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video editing

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
For all of you that take video of your skiing (or any other activity), which video editing software do you use to capture/edit/burn to DVD your digital movies.

I have some digital video of my family the last few years and it is still sitting on the tapes. I want to make some good DVDs of the footage.

Anybody have any experience with the current software out there (adobe, ulead, nero, roxio, pinnacle)?

post #2 of 36
Pinnacle seems to get a fair amount of use among commercial MTB vid makers who bother to slap an icon in their opening credits...

I've used Ulead Video Studio DV - it came with my Canon vid cam. I've also tried Microsoft's video editor that comes with the Media Center editions of XP.

The Microsoft software sucked, it was slow and the originally recorded image lost a lot of detail and quality in the editing process. Pure junk. Forget it.

The Ulead software worked pretty well, pretty easily, pretty seamlessly.

Not sure which program I'd buy if I were spending money, but what I've read about Pinnacle is that it's better than most. The program I reviewed (on a digital video imaging discussion website somewhere here on the web) cost something like $350, can't recall its name.
post #3 of 36
Gonzo is correct that the Pinnacle software is generally pretty good (I use a 5 yr old version called Studio DV) and very powerful for $100 or so. The current version of the inexpensive Pinnacle software is Studio version 9 and as Gonzo said there are many other worthy contenders. Some of it can be very buggy as hardware/software configurations on your machine change, but an up to date version of XP seems to mitigate most of those problems. Good luck as it can be fun to play around with at times.
post #4 of 36
Has anybody tried the new Adobe Premiere Elements (basically a Premiere Lite)? I've seen it advertised, but was wondering how it compares to Pinnacle or other software in terms of features, flexibility, ease of use, etc.
post #5 of 36
Use iMovie and iDVD on a Mac...
post #6 of 36
I use the Sonic MyDVD software that came with the DVD burner on my Dell PC. The version of Sonic that I have is easy to use but can not do the fancy DVD tricks that you see on professionally made DVDs (e.g. nested menus, > 10 scenes).
post #7 of 36
I have been using Sony's Vegas Movie Studio + DVD and it works pretty well. It is especially strong in dubbing audio tracks. I have trialed Pinnacle Movie Studio 8 and trialed version 9, but prefer the Sony product. I am curious if the new Adobe Premiere Elements is an improvement. I remember trying to learn Premiere Pro and just throwing up my hands. Way too big of a learning curve and the price!!!.

This is a rapidly evolving and competitive software arena. Basically you can trial any of the packages for 30 days. Check for ease of use, features (effects, transitions) number of tracks, and rendering options. You will mostly render video to MPEG2 and WMV on windows machines. Some let you make Video CD. Very few consumer level programs can handle HD. Wait 6-months and the software will change and upgrade.

For you Mac fans, I have been priviledged to use Final Cut Pro at a friend's down the street (professional videographer). Nothing on Windows can come close.
post #8 of 36
I think I've said it before... Buy a Mac and use iDVD, FC Express or FC Pro depending on your needs and budget. The time and pain you save could likely pay for the Mac. It has been a while since I've played with a PC for this sort of thing, but I can't imagine the PC has gotten anywhere close to the Mac in the intervening time.

Or just find a friend with a Mac and swing by with some footage and a six pack...
post #9 of 36
spindrift, you've got it. Really, folks, if you're going to be working with media, the Mac is worth it. You can do this on a Mac Mini just fine (add some memory), so it's not even an expensive Mac. The PC, by virtue of its operating system's fundamental issues, cannot come close.
post #10 of 36

The worlds perfect video editing ski!


Is there a "Mac Metron" yet?:

Or would that just put you totally over the edge:
post #11 of 36
Ok, Chris, I'll say, "Goodnight."

I'm still right about this.
post #12 of 36
Video editing. Just about any software will do the basic stuff on either Mac or Windows. The question is: how refined do you want to go and how much trouble do you want to go though? I have used about 7 or 8 different editing programs over the years and they all work, from Avid Media Composer to Final Cut Pro to even Premiere Elements. Some short reviews:
Avid Media Composer: powerful, expensive, huge learning curve.
Mac iMovie2: free (if you own a mac) easy to learn, good but limited feature set.
Windows Moviemaker 2:free, easy to learn, but has some serious limitations
Premiere Elements: inexpensive, reasonably OK features, inefficient workspace.
Avid Express Pro HD: like Composer only cheaper. Legacy file structure.
Final Cut Pro HD: My favorite: very scalable. Quick learning curve, huge potential
Final Cut Express HD: Best value, IMHO.

