Best Slideshow Software for PC and MAC

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe Review

Choosing the Best Slideshow Software tends to be one of personal preference because everyone has their own requirements when it comes to making video slideshows. A lot can be put on the users technical ability and willingness to spend time learning the new software. The best slideshow software can be split into three distinct niches. The easiest to master being the online versions where everything is uploaded an manipulated online through a web browser. This is followed by downloadable slideshow makers that offer more control over the look of the photo slideshow but lack some of the advanced feature of the third type, which is professional slideshow software.

Wondershare DVD slideshow builder fits neatly into the middle area of easy to use downloadable photo slideshow software.

This is a review from Best Slideshow Software of Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe, if you would just like to skip the review and go direct to the Wondershare site you can do so below.

Wondershare Official Website

The TRUTH is that not all DVD slideshow software are created equal. Some produce great quality presentations but lack the effects and themes to make the show professional. Others are slow or have a steep learning curve, whilst some look promising, with lots of fancy effects, but after being produced the image quality is poor or you find yourself unable to output in your required format. Finding the best slideshow software is not an easy thing to do. Luckily I managed to find the time to play with a lot of different software before I found the one that was best suited to my needs so I thought I’d share my findings with you.

 

Create Hollywood Style Effects in minutes with the Best Slideshow Software for Home Use

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Built-in Transitions

The most recent version of DVD Slideshow Builder is a much more refines product than previous version and it now deserves the title of best slideshow software for home users. The price range is comparable to other similar products on the market but DVD Slideshow Builder comes complete with extra stylepacks with the ability to infuse some impressive 3D styles.

I found Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder is an excellent piece of software. Easy to use but with the option to delve deeper into the manipulation and creation of the slideshow than you get with online slideshow software. The Wizard function, with its built in themes, is very easy to use and can produce some excellent results.

Watch the video and you’ll see why DVD slideshow builder is rate the best slideshow software for general use.

 

DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe features Drag and Drop for arranging your slides quickly and adding style themes and transitions. It accepts all the major image and video file formats for input, such as FLV, MOV, MPEG, MPG, MP4, WMV, AVI, H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, XviD, MKV, GIF, BMP, JPEG, JPG & TIF including transparency support for PNG.

Output is no less impressive with both standard or high definition videos supported in all the major formats. You can burn to DVD or save to your computers hard drive. You can also output as Flash video or share your slideshow on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and Myspace. For the more mobile users there are options for portable devices such as the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, Microsoft Zune, Blackberry, Nokia, or various Game Hardware. The ability of DVD Slideshow Builder to output to such a variety of formats is one of the main reasons why it is up there with the best slideshow software on the market.

You can choose from one of two modes on start up. Standard option, which follows a wizard, will help you create a finished product in just a few minutes using pre-programmed style themes or Advanced mode that takes a little longer but gives you full control over your production. You can select the transition between each slide, edit audio, including voice over, and add special effects, text, credits and a whole selection of other options. Which is great if you enjoy video editing.

In fact there are over 480+ Hollywood-like movie styles and 150+ transition effects in both 2D and 3D and you can preview then all real-time.

There is the options to touch up your photos and videos with crop, rotate tools and special effects like Old Picture, Wood and even a one-click switch between 4:3 and 16:9 video.

“This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to produce professional style DVD slideshows with awesome 2D & 3D effects. A contender for Best Slideshow Software”

One of the nice things about this software is the free trial version so you can try before you buy.

What I like about this software compared to others is the quality of the images in the finished slideshow. You’ll find that cheaper software loses some of the definition in the final images so that they look a little ragged around the edges but with DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe the image quality is excellent.

Best Slideshow Software : Main Features of DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe

Just to recap here are some of the main benefits of this software:

  • Drag-n-drop unlimited photos, videos and music to compose a movie.
  • Customize a DVD slideshow with 150+ 2D/3D transitions/motions.
  • Make movies automatically using designed Hollywood-like Styles.
  • One-click to burn slideshows to DVD for watching on TV.
  • Share high-quality videos on YouTube, Facebook & virtually anywhere.

