April 28, 2015 at 7:13PM

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Whats The Best Editing Software Value For Starters

I was told that the Sony Movie Studio was pretty good for $40 bucks. But I have seen it with a numerous different prices ranging from $30 to $150. So is there any specific differences i need to look out for? Any suggestions?

60 Comments

Sony sells different versions of Movie Studio, the more expensive versions can handle 4K video footage and can burn DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and may come with a Sony audio editor. If you don't need these features then just buy the basic version.

April 29, 2015 at 4:10AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32355

Thanks man very helpful

Trae Dukes

April 29, 2015 at 8:53PM

I have learn on Sony Vegas at the time, witch is the old version of sony movie studio. It is ok but if you want to really edit I would advice to get Final Cut Pro X as it is easy to learn and very powerfull, with it you have very advence tools like color grading or sound mixing.
Of course it's a bit more expensive and you need a mac but it is worth.

April 30, 2015 at 3:17AM

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AvdS
1325

yea i tried to get a mac, was gonna get macbook pro, but it was 2000, so i settled for a 15inch Lenovo with 16gbRam and a i7 quad core processor. I love it though. I was taught to use Final Cut Pro X but i guess i will have to wait to upgrade later

Trae Dukes

May 2, 2015 at 9:16PM

LOL "but if you want to really edit I would advice to get Final Cut Pro X" "color grading or sound mixing" You have got to be kidding. Sony Vegas is miles better in almost every aspect. Especially sound mixing and editing. I'm pretty sure it's by far the best NLE for integrated sound work.

Cosmin Gurau

May 5, 2015 at 5:27AM

I personally feel like Adobe Premiere CS is the best way to go. It's the new FCP7 (and I do love Final Cut 7).

April 30, 2015 at 1:05PM

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yea ive heard that alot, i just dont know how i feel about paying monthly

Trae Dukes

May 2, 2015 at 9:17PM

The best value (and easiest to use) is definitely the Sony Movie Studio series. For less than $50 you can do just about anything you reasonably need. I stated there, moved to Vegas Pro, and now use Premiere CC and FCPX.

If editing isn't going to be a large part of you're career I'd absolutely go with the cheapest Sony version that does what you need.

April 30, 2015 at 8:28PM

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Yeah i get what you are saying. But i want to get good with every aspect of filming and that includes post production. So eventually i have to upgrade

Trae Dukes

May 2, 2015 at 9:18PM

I will now brace myself for the downvoting. As devil's advocate, what about Cyberlink Powerdirector, on a near permanent special price offer. I've had a play with it and found it very handy. Good for two DSLRs and separate sound as it uses the sound from camera videos to sync everything together.

May 1, 2015 at 11:02AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1522

The best value is the free industry grade Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve Lite.

Why? Well, the best color-grading options under $1,000. And lets face it -- if you shoot flat relying on post to give your production a higher value no software does it better than Resolve.

I had PowerDirector, and I had Premier. The cost of ownership adds up and you will spend $200 over the course of 2 years in either. Somewhere along the way you will get to compare how your program's color grade goes against Resolve's and you will wish you started with Resolve.

That's like buying a cheap $50 tripod... - 10 tripods later you will wish you have invested $500 at the very go into a good tripod. Same with the editing software -- tough it out, learn Resolve, and you won't need to look for an upgrade option even 5 years down the road.

At least that's my story.

I did give up on Resolve the first time I tried it -- did not know how to get the clips in. Went back to Premier and wasted lotsa time time to get the color-grade I wanted. Eventually I spent more time learning that doing what I want to do is impossible in Premier than what it would take me to sit through a few Resolve tutorials.

My second time I sat through a youtube Resolve clip import tutorial that immediately made things clear. From there on the things actually get easier and faster. Plus, can't beat -- the Lite is free!

So, again Resolve is tough to get started in. The other programs are easier to get started in but you will feel held back by what they offer.

To download the free Resolve -- the Lite version -- scroll all the way down -- the link will be on your left:

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve

May 1, 2015 at 6:57PM, Edited May 1, 7:01PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3938

i will definitely check that out

Trae Dukes

May 2, 2015 at 9:18PM

Yep, that's probably the best answer, it's free, they are constantly upgrading and you can get great result. The only issue is that it might not be very user friendly. You also need to have a quite powerfull computer.