I haven't tried Vegas or Pinnacle software, but I know of fans. In general, try demo versions and find the one you like the best before buying. Also, if you really get into editing, in the long run, the windows or mac platform won't matter, except you will be happier on a mac.
post #13 of 36
Gonzo, you are the one making money the center of the world. And maybe missing the basic arithmetic of life? How much is time worth? What if it takes literally days vs hours or minutes to get set up and to become proficient on one platform vs another? Maybe buying a Mac Mini with some extra memory (and including iMovie and iDVD) ends up looking like quite a deal?

Yeah, if you are tech savvy enough and have the right stuff on your PC, what the heck. However, I've seen people waste days of their lives stitching together various devices and software. Maybe spending an extra few hundred and skiing a couple extra weekends is a good tradeoff?
post #14 of 36
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
DV editing software packs: $250-750

Apple Computer: $1000 and up.

I don't see any real fair price comparison there. but go ahead and suggest buying a WHOLE NEW COMPUTER when just a software program will do.
Mac mini: $499. It comes with iMovie. Care to reconsider, Gonz?

I certainly don't understand the over-the-top emotion in your post. I only know what my experience has been with the various options. If you want to do video, don't do it on a PC unless it is absolutely tricked out (CPU, memory, high-speed disk, etc.). If you try to, you'll get video like I posted here last year: jerky, weak captures, etc.
post #15 of 36
It is not just about the video quality. It is about the pain needed to put it together. Whether for video or still slide shows, the Mac is just a better consumer device for these purposes. When I do something, I prefer to have the right tool for the job. In today's world, the Mac is the right tool for these tasks. With no access to a Mac, sure - you can get by with a PC. And you can get OK results. Why work so hard and for so long?
post #16 of 36
part of the emotion comes from urging a wholesale change of computer just to edit video.

look, there isn't anything wrong with the notion that Mac is a better application for graphic intensive work. it always has been and probably always will be.

but I think it's a big suggestive, to say the least, for someone to urge buying a whole new computer just to edit video. plenty of good work on video production has been done on PCs and will continue to be so done.

as to the remainder of the emotion, I probably was a bit cranky this morning so I apologize for the tone, but I still think it's quite excessive to suggest a whole new computer when the question was "what software program."

don't you?

anyway, my apologies to you mac lovers, I guess zeal isn't such a bad thing.
post #17 of 36
Well, here's where I'm coming from.

First there is a value to "life". I just hate getting frustrated to the point where I want to throw a machine out the window - and dealing with media or networking issues on a PC is more likely to result in this than will using a Mac.

Second, the distinction between hardware and software, while very real from a technical point of view, is a bit arbitrary in terms of what it means to a consumer. Both are tools/products. A Mac Mini is about 500 bucks. It comes with OK photo and video software pre-installed. Plug & edit. Now contrast this simple purchase with an all too common PC cycle that looks something like - buy software and I/O card (maybe), discover card or driver incompatibility with software. Try to rectify. Find out that this is insanely hard or not possible. Maybe even toast OS by futzing with drivers. Next, after OS re-install, buy new I/O card or maybe even new PC to try to salvage 300 buck software purchase...

post #18 of 36
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
part of the emotion comes from urging a wholesale change of computer just to edit video.
It depends. I tried using my Windows computer for video while at the ESA. I discovered that that machine (a brand-new high-end Thinkpad) didn't have a prayer doing high-quality video.

I have however, worked in organizations that have used Windows machines for video. In general, that have had to be very high-end systems, with specialized graphics cards, lots of memory, high-speed disks (7200 or 10000 rpm), and the highest-speed CPU possible. Again, in general, in my experience the PCs that do a good job of video editing are not the typical one that most people have in their homes. (For example, here are the Adobe Premier Pro system requirements.)

On the other hand, even the low-end Mac does a great job at this.

FWIW, Gonz, I haven't ever owned a Mac. I have carried a Windows computer for a decade. My next system will be a Mac, however.