I have to admit that I had looked at Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe software in the past and although it was a good piece of software it wasn’t what I would call the best slideshow software. What helped clinch my decision this time was the recent upgrade to version 6.1.0. The interface is even simpler than before but, more importantly, there are three Stylepacks now included with the deluxe version as standard (this includes the ever popular Hollywood and Wedding style themes). Normally you’d have to pay extra for these and that may take it out of a lot of peoples price range.

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe is the easy-to-use yet powerful DVD movie software. With it, you can combine your photos and video clips into DVD slideshow with music and 2D/3D transition effects for sharing on TV, Youtube, iPod and so on.

If you’d like to see more special effects visit the best slideshow software video reviews page.

Download Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder FREE

If you have your own favorite best slideshow software then just feel free to leave a comment.

MAGIX Video Easy 4 HD Review

MAGIX Video easy 4 HD is the latest version of this popular video editing and creation software, updated for 2012.

This version has several new features including 10 new animated templates for the high definition Blu-Ray menus. Including professional looking templates for almost every occasion from weddings to birthdays and vacations.

Photo manipulation has improved considerably. Now you can change the look of your photos or movie clips with just a few clicks of the mouse. Optimize the color, exposure or brightness easily and even change the video speed.

The software has been rewritten to take advantage of the extra graphical processing power that most new computers have. Users will notice an improvement in the speed of the software, especially during the burning process.

Magix is also the creator of the popular MAGIX PhotoStory on DVD Deluxe slideshow software. These two programs are aimed at different markets. Video Easy 4 is a video manipulation and creation software dealing mainly with video clips. On the other hand PhotoStory is more designed for creating slideshows using photographs. Although it can handle video clips the templates and transitions that it uses are more aimed towards photo manipulation.

So if you are interested in creating a slideshow with some amazing effects then PhotoStory 11 would be a better choice.

So on with our MAGIX Video Easy 4 HD Review..

Importing your Video

One of the nicest things about this software is being able to import video clips from just about any source. This includes digital cameras, memory cards, AVCHD, HDV & miniDV video cameras as well as your favorite  iPad® and iPhone®.

If you want to import from an old VHS tape then you’ll need an analog to digital converter such as the one included with MAGIX Rescue your Videotapes!

When you’re importing video from your camcorder then there is no need to import the whole tape if you don’t want to. You can just select the different clips that you need and copy those over. Just select the start and end times and let the software do the rest.

Wizards feature heavily in this software to help guide you through the whole process.

Manipulating Photos and Video

When it comes to sprucing up your images and video clips there are several options open to you all of which are easily accomplished. You can alter the speed of your video clips so if you want to speed them up or slow them down to create a more artistic effect then you can do so.

You can add text and rolling credits or choose from several transitions to migrate between clips.

You can transform the slides adding, deleting or just moving your clips around the timeline. If your clip just doesn’t look quite right you can also alter the color and exposure to optimize it.

If you make a mistake while editing you can always use the step-back function and just return the your position prior to the last change.

Adding Audio Tracks

A lot of movie editing software on the market allows you to add a music track overlay but with the latest version of Video Easy you can also include a second track. So if you like you can have some music playing in the background and have a voice over playing at the same time.

Simple manipulation of the audio tracks is possible with functions including cutting and moving tracks, altering the volume and adding cross-fade.

Burning it to Disc

Like most video and slideshow software you have a great many options when it comes to choosing which out put format you want to choose from.

Having a copy of the video on your computer is probably top of most peoples list but it’s also nice to share your creation across an ever increasing number of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

With Video Easy 4 all these options are included. You can select to create a version for your iPad, iPhone and Galaxt Tablets if you wish or if you want to be more social you can upload it directly to both YouTube and Facebook.

As its name suggest MAGIX Video Easy 4 HD is high definition software which is also capable of creating top quality HD Blu-Ray movie discs. It can just as easily create a DVD if you wish but as more and more people have access to Blu-Ray writers in their homes it is nice to have the option for Blu-Ray.

