That's what I do for a living...so here's my take...The big 3 are Avid, Final Cut and Premier. All good. Avid bought Pinnacle and turned it into Avid "Liquid", but I think they discontinued it. For your needs you should also look into Sony Vegas. From What I've heard Premier CS4 and CS5 are very good. Most of my experience is w/ Avid. It works great, but it's not cheap and it's picky with what kind of hardware it works on. Whatever you pick (anything is better than windows movie maker), make sure it'll work with whatever format you are shooting and make sure you're computer far-exceeds the min required specs. Pay attention to hard/software recommendations and stick to them. For instance, my software (Avid) only works right with certain OS/SP's, a certain version of quicktime and a certain brand of video-cards/and drivers.
As for editing HD....I find that in most cases (unless you'll be mastering to Bluray), it's just not worth it. It takes up waaaay too much drive space and in order to do anything with it, it requires a ton of computer power, especially if you'll be adding any graphics, titles, FX etc. I shoot in HD, but knock it all down to DV50 or MPEG50 compressions when I import the footage into Avid. I find for the web and DVD, SD is fine...as long as it's encoded correctly. AND, if I need to get it back to HD, Avid will re-import just the clips that I used and up-rez back to HD.
ECS-Paxton Supercharger / American Racing Headers & Exhaust / PFADT Suspension / DSS 9" 4.10 Rear / FOR SALE!
Powerfreak is the only one who actually understood anything.
Last edited by POWERFREAK; 02-11-2011 at 07:50 AM.