Best Windows Digital Movie App?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Bibulous, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #1
    We all know that iMovie is a great app, but we all have some close relatives that need to use Windows machines to edit there holiday joy.

    So the question is what is are the good apps for windows users to use to edit home movies from a DV camera? Nothing more then iMovie/iDVD combo?
     
  2. Texas04 macrumors 6502a

    Texas04

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    It would be good for them to go and get a Mac Mini :)

    Thats what I would tell them.. otherwise there really is nothing comparable on the PC side.. not even Windows Movie Maker can compare because of its lack of good editing and ability to export well. So in short... nothing

    buy a mac.
     
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #3
    Yea a mini would suffice.....

    -Budget???

    Adobe Premiere Elements $99

    Adobe Premiere $849

    Avid Xpress DV Technically free since no serial is required to use, you just have to click "Register Later" When you open it.

    Avid FreeDV Is Free http://www.avid.com/freedv/

    Pinnacle is an option too but only got 2 stars on amazon so it must suck

    I try Avid first?

    (Probably wasnt much help in this article since you gotta be pretty computer savvy to use this stuff... Tell em to get a mac!)
     
  4. Texas04 macrumors 6502a

    Texas04

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    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    Wow.. those are some good links....
    Here is my knowledge on a few of those products:

    Adobe Premiere Elements: I have used the pro version and it actually is very good, I am not sure about elements but from what I have heard its not to bad, you just have to have the computer power to run it. It is much comparable to Final Cut Express.
    ^^ Goes for Adobe Premiere as well.

    Avid: I have never actually used this program but in the editing field in the real world the companies use one or more of three programs, Final Cut, Avid, and Adobe Premiere Pro, so I would assume Avid is a good alternative. And I am not 100% sure so if someone can correct me if I am wrong, it runs on both PC and Mac.

    I know Adobe Premiere Pro for a fact has a built in DVD burner, nothing pretty like iDVD but a nice touch for when you need it. Instead of a menu it just plays your movie/clip.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    There is also Sony Vegas which is only £50 (so less than $100 ;) ) and seems to be highly recommended.

    Otherwise I'll join the Mac Mini suggesters.
     
  6. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #6
    My iBook G4 is slow and the hard drive is full - just got a basic Mini.

    The Sony Vegas link above - the review seems like astroturf...

    Adobe Premier Elements is good (I have the previous version and it was works fine).
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Well it's well thought of over at Amazon.com too as on other digital video sites I've recently looked at.

    When researching digital video solutions for my cousin (who I persuaded to get a MBP in the end), Sony Vegas definitely seemed the best on the PC side.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    I don't think anyone on the consumer/iMovie level would enjoy using Avid in any way, shape or form.


    Lethal
     
  9. Artofilm macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #9
    Avid in any way is too much, and it doesnt come with a program like iDVD.
    I suggest Pinnacle Studio.
    Its very user friendly and it has a dvd program built right into the program as well. You can do the same kind of editing iMovie is capable of and then u can burn it in pinnacle much like you would in iDVD.
    Pinnacle Studio is approx. $99.

    I highly recommend it for a low-budget, or just ease of use....For a windows anyways.:D
     
  10. elvirav macrumors member

    elvirav

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    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    California, off and on.
    #10
    I've done a study of affordable Windows-based apps lately. My findings:

    Ulead's VideoStudio is similar in some respects to iMovie. Easy to figure out, has some nice advanced features, but also some "fiddley" features. (Adjusting audio in iMovie is so straightforward—in VideoStudio, it's fiddle fiddle fiddle.) It's a $100 app (or is it more now?) so there are a few more features than iMovie, but overall, iMovie has the ease of use, more classy options. I like it better. But VideoStudio is still pretty good, for a Windows app.

    I have only tried the first incarnation of Adobe's Premiere Elements. A bit of a learning curve, but it reminded me of Final Cut a little. I like it. Unfortunately, my copy of Premiere Elements liked to crash crash crash, so I've taken it off my PC. But it gets my vote, definitely. (Though it's not as newbie friendly as VideoStudio!)

    I have heard great things about Sony Vegas. It's got many cute features and "goodies" that can make a snazzy-looking video. The interface is a bit unfamiliar and there's also a learning curve. I keep hearing good things about it, though. But when I first used it, things did not "click" for me immediately, as they did when I tried out VideoStudio.

