Photo editing apps like Lightroom have very intuitive ways (my opinion, of course) of performing operations on pictures.

I occasionally do small video projects that I edit either in Sony Vegas on Windows or Final Cut Pro 7 on Mac. These apps seem pretty lacking in some areas, when compared to Lightroom. For example, there is no option to show the EXIF data stored in DSLR clips, as far as I know, so I can't easily see what lens I've used for this or that shot, or what the aperture, shutter and ISO was. White balance is done by selecting a white area of the picture, which is fine, but then there is no slider to go warmer or cooler, instead I have to do this by hand using the full blown color correction filter.

I was wondering if there are any video editing applications that have a digital photography friendly workflow. I don't have any constraints on operating system or cost.


3 Answers 3


I don't have any personal experience with video, but Neil van Niekirk, a photographer whose articles have thrown lots of light into my understanding of event photography, is using iMovie. Even though he wished for something more powerful 8 months ago, it seems to have remained his tool of choice so far. Armin Defiesta, formerly videographer, now mostly photographer, has written a comparison of iMovie vs Final Cut Pro X.

I suspect part of the learning pain comes from the fact that video processing tools are based on heritage of movie film processing, not evolved from photography tools. The terminology and primary controls therefore have been evolving independently.

About EXIF info - are you sure your clips contain anything relevant in the first place? Most video file formats don't have any support for that. See what metainfo your camera can show you about a recorded clip.

  • I like the final cut pro x recommendation, that is good stuff. Not easy, but good.
    – dpollitt
    Dec 31, 2011 at 17:46
  • If you are looking for lots of EXIF info out of a DSLR video, I read that Cineform NeoHD might do the trick.
    – dpollitt
    Dec 31, 2011 at 17:47
  • @Imre: on Canon DSLRs the EXIF data for movies is stored either inside the MOV files, or on some models on separate .THM files that also hold a jpeg thumbnail. You get the same stuff that is in the raw and jpeg pictures.
    – Miguel
    Dec 31, 2011 at 18:25
  • Thanks for your answer. I'll check out iMovie and FCPX, sort of ignored them based on having used FCP7 in the past. The color correction tool in FCPX looks original, it is different than what I've seen in other apps and might be a better solution when you just want to make small adjustments to color temperature. I haven't found any indication that these editors show EXIF data though.
    – Miguel
    Dec 31, 2011 at 18:38

The newest version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Version 4(beta) has improved video capabilities. You can now do many of the standard Lightroom image adjustment controls to video clips as well. You also have the ability to play, trim(non destructive), and extract frames from video clips.

Some examples of the adjustments to video include: exposure, contrast, clarity, and white balance temperature and tint.

As your original question was asking, this is very friendly to photographers, as Lightroom is primarily a photo editing and organizing piece of software. Only the most recent versions have started to include video editing features.


You might want to try out Adobe Premiere Elements/Pro depending on what suits you. There is excellent interoperability between Photoshop and these Apps so you should be able to jump too and fro rather seamlessly. I can't check right away, but I think Adobe App do display Exif data for video files as well as image files. I know for sure Adobe Bridge does.

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