Short films are one of the most popular forms of content on the Internet. They can help authors convey important issues, provide step-by-step instructions, or tell interesting stories without demanding too much viewer time. But for a video to go viral, it has to be professionally made and share-worthy. This is where the video editor comes in.
Fortunately, you don’t need to invest more than a hundred dollars in a professional video editing suite. You can create eye-catching videos for free with Microsoft Windows Movie Maker (aka Windows Video Editor) or very affordable with Adobe Premiere Elements. Here, we compare two of the most popular amateur video editing tools on the market to help you decide the best video editing software. (Opens in a new tab) for you.
Adobe Premiere Elements has a simple, if dated, user interface. The interface is mainly divided into toolbar, preview, and timeline.
The toolbar contains all the options for applying the necessary changes and special effects to your video, while the preview helps you watch your creativity unfold in real time. Finally, the timeline represents the actual workspace, with the entire length of the video displayed as several thumbnails.
The latest version of Windows Video Editor (formerly Microsoft Windows Movie Maker) has a sleek and intuitive design, but the user interface itself is mostly just a cut-down version of other professional video editing software.
Older versions of Microsoft Windows Movie Maker have been officially discontinued. Windows Photo and Video Editor, available for Windows 10, is now the only video editing software to receive active support from Microsoft.
Powered by the company’s resident AI technology — Adobe Sensei — Adobe Premiere Elements features a nifty stabilization feature that lets you reduce camera shake to make your video look more professional.
Apart from this, Adobe Premiere Elements also has the usual options for changing brightness, contrast, and saturation throughout the video. There are also options to trim, rotate and crop the video as needed.
Windows Video Editor’s options are relatively limited in this aspect, with no options to adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, or crop your video frame. However, there are some options to adjust the speed and trim or split the length of the video.
Adobe Premiere Elements features a collection of amazing transitions and filters that you can apply to your video. It also includes options for adding custom animations, known as transitions, between different frames in the video.
Windows Video Editor has a very limited number of predefined visual effects to choose from, such as Denim and Arcade. But it does have the usual options for adding text, animation, or background music to your video.
Apart from adding custom animations and visual effects to your video, you can also choose to insert external audio or explanatory text into your video. This is especially useful when you want to have background music or add titles and captions. Both video editors offer similar options in this regard.
You need a decently powerful computer to support proper video editing. Adobe Premiere Elements recommends an Intel i7 or AMD processor with a clock speed of at least 2GHz, plus 4-8GB of RAM. An external graphics card is also recommended, especially for 4K.
On the other hand, Microsoft Windows Video Editor does not have any specific system requirements beyond those demanded by Windows 10.
Adobe Premiere Elements comes with high-quality support, including a knowledge base and online forum, as well as phone and chat support.
Microsoft Video Editor is part of Windows 10 and, as such, comes with the same support offerings. Microsoft has its own knowledge base and support forum, both of which receive contributions from actual company executives. There is also an online chat function for those who need it.
Microsoft Windows Video Editor is available for free. It comes included with the installation of Windows 10. For users of older versions of the Windows operating system, although the video editor is not currently available.
Adobe Premiere Elements is available at a one-time price of $99.99. However, Adobe also runs promotions that provide deep discounts on the retail price from time to time. You can also choose to invest in a combination of Photoshop Elements 2020 and Premiere Elements 2020, which have a total value of $149.99.
Overall, Adobe Premiere Elements 2020 is a more refined and feature-rich option when compared to Microsoft Windows Video Editor. This is also reflected in the price of Adobe’s software, unlike Microsoft’s, which is freely available.
Adobe Premiere Elements 2020 comes with a much larger collection of visual effects, filters, animations, and adjustments that allow you to customize your video to your liking. It also features a handy “stabilization” option that lets you quickly reduce camera shake and smoothen your video.
However, for people looking for a truly free video editing solution for amateur needs, Microsoft Windows Video Editor might just work.