Which Editing Program Should I Get?
How do you choose which editing program is right for you?
In a broad sense, how you choose editing software is by assessing your needs, budget and skill level. Let’s start with skill level….
Obviously if you’re not great with technology you should begin with basic editing software. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t upgrade to a more advanced one once you master the basic skills. Editing in the digital era is not nearly as complicated and technical as it once was. Since cost and technical ability is no longer a barrier to entry, skill is what separates the professional from the talented. Some people are born with it and with experience will become great editors but it is something you can acquire with perseverance. So if technology isn’t your forte, then you should definitely begin with basic editing software and upgrade it along with your skill level.
Needs are probably the most important factor to take into consideration. If you only need to edit sideshows once a week then you’ll be fine with windows movie maker or imovie. You’ll give up degrees if advanced control but you probably won’t even need that advanced level and you’ll make up for it with ease of use and speed. The more complex your video projects are, the more advanced piece of editing software you’ll need. For instance if you need to cut together a product demo over a client testimonial, then you’ll need to manage audio levels and organize larger quantities of footage. If you need specific control over your footage and edit then you’ll need something more advanced than iMovie. A step up from iMovie is Apple’s Final Cut Express or Adobe’s Premiere Elements. FCE and Premiere Elements are great editing programs for the intermediate user.
If you need to do edit many projects with varying levels of difficulty then Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Adobe’s Premiere Pro are your 2 main and most popular options. Some people consider Avid to be the most advanced piece of editing software but many people believe that at that level, the specific software no longer matters because you can achieve the same results with any of those 3. These programs give you the most advanced level of control, and are often bought as bundles of software called “suites.” These suites come with additional programs that work in conjunction with your editor as well as standalone applications. These additional programs allow you to create motion graphics, special effects, and custom DVD menus to name a few.
Budget should be the least of your concerns and it’s much less of one in today’s digital era. Technology both hardware and software is cheap and affordable by the masses.