Video editing is hard, complicating, frustrating, time-consuming, and just a drag for most of us. For years I have been on the hunt for a simple, elegant, user-friendly, yet powerful, pro-quality video editor.
I've tested and used most of them over the years on the Mac (including iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere), and been left frustrated, and overwhelmed.
Finally, earlier this year, I found my solution: ScreenFlow. I bought it to record my computer screen for online tutorials. However, what I came to discover, is that ScreenFlow is a powerhouse stand-alone video editor as well.
In fact, after using it for nearly a year now, ScreenFlow is now my favorite video editing app. By far. It is what I used to edit all of my videos for my video guide, 5 Ways to Record Podcast Interviews with an iPhone - Video Guide. (you can see a sample in my video guide in the promo video here)
And now...it's even better. I was thrilled to get my hands on an advanced copy of ScreenFlow 5, and I have to say...I'm really impressed.
Because I have not upgraded all of my computer systems to OSX Yosemite yet, I was not able to test all of the new features (i.e. iOS device recording capture). I hope to post a full review sometime early in the new year, after I've had a chance to truly kick all the tires.
However, I did give ScreenFlow 5 a quick tour, and like I said, I'm really impressed.
Here's some of the new features in ScreenFlow 5 that I'm psyched about:
- iOS Recording - Your iPhone and iPad screens can now be recorded, right into ScreenFlow just like your iSight or DV Camera. This is HUGE. I spent weeks trying to find an app I could record my iPhone screen with to demonstrate how to set-up the iPhone and recording app for my video guide. I finally came up with a creative work-around, but it was buggy, and did not allow me to record/edit gestures. Having this all in ScreenFlow is an answered prayer! Again, I haven't tested this feature yet, but if it works as the rest of the new features do, this feature is worth the price-tag alone.
- Touch Callouts - Mimic finger gestures (press, pinch, swipe) to help guide your audience. Again, I was not able to find anything that would do this elegantly, and within a reasonable budget. I ended up having to record my hand moving on the screen at the same time, then sync the videos and audio - it was a pain. This should solve all of that.
- Recording Preview - Quickly confirm you’re in shot and you’ve got the right angle. The Recording Preview gives a continual spot check of your shot to ensure all is properly aligned, while also displays total elapsed time of your recording. A much-desired feature!
- New Actions - New Snapback Actions quickly reverts video state. Action templates enable you to choose from a default list of popular actions, and also build a catalog of your favorites for repeated use in all your productions. This is SO cool...Snapback Actions is basically undo, and saving repetitive actions in Templates will speed up workflow big-time.
- Rolling Edits - Rolling Edits allow you to move an edit point without affecting the rest of the timeline. The result is the first (outgoing) clip is made shorter while the second (incoming) clip is made longer by the same amount, or vice versa. The net effect being the overall program length is not altered. This saves several steps of a work-around that I needed to use for version 4. This is much more difficult to control with iMovie than ScreenFlow, but this feature will save tons of time, and peace-of-mind knowing the rest of your video isn't being affected by your mid-project edit.
- Batch Export - Save loads of time by simultaneously exporting multiple files to the same settings. Again, big time-saving workflow feature. Although I normally, I upload/export videos as I go, but now, I'll export them several at a time, to save tons of clicks, and errors from missing a setting.
- New Media Organization - New Clip Management features streamline your editing process. Color labels on clips visually organize your project. Clip-based markers ensure the marker stays with the clip as opposed to the timeline. Clean-up sources not being used removes extraneous media from your project. Simple, but so appreciated with larger projects and tons of clips.
- Direct access iPhoto and iTunes library - Access to your iPhoto and iTunes libraries right in ScreenFlow 5’s Media Library.
- Save a Local Copy - Ensure you always have a local copy of your published projects when publishing to one of ScreenFlow’s integrated destinations. Brilliant! Yes!!! This was one of my greatest frustrations - needing to export first to HD, then upload to YouTube or Vimeo. This will save TONS of time!
There are more updates in ScreenFlow 5, but again, these are the most meaningful to me. Sincerely, after spending several weeks editing videos for my video guide, many of these items were on my "wish-they-had" list.
If you've been on-the-fence about buying another video editor, or have dreaded even thinking about doing any video editing yourself, I strongly recommend you jump in now and buy ScreenFlow 5.
Is it worth the upgrade from ScreenFlow 4? Yes it is - especially if you ever want to record anything on your iOS device.
ScreenFlow has really come into its own, is super user-friendly for the newbie, and has plenty of bells and whistles for the pro. Just get it. They have a free trial, so you can check it out for yourself. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
ScreenFlow 5 is my #1 pick for The Mobile Pro wanting to do serious video editing on-the-go.
Some of the above links are affiliate links. If you use them, I will get a small commission, which is much appreciated! However the product price will be the same for you. Also...I only endorse products that I actually use, or have tested in the field in real-world settings.