AvdS

May 3, 2015 at 6:27AM

Da Vinci Resolve Lite 12 (free) is the best choice not only for starters (available in July). Blackmagic free software solutions (Da Vinci Lite 12 and Fusion Lite 8) are the best choices at 2015. Of course other softwares are more powerful (like Media Composer or Nuke) but if you are not shoting over UHD, nothing is more interesting than those two. In fact im leaving my monthly rent of Adobe Creative Cloud for them. I'm only going to miss After Effects for simple and fast motion graphics.

Franchesco Van Buren

May 5, 2015 at 5:26AM

I downloaded it and it told me i dont have openCL , im assuming its telling me my laptop isnt good enough

Trae Dukes

May 5, 2015 at 6:00PM

This is kind of a funny question to me. Back when I started filming (7 years ago) you had to make an investment, in any speciality you chose. Whether it be editing, cinematographer, sound, or others.

Now people complain about spending $200 over 2 years for professional editing software. I paid $3,500 for Avid media composer when I started, because I was serious about my craft and made the investment.

If you have no serious intentions of being an editor, then hire an editor when you need it. Vegas is a joke in the professional world, it does not have the functionality or precision to be taken seriously.

Today, as it has always been, to be taken seriously as an editor and be paid well you will need to know Avid. It is the industry standard for everything you see on TV and in the movie theater.

For smaller projects, like corporate, music, blogs, wedding, behind the scenes videos the standard is premiere CC. While premiere is not as stable or robust as Avid for fully professional collaborations, it can be quicker for smaller projects containing less than 100 video clips.

FCX has come a long way from when apple destroyed Final Cut Pro, but it still has a long way to go. Too many workarounds for professional collaborations with your colorist or sound designers.

I wouldn't suggest Vegas, unless you are doing home movies or something.

May 2, 2015 at 6:01AM

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i hear what you are saying. And i most certainly agree. i would love to spend as much as i needed to get the right gear, camera, software, accessories and etc. But i simply cannot afford it at the moment. So i take baby steps until i can pounce on the right opportunity to expand. I am serious about this though. which is why i ask questions like these.

Trae Dukes

May 2, 2015 at 9:22PM

An interesting post, thanks, but what do you mean by Vegas not having precision - does it not cut to the exact frame ?

Saied M.

May 3, 2015 at 5:26AM

Times change and not everyone has the privilege of being able to spend $3,500 when they're just starting out.

A. Broad

May 3, 2015 at 12:10PM

That's why people used to have to take loans to get started ;) but now everyone can be a "filmmaker" for next to nothing. If you aren't serious enough to make an investment, you should find another industry.

NinjaMonkey

May 3, 2015 at 7:32PM

@NinjaMonkey im sorry that im not as privileged as you are, for your information i actually tried to take out a loan several times. Which is how i discovered that my mother put several bills and credit cards in my name and did not pay so before you accuse me of "not wanting to make the investment" try to understand

Trae Dukes

May 3, 2015 at 9:33PM

Your personal situation is your personal situation. It would be a mistake to assume that asking for pro advice is a substitute for counseling. Having the ability to afford the tools required for your job is not privilege. If you asked a carpenter what the best tool for making a particular type of cut was, and he told you, would you scoff at him and tell him he's privileged for having the tools for his job?

NinjaMonkey was correct in pretty much everything he said. Avid is still the big project standard, although I have recently cut two hour long shows in Premiere 2014, and it handled the job wonderfully. But, that was a situation that required a lot of integration with After Effects and Photoshop. In this regard, Premiere had the advantage over Avid. Selecting the right tool for the job is important. However, there is a base level for entry. There are surely even jobs that FCP X would be the superior tool for. But I see no scenario in which you would want an inferior tool.

Premiere is $50 a month for 2 licenses. Find a buddy and split the cost. If you aren't committed enough to spend $25 a month on something, then you surely can't have any intention of taking it seriously.

