I need something a little better than the free program that came with my camera. Specifically that free program won't let me split clips so that I can do slow motion on just part of a clip, and it won't let me move frame by frame to set trim points to match up adjacent clips either. Otherwise it's worked reasonably well for my basic needs.
I've used Windows Movie Maker some, but it's very inconvenient to use with my camera since it won't import the .MOV files my camera produces. So I have to use a program to convert the .MOV files to something it will open. The whole process is a pain, and Windows Movie Maker isn't really all that great either.
So I'm trying out the trial versions of Adobe Premiere Elements 11 and Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12. They both have some strange quirks when it comes to just doing the basics of trimming clips and putting together a timeline, but they both seem usable and capable of doing what I need. I was really leaning towards Sony Movie Maker because I can get it a little cheaper and it seems to run a little faster and smoother and Premiere Elements causes Windows superfetch and video driver to crash somewhat frequently on my computer. However, the final rendered result of the test videos I've made look terrible in Sony Movie Maker compared to Premiere Elements. I've attached sample pictures to show what I mean. I tried to use the same rendering settings as much as I could, and according to VLC player they're both MPEG-1/2 codec, 1280x720, 60 fps (a little strange since I think I tried to render both of these clips at 30fps), but I see similar results (blurry in Sony, clear in Adobe) even when I've tried other codecs or quality settings.
Is Sony Movie Maker just that much worse at rendering? Are there some advanced settings I need to change to get a good render? Is this something they intentionally do to videos rendered by the trial version without bothering to tell you?