Just 10-15 years ago, the concept of editing movies, videos and photos at home was inconceivable. The technology required for running movie editing software, photo editing software and software for video editing was far too overpriced for home users. In 1996, for example, a home computer with only 16MB of RAM and a 1.6GB hard drive cost almost $2000. Forget the price; try using that small bit of memory and space with video editing software!
Luckily for home video and photography enthusiasts, technology has advanced rapidly. Processors, memory and hard drives have all gotten bigger, better, faster and cheaper. Price point is no longer a barrier to entry. While the hardware needed to run movie editing software and photo editing software was only affordable to professionals back then, today any home user with even a mid-range computer can try their hand at software for video editing and photo work. Here is a look at some of the top video editing software and photo editing products available at affordable prices for home video and photo fans. There’s even free editing software available for would-be home studio owners on a budget.
Video Editing Software
Many home computer owners could already have software for video editing and not know it. Companies like Cyberlink, Nero and Roxio, who used to focus solely on CD and DVD burning applications, have turned their attention to video editing software. Today, these companies’ popular burning utilities typically come bundled with stripped down versions of their popular movie editing software packages. It’s inexpensive to move up, too. Even if your version of Nero Burning ROM, for example, didn’t come with a light edition of Nero Vision, the fully-featured version can be purchased at a very affordable price.
Other great video editing software products available at low prices, between $50 and $100, include:
- Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum
- MAGIX Movie Edit Pro
- Adobe Premiere Elements
- Corel VideoStudio Pro X4
Consider this: for what your computer costs today, you couldn’t even buy the most basic piece of software for video editing back then. Because of advances in hardware and software, you can now build a movie studio in your spare bedroom and start making professional quality home movies right away.
Photo Editing Software
In the past, there was Adobe Photoshop and that was about it for the available selection of photo editing software. For home users who just wanted to crop photos, eliminate red eye, play with colors and contrast and possibly do a little composite work, the professional-grade Photoshop was too daunting and too expensive. That has changed as several software companies, including Adobe themselves, have moved in to fill the niche for photo editing software for home use.
When Adobe realized there was a market for a trimmed down, less expensive version of its professional product, they created Photoshop Elements. Home users shouldn’t notice much difference in features, though. Adobe kept the features that home users would find most helpful while eliminating the high-end part of the product that only professional photographers would ever touch. The price difference between the two versions should be very attractive to frugal photographers: Photoshop’s “little brother” costs approximately one tenth the price of the full pro edition.
Other useful, affordable photo editing software products include:
- Xara Photo and Graphic Designer
- ACDSee Photo Editor
- Corel Paint Shop Photo Pro
- Serif PhotoPlus
Free Editing Software
Home photo and video enthusiasts just starting out probably want to get their feet wet with free editing software before committing funds to any of the movie editing software suites and software for video editing mentioned above. There are numerous free editing software packages for photos and video available to get started.
Video: Microsoft Windows and Apple operating systems both come bundled with user friendly video editing software designed to cover home video producers’ basic needs. Microsoft Movie Maker and Apple iMovie are the apps that come with their respective operating systems that are free, easy to use and fun. Other free video editing software products are available online, such as Avid FreeDV and Wax, that offer more flexibility and features for when it’s time to move up.
Photos: There are a lot of free online options for home photo enthusiasts looking to try photo editing software. Paint.NET is remarkably similar to Adobe Photoshop, with many of the same user friendly features. Online services like Picasa also offer free photo editing software for their users. Other useful and free photo editing software products include Gimp, Picnik and Photoscape.
As a home video and photo hobbyist, your budget may be a range like $50 – 100 or it might even be zero. Either way, there are many options out there when it comes to affordable and easy-to-use photo and video editing software.