Thoradrim's Comprehensive Editing Program Listing
I've tried all of these and can say they are all superb, if used properly. Of course, just as with anything else, the more you spend, the more options you'll have at your disposal.
Windows Movie Maker (free with Windows XP)
This is a fairly constraining program. The effects are all preset and there is little to no customization. If you're making a film for a friend or just want to show other players something "cool", Movie Maker is a good choice. If you're looking to make an epic saga, you're gonna have to spend some dough.
Movie Maker Home
Pinnacle Studio 9 ($79.99*; Free 30 Day Trial - Requires Email Address)
The program is extremely intuitive and easy to learn for the common home user. Sadly, it's extremely buggy, and will induce many headaches. Furthermore, you must purchase a plethora of plugins to harvest the program's full functionality. A very low A/V track limit makes this app almost inplausible for big projects. Still, it has some very nice effects and is a powerful little program overall. Suited for the patient hobbyist filmmaker.
Studio 9 Home
Ulead VideoStudio 9 ($99.99*; Free 30 Day Trial - Registration Required)
I highly recommend this program for both newbs and hobbyists alike. The interface is extremely intuitive, so it should be a piece of cake to learn. Great effects, great customization, and a pretty good chromakeyer. The only downer is the lack of more Audio Mixing Controls. If Adobe Premiere Elements intimidates you, you'll probably find VideoStudio very welcoming.
VideoStudio 9 Home
Adobe Premiere Elements ($99.99*; Free 30 Day Trial - Registration Required)
If you can get past its somewhat forboding interface, then you'll find Premiere Elements is probably the most powerful editing app in its price range. 99 A/V tracks combined with excellent effects controls and timeline manipulation, and you've got a monster on your hands. For the price, it can't be beat...
Premiere Elements Home
Sony Vegas 6 ($449*; Free 30 Day Trial)
Sony Vegas is really starting to shine as an all-in-one editing solution. It has some of the best built-in sound controls I've ever seen and it's definately no slacker when it comes to the visual aspect. All effects are high-quality and easy to manipulate. Color correction and transitions are top notch. The interface is intuitive and quick to learn. If Adobe isn't careful, Sony will take the spotlight.
Vegas 6 Home
Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 ($699*; Free 30 Day Trial - Registration Required)
Premiere Pro is my "baby" when it comes to editing. She's a powerful app, bordering on Pro-grade. She's not as "glamourous" as Vegas, but she packs quite a punch. If you couldn't tell, I'm a Premiere Pro fanboy and therefore you'll never get a nonbiased summary. Embarassed
Premiere Pro 1.5 Home
I've tried a few of these, so will comment on what I can.
Final Cut Pro (MAC ONLY) ($999*; No Trial) - Get ready for the fast lane, hun - this is what the Pros use. There's nothing you can't do with this little baby.
iMovie HD (MAC ONLY) ($79.99*; No Trial) - From what I hear, this is one powerful little app. "The lite version of Final Cut".
Avid (EXPENSIVE) - The editing behemoth of the film/broadcast industry. You're getting into serious territory here. Unless you have been to film school or have some editing background, stay away.
Roxio Videowave 7 ($49.99*; No Trial) - I really can't recommend this one - extremely limited and unstable. Movie Maker could probably do a better job.
Video Explosion Deluxe ($79.99*; No Trial)
Pinnacle Liquid 6 ($499*; Free Trial - By Mail Only)
Ulead Media Studio Pro 7 ($299*; Free Trial - Registration Required)
Adobe Photoshop CS2 ($599*; Free 30 Day Trial - Registration Required) - Digital Imaging, Graphic Design, Video Mattes... Is there anything Photoshop can't do?
Sony Acid Pro 5 ($299*; Free 30 Day Trial) - Loop-based Music Creation. Create royalty-free music even if you aren't a musician!
Sony Sound Forge 8 ($299*; Free 30 Day Trial) - Excellent sound editing software.
Adobe After Effects 6.5 Pro ($999*; Free 30 Day Trial - Registration Required) - The industry standard for video compositing.
* = US Currency
Originally posted by Thoradrim on the old forum
Founder and Lead Admin