Joshua Bowen

May 4, 2015 at 8:21AM

The student version of CC is even less at $20 a month, but I guess only privileged people can really afford that right. I bought my gear with student loans like everyone else that's serious about this craft and went to film school, I was never privileged and will be paying it off for a while. Student loans are usually not credit based either and the better grades you earn the more grants you get. The poorer you are, the more grants/scholarships and other free money you qualify for. That's why every Art Institute is filled with poor kids, and maybe one or two rich ones that aren't on loans.

NinjaMonkey

May 4, 2015 at 10:09AM

@Joshua you are missing my point. I dont have a problem with the advice that he is giving me i said from the get go that i agree. But for you and @Ninja to accuse me of not being serious about this job because I can not afford the highest quality of gear is absurd to me. I have literally spent hours on end just to get the little things that i have now. I just purchased this expensive ass laptop last week. And i didnt buy it so i could web browse.

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 6:11PM

Why would you buy an expensive laptop and not budget for, or research, the tools to use it?

Joshua Bowen

May 4, 2015 at 8:19PM

@Joshua dude why do you keep trying to make a negative situation out of this? If you must know i was trained to use Final Cut Pro X, but i chose not to spend all of my money on a Macbook and i spreaded it out , Camera, Laptop, software and others. Im on here asking for information because this is what i want to do. You and @Ninja criticizing me for not having funds is getting on my nerves.

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 10:50PM

" Vegas is a joke in the professional world, it does not have the functionality or precision to be taken seriously."

STFU. I've been using Vegas for 11 years now, and have yet to find a better alternative that does almost everything so fast, so good. I am SICK of people dissing on Vegas just because they THINK they know what it is. I edited lots of short films in it, and have used it commercially for every single project I had, never disappointed me once.

Cosmin Gurau

May 5, 2015 at 5:33AM

BS. There's a big switch to Premiere over the past 2 years and not just for corporate and wedding and "containing less than 100 video clips." Should we bother listing the features and major network TV shows that are cut in Premiere? No. But get off the Avid high horse.

Mark Balderston

May 5, 2015 at 7:58AM

It's really funny how angry people are at the facts, this is not a cheap industry to get into.

The facts remain the same, Avid is the choice among more award winning professional editors than any other platform. Here is the proof:

http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/02/24/709292/10121573/en/Avid...

The reason being is that Avid is the best enterprise solution with its symphony server. This allows several editors to collaborate with a sound department and colorists seamlessly. That is why the major TV networks still use Avid systems. Here is proof of Avid's Emmy dominance as well:
http://www.avid.com/us/press-room/primetime-emmy-award

Premiere is great and I use it daily, but the technology is not as robust as the solutions Avid offers. Good luck with Vegas guys, unless Sony paid someone, I don't think anything major has ever been edited on it. This is because professionals on big productions have to collaborate with each other.

NinjaMonkey

May 5, 2015 at 12:21PM

im not angry @Ninja , like i said i agree with everything you are saying. If you are truly passionate about something you pour all of your resources into it. And i have , its just my resources may not be as good as yours.

Trae Dukes

May 5, 2015 at 5:53PM

I have to agree with using Sony Movie Studio esp Platinum version for many many reasons, there are some very good free NLE out there, but using Sony will allow you to burn dvds, use plug ins. and I use the Vegas Pro, but would be happy using Platinum

May 2, 2015 at 4:00PM

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Have you looked at free non commercial versions of nuke or fusion for vfx or divinci dissolve for edditing? Might be worth having a look.

May 3, 2015 at 2:35PM

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no i havent will now though

Trae Dukes

May 3, 2015 at 9:34PM

I use Cyberlink Powerdirector Suite. It does almost everything the big guys can do at 1/3 the cost and I'm making money with it. The only shortcoming in my experience is the inability to use popular plugins.
Also, I'm not sure if it will import Pro-Res or Cinema DNG files.

May 4, 2015 at 6:39AM, Edited May 4, 6:39AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1235

I like Powerdirector too. I think the issue for all these software packages is that it all depends what you intend to do with them. I don't think that there is one package for every set of circumstances. I'm sure that there are plenty of things Powerdirector can't do, but it may well be that they are things that I won't be doing anyhow.

Julian Richards

May 5, 2015 at 2:31AM

Hey great to hear your serious about learning the craft and developing your skills! What laptop/computer operating system are you currently using?

