I have some video files I recorded using a Canon 7D (.mov encased H.264). The recording is full HD resolution at 30fps. I need to...

  • Adjust the white balance and saturation
  • Combine several short clips into one longer clip, and
  • Export to a format that will allow smaller file sizes.

Anything that would be ready to upload to Vimeo would be a plus. Due to budget constraints I need to do this as inexpensively as possible. Is there an open source, free, or inexpensive program out there that can do what I need?

I use a Windows 7 (64) system.

  • Could you please add your OS in the question? This increases the chances of a useful answer. May 20, 2013 at 22:49

4 Answers 4


VirtualDub is a very powerful video editor. However, it's not very intuitive to use it and it has a steep learning curve. On the plus side, there's a large internet community that supports it, so lots of online resources are available.

For your specific problem I've made a short tutorial below. I've done all steps in Windows XP with two .mov files from a Canon 550D. Unfortunately I failed to find an easy way of adjusting white balance with VirtualDub.
I've used various on-line resources to compile this tutorial. There might be a more optimal way of doing this, but I found this the most straight forward.

Installing VirtualDub + plugins

  1. Download the VirtualDub 1.10.3.
  2. Download ffinputdriver to enable loading .mov files.
  3. Drag the VirtualDub folder to a convenient location. You don't need to install the program, it's click and run.
  4. Place the contents of the plugin folder of ffinputdriver in the plugin folder found in the VirtualDub folder.
  5. Start VirtualDub
  6. First you'll need to convert your video to AVI. That's what VirtualDub works with natively. A warning: my 1280x720 .mov file of 25MB became a 600MB .avi file. The transcoding speed is dependent on your machine.

Transcoding .mov to .avi

  1. File -> Open video file
  2. File -> Save segmented AVI
  3. Repeat for all your files.

Adjust Saturation

  1. File -> Open video file. Choose one of the AVI files you generated in the previous step.
  2. The video file opens in two screens. The left is the original, the right one is the processed video. At first they should be identical. You can scale the video views by right-clicking on them and choosing an appropriate zoom percentage.
  3. Go to Video and check if Full processing mode is on.
  4. Go to Video -> Filters -> Add -> HSV Adjust.
  5. Adjust the saturation to your liking and hit OK. Hit OK again in the filter window.
  6. Click File -> Save segmented AVI... and save the edited file somewhere.
  7. Repeat the process for all your videos in need of saturation adjustments.

Combine clips into one longer clip

  1. File -> Open video file. Choose the first file of your sequence.
  2. File -> Append AVI segment. The selected video file will be appended to the end of the open file.
  3. Repeat this with all the video files.

Export to smaller file

  1. Follow the steps outlined here.
    From a 25MB .mov file I got a 600MB .avi file, which got transformed to a 2.7MB .mp4 file with the steps given in the linked tutorial.

The Youtube Video Editor does the things you list.

Here's a screenshot of the editor in action. enter image description here

As you can see you can adjust the color balance and the saturation and, not shown here, it is also possible to combine several clips into one.

When you're done editing go to your Video Dashboard, click on the arrow next to Edit on your video and click Download MP4. See the screenshot below:

enter image description here

This will download your video to your computer with the edits applied.

  • Do the original uncompressed files have to be uploaded before I can work on them or is the editing done locally? Is there a way to locally save the result?
    – Michael C
    May 21, 2013 at 16:51
  • The original files have to be uploaded and processed by Youtube. When they're edited you can download the results. I've updated my answer. May 21, 2013 at 17:12
  • Thanks. Unfortunately I live in a rural area where the only broadband available is ADSL. I get 6Mbit speed down, but only about 500Kbit up. These files are 335MB per minute. :-(
    – Michael C
    May 21, 2013 at 18:22
  • I tried it with a sample clip. 6 minutes of video took 12+ hours to upload. Once edited, the sharp focus of the original looked like mush.
    – Michael C
    May 24, 2013 at 15:02
  • I don't get the download option when I click the "edit" dropdown menu, either.
    – Michael C
    May 24, 2013 at 15:30

I have not personally used it, but Lightworks might be an option. It looks fairly interesting and comprehensive for a product with a free version. It also has a professional version that unlocks more features for $60 a year. I think the free version would probably handle your needs though from what I could gather. I might even check it out as a post Adobe era option.

Update: This might or might not work. It doesn't work with mov encased H.264 apparently (well not without paying the $60.)


AviDemux seems to do what you need. The UI is not very friendly at all, but you can open the first file and then append additional files to it.

You can also apply filters to adjust saturation, hue and color gammas. There is also an auto-white point tool that may or may not get the white point you want (no way to manually select a white point unfortunately.)

You can then export in any supported format which should allow much smaller file sizes. This includes what appears to be pretty elaborate H.264 options.

Through all my searching, that was the best free utility I could find that allowed applications of filters. There really isn't much out there unless you go in to commercial offerings. Commercial offerings start around $60 from what I can gather. My brother in law has had decent luck with Cyberlink's editing software, though I have not personally tried it.

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