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The Best Video Editing Software for Windows

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/4/2010

If you want your digital video to be more than a collection of clips, using the proper video editing software can be just as important as any other piece of equipment you might use.

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    Choosing Software

    Editing for home digital video can be one of the most essential aspects of the entire production process. After a home producer has already dropped a bundle of cash on a camera, tapes, and additional equipment, the last thing they want to do is spend an excessive amount of money on an editing program that will not do all the things that they want. If you are running a PC there are specific elements to consider and non-linear editing software that can match them.

    It should always be noted that video editing software is an expensive tool that can often run you well over a thousand dollars. There are plenty of freeware or open source programs out there that can get the job done, but they are not going to give you the versatility to grow as a home filmmaker. As with anything in the digital video field, the best products are going to be couple with a hefty price tag.

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    Vegas Pro 8

    One great option is Sony’s new editing suite, Vegas Pro 8. The program is powerful, which can be seen by its long use in the television industry. The interface is not as user friendly as those on some other programs, but its versatility and inclusion of sound and DVD production software make it a well thought-out and useful application. The price is also substantially lower than some, usually selling for around $550.

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    Adobe Premiere Creative Suite 3

    For a home Windows PC editor, the best all around editing program will be Adobe Premiere Creative Suite 3, mostly because it is easy to learn and will give you the options you need to get the results you are after. It does not provide the same associated programs like Vegas Pro does, but for pure editing power and comfort there are few better programs. The system has often been recommended to novice home editors to learn on, but many stick with it because its interface is practically built to the way most people think about video. With it you use simple “drag-and-drop” methods that are based on common sense instead of advanced technical methodologies. Though it is more expensive than Vegas Pro 8, usually retailing at $799, as a stand-alone editing program it is the best for home and independent production purposes.

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    The Best Video Editing Software

    Both of these programs can do things like print to DVD and Blueray, but each have their own specialty. Premiere is the superior editing program when it comes to pure performance in post-production, while Vegas Pro gives you a larger number of final options. When choosing between the two, carefully consider the features that are most important to you and select accordingly.