May 4, 2015 at 9:41AM

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Santi Casado
Video Maker
98

hey sorry , those guys above were starting to get under my skin. I am using a Lenovo z70, 16gb Ram , and I7 core processor. I did in fact buy the Sony Movie Editor. And I am using the Nikon 3100, unfortunately my one mistake was not doing enough research before buying the camera, as i later found out the Microphone limitations. A mistake i learned from quickly as i spend countless hours researching.

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 10:54PM

I'd say go for DaVinci Resolve. It's free. And it's very capable.

May 4, 2015 at 8:18PM

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okay thanks man

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 10:54PM

i downloaded DaVinci Resolve. It told me i dont have OpenCL and im assuming its telling me my computer isnt powerful enough

Trae Dukes

May 5, 2015 at 5:58PM

Wait couple of months for DaVinci Resolve Lite 12. It will be free and it will outperform most NLE you have to pay for.

May 4, 2015 at 8:51PM

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okay how long do you think it will take before its free

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 10:55PM, Edited May 4, 10:55PM

Nobody has mentioned Lightworks. It is pretty decent, and definitely has some good features for a freeware program.

May 4, 2015 at 8:58PM

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Manny Villanueva
Cinematographer
149

Free yes, noob friendly?, no!. I started up with Lightworks but for the love of God couldn't understand why things are so complicated to accomplish. Took 18 hours to finish my first edit, after that I took the plunge and went the Premiere Pro way and that took me about 2 hours to finish editing. For advanced users Lightworks might be great but for people who are just starting out it sucks real bad, at least from me/my friends personal opinion

Emmanuel Olalere

May 4, 2015 at 9:46PM

hey @Emmanuel how long have you been filming? im interested in knowing how your journey has been

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 10:56PM

I have used Sony Vegas Professional for a number of years and I think it is a very underrated editing package. I deal with a lot of editors in the industry and the one thing which seems to amaze them is when they learn that I can pull just about any format directly oto the timeline to work with,no re-coding to some proprietary format needed. My material has been used in broadcast stations across the globe with no issues. The Vegas Pro version offers you an opportunity to do very sophisticated work and it has proven to be very reliable. I also use it on my laptop when I am in the field.

May 4, 2015 at 9:41PM

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Roger Paul Mills
DOP/Director
173

Okay whats the price on that one

Trae Dukes

May 4, 2015 at 10:58PM

The consumer version of Sony Vegas Pro ( Sony Movie Studio ) uses the same code base as Vegas Pro, so you can achieve professional results with Sony Movie Studio for as little as $40. Vegas Pro is much more powerful, but if you are on a budget Sony Movie Studio can do a good job.

Guy McLoughlin

May 5, 2015 at 3:25AM

Apparently Blender's in-built NLE system is really good, although has a learning curve, so you might need to put in some man hours to learn it. But it's entirely free, which is brilliant for any budget, and it's flexible.

May 4, 2015 at 11:47PM

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Anne Le Sauvage
Ethusiastic amateur editor
282

It's funny that most people recommend to buy pro software.
When I started editing, I used software from MAGIX that used to crash all the time. But I'm happy that a started that way because there were no confusing functions and tools that distract you from what really matters: your edit.
Also I learned to work around problems and realized how important saving your project is. :)
Since I moved on to Premiere Pro, I really appreciate every single tool since I really use them and they don't distract me anymore.

I used Sony Movie Studio a couple of times and I know editors who really like the Pro version, so you can't be wrong going with it. It runs very stable and has enough features for small projects (even 3-way color correction - unusual for most beginners software).

May 5, 2015 at 1:41PM

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Malte Kutz
Filmmaker
86

>>>The reason being is that Avid is the best enterprise solution with its symphony server.

Yes, if you are an enterprise size company that is willing to put $100K - $500K into your editing suites then AVID is one of the best choices to make.

...But most of us are NOT an enterprise size company. We are NOT producing big budget broadcast or Hollywood projects, so for many of us AVID would NOT be a good fit.

Now if you wanted to work full time as an editor for these companies, then AVID would be the first piece of software I would master, because it's the one that's going to get you in the door.

I've been editing with Sony Vegas for more than 15 years, back when it was owned by Sonic Foundry and being used to produce Music albums because of how well it handles professional multi-track audio.

