Powerful Consumer Editing Software Comparison
Muvee Reveal X, Adobe Premiere Elements, Cyberlink PowerDirector, and Sony Vegas Comparison from a Pro Editor.
I’ve been a professional editor for 20 years. I’ve seen and used just about everything that has been created for the purpose of juggling picture and sound into a meaningful sequence. One observation I can honestly make is that there has never been better options to the amateur videographer for editing than there is right now. If you want to edit your home movies, make content for YouTube, or showcase your small business with video demos, then you’re in luck.
If you would like to make your own videos, but don’t want the expense of full-featured professional software, then here’s the list of applications that i recommend. (In alphabetical order of publisher)
Adobe Premiere Elements – A solid choice. This is a stripped down version of Adobe’s professional offering. ($100)
- Most similar to professional editing software.
- For PCs and Macs.
- Real editing tools offer great precision.
- Works well with other Adobe products like Photoshop and After Effects.
- Upgradeable to Adobe’s Premier Pro.
- Very good selection of transitions and clip filters.
- Powerful audio mixing and manipulation tools.
- Does very well mixing footage with differing frame rates and resolutions.
What’s Not Good about Adobe Premiere Elements
- The hardest software to learn in this category.
- I find audio track patching to be annoying when you have a great deal of audio tracks.
- Did I mention this software is complicated.
- You need a beefy video card and CPU to really get this software off the ground.
Cyberlink PowerDirector – My pick for the best overall non-pro editor. ($70)
- Easy to learn, yet full-featured.
- I like the trimming tools, and the timeline effects track.
- will work just fine on lesser computers, but will take advantage of faster machines.
- Sports faster render times than I would expect.
- Expandable system of tools- you only buy what you need. (the full set costs $250 total)
- Free themes available on the Cyberlink website.
- Has an easy to use wizard mode to make movies super fast- similar to MuVee.
- I love the audio controls, and the powerful waveform editor.
- Make Blu Rays right in the application.
- Fun to use.
What’s Not Good about Cyberlink PowerDirector
- For PC only. (Will run on a Mac with Boot Camp)
- There is not much to ding PowerDirector on.
- Navigating the timeline can be frustrating at times.
- ships with less canned music than some competitors.
- I avoid using the Storyboard Mode because it’s not as responsive as the timeline.
MuVee Reveal X- to really kick things out fast. This is my pick for the best video software for those that want their computer to handle most of the work. I have used this package, and I’m always amazed at how incredibly simple it is. By far, the best entry-level software package! ($65)
- Very easy to learn.
- Face recognition technology automatically keys in on people- cool.
- Automated video assembly tools are very cool.
- Very reasonably priced – this software is a great value for what it can do!
- The software edits to the beat of your music for you- very nifty.
- There’s a more powerful version specifically for small businesses that couldn’t be any easier to use. The business version is $400, but is well worth it if you just want to get quality video online with as little fuss as possible. They also have a large selection of business specific themes to purchase for $15 a pop.
What’s Not Good about MuVee Reveal X
- For Windows machines only.*
- If you want themes from multiple packs, the price can add up.
- Editing precision is difficult to achieve in the non-professional version.
- the jump in price from $65 to $400 for the professional version is steep considering that the professional version is still considered a consumer-level editing package.
*Muvee currently offers a photo slideshow product called Muvee Reveal Express for Mac for only $15! This is an outstanding application for Mac users, but it only makes videos from still images. Movie clips are currently not supported. This is conveniently available through the Mac App Store, and I recommend that you get it.
Sony Vegas- Very powerful, but complicated ($599)
- Sony has packed big features and capability into this software.
- Excellent Audio editing and manipulation tools.
- Fast compositing tools.
- Takes advantage of more powerful video cards for advanced users.
- Along with Adobe Premiere Elements- can be difficult to learn how to use.
What’s Not Good about Sony Vegas
- For PC only. (Will run on Mac with Boot Camp)
- Reputation for being buggy
- Higher price tag than other offerings
- Beefy system requirements make it potentially much more costly to run
There you have it, people! Muvee has an awesome package for the novice. (Or just to kick out a cool video really fast!) Adobe and Cyberlink have very good software for editing- which one you choose depends on how serious you want to get, and how much time you want to invest in learning.
Now go out there, and make some great videos!