As a beginner, I would suggest trying out the free video editing software before buying the commercial ones. Get the hang of basic video editing first before moving on to more complex and special effects stuff.
There are many free video editing software for download. Here are the top seven I recommend:
1. Windows Movie Maker (PC):
Pre-installed in latest PCs running on Windows Vista, Windows Movie Maker makes video editing easy. You can create, edit, and share your videos right on your computer. Build your movie with a few simple drag-and-drops. Delete bad shots and include only the best scenes. Then share your movie via the Web, e-mail, or CD. You can also save your movie back to the video tape in your camera to play back on a TV or on the camera itself.
2. Apple iMovie (Mac):
Drag-and-drop editing – also an easy way to make videos. Apple iMovie gives you more ways to add clips to your project: You can replace or insert clips using a single pop-up menu. Or edit just your audio. When you choose to show the Advanced Tools menu in iMovie preferences, drag-and-drop editing includes additional options such as cutaways, picture-in-picture, and green-screen effects. The software is only free if you have a new MAC system.
3. Debugmode Wax (PC):
Wax is a bit outdated but it is still a high performance and flexible video editing software. It can be used as a stand-alone application, or as a plug-in to other video editors. The software also features unlimited video and audio tracks . Wax is flexible in visual effects, so that you can compose your dream video sequence with ease every time.
4. Zwei-Stein (PC, Linux):
Zwei-Stein is a freeware non-linear, non-destructive video compositing and editing system which offers many advanced features unavailable elsewhere. With Zwei-Stein you can edit up to 256 video, audio and still image clips, each with up to 64 effects chained serially. Cropping, panning and custom effects are easy with automatic key frames.
5. Jashaka (PC, Mac, Linux):
Jahshaka is a video and film compositing, editing and special effects system that uses OpenGL & OpenML hardware rendering to give operators real time interactivity. The system is cross platform, and also includes full CG, paint and image processing modules. The worlds first open source, hardware accelerated editing and effects system!
6. Virtual Dub (PC):
Virtual Dub offers simple editing capabilities. It lacks the editing power of an advanced editor such as Sony Vegas, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. You cannot get creative with the software, but you can use it to make simple, clean edits in your video footage. VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images.
7. Jump Cut (online):
There is nothing to download here. Jump Cut is an online tool, a free video editing utility that allows you to cut video, and add audio, photos, effects and titles right on the web. This is the future of online video editing. Upload your media, grab shared media, create and remix movies, publish to your friends, share with the world.
While the above free video editing software will satisfy simple video editing needs for most beginners, you might want to do more. There are commercial video editing software that allow you to try for free for a limited time period. I would recommend you download and try Corel VideoStudio ProX2. This is one of the best video editing editing program for beginners. In fact I am still using it for simple video work and DVD production in my videography business.
Of all the available free programs out there, the above are the top seven free video editing software I would recommend you to download and try for learning and understanding the basic video editing process.