Got a digicam? You've got everything you need to make movies.
If you buy a digital camera with strong video capabilities, chances are it will come with a basic video editing program. The free Windows Movie Maker also offers basic video tools. You'll probably also be able to do some rudimentary video editing in-camera with features such as trimming.
If you want to do more, you can buy any of these software packages for $100 or less. All of them let you edit video, apply effects, and burn DVDs. Make sure that the video format your camera captures is supported by the software.
Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0
This consumer-oriented video editor supports just about every video format. Along with a well-designed interface for editing, it packs strong audio tools and many special-effects options. And like its Photoshop counterpart, this Elements program can serve as training wheels for Adobe's pro software. Price: $100 (direct). Download a free trial from www.adobe.com.
Apple iMovie HD and iDVD
These programs are not sold separately, but come in Apple's very affordable iLife '06 suite, which also includes the self-explanatory GarageBand, iPhoto, and iWeb. For those who use a Mac, iLife is a good deal. iMovie supports plenty of video formats, has strong audio-editing and effects, and provides handy automated tools. Price for the suite: $79 (direct). Download from www.apple.com.
Apple QuickTime Pro 7
Chances are you already have QuickTime Player installed on your computer for watching video clips on the web. For a very affordable price, you can upgrade to Apple's QuickTime Pro 7, which adds basic video and audio editing and effects. The program can import and output a wide variety of file types, notably those that are useful for streaming video online or playing it on a mobile device. Price: $30 (direct). Download from www.apple.com.
Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus
This program lets you edit a range of video types, from humble camera-phone footage to fabulous high-definition video. It can output your creations in a large number of formats, as well. The many effects available include practical options such as filters that brighten dark shadows or make shaky video look less so. As for audio, you can create surround-sound tracks, and other automated tools help finish the video-making process quickly. Price: $100 (direct). Download a free trial from www.ulead.com.