Recommend Video Editing Software

I bought an HD video camera for Christmas. It’s a really nice unit with all sorts of special features - including a GPS receiver. This was primarily purchased for my trip to China for two weeks in may, but will also be used for all sorts of personal video.

My question is - what sort of consumer video editing software should I buy? Or should I bother? I haven’t yet installed the included software, but I’m given to understand that most of the stuff that comes with camcorders is terrible anyway. So recommend me some video-editing software if you please.

Thanks!

Sony Vegas is what I use. It has enough options to let me do some great stuff with my videos, including multiple video and audio tracks, but is simple enough for me to figure out without spending days poking at it.

I use Edius, but it is overkill for most folks.

But you really need to tell us a couple of things to make decent recommendation:

What camcorder? Different models record in different formats, and different software can edit different formats without converting, which takes time.

What media? SD card, tape, hard drive, optical?

What computer? Windows or Mac?

By the way, even if the manufacturer’s software is crap, you may have to load it, just to get the transcoder for the media. And also, there is usually an enthusiastic group of users for that camera who will have experience with that model, and some who may have already traveled to China and may have useful pointers about where to get extra media, batteries etc in different places there.

What Camcorder? Sony Handycam 4.15MP HDRCX500V.

**What media? ** It has a 32GB internal flash memory and accepts Memory Stick PRO, of which I have two additional 16GB cards. One can connect the camera directly to the PC via a USB cable.

** What computer ** Windows. I’ll probably be purchasing a netbook to take on the trip instead of using my current notebook.

I hadn’t thought about needing to install the included software, I will take a look at it tonight and go ahead and do that. So far, the only thing I’ve had a chance to record has been the cats playing in the cat tree they got for Christmas, but I haven’t had time to futz with actually editing the software. I didn’t even think about their being user groups. Though I’ve also ordered to extra extended life batteries and a charger in a package deal from Amazon.

Another vote for Vegas. Been using it for years and it was pretty easy to learn.

OK, it records AVC/HD. That’s a great recent format that stores a lot of picture quality in a very small amount of space. But it also means that it takes a lot of processor power to transcode it to other formats and not many programs can edit it native.

OK, here’s the problem with this. Virtually no Netbook will have the horsepower to transcode and edit the format. Also, almost no laptop or netbook computers not made by Sony have MS-Pro readers. And Netbooks have small hard drives.

If I were you, I wouldn’t plan on being able to do anything other than the most rudimentary extraction of small clips for e-mail and YouTube while in China with a Netbook. Get the Netbook, but also get two high capacity external hard disks and dump the contents of the Memory Sticks and internal memory to one and back that up on the other. Edit it at home when you get back. You’re not going to China to spend time in your hotel room.

Technically speaking, the raw files are on the MS-Pro or internal hard drive, but they have an obscure naming structure. If you want to get all the info, GPS etc, you’ll have to use Sony’s software.

The suggestion on Vegas is good, if for no other reason than Sony bought the software a number of years ago. That is always a good thing to reduce the amount of finger-pointing if a problem crops up.

There are several. SonyHDVInfo.com, and while it’s not Sony specific, the folks at AVSForum are some of the most advanced users around -their users have invented dozens of innovations in Home Theater.

Always a good idea. Research the power adapter needs as well to make sure you can plug into the wall.