Canon Introduces Cross Platform Consumer Video Editing Program

Canon has announced its first foray into the nascent Desktop Video market with a cross-platform offering called Canon Video Home Edition. The product is not aimed at the same market as iMovie or iMovie 2 in that in can not perform video capture through FireWire. A Canon spokesperson described the product to The Mac Observer as working side by side with iMovie. It can acquire video through a TWAIN compliant device or through a video capture board. The company is working on a "pro-oriented" version of the software, but a time line has not been announced. According to Canon:

Canon Software Publishing (CSP), a division of Canon Computer Systems, Inc., today announced its first video-editing software product – Canon Video Home Edition. This new video-editing program gives Windows and Macintosh computer users the ability to edit and create new videos using existing video clips, audio files, image files, text and transitions. A clean interface with intuitive storyboards and drag-and-drop simplicity makes Canon Video Home Edition a solid choice for entry-level digital video editing.

Digital video is a powerful medium to use when honoring special people, celebrating special events and preserving special moments in time. People can produce videos to share memories with family and friends. Childrenis sports teams can assemble season highlights into a video gift for each athlete. The uses of digital video are only limited by the produceris imagination.

Editing Video

The Album Manager in Canon Video Home Edition helps users organize video clips, audio files, photos and other still images by placing them in an organized portfolio. Asset management in Canon Video is flexible; any album can contain any type of multimedia file making it simple to organize by subject matter. Items may be sorted by name, type, date or size for easy reference and may be previewed within the Album Manager as well. Users simply drag and drop files from the Album Manager into the programis storyboard in the desired sequence to create a movie.

Video authors can toggle back and forth between the Album Manager-storyboard screen and the movie-editing screen making it simple to edit components of the final movie at any time during the creation process. Easy-to-use editing tools let video creators decide where to start and end video clips as well as add text or adjust the contrast and saturation of individual images and backgrounds. 

Text animation is equally easy to adjust with a variety of styles and speeds to help users gain the right effect for the video. Title cards, captions and credits are easy to create using the text effects in Canon Video. Users may choose the font and color along with the animation of a text effect. Words may zoom in, rotate, drop down, slide in or fade in and out. Users have the control to specify the duration of the text effect and can place the text directly into still images, movie files or backgrounds. Canon Video also provides a variety of transition effects to place between scenes including wipe and sweep effects, dissolve and fade effects, zoom effects, and special effects such as ripple, fire and page peel. Individual effects or transition may be previewed before compiling the final video product.

Canon Video includes two sound channels to bring added life to projects. Authors can use one track to play music and the second track for narration and sound effects. 

Saving Video

Completed videos are an easy way to share memories with family and friends; businesses can use videos to provide training for employees or product information to customers. Canon Video saves completed projects as AVI, MPEG or QuickTime files. Canon Video also creates self-executable files with an attached mini-player so audiences will not need any special viewer to watch the finished video.  Canon Video includes one-button access to the useris e-mail program that will attach a self-executable video to a message. Canon Video even creates animated GIF files to put on the Web. 

Acquiring Video

Canon Video acquires images directly from digital cameras, scanners or any other TWAIN-compliant device. The software also works with video cameras, capture devices and images stored on the computeris hard drive, a CD-ROM or other removable mediums. New images can be quickly catalogued in the Album Manager.

System Requirements

For Macintosh users, the minimum system requirements for Canon Video Home Edition include a Power Macintosh or Macintosh-compatible Power PC; Macintosh System 8.6 or higher; 64 MB of RAM; 50 MB of hard disk space; and a display supporting 16 bit color or better.

As of this writing, Canon has not yet added information about the product to their Web site. Canon Video Home Edition is priced at US$49.95.