Software // Enterprise Applications
03:10 PM

Review: Four Feature-Filled Video Editors For $100 And Less

Been putting your videos up on YouTube and feel you're ready to join the pros? These video editing packages will give you the tools you need without breaking your budget.

Video editing for the PC has become a lot like image editing: easier, and a lot more automated. In both cases, users can choose from a broad range of tools to accomplish tasks that used to take a lot of manual drudgework. For example, today's video editing tools let you add canned music to fit a specific length of video, clean up image noise and fixing a shaky camera shot.

Consequently, while the level of polished in the finished product is always going to be up to the creator, novice video developers will now find it a lot easier to pass themselves off as professionals -- or, at least, as reasonably skilled editors.

Four Video Editors

•  Introduction

•  Adobe Premiere Elements

•  CyberLink PowerDirector

•  Pinnacle Studio Plus

•  Ulead VideoStudio

•  Conclusions

For this roundup, I looked at consumer-level video editing applications from Adobe, Cyberlink, Pinnacle, and Ulead, each for about $100. All of them offer the same basic mix of functions: importing video from a variety of sources, editing, audio dubbing, effects and transitions, both timeline and storyboard editing modes, and exporting to a variety of formats (including, as one case, uploading the results directly to YouTube).

What I found most eye-opening is the smattering of pro-level features that have started to work their way into consumer video products:

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