Templates are used to create the menus for the discs and you can even burn several movies to one disc, assuming you have enough space, and create different menu’s for each movie.

The templates look very professional and many are animated. You can select between scene pictures of text for the menu listings.

Will it Run on My Computer?

The chances are it will if you are running MicroSoft Windows. Video Easy 4 will run on all versions of Windows from XP through to the yet to be released Windows 8 (both 32 and 64 bit versions). Hardware wise Magix recommends a minimum 2 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. If you want to play around with high definition video then the more RAM the better and 4GB is more realistic.

Conclusion

MAGIX Video Easy 4 HD is a photo and video creation package that the whole family can use. It is easy to use and has a wealth of features to manipulate and optimize your images. Having a backup of you home movies and photos is an essential part of life now. Magnetic tapes and discs do not last forever so it’s always a good idea to make sure that you have an extra copy stored safely away. With Video Easy 4 it really is simple to make a stunning professional quality film to preserve and share your memories.

Promotions

As this is the 20th anniversary of Magix there are some special promotions going around. With the latest version of Video Easy HD Magix is giving away a free copy of Photo Manager MX deluxe a software program that efficiently organizes all of your photo albums.

Best Slideshow Software : Online Products

Best Slideshow Software Online
The Best Slideshow Software doesn’t necessarily have to be one that you download to your computer.

There are several excellent online photo slideshow programs that are available to anyone with an internet connection so you don’t even need a computer even a smartphone will do.

 

So which is the Best Slideshow Software online and how is it different?

 

The benefits of using this type of photo slideshow software is that it removes the need for a fast powerful computer as all of the number crunching is performed at the hosts site online. All you need to do is upload your photos, pictures and add some text and the websites servers will edit and produce the photo slideshow for you.

Many photo sites will also allow you to add a slideshow song from their extensive library. When it’s complete you will be sent a link to the finished slideshow or video so that you can download it. Many sites will even upload the slideshow to Youtube or Facebook for you if you provide some account details.

One of the most useful features of this type of slideshow software is the fact that it can be run from portable devices such as an iPhone or iPad with the appropriate app. Just take a few photos on your phone and a few minutes later you can be watching a beautiful photo slideshow to music.

 

Drawbacks to using Online Slideshow Software

 

There are some drawbacks to using these types of online services and that are their limitations. If they give it away for free there are obviously going to be some ulterior motives at work. After all, these businesses want to make some money.

The way that they do this is to limit what you can produce and how the final photo slideshow looks. For instance there is likely to be limitations on either image quality or length., maybe both. Unlike downloadable software, you have very little input into the production and animation side of the video as everything is created through predefined templates.

Normally you just upload your photos, add some text and re-arrange your selection before adding a soundtrack and finalizing. The website takes care of the rest and gives you the link to the finished slideshow. You cannot alter timing or image transitions.

Above is an example of the sort of photo slideshow that you can expect by using a free slideshow software online. If you would like to have a go yourself then try out the best slideshow software online for free.

Best Slideshow Software: Online Limitations

 

Some of the issues that you are likely to run across are;

  • Short slideshow length (maybe only 30 seconds)
  • Low Quality
  • Standard Definition (SD) with a ration of 4:3 rather than widescreen
  • Watermarking (Intrusive Logo shown throughout the slideshow)
  • Credits shown at the end of the slideshow.
  • If you want a physical DVD Photo slideshow then you may have to order it extra

Unfortunately the best slideshow software online is not really free. You will be encouraged to upgrade your account so as to remove these boundaries, either by a monthly membership or on a per video basis. If you can live with these limitations then great but if not, and you are going to be making a lot of photo DVD slideshows, then it may be better to invest your money in a single piece of slideshow software instead.

Whether you decide to use online or offline photo slideshow software will depends upon your needs at the time and whether you have the time and computing power to produce it yourself.

Some people will be content to use the free online slideshow maker and not worry about short clip length or watermarking. For others, who want the portablility and convenience of online slideshows and are willing to pay monthly fees this option can be ideal.

