I was asked recently what was needed to do basic video editing. Specifically take a bunch of video from a camera and remove some jumpy sections between scenes, add some music and burn to a CD for Christmas.
First you must get the video from onto the computer. The most standard way of doing this these days is through a Firewire cable. This is normally marked on the camera as a DV in/out port. The port looks like a small rectangle with one of the long sides pushed in so the cable can only be inserted one way. Most recent laptops already come equiped with a firewire port while most desktops will require a new card to be installed. A firewire card for a desktop will run about $35-$45 and can be installed pretty easily.
You will then need a cable to connect the computer to the camera. Most desktop connectors will require a larger 6 pin connector while the camera uses the smaller 4 pin connector. My advice on purchasing this equipment is to find a local computer guy that can send you to a good place to purchase cables and/or cards. They are available at Bestbuy and/or Circuit City but they can get a bit expensive.
Ok at this point you should have all the hardware you need to get the transfer going. If you connect it all up the computer should recognize that you have connected a new device (just like a usb device) and may ask you if you want to import the data. I would connect it all up at this point to see that you get some connectivity.
The next step will be software to do the editing. I have used Ulead VideoStudio 11 with great success. I found it to be the easiest software to get the results the quickest. You can download a trial copy before purchasing. Look around a little before purchasing, better deals can be found than on www.ulead.com however one stop shopping isn’t bad either.
When running the software you want acquire the video from the camera. This will take the same amount of time as the video is long to transfer the video but once you have it on the computer you can edit away. The real advantage to the ulead software is that it will automatically split the video into scenes so you can easily build a complete video without having to manually cut all the video apart.
Ok that is your quick overview of how to get starting editing video. I’ve left out a number of details but this nutshell should be enough to get you going.