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post #1 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I just picked up a Canon HFM41 over the weekend and have been looking into video editing software. I am a complete novice and newbie to this whole HD camcorder world. I am used to the miniDV tapes, of which i haven't transferred any over to my computer (something I need to do also for archiving). After reading over a lot of the posts about editing software I don't see a clear "winner" as to which one to buy/learn. It seems Sony Vegas is very popular, but looks to be a steep learning curve. I've read a little about Power Director 10 Ultra, it seems to be comparable with maybe a slight easier learning curve.
My primary use for the camera is for home family movies.
Any suggestions, comments, or recommendations will be appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 09:21 AM
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Power Director v10, Magix Movie Edit Pro (v18), or Pinnacle Studio v15 would be excellent choices for people new to video editing. They all have some good "auto" modes, as well as many features, and are easier to learn than most. Both have several different versions of the same software. Higher price usually adds more content, more HD output, or 64 bit support.

But your main concern will be your system specs. ALL these programs are VERY LARGE resource hogs, and will crash any system, not meeting their HD editing minimumm requirement specs. Rule of thumb...... look at the minimumm required "HD" or "AVCHD" spec for each software, then add 30% to that. If you system has at least these specs, you are fine. If you fall below any spec, then you would need to upgrade that component.

All 3 softwares have "trials: that you can download to try for free for 30 days. To see if you like the interface. But again, read the "requirements" first. They are critical.

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 10:01 AM
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If you are not looking for anything too fancy, I would also suggest you look at Windows Movie Maker first. It can handle HD video and can make "home movies." The negative is that it doesn't have a "real" timeline editing interface so if you're trying to do anything too complex I think it could be a pain. But if you're looking to join or trim clips, add some transitions, and output a final movie then it should work fine. And it is Free! (assuming you have Win 7).

Before shelling out $50-100 on a video editor that may end up being too complex where you actually don't WANT to use it because it is intimidating, I'd play around with making some home movies on Windows first.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogan View Post

If you are not looking for anything too fancy, I would also suggest you look at Windows Movie Maker first. It can handle HD video and can make "home movies." The negative is that it doesn't have a "real" timeline editing interface so if you're trying to do anything too complex I think it could be a pain. But if you're looking to join or trim clips, add some transitions, and output a final movie then it should work fine. And it is Free! (assuming you have Win 7).

Before shelling out $50-100 on a video editor that may end up being too complex where you actually don't WANT to use it because it is intimidating, I'd play around with making some home movies on Windows first.

Good advice also, but system resources are still critical here, when dealing with HD. He probably also received some free editing software with his M41 that will work for basic needs.

We really need to know his system specs, as even the free stuff has requirements?

I recommended using the trial versions, as they are FREE to try for 30 days, to see if you can learn to use them. Personally, I hate the windows movie maker interface and operation.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-11-2012, 08:15 AM
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Another opinion, I prescribe to the "learn the program that you will evolve to".

I chose Sony Vegas Movie Studio (Version 11 is around $100) it is the consumer version of Sony Vegas Pro (around $500). I started with 9, then 10 and now 11.

It is very difficult to learn BUT offers almost unlimited creative possibilities AND when and if you decide to graduate to Pro you already know the program.

If you move onto a more advanced program anytime in the future you will move to either Sony Vegas Pro or Adobe's Premier.

It took me a few months to get the hang of Sony Vegas but I feel I have not even scratched the surface of what can be done with it.

see: www.youtube.com/evileye2011

The latest 3v3 Soccer video was all created in Sony Vegas Imagination Studio 11. Titles and all.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-11-2012, 09:33 AM
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Im in the same boat and have trial versions of both Sony Vegas movie studio and Cyberlink Powerdirector that Im playing with now.

One thing I have found that has helped a lot is the many many free tutorials that are posted on YouTube for both programs.
There are really some great tutorials that cover most if not all that an amature will ever want to do with either program. (More so with Sony Vegas as that seems to be a more popular program.)

My advice: Check out some of the tutorials on YouTube and see how you like the workflow of the various programs.

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-13-2012, 06:51 AM
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I am new to video editing as well and have been researching alot of editors out there looking for a perfect fit. I have decided to go with Powerdirector 10. It just seems like a good entry point for a beginner and not terribly complicated.

While i did give Sony Vegas 11 a swing, it quickly became obvious that one really needs a good foundation in order to successfully use the advanced features it offers. For me, starting off with a program like Sony Vegas would quickly result in massive hair loss.

It's not like i am forever confined to PD if in time i wish to move on to a more advanced program like SV. The way i see it, once i understand the basics i can then start understanding ways to advance those features and this is where SV would come into play.

From what i have learned no one program offers the best in all areas either. PD is supposedly far superior in working with 3D then many other programs including SV. It seems having both programs has it perks and actually compliments each other. So i am starting out with PD to make the learning curve less painful before proceeding with SV and at the same time investing in a program that will still serve me well long term when working with 3D.

Good luck with whatever you decide to go with!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-13-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayw64 View Post

I just picked up a Canon HFM41 over the weekend and have been looking into video editing software. I am a complete novice and newbie to this whole HD camcorder world....My primary use for the camera is for home family movies.....

You are where I was about a year ago. My grandaughters and I bought a Panasonic and later a Sony. I know nothing about Canon camcorders.

My first suggestion is that you read the camcorder manual a couple of times. You bought an advanced consumer camera, not a simple one. You need to know what it does that you want to do.

Next I would load and learn the software that came with your camera. A google revealed it is called "Zoom Browser EX". A downloadable manual is here: http://web.canon.jp/imaging/dcsd/zb46_v16_144dpi-e.pdf .

A very fast review revealed it does lots of stuff -- including cataloging your video and editing your video. The editing section says it has clipping, joining, trimming, titles, transitions, effects, etc. If it is like Sony's and Panasonic's software, it will have features you may want that can't be found elsewhere.

When and if you get the desire to be "creative" beyond the scope of typical family video, you may want to begin exploring the various third party "Non Linear Editors" or "NLEs". Their purpose is to read from any and all digital images you may have from any source, without changing that source in any way, and "rendering" a new movie to one or all of the viewing devices old, new or imagined. They have features where, with "effects" you can turn your kids into cartoon characters or make them fly like Superman. All of them on the market are complex, have evolved for a decade and require serious study to get much out of them. Examples are Sony's Vegas and Adobe's Premier. Both come in $100 amateur versions and $600 professional versions.

Between the advanced NLEs and your Zoom Browzer are the free editing programs that come with Windows or and Apple. My granddaughter loves Windows Movie Maker. For Christmas she gave me a video she produced, filmed and edited about how Granny makes beef stew. She is 10.

I enjoyed wasting a lot of time figuring some of this out. I am getting pretty good at capturing video. I am reasonably proficient with the software that came with the two cameras. I played with Windows Movie Maker and started learning Sony Vegas Movie Studio 11 until it stopped running on my i5 chipped computer. I gave up on Vegas and decided to try Adobe Premier Elements.

For Premier Elements, I have signed up at http://www.lynda.com where for $25 you can spend a month watching excellent training videos on all the NLEs. It is cheaper than a book, and the one on Premier Elements is extraordinary.

Good luck with the family video and have fun.

Bill
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