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
PowerDirector is one of the most comprehensive video editor apps on this list. It comes with a ton of features, including quick editing tools, various effects and other tools, and it even comes with things like a collage maker and slow motion support. The interface is relatively easy to work with and it utilizes the classic timeline editor method. It should be more familiar for those who video edit often. It’s free to download and use, but you’ll need to fork out some extra money to get all the features. This is a for real video editor, especially for larger screens like Chromebooks or tablets.
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.
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.
Another impressive effect that has made its way into consumer-level video editing software is motion tracking, which lets you attach an object or effect to something moving in your video. You might use it to put a blur over the face of someone you don't want to show up in your video. You specify the target face, and the app takes care of the rest, tracking the face and moving the effect to follow it. This used to be the sole province of special effects software such as Adobe After Effects. Corel VideoStudio was the first of the consumer products to include motion tracking, and it still leads the pack in the depth and usability of its motion-tracking tool, though several others now include the capability.
For example, join.me offers a free plan with limited features, which is good for small or even single-employee companies. Many services are scalable depending on the number of hosts and attendees you need. I recommend trying a few of our top-rated video conferencing services before committing to a particular one; try out some of the features to figure out what you really need and what's overkill.
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of t... See Full Bio
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
Signal Private Messenger is one of the most popular privacy chat apps. It features end-to-end encryption for all messages, voice calls, and video chats between two Signal users. It focuses a lot on individual chats. There are group chat features, but it's mostly for personal use. This is one of the biggest differences between it and rival privacy chat app Telegram. Video calls worked fine in our testing so we have no trouble recommending them. It's a neat way to get some encrypted chats as well. The app is also completely free and open source. You can't really go wrong with it, but there are better video chat apps if you need group video chats.