Professionals are more likely to want to purchase their own professional slideshow software so that they have total control over the design and production of the finished product.

To discover more about the different options when it comes to choosing the Best Slideshow Software for your needs read some of our other articles.

Best Professional Slideshow Software

When looking for the best professional slideshow software you want to know that what you’re getting is not going to end up being outdated in a few months.

Best Professional Slideshow Software

Best Professional Slideshow Software

Ideally it should be from a reputable company with a history of making quality software and giving excellent customer service. Support should include regular updates to fix any glitches or issues that arise.

Software that allows you to add extra styles and theme packs can prevent your slideshows from appearing dated and save you a lot of time in creating new works. Examples of these speciality styles would include the ever popular Wedding and Travel themes.

If you really want professional looking slideshows then you need to have as much control over the creation of the slideshow as possible. For one, you need to be able to alter the timings on the slides and clips so that the motion is more fluid and matches to the soundtrack.

You also want to have the largest array of professional templates, styles and transitions possible. In most cases this will mean that the software will have a larger learning curve than simple or free software but for professionals this is a non issue.

Advanced special effects such as reflections, changeable focus and colorize when combined with both 2D and 3D transitions can produce some impressive and unforgettable slideshows.

The basic functions are still likely to be drag and drop but extra functions are normally accessed by using a right click menu or double clicking on the slides.

Some of the more ‘tacky’ effects found on cheaper slideshow software don’t have any place in pro slideshows. Crazy 3D rotating text may look good the first few times you use it but if you want people to take you seriously then it’s best to stick to simple classic effects for professional slideshows.

High definition slideshows are a must for a professional and this starts with ensuring that your photographs and video clips are are the highest quality. A quality digital SLR camera and lens are recommended. Good software will allow you to resize your images later on and spruce them up a little by removing red-eye and adding filters.

Having the ability to import and export a wide range of different file formats is important. Most software can import common file types such as jpeg and bmp but for a professional you may want to import RAW image files directly from your camera. Likewise the ability to output your finished product in High definition, such as Blu-Ray, is equally important. It’s also wise to consider the numerous array of portable media devices than run at different resolutions, such as the ever popular iPhone and iPad. Only the best professional slideshow software support these formats.

Whether you use a PC or a Mac to run your professional slideshow software will make a difference to the options available to you. Most of the best digital slideshow software for the PC will not run on the Mac unless a Windows emulation package is used, such as VMWare, but this defeats the point of having an Apple Mac in the first place. Although Apple Macs do have a lot of great pre-installed photo software such as iMovie and iPhoto, which are part of the iLife suite of software, most professionals and business users will find that they require something that is a little more complete.

 

Best Wedding Slideshow Software

Finding the best wedding slideshow software is very important. Weddings are truly special days and the quality of your slideshow deserves to portray the quality and uniqueness of that moment.

Best Wedding Slideshow Software

Best Wedding Slideshow Software

Whether you decide to make your wedding slideshow yourself or have a professional produce it, you’ll be happy to know that there is a ton of good software available to make your wedding photos and videos into a thing of beauty.

It really isn’t all that difficult to make your own slideshow if you have the best slideshow software. You probably don’t want to consider any of the Free online slideshows for your wedding because you won’t get the degree of control that you need to make your slideshow look professional. Sure the free software is great for whipping up some quick slideshows to complement you main event or even as a teaser clip. But in the end they all have limitations that includes logos and watermarks or only allowing you to create a short slideshow.

The good news is that with only basic computer skills you will be able to produce some amazing wedding slideshows without ever having to pay a professional and you’ll be proud of yourself for doing so.

Don’t worry about cost as slideshow software prices are very reasonable and at the end of the day you’ll have a great piece of software that you can use on other projects. The best software packages all have trial versions so that you can test it first just to ensure that you  are getting exactly what you require.

Making Wedding slideshows is so popular that most professional slideshow software come with specialty wedding themes and style packs that will make your creation more romantic with extra backdrops, transitions and overlays.

