Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Ninel De La Cruz, who’s part of the VSDC team. However, we have tried to keep the article as objective and as unbiased as possible when mentioning all the products.
A couple of months ago GoPro confirmed the end-of-life for its free video editor Studio. A quick look at GoPro community forums shows that the news made most talked about action camera owners confused and frustrated. In this post we’ll clarify what exactly happened, and what you should do, depending on which user category you fall into.
What happened to GoPro Studio?
It may not be the most pleasant piece of news to read, but Studio has reached its end-of-life for support. Studio video editor used to appear as an add-on to Quik – the software you download to extract media files from a GoPro camera, store and organize them on your computer. Quik allows for some very basic editing – such as trimming files – yet, it was Studio you’d rely on for a more complex post-production process. Technically, from now on Studio isn’t bundled with Quik, so GoPro owners are left with no official video editing software to use. The update is effective since the latest Quik version 2.4 release, and if you haven’t downloaded it yet – this is a heads-up!
According to The GoPro Studio End-Of-Life FAQ, for now Studio will continue to be supported as normal, although, there is no link officially provided to download the software from GoPro website.
Who should be concerned with the update?
If you have an older version of Quik already installed and running on your PC or Mac, technically, you can enjoy Studio as long as you want. It’s the updated version of Quik (2.4) comes Studio-free, so as long as you don’t install it, you have no reason to worry about losing the video editor you’re used to.
It comes down to three groups of people who might be interested in reading this post further: new GoPro owners, those who unknowingly updated Quik, and current GoPro owners who had their computers repaired and all the software removed or reinstalled. Whether you’re a Windows or a Mac user falling into one of these categories, below are your options.
Option 1. Use free video editors recommended by GoPro technical support team
On GoPro community forums as well as on “The GoPro Studio End-Of-Life FAQ” page, Mac users are suggested using iMovie for editing their footage, while Windows users are recommended to download VSDC Free Video Editor. Both are free non-linear video editors capable of quite a few advanced post-production tricks. Let’s take a closer look at the suggested solutions.
Windows users: VSDC Free Video Editor
For a free piece of software, VSDC provides quite a powerful feature-set hidden in an old-school looking interface. You can perform basic video editing – cutting, merging, rotating and cropping files, – as well as much more complicated tasks, such as precise zooming, speed setting, and gradient color correction.
VSDC works with most popular video formats and processes 4K and HD. For those of you willing to keep maximum footage quality, it allows for choosing H.265 video codec on the output.
Key pro: unlike many professional programs, VSDC has low system requirements and runs smoothly even on PCs with limited resources.
Key con: video stabilization feature is only available as a part of paid PRO version. It is $19,99 per year, which is still fairly cheap compared to similar solutions on the market.
Mac users: iMovie Video Editor
It’s certainly a great advantage that iMovie is available and synchronized on all your Apple devices, so you can literally start a project on a smartphone and continue it on a Mac. iMovie provides most features a video editing enthusiast might need, and allows for adding voice to your footage, stylish text titles and few popular effects – such as split screen or picture-in-picture.
It also supports HD and 4K resolution editing on Mac has a minimum of 4GB RAM, enables you to stabilize shaky footage and perform color correction.
Key Pro: iMovie is already pre-installed on Macs, it has an intuitive interface and a decent feature-set.
Key Con: surprisingly, iMovie has issues with importing and processing MP4 files, which is one of the most popular video formats today. That means opening a file may require an extra video conversion step and involve 3rd party apps.
Option 2. Find a reliable source to download older versions of Studio
As mentioned above, GoPro team is unable to provide official links for downloading Studio separately – which of course makes sense after the end-of-life announcement. Yet, if you flatly refuse to invest your time into getting familiar with new video editors, we encourage you to look for reliable software directories and try downloading older versions of Studio to your computer, while they are still widely available.
In the process of research for this post, we’ve stumbled upon few links published by GoPro owners willing to share Studio installation files from their computers. Even though it is indeed very nice on a personal level, please be advised that it is usually safer to download software from well-know and reputable sources, such as CNET Downloads, Softpedia,TechSpot or Major Geeks. All these directories have Studio 2.0 or 2.5 versions available for download.
Option 3. Look for other great free video editors to edit your footage
If for some reason you dismiss VSDC and iMovie, there are several alternatives out there to check out! Here are three crossplatform solutions optimized for working in both – Mac and Windows worlds. They are enumerated according to their complexity levels.
- ShotCut – an open-source tool with a clean minimalistic interface and drag’n’drop file manager features. Perfect for basic video editing, precise trimming, capturing video and audio.
- Hitfilm Express – a medium-level NLE focused on effects. The free version provides a sufficient tool-set, extra features are available as paid plugins.
- Davinci Resolve – the beast of color correction with comparatively high system requirements. Undoubtedly, the best free program if you’re shooting on a professional level.
What have you chosen to use instead of Studio? Or have you decided to stick to the 2.5 version available in software directories?
Let us know in comments.