Stepping Up to More Advanced Editing

on Thursday, July 30, 2009

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, rest assured that it will: You want to do a certain kind of edit, but the software you’re using right now just won’t let you. Or you may find that some tasks are difficult or tedious to perform.
Before you get mad and break a keyboard or something, consider upgrading
to a more advanced editing program. Some well-regarded advanced editing
programs include
  • Adobe Premiere (Mac/Windows): Adobe kicked the affordable video editing revolution into high gear a few years ago with Premiere. It remains a popular choice among video professionals and hobbyists, although it has slipped in popularity in recent years as Final Cut Pro and others offer viable alternatives. Adobe Premiere retails for $549, although if you shop around, you may get a better deal by buying Premiere packaged with a high-quality video-capture card.
  • Avid Xpress (Mac/Windows): Avid has been making broadcast videoediting
  • software and equipment for years, and many professionals prefer the Avid Xpress video-editing software. And after years of spending tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars for Avid editing workstations in the past, pros don’t mind the $1699 retail price of Avid Xpress. For the typical amateur moviemaker, however, some of the more affordable solutions make more sense.
  • Apple Final Cut Pro (Mac): Quickly becoming one of the most popular editing programs among pros and dedicated hobbyists, this program, which retails for $999, can do it all.
  • Apple Final Cut Express (Mac): If Final Cut Pro’s price tag is out of your reach, consider the $299 Express version. Unless you’re editing video professionally for broadcast TV or Hollywood movie studios, this is a better, much more affordable choice.
  • Pinnacle Edition (Windows): Pinnacle definitely knows video. Whether you’re a broadcast professional or DV newbie, Pinnacle has software and hardware worth considering. Edition is Pinnacle’s answer to Adobe Premiere and other high-end video editors. Pinnacle Edition DV retails for $699 with a FireWire card included, although if you already own Pinnacle Studio, you can upgrade to Edition for a lot less (at this writing, Pinnacle advertised an upgrade special of just $199).
  • Sonic Foundry Vegas (Windows): Vegas from Sonic Foundry has been quietly building a strong reputation among video editors, many of whom prefer Vegas to Adobe Premiere for Windows-based editing. The Vegas software retails for $699, though Sonic Foundry occasionally has special offers.
Although you may expect advanced editing programs to be more complex, I actually find them easier to use. For example, consider the process of capturing video from your camcorder. In Apple iMovie and Pinnacle Studio, you have to be quick with your mouse and buttons to start and stop capture. If you want to capture a lot of different scenes from a tape, this process can grow tedious because you have to sit there in front of your computer manually starting and stopping capture for each piece of video. And because you probably won’t actually capture a piece of video until you’ve reviewed it at least once, you’ll spend a lot of time rewinding the same video over and over.