Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, November 9, 2009

Professional Video Editing Software: Comparison Guide To The Best Video Editors

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Are you looking for professional video editing software tool? Do you want something more powerful than Windows Movie Maker? In this MasterNewMedia software comparison guide you will find the best professional video editors on the market.

Photo credit: Tv Pro Gear

Inside the category "professional video editing", belong those video editing tools like Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut which are the standard inside professional film and video production houses and among advanced video-makers who want full control over their video production.

These professional video editing software tools allow you to trim to the single frame, to slow down or speed up your video or audio tracks, to add filters and special effects just like it is done inside professional Hollywood film productions. If you need to capture, import or encode in just about any video format, whether in standard 4:3 aspect ratio or in full 16:9, the professional video editing software tools selected in this comparison guide have all you may have ever need on this front.

Most also include support for de-interlacing, chroma-key, and other video editing and post-production features not normally found in the less expensive, free or consumer solutions.

All this power comes for a price, obviously. Professional video editing tools are generally priced at over $300, though there are a few exceptions which are a bit more affordable.

Let's have a look then into some of the key traits that characterize these professional video editing software tools:

  • Drag and drop video editing: Manage your video in a drag and drop fashion. Just move your clips around the timeline, then re-order and trim to get the output you desire.
  • Special effects: Enhance and personalize your video with a wide spectrum of transitions types, 3D effects and filters.
  • Audio import and editing: Utilize and edit one or multiple audio tracks from your computer to create a soundtrack for your movie.
  • Title and credits: Add an overlay text and final credits to your video. Choose among different fonts, colors and styles.
  • HD support: Crete and edit videos produced using 1280x720 pixels (720p) or 1920x1080 pixels (1080i / 1080p) resolutions.
  • 16:9 Support: Produce or upscale videos recorded in 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 format.
  • H.264 support: Take advantage of the H.264 compression codec to produce high-quality video clips.
  • DVD creation: Create compatible discs that can be read in any DVD or Blu-Ray disc player.

Here below is also a set of comparative tables and individual reviews to help you compare all of these professional video editing software tools. The additional criteria selected include:

  • Platform: Specific operating system supported to run the video editing software tool.
  • Input formats: Supported video file types that you can upload to the video editing software tool (AVC-Intra, DV, GFCAM, HDV, R3D, XDCAM, etc.)
  • Output formats: Video formats used to save your video projects once edited (FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP4, WMA, etc.)
  • AVHCD support: High-quality video format used by tapeless consumer camcorders that can be used for authoring and distribution of high-definition video.
  • FLV support: Input support for the popular video file format developed by Adobe which is the standard technology to distribute video on the web.

  • Multicam editing: Real-time mixing and selection of multiple video camera angles just like it happens in a professional recording studio.
  • Online collaboration: Web streaming in real-time of the video you are encoding to allow members of your team to provide live feedback.
  • Free trial: Free evaluation period to test the video editing software tool.
  • Price: Cost of the retail copy or digital download video editing software tool (applies to what is less-priced).



Professional Video Editing Software Comparative Table


Professional Video Editing Software

  1. AVID Media Composer 4

    AVID Media Composer 4 is a professional video editing software tool available for Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS X Leopard, priced at $2.295. You can freely test the software tool for 30 days before purchase. AVID Media Composer 4 supports all the major video input formats including: AVC-Intra, DNxHD, DPX, DV, GFCAM, HDV, R3D, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD and the following video export formats: AVC-Intra, AVI, DVD, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP4, QuickTime compatible, WMA, and many others. You can also work with any combination of PAL, NTSC, SD, and HD formats in real time, without encoding first and with any resolution or frame rate. Other than standard features that you would expect from a product of this price range (large support of video formats and codecs, chroma-key, slow motion, real-time HD editing, tons of video effects, DVD authoring, etc.), Media Composer 4 allows you to manage multiple cameras and integrate your workflow inside the AVID Unity media networks to allow you and your team to access and play the same files and capture media simultaneously and in real time. No AVHCD, nor FLV support is available.

