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Photo/Video software to use? Answered

I am very much a wall flower and am curious to hear people's suggestions for photo/video software that they have tried and liked. I have a thought for an 'ible, and haven't a clue towards manipulating photos or video on the computer. Right now I have a cheap usb camera, and, an older Kodak Easy share digital camera that will do video, but what do I do from there? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated!



Gimp is without a doubt the best free photo software out there. If you are limited to free software and are using Windows, Windows Movie Maker is a good one, on Mac, iMovie. If you are willing to spend a couple dollars, Cyberlink Power Director is a good "all around" editor. You aren't going to be able to do a light saber dual with it, but it still does some cool stuff, and is user friendly. It's only around $80, and they are always having sales. :)

I do audio/video production as a side job, so feel free to ask me if you need any more help!

Good luck!

+1 For the free options. For paid, I'd suggest Photoshop (for PC & Mac), and Final Cut Pro X (for Mac) and Adobe Premiere is another good option for PC. Still, for what your needs are (novice versus professional), you can get decent results with the free options suggested by thegeeke.

PS: Don't forget to give someone "best answer" credit when you've got the answer you're looking for. ;)

I have to disagree with some of what you said. Final Cut X is about as useful to Apple as Vista was to Microsoft. X is just a souped up version of iMovie, thus giving it the nickname "iMovie Pro". Granted, I am a Mac hater, but there was a time that I would have to admit that Final Cut was one of the best video editing softwares out there. Now I don't. If you are going to spend that type of money, just get Avid. Premiere is decent, but hard for a novice to get used to. After Effects is really good for special effects, but most people wouldn't even know where to start with using it. I agree with you for Photoshop... if you have the money to spend on a photo editor, Photoshop is the way to go.

Bottom line is that for someone who doesn't really know too much about editing (which I think is the case for the OP based on the wording of his post), I think PowerDirector is probably the best option out there because it has the best middle ground between user friendliness and features. For a novice, even premier can be pretty daunting, but no matter if you are on PC or Mac, that would be my next suggestion after Power Director. There used to be a program out there called Debug Mode Wax2.0 that was free and did some cool stuff, but it was really old and it barely worked with XP, and I haven't been able to get it to work with Vista, 7 or 8.

The initial release of Final Cut Pro X caused a few hissy fits, but with 10.0.3, there really isn't any comparison with iMovie from a professional standpoint. FCPX may look a lot like iMovie, but it is far superior for high end video editing and broadcasting. It allows multi-camera video (and up to 64 different angles) with audio/video sync & editing as well as a ton of advanced features like chroma keying for fine-tuning green screens or editing multi-layered psd files (for lower thirds); all done ridiculously faster than previous version or the competition.

However... at the end of the day, the OP doesn't likely need any Pro software, and should have all their needs met with free options.

Hmmm... I will have to admit that I played around with FCPX only a little bit at first and never tried it after the updates came out... so I wouldn't know from first hand experience, but I do know quite a few professional editors who are still required to use it, and they hate it.

Anyway, everyone has their own favorite editors, and I don't want to end up in a huge debate, especially when as you say the OP probably need any Pro software. :)

The reason why so many people hate it is because its a major departure from the previous versions and its like an entirely new program. It's like loving a certain model of car or truck, and then the manufacturer does a major overhaul and changes what you've grown to love. It doesn't make the new version bad, per se, but it doesn't mean everyone is going to love the change.

Windows 8 is comming to mind as I read your comment... I may be going 90% Linux once 8 comes out... ;)

ya.... something tells me its not going to be as well received as they hope it will.

When I say I'm not going to use it, you know there's going to be a problem! ;)

GIMP is a great free photo software, and I definitely recommend it. Try it out, you have nothing to lose. After all, it it free. GIMP is a great software because they have a multitude of tools and features. Unfortunately, you need plug-ins to match Photoshop. Another great free photo editing software is Google Picasa. Although in my opinion GIMP is better, Picasa can help you organize your images and is fairly simple to use. GIMP, on the other hand, is more along the lines of Photoshop, but it takes more time to learn. If you are willing to pay, Adobe Photoshop CS5 and PaintShop Pro X4 is definitely one of the best photo softwares. For video editing, if you are a windows user and your looking for something free and easy to use, Microsoft Movie Maker is probably the easiest on windows. It has a drag and drop feature that makes movie making easier. On the other hand, if you have a Mac, Apple iMovie is the easiest free movie making software. The best video editing softwares are Corel VideoStudio, Adobe Premiere Elements, Cyberlink Power Director, Movavi, Pinnacle Studio, and Sony Vegas Studio Premium. I don't know which one is the best, but they are all really good and you have to choose which one suits you the best. If you are more of a professional type person, try Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.

If you can take a decent video in 1 take then there is no need for any video editing software. Fortunately you PC comes with some basic video editing software. On Windows its called Movie Maker. As for pictures i take multiple shots of the item from multiple angles, distances and lighting situations as i can. Then select the best of the pictures taken. Rarely do i need to go into any photo editor to fix things. When i do need a photo editor i use an older copy of Photoshop. But usually i only use it to crop and resize and image.

There are plenty of free options out there for photo and video editing. So if you feel you want more then the basic videos and pictures then give them a try before investing in anything better. As i said your computer comes with decent video editing software and most cameras come with decent photo editing software. Or you can have a look at Picasa from google.

Forgot to mention on the software I mentioned that Gimp is the only photo software I mentioned. The rest are video editors. Power Director comes with a program called "photo now", but Gimp is better. :)


6 years ago

I use Corel Draw. There is a home and student version And right now and through tomorrow there is a special sale on it. Corel Draw is not just one program. It is a suit and includes Corel Photo Paint which is the program I use to retouch all my pictures. This program sell for almost $500. The student version goes for 130. New Egg has it for a special price of $49.00 and free shipping.  There is a new version that is just being released, version 16, but you can save a bunch if you get this one right now. I have used a lot of the other programs and I keep comming back to Corel.

As far as video, I haven't done much with that so I can't recomend any one program.