URGENT Help! Searching for the right video editing software

I have been searching for a couple of years now for the best video editing software to use on expeditions, both youth and school expeditions, as well as professional expeditions and field research.

The video editing software is the last piece in the puzzle.

So far, I have identified the following as the best in class for value and effectiveness for multimedia web communications from most places on the planet.

Now, I would love to use Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements as the media editing software, because…

Photoshop Elements allows for processing multiple files at the same time. This means that an expedition team could automatically resize and auto-adjust contrast, colour, etc. for all the images in one online gallery. All this can be done at the touch of a button.

Premiere Elements allows for multiple audio and video tracks, separation of audio from video, export to a number of file formats, but most importantly flv and gives a good range of flv export options as well as custom options for bitrate, frames per second and frame width / height and codec.

The problem with both these packages is the amount of memory they need, not only for the files, but also to operate. According to the system requirements, they also need 2GHz processor, 1GB RAM and a combined 6GB of hard drive space.

These are the kind of specs that are not likely to be found on solid state memory mini laptops such as the ASUS or indeed on rugged laptops such as the Panasonic Toughbook.

I’m stuck! Please help if you can.

PS over the weekend I have tested the following software to see if it delivers: Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, Cyberlink PowerDirector, Corel VideoStudio, Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 and Muvee Reveal and none quite hit the mark.

PPS I have just spoken to ASUS who have a more suitable laptop with the following specs:

Intel® Core™ Duo Processor U7500 : 1.06 GHz FSB: 533MHz, 2MB L2 Cache;

Mobile Intel® GM965 Express Chipset + ICH8M

DDR2 667 MHz SDRAM, 2 x SODIMM socket for expansion up to 4GB SDRAM
*Due to the 32-bit operation system’s limitation, only 3GB will show up with a 4GB memory. The 64-bit operating system will not have this issue.

6 Responses to “URGENT Help! Searching for the right video editing software”

  1. Digital Explorer says:

    Why not go with a Mac? I’d thought about this and discounted it based on the fact that a lot of schools don’t have Macs and pupils aren’t used to them. Also if schools wanted to use their own laptops, then any system developed, including the software used, would have to work on those.

    This is going round and round my head.

  2. Adrian Lee says:

    I have used both Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro. I was trained in Premiere but after using Sony Vegas Pro, I will never go back to Premiere again.

  3. Mark Georgiou says:


    My name is Mark Georgiou and I’m a Senior producer with BBC News and a Fellow of the RGS.

    ‘Out there’ we mostly use a tough book, loaded with Avid. We also use ‘Quick link’ and ‘V-point’ software which (via a Bgan or any Internet link) enable us to send pictures back in quality or ‘go live’ in slightly fuzz vision.

    That said … We also use macs loaded with Final Cut Pro which I prefer, so much simpler to use.

    Happy to chat — in return you might be able to do me a favour. I am looking for a GPS machead … can you help?



    PS best reached on mob 00 44 (0)7834 845563

  4. Digital Explorer says:

    Thank you for the comments. I have been thinking more about this issue.

    I have used both Toughbooks and Macbooks in the field and both have been great.

    I thought that the issue was finding a laptop at a price that was accessible to school and youth expeditions, but more to the point is finding a way of getting the right hardware to schools without costing the earth.

    Might broadcasters donate their more out of date laptops for use on school expeditions?

  5. Paul Deegan says:

    A good friend of mine who has always used PCs decided to switch to Mac a few months ago when he bought a Canon HV20 video camera. This is the email he sent me: “I must admit for a PC user iMovie 08 was a breeze to use and I really like how it works – just a shame so much is missing compared to iMovie 06 (which I haven’t found quite so easy to use). Either way it all puts Windows Movie Maker to shame.”

    iMovie 06 is available as a free download to owners of the most recent version of the suite of iLife applications. And both the new MacBook and existing MacBook Air have solid state hard drive options.

  6. Digital Explorer says:

    I have a strong suspicion that Apple is the way forward at the moment.

    Now, all I need to do is find some MacBooks from someone to lend to youth expeditions.

    Any broadcasters or indeed Apple wishing to donate spare laptops to be used by youth expedition teams to engage audiences in the UK on global citizesnhip issues are most welcome to get in touch!

    The move to solid state hard drives in Apple products is great.

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