At its most basic, editing software lets you download raw video and cut and paste scenes as you would text. You can also edit or enhance the soundtrack. Once finished, you can save your film to the internet, burn it onto a CD DVD or send it back to the camera to be copied back onto videotape.
Viglen, with the help of partner Matrox, has created a high-spec video-editing machine. It comes with a FireWire card that speeds video from the digital video camera and a Matrox card that lets you use either an analogue or digital video camera and also speeds up processing.
The software is Adobe Premiere 6, one of the finest programs for quality video. It will enable you to cut and place your video and sound clips into any sequence with precision and artistry.
Unlike some editing programs, this one isn't tedious to use; just line up the clips you are going to need and place them on the timeline in sequence. You also have a wealth of transitions to choose from when you move from clip to clip. Audio is also on a timeline and you have a great deal of control over that. And while the program may seem complex, an hour or so is all you need to learn the basics. You could use this to introduce students to editing or make dazzling videos, but its depths will only be revealed over time.
Recording work to CD or DVD is simple as it is easy to send your completed video to the web or back to your DVD recorder if you have used digital video.
RM has long sold a similar machine to the Viglen. Its latest three machines range in price from pound;693 to pound;1,050 and are aimed at newcomers to digital video. They come with Pinnacle's editing software in two versions: Pinnacle Studio and Pinnacle Express.
RM now has a partnership with Pinnacle to develop software and this does everything most beginners want and is as intuitive as turning on a light - sit with it for an hour and you will be surprised at your progress. The DVD creation software is simple to use and you can quickly create a DVD with the professional-looking menu. With the varying hardware options available for these machines, it is advisable to talk through what you might need (08709 086868).
None of the machines come with a DVD burner as standard, but one can be added via RM's website (www.rm.com), which lets you alter the specification before placing an order - at a cost.
RM Digital editing PCs
Intel Pentium processor (the lowest specification machine uses a Celeron 1.1Ghz and the other two use Pentium 4 (1.8GHz))
40Gb hard drive
Prices: from pound;693 to pound;1,500.
Tel: 08709 086868
Intel Pentium 4 (1.8GHz)
60Gb hard disk
Matrox editing software
Tel: 08709 086868