Which of current popular video editing software for Windows would be most appropriate for my requirements?

Usual use case: friends or relatives ask to create a short video stitched from various sources with different quality, file formats, white balance, brightness, audio volume; and often I don't have much time because the video might be needed as part of a show for someone's birthday party.

More specific requirements:

  • for occasional use - workflow and basic UI controls are intuitive, not too much tied to specific shortcut combinations (I will forget them if I use the program only once a month or so); supports usual key combinations for scrolling/zooming in the timeline, undo/redo, copy/cut/paste (I don't like when mousewheel and Ctrl + mousewheel does not work as expected)

  • ideally, it would be great to have some basic preset which normalizes the result; that is, makes all audio clips the same volume, adjusts white balance and brightness of each video clip to be "optimal", and then provides controls to tweak each clip as necessary, in case the "optimal guess" was not quite right

  • timeline based, non-destructive (non-linear editing)

  • imports most popular video shooting formats and containers - AVCHD, XAVC, mp4, MOV (both progressive and interlaced; up to 1440x1080 and 1920x1080; I don't really care about 4K yet), mp3, jpg, png

  • it is enough to have just a single format mp4 H.264 (AVC) + AAC as export

  • exports audio track for more advanced editing in another software (noise cleanup etc.) and importing back

  • allows inserting still images and stretching them to be displayed for certain time (also it would be great to be able to stretch a single source video frame over some timeline frames to get a "freeze" effect)

  • has simple tools to create a slideshow video from series of images (ideally - create something basic with a few clicks and then tweak)

  • text titles with keyframing

  • simple transitions (crossfade, crossfade with static background color)

  • panning, cropping

  • per-clip effects with keyframes, per-track effects with keyframes

  • chroma key (essentially, green screen with custom adjustments)

  • audio and video noise filters

  • basic sets of reasonable quality effects for everyday use (brightness, contrast, saturation, white balance, vignettes)

  • supports custom presets and provides sane default presets for effects and export

  • stability and non-interrupted work; I'd prefer older and maybe less feature rich but more reliable products which won't have issues on Windows 10, 64 bit, and also won't nag me with upgrade recommendations which cannot be turned off

  • does not require a beefy computer to work. I have an i3-2120 machine with 8GB RAM, and I plan to upgrade, but not higher than i5

  • nice-to-have: supports GPU processing for rendering (I have nVidia GTX 960)

  • nice-to-have: video stabilizing (oh, those shaky hands...)

In general, I admit, I am too lazy to download and try "them all" (and the time is short because currently many sellers offer special X-mas discounts which will not last). I hope I'm not asking for too much - nothing highly professional; just a reliable workhorse for home video editing. I hope someone has had requirements close to mine and has already done the investigation and can share the results and the reasoning behind the choice.

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  • 2
    Please edit your answer to explain why it provides the requirements to the question asked. Link only answer are not helpful.
    – rrirower
    Dec 16, 2016 at 19:57

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