to contact someone for help. Manufacturers provide a variety of options for helping you. These include phone numbers, email addresses, manuals and even tutorials. If the software you select has good support options, you won't have to worry about getting stuck in an application; you can rest assured that you will receive the help you need.