Susan Bell Photography

Beginner video editing software?

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I use Cyberlink Power Director 15 Ultra for PC, available from Amazon for I believe about $75 now.  The PRICE is "beginner", but let me tell you, this software is very powerful!  I see no need to upgrade to Premiere Pro or any of the more "advanced" software on the market!  This software does just about EVERYTHING an editor could want and handles a variety of video formats, including AVCHD, 4K, even 360 VR and Mac-based MOV files, effortlessly.

The instruction manual for PD is limited, so your son will have to rely on Youtube tutorials, which are easy to understand, they'll show him exactly what to do to make whatever he wants happen.

There is a newer PD 16 Ultimate for I believe $129 from Amazon that is bundled with more advanced audio editing functions and some other stuff, but he might not need all that to get started.

Best!

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Adobe charges a monthly subscription fee for Premiere, of $19.95 I believe (it might be less if your son is a student; you can get the student discount), to get "live updates".  You can disable the automatic monthly charge and still use Premiere, but it's probably a complicated procedure to get Adobe to stop automatically drafting your bank account or charging your credit card.  This is why I went with PD.

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If you're a Mac user, you can try iMovie. It is free and has tons of features for a beginner to start with.

If you prefer Windows, I can vouch for Adobe Premiere Elements. It is great for beginners and costs about $69.99 (after $30 discount and one time full license). This will be a step towards professional editing as switching to Adobe Premiere Pro will be easy in the future.

Another product worth checking is DaVinci Resolve (free version for beginners). This is similar to Adobe Premiere Elements and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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There are some very good but free software packages available, look at OpenShot Video Editor. It is pretty powerful and has transitions and effects, multi-track, etc, all the things you would expect in a high quality video editing suite. It is open source so if you don't like it, you haven't spent anything and can simply un-install it.

Also look at the videohelp software site, they have reviews and downloads for tons of software, much of it free, and many of the commercial packages they list have trial versions:

https://www.videohelp.com/software

On this page you will find several categories of of editors (and many other video tools). With all the free ones available, you shouldn't need to buy anything, at least not right away, and if you are interested in a commercial package, they may have a link to the trial version.

I would start by looking at the most promising free ones and installing several of them, and then take it from there.

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