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Video Editors for Beginners

Many of our clients who have digitized dozens of vintage videotape recordings to hours of raw footage eventually decide they want a "Best of" compilation of their video recordings. The two ways to achieve this are to have a company edit the videos for you or do it yourself by making use of a simple video editing program to create a shorter and more interesting viewing experience.

We will cover a handful of easy-to-use, low cost editing programs that are good choices for non-technical computer users. These software programs are priced under $80 and let you cut out video scenes you don't want, correct colors and exposures, add opening titles and save your movie masterpiece in a format for posting on a social media or copying to a flash drive or other storage device.



MOVAVI VIDEO EDITOR

Movavi Video Editor is an excellent choice for a beginning video editor. It offers a simple and intuitive user interface, drag and drop controls and a nice selection of built-in video intros, music, backgrounds and sounds. There is also a one-click feature for adding video effects to your movie. And the Montage Wizard automatically turns video footage into a themed movie.

The downsides are the lack of advanced editing features found in other packages and the rendering and exporting time to generate the edited movie is slow compared to other video editors. Movavi Video Editor is available for both Windows and Mac as an annual license or a perpetual license.

OPENSHOT VIDEO EDITOR


Those looking for a high quality free video editor should consider OpenShot. It has a simple user interface that is ideal for beginners and provides most of the features you will need for basic video editing. In addition, features for time mapping, audio soundtrack editing and real-time previews of your movie are included.


OpenShot has an easy-to-use interface that’s great for beginners. It does not have a huge array of editing features but it’s a solid option for beginners to use for basic editing. OpenShot is useful for resizing, trimming, scaling, snapping, and rotation. You will find function such as scrolling credits, time mapping, audio editing, frame stepping, and real-time preview. Other features include video effects like gamma and greenscreen, customizable title cards and keyframe animation capabilities.


Since OpenShot is an open source software program, it is maintained and updated by a volunteer army of developers so you get a quality free editing program that has no advertising, watermarks or hidden license fees. The drawback to OpenShot is the occasional program bug and somewhat laggy response in the software performance. OpenShot is available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.



IMOVIE VIDEO EDITOR


If you are a Mac user and have a Mac computer or an iPad, you already have an excellent video editing program with iMovie. While it does not have power user features like audio-video sync, 360-degree editing and motion tracking capability, iMovie is a great choice for the beginning editor looking to improve their digitized videotape recordings.


Features include a built-in file management system for managing video files, a noise reduction option for reducing background noise in the audio track of your videos, built-in music tracks, and easy-to-use color correction for improving exposure and color issues in the video recording. While Apple has been slow to update iMovie in the past, there have been more updates recently and the product is still supported.



FILMORA VIDEO EDITOR


Filmora from Wondershare is our recommendation for non-technical users who need a video editor that is easy to use but still has advanced features. Filmora has a user interface that is easy on the eyes while still providing access on the main screen for all the important editing functions. For newbies, Filmora has hundreds of preset filters to let you adjust colors. Other features include audio synch, keyframing, motion tracking, and a simple but advanced color correction system. New artificial intelligence features include AI Silence Detection, AI Sound Denoise and AI Audio Stretch. Video rendering times are fast.


Cons to buying Filmora include its weak video stabilizer feature, no multicam editing and no Virtual Reality capabilities. Filmora is available for Windows and Mac platforms.



SUMMARY


It is not necessary to spend the license cost and weeks of training to use a professional video editing program like Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple's Final Cut Pro in order to improve your digitized VHS recordings. All four of the editing programs covered here provide an easy way to remove unwanted video footage, correct colors and exposure, add video filtering, create an opening movie title and export a final version of your edited video in a file format for sharing or posting on a social media site. Today's basic video editors are better designed and easier to use than ever and any of these programs provide the tools for you to create compelling home videos that your family will enjoy watching.


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