    I go with VideoStudio for easy newbie-friendly qualities (and it isn't as if they don't offer plenty of features). I go with Adobe Premiere Elements for the most Final Cut interface (and more features). I don't know if I'd go with Sony Vegas at this point (weird unfamiliar interface), but Vegas has such a loyal fanbase, that I have to believe it's got a lot going for it.

    Another thing (if you'll pardon a small hijack). With the abundance of Windows-based apps out there, you'd think there would be a perfect, low-cost, sophisticated option for creating web ready video. So often the built-in converter in the editing software isn't up to snuff. (At least I don't find it so.)

    This is what I am looking for:

    1. Allows you to trim off the tops or sides of a finished video
    2. Deinterlace (if needed).
    3. Resizes the video without distorting it, or just plain getting the frame dimensions wrong (resulting in a "squished" video).
    4. Encodes in several different codecs, like H.264, DivX, XviD, Sorenson 3, Windows Media, etc.
    5. Custom frame sizes (you decide exactly what the frame dimensions will be).
    6. Imports a wide variety of different file types (doesn't crash constantly if the video isn't quite the "right" codec, etc.)

    I have had trouble finding such an app for Windows. The one that comes closest is good old MPEG Streamclip. But the Mac version of MPEG Streamclip is better. The Windows MPEG Streamclip will make H.264, Sorenson 3, and 3ivX files, with some option to customize frame sizes, frame rate, etc. Which is pretty good. (I don't prefer 3ivX, though.) Also, you can trim the edges off of a video, deinterlace, etc. etc.

    Quicktime Pro for Mac (not for PC—it's next to useless) allows me to convert to WMV (with Flip4Mac), DivX, XviD, several flavors of Quicktime, yadda yadda. Like with MPEG Streamclip, you can lighten/darken the video picture, and do other basic adjustments.

    Where are the abundance of cheap/affordable/free Windows apps which do this and more? (I want to recommend them to my Windows-using friends.) I find some that are okay for one thing, but not for another. A whole lot of them will resize the frame, but there is a loss of picture quality. Or, they distort the frame size ("squished"). Or, they won't import many file types. And on and on and on. Seriously, I wish I could find something, but I can't. And I'm sick of installing so many shareware/freeware pieces of software—they invariably clutter up the system, even after they are uninstalled. I give up. So far, all I've got is MPEG Streamclip and a few other apps that I've paid for (and those have definite shortcomings).

    I find that encoding/converting on the Mac is so much easier. I don't think I'm being a Mac fangirl when I say this. It's just my experience so far.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    You have to ask what are the goals. Are they really editing a show or just culling the worst shots out of a family vacation video. Also how much fort are they willing to put into learning? For most consumers they are simply assembling a series of film clips much like a slide show. An iMovie like interface is perfect for this and that's what most provide.

    For most people simple is better because they don't do this often and can't spend weeks learning the software. Heck even Final Cut Express comes with almost 1,500 pages of user manual. You have to be serious about video to read that. Get the simplest to use program you can find and let them upgrade if/when they get frustrated.

    However if they think they want to get into real filmmaking it's worth checking Avid. But if they get hooked on Avid it would be cheaper to simply buy a Mac and get Final Cut Express and reserve the option to upgrade to Pro (Apple lets you apply the cost of express to pro)
    It is really a big jump for iMovie-like to Avid/FCP like systems. Not only does the software cost more but as soon as you have multiple video tracks yu start to need a very fast disk.
     
  12. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    i just shuddered and nearly threw up :)

    anything i've used on pc (consumer wise), including adobe premiere, totally stinks i'm afraid to say.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    I can't help thinking about that "get a Mac" ad where PC introduces that guy in a dress.

    That said Avid is the leader. But it's not for home use do to four figure price and steep learning curve.
     
  14. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #14
    One of the reasons I switched was to get away from the mediocre video apps on the Windows side of the world. I found no good "cheap" editing software. It was all garbage. The way to go would be a Mac Mini refurb and free iLife.
     
  15. Bibulous thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #15
    Thanks for all the input. I think I will have my sister download the free demo's for Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier and Avid Free and let her choose. She is the definition of a consumer user, just wants to cut out the bad parts, add a title and get it on a DVD.

    I have been pushing the mini idea since it was introduced, as I am the default family computer guy, but you know she already has a computer :rolleyes:
     
  16. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    Dec 7, 2005
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    compost heap
    #16
    OK, I'll tell you straight out: Vegas. That's it.

    Here's why:

    1) It's very, very easy to learn. Easier than FCP, and many would argue more intuitive, so for a newbie it's perfect.

