Saturday, January 29, 2011

Best Video Editing Software Under $100

It's time to update this post but I want to leave the 2008 choices below because Adobe's Premiere Pro still leads the pack for ease of use, affordability (with Photoshop attached) and the ability to step into the larger CS5 suite with ease.

I have students who come to my class using Sony Vegas, Pinnacle and many other great, inexpensive programs. The one thing missing from missing from Adobe Premiere are all the effects bells and whistles that make Pinnacle a great all in one program. Pinnacle gives you full menus to make wedding, family, graduation, you name it videos and all those extra graphics are really nice. But for the serious amateur or even semi-professional, Premiere still offers a solid editing platform for large projects.

Back when I first posted this "Best Video Editing Software Under $100" I had a student using the Premiere/Photoshop combo on her laptop. She worked right along with us and our CS3 Production Suite and did everything we did in class with ease.
So - drum roll please....

The #1 best video editing software under $100 is Adobe Premiere Elements at $99:

HOWEVER - I love Adobe's combo pack with Photoshop Elements for just $119:

The #2 best video editing software under $100 is Pinnacle Studio:

And they have more bells and whistles in their MovieBox version:

#3 Best Video Editing Software - Sony Vegas - listed here with educational discounts and the full blown version:

Here's the old list to show you how consistent these companies have been over the last 2 years.
2008 Best Video Editing Software Under $100

#1 - Adobe Premiere Elements 4 - Create fun movies in as little as 15 minutes!

#2 - Award-Winning Home Video-editing software - Buy Pinnacle Studio Plus Version 12!

#3 - muvee - Instant home movies in 4 easy steps. Try it now.

#4 - Roxio Buy Easy Media Creator 10 Today and Save $20 after MIR!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Canon Camcorder with mic input and headset jack - FINALLY!

Canon VIXIA HF R100 Flash Memory Camcorder, SD/SDHC Memory Card Slot, Eye-Fi SD Memory Card Compatible, 2.39MP HD CMOS Image Sensor, 2.7" Widescreen LCD, Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Lens, Dynamic Image Stabilization, 20x Optical Zoom, 2MP Digital Still Capture, 24p and 30p Frame Modes, Microphone and Headphone Terminals HF R100 Consumer Video Camcorders VIXIA HF R100 Flash Memory Camcorder

Canon has always offered great camcorders with microphone inputs and headset jacks but the last wave of HDD camcorders and flash memory saving options in all brands eliminated that much needed option. I am not sure why, but when I purchased camcorders for my classes 2 years ago, the only reasonably priced camcorder with a microphone input was Canon's miniDV model. Thankfully that's finally changed and the new VIXIA models all have microphone and headset terminals in all ranges of prices. You can get them on Sony and Panasonic models but you have to spend well over $500 which puts you in the semi professional camcorder market.
Why do you need a microphone and headset terminal? Because the built in microphones are fine if you are close to what you are recording, but can't capture good sound from far away. For me as a teacher, a microphone input helps students make sound meaningful and helps them make a complete video and audio piece without worrying their interview won't be loud enough. Technically, if they can record an interview from farther away and zoom in, the depth of field is much better and when they have to be almost on top of the interview subject to get good sound with the built in microphone. We are buying the Vixia HF R20 which isn't out yet, but many of the Canon's in the $300 and up range have the audio ports. Before you buy, check the camera specs for mic input/headset jack or terminal. THANK YOU CANON! Media teachers really appreciate it! The best place to see a wide variety of camcorders and options is B&H Photo.