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Old May 9th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #1
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What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

Hi,

I'm a newbie trying to get my feet wet with DLSR wedding videography and would like recommendations on a program that is right for me. I have a Nikon SLR, my computer savviness is novice-to-intermediate, I am not familiar with any video editing programs, and I plan on getting a PC desktop for editing HD videos. Ideally, I'd want a relatively simple program that has a good amount of usable features for someone like me; I would like to avoid difficult to use programs that have fancy features that someone like me would not likely use. Thanks in advance!
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Old May 9th, 2013, 05:08 PM   #2
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

You'll use the advanced features when you're ready to move past rookie stage, but the nice thing is that when you start out on these programs you don't have to use them. For example, it's safer to shoot a little dark and keep the detail rather than be over exposed and have detail washed out. Then in post you can lighten the video to where it should be. Or color matching when you start using 2 different cameras where the white balance isn't quite right...

I use Sony Vegas, and does timeline editing and then, when you're ready, you'll start messing around with effects like color correction, Gamma, and the like.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

A lot of stills photographers have Photoshop, and the video capabilities of CS6 look to be very usable.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

For a PC person, Vegas is the right place to start. It looks, smells, and tastes like a normal Windows program, so you don't have to learn a bunch of basic operations from scratch. Also, you can start with one of their sub-$100 products and move to the Pro version when needed.

That's not to say that there's nothing new to learn. Timeline editing is a bit different than editing a Word document. But it's pretty natural: Drag a clip here or there to change its timing, drag the edge to change the duration, drag an upper corner to fade in or out of black. I've used it since v2.

The main players are...
* Adobe Premier (Mac & PC - Used by pros. Has its own way of doing things, but similar to and integrates well with Adobe AfterEffects, which is the de facto effects program.)
* Apple Final Cut (Mac only - Used by many pros.)
* Avid Media Composer (Mac & PC - Pro use. Possibly the best for teams of people working together)
* Grass Valley Edius (PC - I've never used it - though I worked for GV, but long before they bought the product.)
* Sony Vegas (PC - Very easy to learn for Windows users. Especially strong in format independence - you can easily mix HD 1080i, 1080p, 720p, SD, and whatever size formats you have.)

The main knock against Vegas is that it's not seen as a top, pro editing system. Adobe, Apple, and Avid own the pro market. That said, this is more of a perception and deployment problem than a technical issue. If you want to make money editing video, learn one or more of the big three systems. But for solo editing of Wedding videos on a PC, it's Vegas all the way. :)
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Old May 9th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

I see a number of headaches in your future..

don't mean to sound unduly negative but wedding videos arn't the easiest way to start and shooting them with DSLR's adds another level of complexity. If you haven't got a PC and arn't already familiar with NLE's then you're pushing crap uphill.

On a positive note you've found DVInfo which is the best resource bar none. While it's tempting to ask the question and sit back and wait for the perfect answer, you'll learn a lot more by searching the forums and reading the wealth of knowledge that's allready here.

Do you actually have any experience in shooting video?

My advice for what it's worth?
1. delay the wedding video bookings
2. buy a PC and start using Windows Movie Maker (I think it still comes free with the operating system)
3. start with shooting & editing short films - anything
4. spend all your free time shooting, editing & reading stuff on DVInfo

That should keep you busy for 6 to 12 months. When you become frustrated with Movie Maker, it's time to look for an NLE with more features, there are a number of mid range ones out there before you get to the high end stuff but that's a way off yet.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

Also, don't forget the Lightworks NLE, which has a long professional history but is now available as either a free version or a pro version which available on an annual subscription basis. It's extremely flexible in how it allows you to work with material.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

I'd also suggest Vegas. It's got a $99 version (I think) and a few different levels or upgrades if you feel you've quickly outgrown it.


Personally I use Adobe Premiere, still on CS4. For people in your position tho I'd suggest checking out Sony Vegas.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 09:41 AM   #8
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
2. buy a PC and start using Windows Movie Maker (I think it still comes free with the operating system).
For Windows 7, Movie Maker is included, sort of. Once you get Win7 installed, you just go to the download site and it's then available for free download.

Movie Maker - Microsoft Windows

I used it for a few simple projects, then tried Pinnacle, then Magix, and then started using Vegas around 2007 and have been on it ever since. I suggest you do a few simple projects on Vegas to get the hang of it, then use the more advanced features as you gain experience.

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Old May 10th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

Vegas (and some of the other NLEs) offer 30-day trials. So you can start with the free version, buy the $99 version if you like it, and upgrade to Pro when ready.

I'd skip Movie Maker as it's a dead end. It will give you some editing experience, but you'll have to learn another system as soon as you are ready to upgrade. I think it's a better investment to spend your learning time on a more viable platform. This can be very important, since we humans tend to like the things with which we become comfortable. (People who swear by Macs or PCs often prefer the platform on which they happened to first gain proficiency.) Once you choose and learn a platform, it can be hard to unlearn things when switching to another program. You might get ten great new features when you switch, but if you lose one oft-used feature, it's easy to resent the new app.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 05:12 AM   #10
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Re: What PC Program for Editing DSLR Wedding Videos?

You can also try out Lightworks for free with no time limit, quite a few beginners are using it. However, I'd wait until the 11.1 version is released, possibly this week, because the free version should transcode your DSLR video. The current release free version requires 3rd party software (EyeFrame, the most popular, is simple to use and worth having anyway). The Pro version has more features and imports a much wider range of video codecs.

There are training videos and User Guides available, with 500,000 registered at their site it's becoming increasingly common.

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; May 11th, 2013 at 06:31 AM.
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