    2) It's very powerful. Some say as powerful as FCP, but actually they have slightly different strengths - Vegas beats the living daylights out of FCP in everything to do with sound editing f.ex. while FCP has an edge in CC etc.

    3) It'll run on anything - it's extremely forgiving of hardware... if you have a weak computer, it'll just take longer to do rt stuff, but you'll get to do everything. FCP is a resource hog in comparison.

    Vegas is the best prosumer nle software for windows, period. I've used both FCP and Vegas, and they're both about as good... one funny effect though: if you start off learning one, the other will seem "strange" (so switching from Vegas to FCP or the other way around is twitchy :))
     
  17. elvirav macrumors member

    elvirav

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    California, off and on.
    #17
    Yeah, I've heard good things about Vegas. I know that the userbase is very loyal and that's a good sign. It is very "weird" to me, because I'm used to iMovie/Final Cut.

    I am a very devoted fangirl, but frankly, I don't think it's all that useful to say "Get a Mac" as a response to questions like this. Sure, get a Mac if you want to run one of the best professional video apps (Final Cut), but if you're just a hobbyist who wants to do a little light editing—being told to buy a whole new computer isn't the best answer. It ain't gonna happen.

    I do love seeing how some of my Windows counterparts are jealous of how much can be done with iMovie. And it wouldn't surprise me to learn that a few people have bought Macs just so they can run the iLife Suite. It's usually a decision they come to on their own.
     
  18. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #18
    I would add another vote for Vegas. To be honest I've only heard GOOD things about it. Premiere is pretty much a windows equivalent of Final Cut Pro, but not as good...

    Don't even think about Avid if you are a consumer.
     
  19. Rasheem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    #19
    BAck in my pre mac days I used Premier elements and i had a friend who used vegas. Both seemed excellent i actually found premier to be easier to use than vegas. However, vegas seemed like it included more. Premier Dvd authoring you can only use premade templates you cant desighn your own.
     
  20. madyaks macrumors member

    madyaks

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    #20
    I have used Vegas a lot... It is a serious program (I am talking about the full program, not the lite version) You can do just about anything you want in it.

    I am "switching" to mac and look forward to FCP. Can't wait to see how much better it is. (if it is)
     
  21. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #21
    Oh boy. Get ready for quite an experience. It is notoriously hard to switch from Vegas to FCP or from FCP to Vegas. More so than for any other editing programs. It just seems that with these two, once you learn one, it seems somehow the "natural" way of doing things... whichever one comes first... and it's hard to unlearn the old and learn the new.

    I actually happen to think that Vegas is more user friendly than FCP - just more intuitive, better designed and somehow more logical. That said, FCP is also great and not that hard to learn (compared to, say, Avid).

    As far as power and utility both programs are comparable overall. Some things Vegas is better in (for example editing sound is just insanely better in Vegas), and some FCP. At this point, I think FCP is better supported in various media, it is easier to edit in 24p and so on. Not to be discounted, Vegas is supported by Sony (eww... yuck!!!) and Apple is far better and more serious about FCP, so I think FCP has a better future. Then again, Vegas is easier on your hardware requirements. And so it goes. Both are great.
     
  22. madyaks macrumors member

    madyaks

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    Dec 3, 2006
    #22

    I'm surprised how reasonable Vegas is being treated here, I expected for it to get slammed.
     
  23. bigcreek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #23
    Vegas is a tool I have used a great deal. It is the best Windows video editor out there. I've been using FCP for the past year, and it has been difficult to make the switch. Vegas seems more intuitive, probably because I learned it first. FCP is more powerful in creating/editing titles and text, and a few other areas. BOTH are very powerful, useful tools to have in your toolbox!
     
  24. aafuss1 macrumors 68000

    aafuss1

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    May 5, 2002
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #24
    I use Premiere Elements-it's quite good.

    Serif's MovePlus is another one to look at. I use a older version of that.
     
  25. wee macrumors newbie

    wee

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #25
    Sony Vegas is nr 1, interface is very simple and takes much less time to figure it out (comparing to final cut), and the best thing is that you do not have to render each little thing you made, i was working with it for couple years and never disappointed! recommend personally.. otherwise when talking to people that worked with adobe premiere (witch is more like final cut) they didn't felt like changing, but its always because the fact that they have to learn again, but if u begin learning - start with vegas. i switched to mac recently, and the only thing i miss about windows is sony vegas. no final cut replace that amazing software. hope maybe sony makes it available for mac's someday..
     

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