It is a good idea to use a program that allows these extra style packs as it means that your program is less likely to become dated as you’ll always be able to expand it with new plug-ins thus making it more versatile. Another reason is because you’ll only end up paying for what you need, so you’ll make a saving.

So what are the basic functions that you’ll need from your wedding slideshow software?

 

Firstly you’ll need it to have a lot of transition effects, things such as page curl, rotate, flip, fade and overlays, texture blends, scroll, perspective, the best slideshow software will generally have hundreds of these effects included.

Complete control over timing. Don’t worry it’s not as complicated as you think, most of it is just drag and drop but they’ll be times when you want to change how long a picture or video clip is displayed or to match an image to the beat of the soundtrack. All the best slideshow software will have this function.

You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t make your wedding slideshow in High Definition. Technology is advancing so quickly you never know what the next format will be. Most people have HD televisions and monitors in their home so making your slideshow compatible this technology is a must. Look for the option to output your slideshow to Blu-Ray and DVD. Basically the more options you have for outputting your finished show the better. How about mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad or YouTube?

 

More Important Slideshow Features

  • Easy to use Drag-and-Drop interface
  • Be able to create high quality menu’s for DVD’s
  • Ability to add and animate text
  • Advanced Special Effects
  • Ability to Crop imported videos and clips

That covers the basic functions that you’ll want from the best professional slideshow software. The main difference between regular slideshow software and wedding slideshow software is the ability to add extra theme specific styles.

Best Slideshow Software for Photos and Movies

Best Slideshow Software for PhotosWhen looking for the best slideshow software for your prized collection of photos and movies it is easy to become confused by the huge selection of software available. Don’t worry that’s perfectly normal, I know I felt the same way in the beginning.

You’ll find software for weddings, professionals, home users and enthusiasts. Some is free, others paid but the most important thing is that you get the best slideshow software to fit your needs.

Choosing the Best Slideshow Software

Most people have the same basic needs when it comes to finding software to make photo slideshows.

Firstly they want something that is easy to use. It should have a user interface that is clear and easy to understand. You don’t want to spend hours creating your first slideshow, if the software is intuitive then it should only take you a few minutes to find the functions that you want and start creating your masterpiece. A drag-and-drop interface is the best way to achieve this, there shouldn’t be a need to keep going to the menu to import files, photo’s and video clips. It should be possible to just drag them over from your folders into the software.

Secondly you need to have software that can output your photo slideshow in the format of your choosing. This could be anything from DVD, VCD, Blu-Ray HD, AVI, WMV, Flash, Quicktime,MPEG or EXE for self contained executable video files. Some software can add security to your slideshows so that they are copy protected or add a watermark at a click of a button. Do you want to send the output file to your iPhone, iPad or another portable device. These are all things that need to be taken into consideration before making a choice.

Best Slideshow Software Features

Another important factor are the effects that you can apply to your slideshows to make them more professional looking. Special effects can bring your shows to life instantly, no more boring old timed picture slideshows where the pictures will just change every few seconds. With special effects such as  pan, zoom, rotate, fade, rotate, overlays, color changes and transition effects you can quickly give your photo slideshow a life of it’s own.

How about adding music to your presentation? This is a quick way to add emotion to your show and portray the sense of feeling that you had when the pictures were shot.

The good news is that it’s easy to download software nowadays and even the professional paid versions normally come with free trial versions. These trial versions may include some limitations such as reduced features, added watermarkings or may just be activated for a certain number of days. Either way they are a good option for those on a budget or if you just want to test run the software before purchasing.

Don’t worry, the best slideshow software is normally very easy to use.

I have spent a lot of time scouring the internet trying to find the best slideshow software that is available. It’s not been easy as there is plenty of software available, both free and paid, but finding the best software that met my needs wasn’t that easy.

Really, I don’t mind paying for software, within reason, but it has to fulfill all of my criteria if I’m going to be laying out my hard earned cash for it.

So stay tuned , read my reviews then make your own decision.