VSDC Free Video Editor Review - Best Video Editing Software for GoPros

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Summary: If you are hunting a video editing software for your GoPro footages, VSDC can be an ideal way out. It's officially recommended by GoPro community for creating videos. And this review's about to take a look to every aspect of VSDC free video editor, ranging from its pros&cons, bells and whistle, most frequent achieved questions, etc. Let's move on!

VSDC Free Video Editor Overview

VSDC stands for Video Software Development Company, which is also the symbol of VSDC Video Editor. It's rare to see free video editing software with so many video editing features, including the abilities to construct clips, create both video and audio effect, make screencasts/voice over, convert video profiles, burn DVDs and more.

While VSDC Video Editor it is the one that can perform all of these missions with high definition and no watermark attachment attached. This VSDC review will walk you through not only its pros and cons, interface, high rated features, but also its bells and whistles. Without further ado, let's jump right in!

VSDC Free Video Editor
VSDC Free Video Editor

Pros and Cons of VSDC Video Editor

Pros:
  • It's a lightweight NLE program (at around 76.5Mb) that does not occupy much space of your PC;
  • Output videos won't be watermarked;
  • Tons of video editing tools are free available like video converter, DVD burner, etc;
  • Support a good variety of formats, such as H.264, H.265, MOV, MKV, AVI, GIF, DVD, MP3, AIFF, JPEG, PNG, etc.
Cons:
  • It's only available to the Windows OS;
  • The user interface is a bit obsolete and overwhelming, which packs with too many icons that you could be easily confused;
  • Several features require a subscription to unlock;
  • You cannot do any editing things when playing the clips.

Is VSDC Video Editor Free?

If you are wondering whether VSDC Video Editor is a free application, I will let you know that it is definitely freeware with no time-restricted period and watermark. However, there are occasionally some Ads getting in the way of the screen. If you are OK with it, VSDC can be a good option for you.

And there is a paid version of VSDC – VSDC Video Editor pro with more advanced features, ranging from hardware acceleration, video stabilization tool, advanced mask tool, Chrome key, etc. And the most exciting part is that it's only sold at the price of $19.99, which is much lower than those professional video editing tool.

Operating System and Hardware Configuration of VSDC

To run the VSDC video editor with reasonable response and no crash, your machine should acquire the minimal system requirements in the following:

  • As VSDC video editor is only available to the Windows OS, so you should make sure you are running on the Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8/10;
  • CPU: 1.5 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor;
  • RAM: 512Mb for the program;
  • Hard disk space: at least 300 MB;
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0с or greater;
  • Display: 1024x768 with 16-bit color or greater.

VSDC Interface and Features

In this part, we are going to explore the interface and the specific features of VSDC Video Editor.

Interface

When you open the VSDC video editor, the first panel you will reach is the Project Manager where you can create or continue a project. But I have to let you know that there's an annoying dialogue box getting in the way and asking that if you need to upgrade the license to get more features, just close it and go.

In the upper area of the screen, you can see a ribbon with so many options. However, most of them are grey out, because you have not started any project. Of course, you can select the New project option or Open project option to build a project. Below the toolbar you can see another five options with big square icons across the screen.

Blank project starts a project from scratch; Create slideshow helps you assemble photos and videos in the way of slideshow; Import content allows you to load a media file into your project at the very beginning. And the two options on the behind help you to record videos from external devices and PC display.

There is a Recent Files tab on the right where you can open and continue editing the projects you have saved. Lower the screen are a host of assistant options about VSDC key feature guides. Click on one of them, it leads you to a page that help you how to work with those features.

VSDC Project Manager
VSDC Project Manager

In the editing panel, the same ribbon locates at the upper area. If you consider it is too overwhelming, you can click on the upward arrow near the Option to hide the ribbon.

There are object/project explorer, viewer and properties window at the middle area of the screen.You can switch between the object explorers and project manager to manage either a single clip or the whole project.

The view is where you can check your polished montage. More so, there are many shortcuts dotted around the viewer, which makes you easily accessible to various abilities.

And the properties window allows you to check and modify the parameters of your project or clip. Lower the area is the timeline where you can cut, crop, assemble footages, add video/audio effect, titles and filter or other editing events.

VSDC editing panel
VSDC editing panel

Main features

Apply Slow Motion, Acceleration or the Freeze Frame Effect to a Footage

When Coping with a sport-themed footage, I always love to apply either slow motion or acceleration effect to highlight/emphasize the action in the video. Note that you have to record your footage in a high frame so that you can get a smooth slow motion.

To apply speed effects to the footage, you should insert a clip in the timeline at the get-to. Left-click the clip you will apply speed effect to, then you will get a Properties windows on the right. Under the speed tab, you can slow down/speed up the footage you have selected by controlling the speed percentage. You will see the footage becoming shorter/longer as you change its speed.

However, VSDC uses a linear acceleration/deceleration. That said, you can only create a constant speed change. If you want to achieve an effect of gradual speed up/down in VSDC, you have to split a footage into a few cuts and alter the later cut speed in a higher or lower speed rate.

