You've just returned home from an awesome holiday vacation and you're ready to transfer your holiday videos and photos onto your computer, and edit them to create a memorable DVD.
But there's one problem. What software can you use to reliably capture video from your camera and transfer it to your drive at the best quality and the smallest file size? There are many programs you can use for this task, and some are even free.
Your computer would already have Windows Movie Maker installed (unless you run Windows 7 or anything older than Windows XP) and Apple iMovie if you have a Mac. Your camera might have come with a CD which has their manufacturer's own video editing software included. These programs are really all you need for a basic video, but to put a professional touch into your videos, there are other options.
If you would like the free option, it may be hard for you to find an excellent program, but if your video camera has a hard drive, chances are that your videos are already converted to an AVI, MPG or WMV format. If so, you can download the free VideoSpin by Pinnacle, which can edit and produce a video from already exported-from-camera video files.
If your budget's around $50-70 US, then you've got two options - Cyberlink PowerDirector Deluxe and Cyberlink PowerProducer Standard. PowerProducer is the simpler, less feature-rich alternative to PowerDirector, but add $30 US and you can get the full version, Ultra. PowerDirector Deluxe will cost you $70 US, but is more feature-rich and gives you a better output project.
If you have another $50 or so on hand, you can buy Cyberlink PowerDirector Ultra, which is the most complete and feature-rich Cyberlink's video editing program. It features excellent "Magic" features such as video stabiliser, background noise remover and also video light, brightness and contrast options. You can download user-created styles on the Cyberlink's DirectorZone website, which lets you upload your templates, DVD menus, titles etc. Otherwise, if Adobe is your idea of quality, Adobe Premiere Elements will cost you $99 US, and comes with a complete set of features and an easy-to-use interface.
Or are you one of the rich people who can afford to pay more for software? Adobe Premiere Pro costs you $800 and features an extensive array of features, effects, Photoshop-style title designer, and a whole lot more. It's a full, professional suite, and can add lots more flair to your video. But it's just at a hefty price. The latest 3D movie, Avatar, was created and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, as with other popular movies. Files can be exported in full HD quality and can be burnt onto Blu-Ray discs for optimal viewing pleasure on an LED TV.