Increasingly, new capabilities trickle down from professional-level software to the consumer category. That's a good thing for nonprofessional movie editors, since the more consumer-oriented software tends to make easier procedures that can sometimes be pretty tricky in the pro-level software. Read on for a survey of the latest trends in video editing software along with our top picks in the field.
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


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.

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.


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.

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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.
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet. We know that a lot of people don't like the app. We agree that it still needs a lot of work. However, there are so many people that use Facebook that Facebook Messenger just makes sense. The video chat experience works relatively well. Since most of the people you know are on Facebook, it's easier to use this app than to convince everyone to join a new platform. Plus, the new ads rolling out aren't great. It's not perfect, but it's perhaps the most convenient of the video chat apps on this list. At least it's free.
Talking about features, LumaFusion supports up to 6 video and audio tracks for for photos, videos, audio, titles and graphics with an additional 6 audio tracks narration, music and sound effects. You also get a magnetic timeline which makes it really easy to manipulate clips once they are imported. There’s dozens of transitions and effects with the ability to layer effects. Finally, it also comes with dozens of royalty free music, sound effects, and more. If you really need a professional grade video editing app for your iPhone, you should definitely buy LumaFusion.

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.

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