Another trick about speed is the freeze frame. To make a frozen time effect in VSDC, move to the frame you want to apply the effect to and make a snapshot of the needed frame. Add the snapshot over the footage and give it the same size as the original video has in the Properties window.

Speed change in VSDC
Speed change in VSDC

Video Stabilization

Keeping your camera steady is rather challenging while you are moving. You might have seen a professional filmmaker or YouTube artist using a camera attached to a stabilizer, and this is always a perfect workaround. However, when you make a video on the move using a mobile phone or action cam with no gear, what would you do?

Actually, you can enable the video stabilization in post-production to remove the shakiness in your footage. In VSDC free video editor, the stabilization tool is hidden in the Tools tab.

Single click to launch the tool, and there is a window prompting up. Load the video file by clicking on Open files and increase the Shakiness to maximum. At last, click Export project to start conversion. You will get a steady footage in a while.

Speed change in VSDC
Video stabilization in VSDC

Add an Amazing Text Effect to A Video

Text is an element to convey important information and draw audience's attention in a video. However, pure text might be a bit of tedious for me. Therefore, I'm gonna show an example of how to add text with some visual effects in VSDC.

First, create a shape that is a rectangle and a text in the timeline. You will get a text field in the viewer, then type something in the field. Regulate the font style and font size at the top ribbon under the Editor tab.

In the following, you should left-click the rectangle clip in the timeline and add transition effects (wipe effect in this example) at the start and end of the clip.

You can regulate the transition mode in the Properties window to achieve a better visual effect. At last, you should apply transition effects to the text clip at both the start and the end.

Add a text effect in VSDC
Add a text effect in VSDC

VSDC Supported File Formats

Less noted but equally significant, the number of supported file format of a video editing software is worth your consideration. In the following, you will walk through the profile specs that the VSDC free video editor supports.

Supported Input Formats:

Video formats: AVI, QuickTime, AVCHD (MTS, M2TS, TS, MOD, TOD), WindowsMedia (WMV, ASF, DVR-MS), DVD/VOB, VCD/SVCD, MPEG/MPG/DAT, Matroska Video (MKV), Real Media Video (RM, RMVB), Flash Video (SWF, FLV), DV, AMV, MTV, NUT, H.264/MPEG-4, DivX, XviD, MJPEG, WebM, Vp8, Vp9.

Image formats: BMP, JPEG/JPG, PNG, PSD, GIF, ICO, CUR.

Audio formats: MP3/ MP2, WMA, M4A, AAC, FLAC, OGG, RA, RAM, VOC, WAV, AC3, AIFF, MPA, AU, APE, CUE, CDA.

Supported Output Formats:

Video formats: AVI, DVD, VCD/SVCD, MPEG, MP4, M4V, MOV, 3GP/3G2, WMV, MKV, RM/RMVB, FLV, SWF, AMV, MTV, WebM, Vp8, Vp9.

Image formats: BMP, JPEG, PNG, GIF, SVG.

Audio formats: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG, AMR, WAV.

VSDC's Shortcuts

To faster access the various functionalities in VSDC video editor, you can enable the following shortcuts:

Note that you should have a clip selected before move the play head using shortcuts.

VSDC shortcuts
VSDC shortcuts

Weird to Add Transitions And Other Video Effects.

VSDC free video editor has a lot of prepared transitions and video effects like filters, color correction & grading tools, image rotation, distortion, etc. You can add the effect to the timeline without efforts. Navigate to the Editor tab at the upper ribbon > click on the Video effects > select one of the effects from the dropdown menu you want to apply > done.

But what frowns upon me is that every time you apply video effects, you have to switch to a new tab where contains all the effect happening on the footages. Largely because VSDC adopts a confusing operation philosophy on its video editor. It leads to a situation that you cannot cope with all the things on a single timeline tab, which is a design I dislike.

Add transition and effect in VSDC
Add transition and effect in VSDC

Fails to Do Any Action When Previewing A Video

Another VSDC design I dislike is that when you preview a footage in the timeline by hitting the spacebar, you will find out all the editing feature are grey out and offline, and you cannot apply any action to your footage until you stop playing.

VSDC Video Editor Alternatives

DaVinci Resolve 16

DaVinci Resolve is a all-around video editing software that has brought color correction, video cutting and trimming, apply of visual effect and transition, sound mixing and more in the same software tool, which allows editors, colorists, VFX producers, and sound designers can work on the same project simultaneously.

The full-review on DaVinci Resolve >>

Hitfilm Express

Hitfilm is a non-editing software that integrates video editing, visual effects and 3D image development launched by a British company - FXhome.

The new version of HitFilm Express 14 provides some long-awaited features, as well as expanded memory and color space. HitFilm caters to visual effects artist editors, motion graphic artists to makeup artists. Upgraded 3D rendering, added more visual effects tools and presets.

The full-review on Hitfilm Express >>

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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