Best Video Editor


mohak

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Hello All,
I am new to the video editing domain and need some advice choosing the right software for my needs. Initially I will be involved in basic video editing for YouTube which includes merging 2 videos, some transition effects, audio mixing, and the like. I am referring this article but they suggest applications which are very heavy and expensive. I do not want to invest this much for now. Can you suggest any good software applications that fulfill my need?
Thanks in advance :)
 

6pack

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The article has free editors mentioned in it too. Didn't you read it properly?

I've run Shotcut and Openshot on a Celeron 3100 with 4GB ram. Both work well. since I didn't expect any speed out of them I doubt your pc / laptop would be worse than this. I hate both though. Both have drawbacks if you're used to Adobe or Sony video editing programs and how they work.

If you want high level almost free tool (like even film producers use), it's DaVinci. Can't go better than that. I've installed this on my Celeron machine too. Was too high end for me. Not for noobs just getting into video editing.
 

Marcus Fenix

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The article has free editors mentioned in it too. Didn't you read it properly?

I've run Shotcut and Openshot on a Celeron 3100 with 4GB ram. Both work well. since I didn't expect any speed out of them I doubt your pc / laptop would be worse than this. I hate both though. Both have drawbacks if you're used to Adobe or Sony video editing programs and how they work.

If you want high level almost free tool (like even film producers use), it's DaVinci. Can't go better than that. I've installed this on my Celeron machine too. Was too high end for me. Not for noobs just getting into video editing.
Are you talking about DaVinci Resolve which all tech youtubers go gaga about?
 

6pack

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Are you talking about DaVinci Resolve which all tech youtubers go gaga about?
Yes. The only drawback it has is, it does not do h264 output in the free version because of license cost. That can be easily done in any freeware h264 / x264 encoder.
 

AK3D

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I needed a basic video editor for some home videos etc.

None of the free video editing software worked either properly or easily for me. One of the drawbacks of Open source I guess.
I tried Shotcut, Openshot, KDENLive, Lightworks and VSDC Video Editor.
Titling wasn't easy, and neither was merging tracks. Some software used to splice and cut out overlaid tracks, manually adding effects was an annoyance. To top it off, the spliced tracks could not be re-adjusted, and the crossfade was a spliced segment (needing me to undo again and again to get back to where I was). I forgot which software this was in.
Another software had me render titles in blender, and then import the result as a series of files (PNG overlay).

Using a pirated version of Premiere is out of the question, and anyway, I find Premiere too bloated for simple video editing tasks way back, I haven't touched it since.

When I saw that Vegas 15 Edit Pro was available for 25USD on Humble Bundle a few months ago, bought it, and it's been really smooth, fast and effective. It also came with a version of Movie Studio (much lighter and faster). Movie Studio is a cut-down form of Vegas Edit, it seems.
The bundle isn't on sale any more, but Movie Studio is available for 3500ish (well worth it) for the latest version, and for about 800ish for the old V13 on Steam.

TBH - Open source is great while it works, but it's not for all scenarios, and the workarounds etc. are too time consuming. Easy to-use and drag and drop saves time and money every time.

Edit : While browsing about for updates and reviews, came across this https://fxhome.com/hitfilm-express/specs . The express version seems to be very good and has a lot of features. DaVinci Resolve is very good, but has a learning curve.
 
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vishalrao

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None of the free video editing software worked either properly or easily for me.
Depending on how far ago you used them, they would have improved drastically in the mean time, based on casual reading of whatever updates I've seen posted on blogs etc.
 

booo

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^ there are too many codecs and formats to deal with and they are rapidly evolving. that is why there are no "easy to use" open source/free tools. if you record using iphone, the imovie is the simplest and easy to use tool but then it will only support iphone video formats. if you use a camera then its another story. based on color science, encoding formats etc...

Thats why most of the professionals have what is called "work flow", they stick to particular set of cameras and softwares and shoot videos around that. for example, if you shoot half of the video with iphone and half with gopro. you will never be able to make a good edit out of it using free tools.
 

AK3D

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Depending on how far ago you used them, they would have improved drastically in the mean time, based on casual reading of whatever updates I've seen posted on blogs etc.
Fairly recently (4 months ago or so). I'm not saying the software didn't work. Just that the workflow was quite convoluted, a couple of software kept crashing/hanging.
Titling was good in one, but quite a mind boggling experience in another, another example could be applying a default time and effect to every transition, if you have 30 of them, it gets tedious very fast, and frankly, spending time and energy learning a set of software with limited returns (no financial gain either) was out of the question.
The two main takeaways from my experience are time and productivity.
I would also like to differentiate the polish and feel between the 'free', but licensed software vs open source and independent projects.
If you have time, you can definitely use some of these open source source software to good effect, no denying that.
Even better, I found HitFilm essentials, very good for what it does, and there's Davinci Resolve that is also very good. For the price, Vegas is just too easy to use, does great NLE work, and has a superb audio and transition/title library.

^ there are too many codecs and formats to deal with and they are rapidly evolving. that is why there are no "easy to use" open source/free tools. if you record using iphone, the imovie is the simplest and easy to use tool but then it will only support iphone video formats. if you use a camera then its another story. based on color science, encoding formats etc...

Thats why most of the professionals have what is called "work flow", they stick to particular set of cameras and softwares and shoot videos around that. for example, if you shoot half of the video with iphone and half with gopro. you will never be able to make a good edit out of it using free tools.
I do know a little about workflows :)
In fact, the codec scene is more supported and better than it was years ago, when you had DivX, Xvid, Cinepak, Realvideo etc etc. A usual container was the Microsoft AVI file with a codec in it, and if you didn't have a codec installed, the video wouldn't play. I won't even go into the proprietary hell of RM files.

These days, commonly used are MP4 and MKV, with X264 or HEVC codecs (for lossy compression). On the high end, you have DV, uncompressed formats, formats with higher bit support etc etc. The list is never ending.
As you said, best to stick with a set of hardware > software > codecs and output. However, when you need to create quick videos, say for youtube, or just edit and go, it's a learning curve for each individual piece of software. That is why, it is good to choose a budget video editor (Vegas is really nice, Hitfilm includes Video and Effects, Premiere/After Effects have a steep learning curve, but are industry standard) . At the high end of the market, there's Avid, and others.
Thing is, these video editors do great when you throw even a multitude of formats at them, for example, it is easy to color grade to specifications, or ensure a consistent look, or set an audio level/envelope that will result in less audio variation. Some of them do a great job of motion stabilization, and others have great motion tracking.

To summarize, I'm NOT saying the Open source video editors are bad. It is just that their 'unique' workflows, or limitations need to get used to. The 'free' industry standard editors do a much better job, and IF you have the budget, or your use case is editing on a daily basis, best to invest in a good NLE.
 
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