  2. Final Cut Pro 7

    Final Cut Pro 7 is a professional video editing software tool from Apple Inc. priced at $999. Available for Mac machines running Leopard only, Final Cut Pro 7 can read the following input formats from last-generation camcorders: AVHCD, AVC-Intra, AVCAM, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO 50, HDV. To output and save your video projects, you can instead choose among these video format types: AVC-Intra, AVI, DVD, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP4 or QuickTime compatible formats. Other formats like R3D, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, XDCAM 422 or JVC native format are supported after downloading a free software from the vendor. All standard pro features like chroma-key, slow motion, real-time HD editing, video effects are all present. Final Cut Pro 7 also allows you to edit in real-time the video streamed by multiple cameras. If you need to show the results of your video editing to a teammate while working on a clip, you can do so using the iChat Theatre feature built in every Mac computer. Final Cut pro 7 also supports the new multi-touch trackpads of Mac laptops to help you speed up your video editing workflow. No free trial, nor FLV support are available.

  3. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

    Premiere Pro CS4 is the last version of the popular video editing software tool from Adobe priced at $799. Running on all recent versions of Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7) and Mac (Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard), Premiere Pro CS4 allows you to read major video input formats both from physical volumes or tapeless camcorders like: AVCHD, AVC-Intra, AVI, DV, FLV, F4V, MPEG-2, RED, HDV, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, QuickTime compatible, WMA and many others. To export your projects you can choose instead from one of the following video format types: AVHCD, AVC-Intra, AVI, DVD, FLV, F4V, MPEG-2, QuickTime, SWF and WMA. Also available are custom output settings for mobile devices and DVD or Blu-Ray disc authoring. AVHCD and FLV are fully supported both as input and output video formats. A feature allows you to turn spoken dialogue into text-based, searchable metadata that you can use to jump to a specific area of a video clip by searching for keywords or cut a video based on the script. If you have a project created in Final Cut, you can import it inside Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 with no obstacles. No multicam editing, nor online collaboration features are available.

  4. AVID Liquid Pro 7

    AVID Liquid Pro 7 is a video editing software tool for professional videomakers. Available for Windows XP only, the video editor is priced at $999.99. Video input and output formats supported include: DV25, HDV, 1:1 (uncompressed SD and HD), MPEG-2 I-frame & IBP, WM9, MPEG-4 and DiVX. Avid Liquid Pro 7 comes also with a USB2-based breakout box that provides composite, component, and S-Video I/O, along with stereo audio input and surround audio output. AVHCD and FLV video formats are not supported. All pro video editing features like HD support, custom templates,16:9 support, real-time video editing or DVD authoring come as a standard. Plus, you also get multicam editing support that allows you to switch among up to 16 angles in real time. No free trial, nor online collaboration features are available.

  5. Sony Vegas Pro 9

    Sony Vegas Pro 9 is a professional video-editing solution for Windows XP, Vista and 7 priced at $539.96. A free 30-day trial is available to test the software tool before purchase. Video input formats supported are: AVHCD, AVI, DV, HDV, MOV, MP4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MXF, OGG, R3D, RM, XDCAM EX and WMV. Once completed, your video projects can be exported to: AVI, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP4, OGG, R3D and WMV. FLV support is not available. Other than standard professional video editing features like HD support, custom templates, 16:9 support, real-time video editing or DVD and Blu-Ray authoring, included inside Sony Vegas Pro 9 you can also take advantage of advanced options such as: multicam editing support, 64-bit support, ProType Titling, enhanced color correction, 5.1 surround mixing, interactive tutorials. No online collaboration features are available.

Originally prepared by Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on November 9th, 2009 as "Professional Video Editing Software: Comparison Guide To The Best Video Editors".

Daniele Bazzano -
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Monday, November 9 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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