VivaVideo is one of the exceptionally popular video editing apps. In practice, though, it's a very middle-of-the-road video editor. It works especially well for short clips for social media. The app uses a storyboard style of editing where you load clips, edit and trim them as needed, and then move on to the next segment. It includes over 200 video filters and various other effects, text input, and fast and slow motion support. VivaVideo has a free version that comes with a watermark and a time limit for any given video. You can remove these restrictions by buying the pro version.
Support for 4K video source content has become pretty standard in video editing software, but the support varies among the products. For example, some but not all of the applications can import Sony XAVC and XAVC-S formats, which are used by Sony's popular DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, and professional video cameras. The same holds true for the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Most of the applications here now can import and export HEVC, though there are still a few holdouts.
In recent years, web video conferencing has moved from a tech curiosity and gamer tool to a nearly ubiquitous component of most business telecommunications toolboxes. A key reason is an increase in the average Internet bandwidth most businesses enjoy, which has the effect of smoothing video conferencing sessions to nearly the same reliability and quality as voice calls where once buffering and sudden disconnects were the norm. Another reason is rising business travel costs, where establishing a quick video call between multiple participants can have the same benefits of flying those people to a central location to meet face to face. But another reason for its popularity is that the combination of video conferencing, online collaboration software, and smart meeting room hardware, like the Microsoft Surface Hub, can provide a data-optimized meeting environment you simply can't get any other way.
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.
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.
Quik is another iPhone video editor app from GoPro. With Quik, you can quickly create good looking videos with just a few taps. The app has the option to import photos and videos from the photo library, or your Facebook, or Instagram account. Once you’ve selected the photos and videos you want to edit, you get the option to add Hilights to the video clips (just like in Splice). However, you get the options to change the format between cinema, and square. Also, you can change the background music for the video, as well add a plethora of filters to the video. Quik also has the option to add a title to the video.
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
Other features I look at include the number of participants allowed on a call and the number of video feeds allowed simultaneously. The most generous is Adobe Connect, which is unlimited, but some offer as few as four participants at a time. Consider how important this is to your company. Most services let you record meetings, and a few let you edit the recording right within the software. These recorded meetings can then be used for your records or as webinars for anyone who missed the meeting or for new employees.