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I need to edit a HD video file. I will need to zoom, pan and insert text. Also, I will need to insert small video clips into the main file (eg. zoom to a black TV screen and insert video to that TV screen).

The software can not be complex/difficult to learn (eg. After Effects/Premiere/Vegas) as I do not have much time to complete the project. However, it should be capable, unlike Movie Maker, and run on Windows 7.

So, what do you recommend?

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With both Premiere and Vegas, it seems that such a project would take a long time for someone like me. Would Lightworks be capable of this project? Are there any good/active forums I could use if I get stuck on the tutorials? If I were to request a designer to finish the project, for free and by the weekend, how would I do so? Thanks. James. – James McCoy Jan 13 '12 at 20:34
Nobody is going to do this for free. And despite what these answers are saying no editing program will do this. You need to do a screen replacement in after effects. The text and pan you can do in premiere or the like. – Alex Jan 27 at 0:29

I think pretty much every editing program would allow you to zoom, pan and insert text. Inserting another video into the main video is a little more complex and the only program I know for sure that does it is After Effects. But I'm sure there are others that will.

I would suggest using Premiere because it's a very powerful program. Even though I've never had to insert video into another one like you've described, I'm sure there's a way to do it. You don't have to learn the program inside out to be able to edit in it. There are hundreds of tutorials online that take you step by step through the process. A quick Google search would reveal that.

However, if you still don't want to go with Premiere, here is a list of free video editing programs that might be able to do the job. I haven't used any of them so I can't make a recommendation – but it's a good starting point.

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Sony Vegas is my second option to Final Cut. You can do everything you need in a very intuitive interface. Like Chard says, there are hundreds of tutorials online that take you step by step through the process and many good free video editors around.

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The most easy to use Video Editor I know is Magix Video Delux It has HD capabilities, a lot of fixed crossover effects.

My mother swears by it and she still has trouble sending mails and stuff.

For more advanced users, there's even the option to go in timeline editing, but most of the things you can do in a block overview what you just drag & drop blocks of video to order them and apply some effects very easily between them.

I personally use Edius, but that's about as professional as you can get!

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I started to use Sony Movie Studio and have found it easy to get to grips with after watching an excellent set of tutorial videos titled "Video Editing Basics for Vloggers" by CalmBiker on YouTube. It is more capable than Movie Maker and definitely includes all the features you have asked for. The tutorials include details of how to perform pan & zoom, Adding Text and Picture in Picture.

I would recommend getting version 12 or older if you want the interface to closely match that of the video. In version 13 they changed the interface to work better on tablets, so it looks more like the recent versions of Microsoft Office with the ribbon across the top.

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