Getting started with video editing: software and hardware choices

Getting started with video editing is a challenge, but not rocket science.  There are several things to consider, including the kinds of videos you want to produce, your budget, the power of your computer, and platform.

With regard to software, for people who are new to editing video,  iMovie (Macintosh platform) and Adobe Premiere Elements (Windows) make a lot of sense. They are both relatively inexpensive and easy to learn and use. And they will help you learn video editing concepts.

The hugely popular iPad is a relatively inexpensive way to access digital content, including video, and an IOS  version of iMovie runs on the iPad.  For some, this may be an easy and affordable way to start learning how to edit video, but the capabilities of the iPad for creating and editing video content are limited.

You need to be sure your equipment is powerful enough to perform well when video editing.  The more sophisticated the videos you want to produce, the higher the requirements. It can be very frustrating to try to edit videos when you are running into performance issues. A relatively current (2009 or later) computer with at least 4 GB (gigabytes) of RAM memory, and an external hard drive with a 7200 RPM rating are good minimum requirements.  More RAM (8 or more GB) and a fast graphics card will help performance.

Those who have some experience editing video and are ready to work at a more advanced level should consider upgrading their video editing software.  For many, the choice comes down to two popular options, Apple Final Cut X and Adobe Premium CS 5.5.  I’ve used both of these software programs and will discuss the pros and cons of each in another post.

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