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Recently we discussed the best consumer-level photo editing applications available, which can make for much more affordable alternatives to Photoshop and other professional editing suites. If you're shopping for holiday gifts for someone who wants to edit video on their computer, you're faced with a similar choice: Do you invest in a professional-grade option like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro CC, or do you save a little money and buy software that is geared more toward hobbyists?

There are plenty of alternative video editing suites available that can perform both simple and advanced editing techniques without the cost of the higher-end programs. Here are two that are particularly popular:

  • Adobe Premiere Elements: Based on Adobe's professional editing software Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements gives users many of the same features, but a more slimmed down and straightforward interface that makes it ideal for editing video taken from vacations, special events and other activities. It includes sound effects and prewritten scores so that you can enhance your videos with music, and it learns your preferences in terms of how the brightness and contrast in videos should be adjusted. It is available for Mac and Windows, and retails for $69.
  • Apple iMovie: This comes installed anytime you buy a MacBook Pro or Air, and you can also download it from the Apple App Store. Similar to Premiere Elements, it provides a fairly streamlined but powerful interface for creating great video. It's only available on Mac, but it's much cheaper than just about any other option at $14.99.

Something to keep in mind when purchasing video editing software is that even consumer-level applications like these require faster processors and bigger hard drives. We recommend taking a look at PortableOne's selection of customized laptops that can help that filmmaker in your life take his or her videos to the next level.

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