Edit Like A Pro
It’s fair to say that we’ve been a bit spoiled by the rapidly advancing capabilities of photography, What used to take weeks to accomplish - developing photos and sharing them with friends - is now something everyone from your Aunt Myrtle to your cousin Charlie can do ad nauseam through channels like Shutterfly, Instagram and a bevy of other new photo-based social media outlets.
And while less than a decade ago a digital video camera was seen as a luxury item owned by a few, currently more than half of Americans own a smartphone with some sort of video-capture capability.
But our ability to shoot quick videos doesn’t mean that there’s no place for editing software. Consumer-grade, "prosumer" and professional editing software can allow you to pursue your passion behind the lens concurrent to your skill level, and help you unleash your creativity, whether that means shooting high-quality dance videos of your boyfriend’s cat or something more professional.
Still, before you make an investment in software or begin downloading random Internet programs, you’ll want to have a good idea of the mainstay programs on the market, what they bring to the table and how they might fit your needs.
So you don’t want to send out a video via Facebook, and you’re not an aspiring Steven Spielberg? You want something that will give you quality video, something to impress your friends or bring some attention to your vacation videos, but that won’t take too long to master.
If this describes you, you’re in the novice category, which means you’ll want to review your basic movie programs, one of which could be already on your computer.
iMovie - Like all Apple pre-installed programs, iMovie is made for beginners. You can easily drag and drop selections into the program or import footage from iPhoto and Photo Booth. The newest version of the program has been lauded by magazines like PCWorld for adding more advanced features like image stabilization, overlays and voiceover recording.
Warning to established audio pros or those who have a familiarity with other programs: You may find that iMovie is harder to navigate or ill-equipped for your needs.
For video editing on the go, iMovie for iOS, which works on iPhone or iPad, is just an extra $4.99. It has four stars based on more than 650 ratings at Apple’s App Store.
Cost: $14.99 via the Apple App Store
Windows Live Movie Maker - Microsoft’s answer to iMovie, Windows Live Movie Maker is the default video program for Windows (given this comparison, it’s no surprise that reviewers have accused it of copying that program’s signature style).
Windows users accustomed to the visual ribbon interface introduced across Office 2007 will have minimal difficulty getting started with this freeware. Like iMovie, video clips and still images can be dropped into a storyboard. Transitions, trimming and tweaks to projects can be made on the fly or after the first draft of a project is finished.