I also own an Adobe CC license that comes with Premiere and After Effects, but I still do most of my video editing in Sony Vegas Pro because I love the user interface, and I love that it is completely resolution independent, so I can mix just about any size graphic or video into my timeline and output a great looking image.

I've also edited many projects where I'm cutting down 6-8 hours of video into a finished 30-90 minute piece, and I have never had any problems using Vegas.

What's important here is to pick one software package and try to master it to the best of your ability. I rarely meet an editor that is being held back by the software they are using, but rather they are holding themselves back by not putting the time in to get really good with the software they own.

I am a total light-weight when it comes to After-Effects, but I know one AE guru that I've worked with, and he's told me that it takes about 10 years of practice to get really good with After Effects.

May 5, 2015 at 2:35PM, Edited May 5, 3:09PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32355

thanks for clarifying that.

Trae Dukes

May 5, 2015 at 5:57PM

>>> I downloaded it and it told me i dont have openCL , im assuming its telling me my laptop isnt good enough (Montravious Duke)

http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=640

Dwaine Maggart, of Blackmagic Design, posted on Aug 15, 2013:

"OpenCL is not used by Resolve if you have a supported NVIDIA card. We use CUDA. OpenCL is only used currently on Mac, and only with supported ATI/AMD cards.

By your description, it seems like you have an Intel HD4000 graphics device. That is NOT supported by Resolve, and that would cause the OpenCL error message you are getting. Even though the Intel HD series chips do have some OpenCL support, it is not adequate for Resolve processing."

:/

May 5, 2015 at 6:08PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3938

thats what i figured. Oh well all is not lost

Trae Dukes

May 5, 2015 at 7:34PM

There are loads of free open source edit systems out there like avidemux, or still free davinci resolve lite.
If you haven't edited before one of these is obviously best value for money as you're starting with nothing out of pocket. You've spent nothing but are gaining an NLE.
There are free trials for every system out there ranging up to 2 weeks, so see which one you prefer using maybe, then fork out the money to get it. Thats, if you have time to test them all out..

If you don't have time and have no editing experience I would say iMovie or FCPX as they're most user friendly and easiest to get going on fast. That being said though just because it's one of the cheapest options doesn't mean it's not one of the most powerful, for some reason people think the less money you spend on a bit of software it should suddenly be easier to pick up and use. Don't get me wrong it's easy to pick up and use, but pick up and used well and to it's fullest still takes a lot of time.

May 6, 2015 at 5:02AM

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Greg
Editor / Assistant Editor
225

'I was talking to Terry Gilliam about [editing] and he said to me very quietly "Have you tried iMovie?" And I said, "Yeah..." He said, "It's great, isn't it?" And I said, "It's fantastic." We were admitting that we thought it was an amazing piece of software, but we were both furtively looking around in case any other film people were near us...'

Mike Figgis, Digital Filmmaking

May 6, 2015 at 9:40AM

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Jon Mills
Filmmaker
791

Altho I have recommended and still recommend Sony movie studio platinum without a doubt there is one free program that shines above the others and that is https://www.lwks.com/ lightworks,

May 6, 2015 at 3:27PM

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I personally recommend Adobe Premiere CC. You can pay at a monthly subscription cost which is great for beginners. Best dehydrator reviews

May 8, 2015 at 9:59AM

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adobe premier pro easy to use and professional

May 10, 2015 at 6:22PM

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Mohammed el ouahabi
Filmmaker
74

Sony Vegas pro is easier to use more professional and more capable, it has no peer when you consider its compositing features and no other program has its out of the box audio tools and that include premeire and FCP

May 11, 2015 at 4:17PM, Edited May 11, 4:17PM

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I was on final cut pro years ago and then on a workshop i try premiere and i like it so edit in premiere but colour grade in davinci resolve. For me that work great.

June 1, 2019 at 6:53AM

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zlatko
Cameraman
79

there is lots of softwares for beginers like iMovie, Nero Vision,Corel video studio, Wondershare, Power Director, Pinacle studio etc. Basics are similar but if you wont to work like a pro editor and get paid. Learn to work on some of real software you will learn. dont waste time on beginers software.

June 1, 2019 at 9:29AM, Edited June 1, 9:29AM

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zlatko
Cameraman
79

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