Shoot, Share, and Edit Your Photos and Video on the Cheap

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The holidays are coming, which means that anyone reading this will probably be the de facto photographer and videographer for the family gatherings. (That's how you justified buying yourself that camera you were eying last holiday season, wasn't it?) But once you've filled your SD card up with irreplaceable memories, you'll need to find a way to share those photos without breaking the bank--or worse, filling everyone's email inboxes with artery-clogging attachments. And you can't really post the video of Christmas Eve dinner on YouTube until you find a way to cut out that five-minute segment of Aunt Edna drunkenly arguing with the UPS guy in the middle.

Fear not. We have three beginner-friendly how-tos that just might help you survive another December. First up is a quick rundown of four free video-editing services, from Windows Live Movie Maker to YouTube's own built-in editing features. You don't need to plunk down the cash for Final Cut Pro to make your home movies watchable (though your inner Scorsese might disagree)--just try these tools out for yourself.

After that, we'll walk you through a few photo-sharing services--Flickr, SmugMug, Picasa Web Albums, and PhotoBucket--to find the right sharing site for you. Seriously, don't be the guy that sends out a few dozen 10MB attachments. We mean it. That's right up there with forwarding dumb chain letters from the mid-90s for Things No Adult PC User Should Ever Do.

Finally, we have a few tips for buying a fancy new lens for your high-end digital camera (that's right, the one that's under the tree). After all, you were too busy recording those holiday family moments for posterity to be enjoying yourself. You deserve something nice!

So read on. You'll be a little more prepared for this year's holiday photos if you do.

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