So, again, it depends on where people are financially, whether they intend to do a little or a lot, and how sensitive they are to the quality of the result.
post #19 of 36
now the information is more complete. thanks ssh and spindrift for tolerating my hasty derision.

so the better answer is,

1) video editing requires powerful processing and harmony among hardware pieces

2) you need to find out whether your PC meets those requirements

3) most software packages will tell you their absolute minima, and a poll of users might be necessary to find out just how MINIMAL are the minima

4) IF you have to spend at least $500 for DV editing software and whatever new PC hardware is required to work with the editing software AND your particular DV camera, you MIGHT be better off buying a Mac Mini at $500...

however... the frugal and waste-avoiding side of me says,

5) do you really want to have 2 computers now instead of one, when the only thing you were trying to do was edit digital video recordings?

remember, computers generally represent an environmentally sensitive mfre process with A LOT of waste accompanying a "throwaway" old PC that no longer floats your boat for DV editing.

I guess at bottom I am ranting AGAINST a throwaway culture that seems so prevalent in our materialistic, capitalistic society.
post #20 of 36
I buy all of that, Gonz. Keep in mind that there are often opportunities to contribute older computers to non-profits and students who do not have the advantage of purchasing the "latest and greatest" (or, in some cases, any at all). I have yet to actually dispose of a computer by throwing it away...
post #21 of 36
Originally Posted by ssh
I buy all of that, Gonz. Keep in mind that there are often opportunities to contribute older computers to non-profits and students who do not have the advantage of purchasing the "latest and greatest" (or, in some cases, any at all). I have yet to actually dispose of a computer by throwing it away...

my older computer, replaced by the one I'm typing on, now is being used by Bike Doctor in Missoula. my friends own the shop and they didn't have a computer there. I donated it to them in exchange for them loaning me their oxy-acetylene tanks and torch to use in my first efforts at framebuilding. I eventually got my own oxy-acetylene kit and gave back their stuff but they have the computer still.

I don't think that many people realize how eco-harmful is the mfre of electronic devices. rampantly consuming NEW products that are made with such ecodamage means that you are supplying more pollution than your existence warrants, IMO.

if we were talking about toilet paper brands, I'd say toss out the old and get some new.

but not with things that are born from intensive ecoharmful mfre.
post #22 of 36
Yeah... I lived near a former chip-fab Super Fund site in San Jose. And people wonder why I'm so paranoid about water. This certainly is an area about which many people are ignorant. But, with Microsoft systems and applications consistently requiring newer and newer computers, it can be tough. My old circa 1995 PC can't run any current operating system other than BSD Unix (not even Fedora Linux). That's the way the industry goes.
post #23 of 36
Hey, cbgarrett, did you get an answer suitable for your needs?
post #24 of 36
My good friend edits profesionally on Final Cut Pro, and iDVD. He won't even discuss, much less attempt to edit on PC.

That said, if you're just screwing around with home videos and what not, and run a modern, pretty full featured PC, you'll probably muddle thru with some of the software mentioned above.
post #25 of 36
I crossed over to [the computer-world's version] of the darkside last season after trying to edit DV on a PC for two or three seasons. After buying an Apple Powerbook & seeing the light, I was amazed that I even attempted multi-media work on PC systems in the past!

As for the wasteful nature of the consumer electronics industry, well, the old man couldn't be more correct. Rather than recycle/donate my old PC (a PIII), I simply added another hard drive and turned it into a media-server. It now stores my photos, iTunes library, and a good portion of the finished video projects I've done on my Mac.
post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for the responses. I am currently trying out some of the popular packages. So far, I like the adobe software best. I edited down about 40 minutes of video to a decent 15 minute movie complete with music and titles.
post #27 of 36


I've never edited video on a Mac, so I really have nothing to compare to, but I use Pinnacle studio 9. It has worked very well for everything that I have done on it, which includes several 45 minute full-quality DVDs. It has also worked on all of the smaller clips that I have made, and is compatible with many different video codecs. For some sample videos that I have made with the program, visit http://www.hollowracing.com/videos.htm. I'm in the process of making a ski video now.
post #28 of 36
post #29 of 36
iMovie HD
post #30 of 36
Canopus Edius Pro 3.5 on a PC :. It kicks a good deal of asse as far as real time effects and speed of editing, but can be quirky at times, and the audio editing leaves something to be desired. But overall, it's very powerful and loaded with more feature than I'll ever need. I used to use Premiere, which is great too, but I found Edius more fun to use.

I see no need to ever buy a MAC, my PC has more garbage on it than you can imagine, but still edits video almost flawlessly. I do have 330 GB of dedicated video storage though on 2 additional hard drives.
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