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How do you edit and upload canoe videos?

Glenn MacGrady

Staff member
Oct 24, 2012
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I'm looking for information and techniques as to how folks edit, convert and upload canoe videos to YouTube these days with modern equipment and programs. I'm primarily interested in doing so on a new Windows 11 PC.

About 10 or 12 years ago, I paddled many rivers and swamps with a dedicated video camera affixed to a tripod in front of me in my canoe. However, my computer then was so slow, I so much hated learning to use very complex (to me) video editing programs, and converting and uploading to YouTube was so slow, that I never published any of those videos. They are still sitting, unedited, on a hard drive.

Today, I still have that dedicated video camera, a compact digital camera that has video capability, and a smart phone to take new videos.

But I am mainly interested in uploading my old videos to YouTube, preferably with some very easy-to-do editing on my new Windows 11 laptop. Any recommendations on how to do this quickly and efficiently would be appreciated. Is there now a video editing/uploading program for dummies available?
I use Cyberlink PowerDirector with a Windows 10 laptop. I find PowerDirector fairly easy to use and there's plenty of tutorials about it on YT (I especially like the ones from PowerDirector University). I store my videos on a 1TB external hard drive and move them over to my laptop (that has an ethernet connection directly to my modem) when I'm going to upload them.
Was your video camera in a tape format? If so you will have to convert it to digital first. You can buy simple converters on Amazon for about 30 bucks.

I taught video production at high school for years, so the programs I used were all high end, other people could suggest simple ones.

As far as uploading, with fast internet now, it is painless.Create a youtube account and let it rip.
I now use iMovie on my iPad, it’s pretty easy to understand for me. This guy shows how to use it on windows.

I use Cyberlink PowerDirector

That's the program I found much too complicated for me 12 years ago. Maybe it's easier now.

Was your video camera in a tape format?

Egads, no. Digital.

As far as uploading, with fast internet now, it is painless.Create a youtube account and let it rip.

I have had two YouTube channels for 13 years. It used to take me hours to upload a 20 minuted edited video (of women's basketball games). My cable system download speeds have increased substantially over that time, but not the upload speed.

This guy shows how to use it on windows.

I'll look into that program for Windows. Apple always seemed to have easier video editing programs than Windows, but I haven't had an Apple computer in almost 20 years.
Glenn, so (i) we know you are using some form of digital video file, and (ii) you have a Windows computer. A couple of other questions may help offer guidance:

(1) As far as the digital files are concerned, do you know if they are .MOV or .MP4, or maybe some earlier variant (or say camera specific variant if you were filming say on a 2010 Sony)?

(2) Do you have an iPad or iPhone?

I had similar challenges dealing with older computers not handling video files. So if your computer is powerful, you can download DaVinci Resolve for free and it will do everything (with a steep learning curve). If it’s not powerful, and you can use an iPad, I would encourage you to buy the inexpensive LumaFusion app. I am on the beta testing team and love it. It will definitely be easier and also fit for purpose for what you want to achieve.
I have used Final Cut Pro on a Mac in the past with good results. The learning curve isn’t too steep and you can create professional looking videos.

If you already have an Apple tablet or computer and just need simple edits, text, and upload formats you can’t go wrong with Robin’s suggestion of iMovie.

I haven't done a lot of video editing but I've used Wondershare Filmora and had have gotten along very well with it (on a Macbook). I tried a few different programs and for me it struck the right balance between being easy to use and offering enough features (the vast majority of which I don't use).

It's not free but I didn't think the price was too bad (don't remember how much).

I use Vegas movie studio on a windows machine. It will read virtually any file format and out put .mp4 that will upload to youtube. The learning curve may be steep, but I think you can get to the basics in short order. Over time you can add to you skills as you get an idea about what you're after. If I were starting with this I would check out some youtube video tutorials to get a start. Part of the problem with the various editing software is the number of buttons and options. Most of it can be ignored, but it's overwhelming to the new user.

I'm another person who finds the higher end video editors to be way to complicated, they make my head spin!

In the past for minor editing purposes I have used Windows Movie Maker (a free add on). With Windows 10 (and 11) there is a version of this editor built in to the Photo app that is included with Windows 10 or 11.

I have not actually used this new version but if all you want to do is make some edits and perhaps add some title pages it should work similar to the old Movie Maker.

The old Movie Maker app is still available for Windows 10/11, looks likes it has changed a bit but it's still probably the simplest editor if your tasks are fairly simple.

As far as the digital files are concerned, do you know if they are .MOV or .MP4, or maybe some earlier variant (or say camera specific variant if you were filming say on a 2010 Sony)?

The camera is a 2010 Sony HDR-CX300, which I believe records in a format called AVCHD.

Do you have an iPad or iPhone?

No. I have a 2021 Lenovo ThinkPad Windows 11 laptop, two 2021 Chromebooks and an Android phone. I will not buy an Apple.

I successfully superficially edited and uploaded videos to my two YouTube channels, MagicBusBasketball and MagicBusCanoeing, years ago, but I recall the process being unnecessarily difficult to edit and very slow to convert and upload. I distinctly recall YouTube having all sorts of limits on video length, formats, and other things that made uploading a PITA. All my canoe videos were intended to be uploaded to the MBC channel.

I vaguely recall using a now-discontinued program called Sony PMB on a 2006 Windows machine to do things with the Sony videos. I then got the Cyberlink Power Director program when I got a more powerful Windows computer in 2013, but gave up on the canoe video editing project due to its mind-boggling complexity (to me). All I want to do is to cut out sections of my canoe videos and splice, not create even a minor work of art. I don't care about transitions, titles, music, or voice-over narration. I could even live with unedited uploads rather than no uploads at all, though the trips would end up being tediously long.

Tangent tidbit: A couple of years ago I got paid $500 for six seconds of some old footage of Breanna Stewart in high school, who is now perhaps the best women's basketball player in the world. That amounts to $300,000 per hour. Somehow, I still lost money on that trip to Newark.
FYI - Windows Movie Maker won't work with AVCHD files, you would need to convert them first.

Here is one way to convert, I'm sure there are tons of others.

Thanks, recped. Maybe that's one of the things I recall taking so many hours on my two-generations-ago computer—converting AVCHD files to a format uploadable to YouTube.
Yeah converting video formats takes time and puts a lot of pressure on your CPU and memory, back in the (not so distant) day when computers had only 1 - 4MB of RAM those processes would take forever. Your average new desktop today comes with 16GB of RAM (about 4,000 times as much!).
Corel Video Studio here. I really don't know how to exploit every feature yet and probably only do one video per year, so it's like learning all over again every time I use it. It takes patience to make good canoe tripping videos. I liked Robin's videos the first time I saw one, and that sort of got me started. I try watching other people's videos. Some are great, but others are just too long in duration or the music seems inappropriate to the wilderness experience. Also, who cares watching someone fill their gas tank on the way to the put in.
My personal favourite is this one about a trip to La Vérendrye.