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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Computers & Internet > Video Editing Software

Video Editing Software Cost

How Much Does Video Editing Software Cost?

low costLow: Free-$150average costMedium: About $1,000high costHigh: Just Under $2,000
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Whether it's to edit a vacation video before showing family and friends or to cut an entire independent feature film, video editing software is a vital component for any DV camcorder user. Selecting the right software depends not just on budget and editing needs but also on the type of computer and the format of the camcorder being used to import videoOften, a free trial from the manufacturer's website is available to test the software before buying.

Typical costs:

  • Most camcorders include basic software for downloading videos and new computers often come with pre-installed video editing software. Apple Macs offer iMovie[1] software and PCs running Windows Vista come with the MovieMaker program. This offers basic editing functions and can be downloaded for free, although it doesn't support many video formats. Similarly, free downloads of software such as VideoThang offer very rudimentary editing features and an output quality suitable only for posting video clips to social networking sites such as YouTube or Facebook.
  • For more features, higher quality output and greater video compatibility look for an amateur home video editing program costing from $50 to $150. This kind of software is sufficient to capture, edit, author and burn home videos to disc or mobile devicesSony Vegas Movie Studio 9[2] retails for about $60, is designed for Vista and Windows XP users and handles both standard and high definition video along with 5.1 surround sound mixing.
  • At the next level up, Final Cut Studio[3] , for Apple Mac users, includes Final Cut Pro 7 video editing software and costs about $1,000.
  • The highest end video editing software is designed for professional editors who have completed training programs. Avid Media Composer[4] is available in Mac and Windows versions and offers the ability to juggle between multiple DV formats. The software costs a shade under $2,000 and is one of the most popular packages for video editing and post-production professionals.
Related articles: Camcorder, Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer

What should be included:
  • A video editing package typically includes video, audio and photo editing software, along with DVD and slideshow authoring and data backup and archiving capabilities.
  • The software should include technical support from the manufacturer. This may take the form of telephone or online support or both.
Additional costs:
  • Plan to pay for future upgrades to the software as they become available, which could run from $20 to $500.
  • Avid[5] offers worldwide training classes for its professional grade software. Expect to pay $100 to $550 or more.
  • Many software companies offer discounts to students and teachers. Sites such as B&H Photo Video[6] offer discounts for Federal, educator and student buyers.
Shopping for video editing software:
  • Online vendors such as J&[7] and Amazon[8] usually have lower prices than manufacturers.
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