Other features to look for include face recognition technology that identifies visitors by name, motion sensing technology that knows the difference between people, cars, and animals, color night vision video (most doorbell cameras use infrared LEDs to provide up to 30 feet of black-and-white video), and a choice of chimes that will help you differentiate between a doorbell press and a motion trigger. Some of latest doorbell cameras offer a pre-buffer feature that records several seconds of activity prior to when a motion sensor is triggered or the doorbell button has been pressed so you can see what happened just before an event.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is more-detailed color grading. Color wheels, curves, and histograms give editors control over the intensity of every shade. Related to this is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
World-Class Video Apps
Advanced abilities continue to make their way into accessible, affordable, and consumer-friendly video editing software as each new generation of software is released. For example, multicam editing, which lets you switch among camera angles of the same scene shot with multiple video cameras, used to be a feature relegated to pro-level software. Now this and many other advanced effects are available in programs designed for use by nonprofessional enthusiasts.
Wired doorbells draw power from two wires that are connected to a transformer that steps down your household power to between 16 to 24 volts. If your home is not equipped with doorbell wiring you can wire it yourself using a plug-in transformer, or have an electrician do the work for you. Either way, some drilling will be required to run wires from the inside of your home to an exterior location.
Businesses are moving further apart. That is, many small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are becoming spread out across many geographic locations, which brings complex challenges for communication, even for employees that work in-house. Add customers and partners to the mix, and it's difficult to think about talking to all of these folks without extensive travel, which brings restrictive costs. This is where video conferencing can deliver a serious boost to your company's bottom line.
Video doorbells come in all shapes and sizes. The least expensive models tend to be bulky devices with limited color choices, while many of the more expensive models are slim and inconspicuous and come in a variety of finishes to complement your home. Chances are, if the doorbell runs on batteries it is going to be bulkier and more obvious than a wired model.
I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year. Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. Corel VideoStudio in its latest version also adds 3D Titling, though not as powerful as Apple's. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters, and Corel recently followed suit in VideoStudio 2019. Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview.
ActionDirector is one of the most popular video editing apps on PC. It's also available on Android. It does the basics. You can import clips, edit them, and render the video. You can do things like add your own music, trim and cut video, add text, employ slow motion, and more. It's one of the few video editor apps that also supports 4K video. You'll have to check and see if your device supports it, though. The developers have a nifty tool linked in the Google Play Store to see if yours can. It also gets frequent updates.
Magisto is a very simple video editor app. With this app, you don’t get any features such as adding text overlays, tilt shifts, etc to your video. However, the charm of this app lies in its simplicity. Within the app, you can import your photos and videos, and choose a theme for the video. There are a number of themes available, such as dance, among many others. Once you’ve done that, you get the option to add music to the video, as well as options to decide how long you want the video to be.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
Video Crop is a video editor app for iPhone that performs only one task – cropping videos. If you have a video that you want to crop, and you want an app that can do it quickly and smoothly, you should definitely check out Video Crop. The interface is very intuitive. You simply choose the video you want to crop, and then you can select the area you want to crop.
I test each service's prominent features, but it's up to you to decide whether or not you need dial-in numbers, VoIP, or both options for your audio, and whether or not you need video calls in addition to screen sharing. Some services offer both teleconferencing with dial-in numbers (local or toll-free) and VoIP calling, while some offer just one or the other. A few offer international dial-in numbers. Adobe Connect doesn't offer teleconferencing at all but can be integrated with a number of other services. Most offer video calls via webcam, although a few don't.
paul ponna reviews