Hehe, I didn't mean it for real about fighting, good discussion with arguments is always a good way to learn, for all sides
I've tried the PowerDirector and Sony Movie Studio.
Unfortunately Movie Studio failed to start repeatedly, no matter what I did. Googling showed a lot of people having similar issues ranging from issues with ATI / nVidia drivers, other completely unrelated software installed on PC, and so on. I didn't like what I've seen so I gave up on it.
I did re-try Premiere Elements, and with some tweaks on my end, I managed to get the almost fluid previews like in Corel, making it a tie sort of.
I also read what you said about Corel and 1080/60p exports, which makes me feel better, but I've also noticed that it sometimes makes output that is not of very good quality.
In the end I've tried PowerDirector 13, and it checks everything I need. Working in it is pretty quick and straightforward, clip previews work fine, there are few tweaks even to lower quality of previews even lower for smoother playback. I also had no issue exporting project back to .m2ts file with more or less exact settings as TM700 source files (MTS, surround, 1080, 59,94fps, high image quality, ...). More so - even the resulting exported file played a bit smoother and better than TM700 original files ever did, and that's without tweaking any settings, just accepting what was there already. All in all I'm very satisfied with Cyberlink's software, and to top it off they offer 24 hour discount of 70% for PowerDirector 13 Ultimate + AudioDirector 5 + some additional effects and packs from Ultimate Suite netting 74,99$ for the whole deal. It's still 75$, quite a bit more than I planned to spend, but seeing as others are in the similar range when on discounts on Amazon and other online stores, I guess I've got nothing else to do.
I have to agree about one point - all of these will be more or less the same for the end user that hasn't done any "serious" video editing yet. I have used several tools in the past, from simple Windows Movie Maker, and VirtualDub or AviSynth, to Premiere Pro, and many more in between, so I'm not a complete newb, but I have found all of these to function pretty much the same. They all do simple edits with ultimate ease, and if I had a faster PC I'd be able to install, setup, open new project, throw in few clips, add transitions, cuts, music, and titles and such, and do it all in 30-40 minutes for a short clip of let's say 1-2 minutes made of 5-10 smaller clips.
I do have some complaints though:
- Premiere Elements (PE) is too heavy still, slowest of the bunch I think, at least on my PC
- PE has a nice "Story" mode, but it doesn't do a good work of clips, leaving too much video IMHO, doing weird cuts of shots of ceilings while few seconds further you can see people in a more stabile shot, and so on
- also PE doesn't allow you to do a quick edit in Story mode than "polish" it in Expert mode, weird, it would save some time I believe, and be a good feature for those that are "in between", neither good editors, and not complete newbs either
- PE is also a huge nag, videos made by Trial have huge watermark across the whole width of exported video, making it a terrible way to see the real final quality of final video...
- Corel burried itself a bit with a very limited trial, while it looks and functions fine, I couldn't test 1080/60p export, how it would look, and how fast it could be done, because - there's nothing above 720/60p; I'm not spending 70$ on a purchace of something I can't test properly
- Sony Movie Studio never started, what to say :-/
- PowerDirector didn't have any obvious issues, but it di crash once when I clicked on "Download Templates" (from DirectorZone), but only that one time, so let's say it's not a big deal, and it certaily hasn't lost ANY of my editing up to that point, which is kind of good to know; I did lack some features from others, or to say it correctly - I used it last so I've seen better/faster/nicer ways to do some minor things, but oh well, in retrospective others lacked stuff from PowerDirector as well.
I'll still look a bit around today to see if I can get any of these tools for a huge discount, but if they all end up in the 60-75$ range, I'll probably go with PowerDirector 13, as it exibited no deal-braking features or issues, and it allowed me to test all aspects of the app without interfering with greyed out fields, cut out features, huge watermarks and so on. And for 75$ I'll get an audio editor, not sure if I'll use it now, but there's time, once I learn a bit more. In the meantime those extra presets and effects could help
I hope this discussion helps someone else as well! Again - I agree - for most light edits and home videos all of these tools will do, and if mastered - they can all be used in almost professional projects as well, plenty of options and possibilities in all of them!
Hey everyone! Just a quick info, in case it helps anyone else.
I did buy PowerDirector just a few minutes ago, and here are few things of interest if you want to save some $$
- install trial, and you'll be offered some nice discounts to Ultra, Ultimate and Suite
- I've picked Cyberlink PowerDirector 13 ULTIMATE + NewBlueFX Titler Pro v1 + NewBlueFX Video Essential 1 & 5 + CyberLink Wedding Pack & Holiday Pack 5 + AudioDirector 5 at 70% off for $74.99 (link, a long one, if it works for you... won't hurt if you try: www.cyberlink.com
- had some trouble with too much VAT from EU, so I kind of faked Canadian address... my friends Google Maps + some "Kepard" VPN with free trial of 1 day did the trick
- also, you don't really need 1 year download ability, 30 days is fine, so that's almost another 10$ off
- and to top it off, there's a 20% off coupon "20POFF" so add that once you have everything in cart!
In total, I got it all for $59.99 ... Dollar is strong so it still cost me almost full 60€ as well, but oh well... they claim package usually costs 260$ + 25% VAT, so 325$ vs 60$.. can't say it was a bad deal
There's also a freeware deal on Cyperlink PhotoDirector 5 Special Edition (probably limited version of older software), which you can grab here: www.cyberlink.com
I'm still downloading it all, but with these combined, I should have a complete photo/video/audio editing solution which way surpasses what I currently need - and got it all for <60 Euros