editing videos from digital cameras

I have an Pentax Optio W20, which takes videos in Adobe Quicktime .MOV format. I often find I am missing things with the video mode because I try to turn it on and off at just the right time.

Instead, what I would like to do is just turn it on when there is something that might be video worthy and turn it off when it is over, then trim the video on my computer such that just the part I want to see is left.

But I don’t have any simple video editing software. Does anyone have any recommendations, preferably free or inexpensive software (I use Windows machines)?

I have used the movie edit mode in the camera, which does allow you to do this, but it is a pain. You have to page forward frame by frame to get to where you want to split the movie, and with what I am thinking, I could be taking movies clips that are a few minutes long. It works for what I am after, but at 30 frames per second, that could be a long time of paging through frames just to get to where I want to split a movie clip.

Editing Videos
I bought a used computer back in January - its got Windows XP on it and from what I understand, XP and ME both came with Windows Movie Maker in their package. Its what I use and it works pretty well, allowing you to trim the clips, add video transitions, effects and titles.

I use a Canon Powershot S3IS which takes video clips that are just about camcorder quality. I have to be real careful not to get it wet when I mount it on a tripod in my square stern canoe or on a RAM mount on my kayak. For me, its worth the risk until I can afford a waterproof digital.

I’ve made a couple of DVDs from my fishing trips fighting, landing fish, and throwing in some comments - sort of my own fishing show. I also compose keyboard music, and with Windows Movie Maker, you can import audio without a problem for your background music. I try to time the changes in the film with changes in the music, and its a lot of fun.

Rather than just a video of me catching fish, I take a lot of clips of birds, fish in the water if its clear and I can get a good view, and other boaters, kayakers, etc. as well as the front of my canoe as I’m traveling along. It breaks up the monotony of just seeing fishing. A tripod really helps.

Back to your question - if you don’t have Windows Movie Maker on your computer, you can buy some software from Roxio that will do the same thing. I’ve seen the software at Staples, Office Depot, Circuit City, etc. The cheap version which should work is only $29.95. You will find other software as well at these stores which will do the same thing.

I’ve been having a blast putting this all together and have been fortunate enough to land some big smallmouth bass on camera. Once you get started with this you won’t want to stop, and its a good learning process about making your own movie. Hope this helps -

Anyone editing movies on a computer
. . . should be using a Mac. The software is SO much better and easier.

(That’s true of nearly all software, but especially for movies. And Apple’s iMovie comes with the computer.)


– Last Updated: Aug-26-07 11:05 AM EST –

My Optio came with ACD software including "Showtime for Pentax" software that allows editing just as you speak of. Is also enables conversion of the MOV files to MPG,WMV, etc.

You had me all excited - a program that I already have (I checked, and I do have it installed) that would let me do what I want. But then I went and found that it doesn’t support .MOV file formats…

I’l have to check
I’ll have to dig up the disk that came with it and see if I have this. I don’t think I loaded any of the programs from the disk (besides the driver), because I am happy using Picasa.

got it
You are right. I have installed the software off of the disk and it seems to do everything I need! Thanks.