My current computer/technical skill: High
My current knowledge of video editing: Low-Medium. I used to edit in the old days of control tracks. I've downloaded Premier, Ulead, and Vegas Video and have figured out how to use several of the features.
My equipment: 1.6GHZ laptop, 256MB RAM, possible addition of firewire card/hard drive if required. I really would like to edit with this (mobile situations - see below).
My budget: targeting for $1000 or less.
#1) Photo montages for weddings with the possibility of adding video clips to the montage. The clips will be shot the same day (with a DV camera) and would need to be imported and edited very, very quickly. I would have 15 minutes to do this (import/editing speed important).
#2) Creation of videos to be used for marketing my business (10 minutes max)
#3) Have capability to use some plug-ins, or at least the flexibility to do semi-snazzy stuff.
The good news is that I would qualify for the student discounts. I saw Avid has a $499 student price (normally $1799). Vegas Video also has a student price of about $200.
Adobe: ok, no preview window, have to wait for rendering to see it (?)
Vegas Video: love the product, fear it may be limited for plug-ins (?)
Avid: couldn't find a demo, fear it may be too complex for my quick editing requirements
Ulead: blows IMHO
So my question is: Is Vegas for me, or should I more fully research Avid?
If I render the video montage beforehand and do simple transitions to the fresh video, will it take a long time to render the new file?
I have an RCA out on my laptop, is there a way to output directly to this (I would be hooking into an LCD projector).
Also, for my laptop, do I just need a IEEE1394 card to import from DV?