I use Final Cut Pro HD, but that's simply because it's what we use at work. There's also an Express version, and iMovie will handle fcp project files with limited features.
Of course, this all assumes you're a Mac user.
When doing stuff on PC the guys here use Adobe Premiere. I typically use VirtualDub (which is free) when I need to do simple stuff on a PC.
For some limited features we need to use Shake - probably way out of your price range.
Other people I know use the whole Flint/Flame/Spark/Inferno etc set, going well into the millions... but they're professionals.
If you're only using Windows 98 I assume you've got a slow machine. To really get into editing you need at least a 2.0GHz processor and 1 gig of RAM (minimum) if you want to run a program that opens up some new possibilities for you.
I like Sony Vegas 7, but that's mainly because I have a background in music recording and the interface is similar to Acid.
BTW uncompressed video will consume your hard drive. Of the top of my head, I think each hour takes up around 20 gig. So you'll probably need a new HD as well.
OK ,well try Sony Vegas Movie Studio, it's only $89.95 http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/showproduct.asp?pid=977
You can download a trial and see how you like it. It's a really stable program, with a great rendering engine ( when you render in imovie, your text will look a little pixelated) to give smooth results. If you want to do some fancy titles, I like Bluff titler, which is a seperate program.
Also, making a great video isn't really about great effects. It's just like cooking, you need good quality ingredients (images and footage). Using light and framing your images/video properly will go a long way, as will a quality camera. Music is something that most people don't use properly. Dynamics(loud and soft) should relate to the movement on the screen, and try to use audible cues or beats in the music to change images/frame shots.
There's lotsa out in the market... Like Bryant said, Sony Vegas hits the top of the charts. Initially, I've also tried one from Pinnacle... Whatchmacallit? Oo0h, Pinnacle Studio. There's also one from Ulead. MediaStudio Pro 8, I guess... And let's not forget Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 I think most of 'em render in real time...
Go0gle is everyone's bestfriend here... So, what are you waiting for?¿? Go0gle away! :cornut:
I like Vegas . . . i edited this ( offroading ) with it. It handles the files without any fuss and is pretty easy to work with.
For absolute basics, windows movie maker is alright for stiching clips together with basic transistions between them. The big let down with Movie Maker is that it doesn't seem to handle sound all that well. For example, if i had an MP3 track to the edit and then cut and plsice that MP3 track, it plays in time in movie maker when you are previewing it, but when you render the file, the music jumps out of sync. Very annoying. :madmax:
The best 'decently priced' editing software IMHO is Avid DV Free - cos it's free
It's basically a streamlined version of Avid Xpress, and should of course raise your interest in the latter (f'ing expensive) product. The free version, despite its limitations, is still a cool and mighty editing tool compared to, say the Windows movie maker You get basic keyframing, a title editor, online tutorials, dv capture and scene detection, a couple of real-time effects and of course the nice editing concept of Xpress.
Personally, I love Adobe products. Now that Adobe owns Flash (which is what YouTube is built with), and coupled with Audition, they have the best suite for intermediate level media production. Premier has a lot of the Photoshop effects built into their video functions. The only downside is the price ... $1000++ ... :madman:
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