video editor advice

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    • #37299


      I am interested in learning editing and am seeking some advice as to what software I should get. What I would like is to get a video editor that is relatively easy to learn how to use and I can master the basics of editing with. However once I have mastered that editor I would like to have been setup so I can move to a more advanced professional editor such as avid or fcp without being completely swamped. Any suggestions? A cheapereditor would be preferable, but I am willing to spend extra money if I have to.


    • #165209

      I use and recommend Magix Movie Edit Pro 14+. It’s inexpensive and when you’re ready to advance, it’s still a very good editor. Easy to learn and master. 😉


      You can see some things I’ve done with it here:

    • #165210

      This is a question that can’t have a solid answer. So keep in mind that everyone will have their own personal preference, and you will too one day. Here is my two cents:

      I learned on Final Cut Pro. I think it’s easy and things are kind of where you expect them to be. The Final Cut Studio bundle is pretty expensive at a first glance, but when you think about what you get, it’s actually quite cheap.

      To start out I’d recommend Final Cut Express. It’s basically FCP but without all the bells and whistles. You can still edit HD, you will learn the principals of editing, it’s cheap, and transitioning to Final Cut Studio will not be hard at all when you become a more advanced editor.

      In my opinion, I’d stay away from Avid. I’m sure it’s awesome, but you have to throw down SO much money to get all the bells and whistles for it to be awesome.

      But like I said, it comes down to preference and you will hear many good things from people about the programs they use. Obviously they’re gonna say good things because they use it and like it. But the reason why I’d go with Final Cut if I were you is because Avid, Final Cut and Adobe Premier are the top 3 non linear editing programs in the industry, at least from what I’ve seen.

    • #165211

      Hey robgrauert! It’s not the big 3 from what I’ve seen, it’s the big 4. Don’t forget Sony Vegas.

      Hey chillyair! What you’re looking for if you haven’t seen it already is our forum for your type of question: Here be Answers about camera, editing software, etc.

      and by the way, I agree with robgrauert, Avid is not worth your money. learn FCP, Vegas or Premiere or better yet all three!

    • #165212

      Here’s another trick.

      If you take a course at a local community college, you can buy software at a tremendous discount.

      Also, on the cheap side, Windows Movie Maker is free and Adobe Premiere Elements is inexpensive.

    • #165213

      Visit If you are a student, teacher, etc. or can get a student or teacher to buy it for you, then you can get Premier Pro, Vegas, and a few others at 60-70% cheaper that retail.


    • #165214

      Check video capture cards. Some of them are bundled with free video editing software. Not FCP of course, but good enough to get a feeling.

      FAQ Video

    • #165215
      Grinner Hester

      If wanting to edit, master movie maker and go from there.

      If wanting to be an editor, learn Avid and FCP right now.

    • #165216

      I’m a total novice…any thoughts/objections to Ulead products?

    • #165217
      Grinner Hester

      lots of bang for the buck in em. Not an industry standard tho. So, again if you just wanna get stuff done, it’s awesome. If you wanna get a head start on a career, no need to make that stop.

    • #165218

      Rebe, In looking at what you’ve done so far… (and being a Mac guy) I’d say iMovie hd or iMovie (both free with your imacs, or mackbooks) would do for starters, the Finalcut express when you’re ready to move up to chromakeying…

    • #165219

      I started out with Windows Movie Maker (for about ten minutes about five years ago), tried to move on to Pinnacle Studio (version 8, for about 20 minutes – loved the functionality, couldn’t keep it from crashing). Looked at Premiere and Avid (both were way too expensive for me at the time) and then I tried Vegas (actually Screenblast Movie Studio at the time – now Vegas Movie Studio) – Was producing usable stuff within hours and even used it for video presentations at work (I am a software developer by trade). Within a year I had upgraded to the full version of Vegas+DVD (called Vegas Pro now) and I currently use that for all my video needs – I find it intuitive and powerful, plus the price is a very big selling point.

      If you’re looking for value (bang for the buck) I don’t think you can do better than Vegas. The Movie Studio version has about 85% of the functionality of the Pro version for less than $75. (Biggest limitation is four video and four audio tracks) – Here is a comparison chart:

      You can also download a fully functional. thirty day free trial here:


    • #165220

      >>What I would like is to get a video editor that is relatively easy to learn how to use and I can master the basics of editing with.<<

      This is probably the easiest requirement that you have. There are a wide variety of low cost/easy to use video editing applications on the market. Adobe Systems Premiere Elements, Imovie and Windows Movie maker are three very popular ones. A bit higher up in price would be a programs like Final Cut Express and Sony Vegas.

      >>However once I have mastered that editor I would like to have been setup so I can move to a more advanced professional editor such as avid or fcp without being completely swamped. Any suggestions?<<

      This requirement is a little more difficult. Learning the basics of editing is a lot more about concepts and theory, about learning when and why to cut than it is about the features of your editing application. Most of the low cost non-professional (consumer and pro-sumer level) applications (and yes sorry guys but I am classifying Vegas in this group) bare little to no resemblance to the higher end products like AVID, FCP and Premiere Pro (which according to the last numbers I saw the big three held about 90% of the market). In general the consumer and pro-sumer products are built with a limited feature set and intended to be easy to pick-up and use. Professional editing packages (because most of them are bundled packages now) on the other hand are usually feature rich and often extremely complicated/difficult to use.

      There are some notable exceptions in which you have companies like Adobe and Apple that build a scaled down version of their higher end application for the consumer/pro-sumer. Apple’s Final Cut Express is very similar in appearance and work flow to the higher end Final Cut Pro and Adobe System’s Premiere Elements is basically a scaled down consumer version of Premiere Pro. AVID used to have a version called AVID Free DV, but they got rid of it a while back, that was intended to be a gateway application to their suite of professional editing applications. While Premiere Elements is a gateway for premiere Pro and Final Cut Express is a gateway for Final Cut Pro I am not aware of any program that is actually a gateway for AVID at the moment.

      If your goal is to work in Film and/or standard television (I am talking about for a studio or network, not a smaller/independent production company) then AVID is a requirement. The best bet for learning AVID (with as little pain as possible) would be to find a certified AVID training center and take a couple of classes. Of find an AVID editor and beg to become an apprentice (yes some people still do that). You can learn software from books, DVDs and training videos, but as someone who has created those things, I believe they are only a mediocre replacement for a good and qualified instructor. A person can convey to you the nuances of the use of the program and the craft of editing.

      If your goal is to run your own production company or work in a smaller market then you have a wide variety of pro-sumer level software you can buy and learn. At that point the choice will depend on the type of work you plan on doing, the work flow you plan on creating and the feature set you need from your editing application.

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