Is it real to find the best video editing software? Some people will tell you that it’s Adobe Premier Pro, Lightworks or Vegas Pro but where is the truth? To make everything clear, I tested 18 different cheap and free video editing softwares that you can use for professional work with your video content.
If you ask photographers what is the best photo editing software, you will hear Photoshop or Lightroom. People might also name Capture One or On1 Photo Raw, but the leader is still clear. But there is no clear leader in video editing and even Adobe softwares aren’t the front men in this area.
The choice of appropriate video editing software depends on your practical skills and the final video you want to get. You may need to edit a few-minute YouTube video filmed on your phone, but someone else may need to edit gigabytes of various video content. In this article, I’ll try to figure out what is the best video editing software for professionals and beginners.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC, a popular advanced-level program is the first in my best video editing software list. This Adobe software will edit virtually any type of file. It is ready to create footage of any level including movies, TV, and YouTube. Almost all video editors use exactly this movie editing software in cinematographic companies all over the world.
Premiere Pro has enough capacity to handle 360-degree video in virtual reality and 8K-frames in its own format. It can also perform XML import and export. This enables you to share files, transfer the project to the Final Cut Pro rival or export it to Plural eyes for synchronization. Premiere Pro makes it convenient to work on multi-camera shooting, creating multi-sequences and editing large concerts by quickly switching cameras.
Another advantage this editing program has is the Lumetri Color panel, in which wide color adjusting is available at the post-production stage. The program easily integrates with After Effects, Audition, and Photoshop, which adds another plus on Premiere Pro’s count. However, in terms of animation, such opportunities are minimal here. After Effects is more suitable for this.
If Windows owners more commonly use Premiere Pro, MacBook users usually prefer Final Cut Pro X as the top video editing software. Apple's Final Cut Pro X comprises of an extensive selection of video adjusting tools developed to satisfy most professional needs. Despite this, the workbench will still be manageable for beginners. While working within the free trial period, you will easily find many useful online tutorials. That will help you exploit its full potential.
Final Cut Pro X grants you the opportunity of HD video editing in a wide variety that begins with smartphones and finishes with files like ProRes RAW and REDCODE RAW 8K. This program is used in Hollywood and other large-scale projects around the globe.
This video editing software will easily process graphics, effects, videos of 360- degrees, and even multi-camera recordings. When your video is ready, export it in any of the formats presented, including the high dynamic range (HDR) mode.
Another accessible video editing software for Windows is Vegas Pro 16 that has varying packages to satisfy video post-production and requirements of a wide spectrum. Vegas Pro 16 Edit is claimed to be the core version of the software. However, the majority of users will find their major working needs covered by the tools available. As it is extensively used by bloggers it might as well be called the best editing software for YouTube.
The video post-production mechanisms are non-linear with the time scale displaying multiple tracks. The Vegas Pro 16 Edit instruments will help achieve that high-end look. You can work on footage in either 4K, HDR, or high frame rates, stabilize frames or do tracking of objects in motion and perform routine color, light, and sound corrections. Getting done with editing videos, you will face a selection of exporting methods. You may save your video in the way you can further use in another popular video post- production application of your choice.
Within the Corel product range, the best video editing software is the Pinnacle Studio. It costs $129.95 (The sum required for 360-degree and 4-thousandth content editing using the Ultimate pack), twice what the VideoStudio charges. What do you get for extra money? There are motion tracking algorithms, support of 360-degree virtual reality and 4k, multi-camera editing, etc.
Considering all capabilities, the Pinnacle’s control panel has remained simple and understandable like the softwares mentioned above. Thus, if speed is crucial and spending extra dollars is no worry of yours, Pinnacle is a good choice. Its outstanding features are top-level rendering speed, fully-featured toolkit, and customer support.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
Price: FREE or $300
In comparison with other video editors, it is much cheaper and you can begin using it on free terms at first. Later, having ascertained yourself that all the tools fully meet your needs, you can purchase the program. Getting yourself an updated version of Studio, you will acquire new 3D and ResolveFX tools plus other ones for multi-user processing.
The workbench provides deep color correction of frames, which gives it an advantage over others. Just like the rest of the above-listed programs, it presents functions for working on sound and graphics. DaVinci Resolve will not limit you in imagination and amplification of the idea.
Lightworks is the best video editor that can easily perform many tasks due to its capacity. The version in the public domain has a carefully selected workbench, such as tilting, multi-camera editing, a multi-layer timeline approach as well as many useful video effects. You’re limited, however, in using the advanced toolset until full payment of membership.
You are allowed to export projects up to 720p to popular multimedia platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc. The program supports 1080p and so on. Even though the Lightworks toolkit is huge, no DVD export can be performed. Operating the full version will cost $24.99 monthly.
OpenShot is the best free video editing software found online. It is good for use with all sustainable and x-plat video editing workbenches. The program has been operating since 2008. It constantly has new updates that expand its potential and make it more convenient and easier for users.
There is support for multiple file formats, transition effects, compositing support, keyframe animation, title adjusting, etc. Remarkably reliable is the version in the public domain, which allows achieving impressive results. This application can be called the best home movie editor to edit videos for your YouTube blog.
The program’s screen capture technology is highly convenient. I may safely call it the best video editing software for those who record video tutorials. Camtasia also works with multiple tracks, so you can overlay background music or record your own voiceover along with the video clips. It’s possible to import either webcam content or something pre-recorded up to 4K.
Camtasia also has additional features of particular use for teachers, for instance adding interactive tests and assessing students’ progress. After video editing is done, results can be exported in 4K Ultra HD quality. Direct export is available only after you pay for the program.
It is the best video editing software on your smartphone. The interface, as for a phone application, is quite convenient. There are smart effects and instant result viewing. The only question is your phone performance, it should not be below average. The application is rich in functions. It is possible to work on several layers, add handwritten or typed in annotations, mess around with 4 audio tracks. In addition, the price for such an application will be affordable for everyone.
Corel VideoStudio’s feature set is equally trouble-proof to the best professional video editing software from Adobe or CyberLink. It presents 4K, 360-degree VR, multi- camera sequences, plus a large repertoire of no-royalty music. The program has tips that show which video clips have or have not already been used on the timeline.
Moreover, you will be assisted in matching the speech to subtitles with the voice recognition patterns. Corel supports the majority of file extensions and, therefore, is suitable for posting on social networks or online hosting.
Such simple video editing software for Mac owners fits unpretentious users and beginners. It offers effects, transitions, and filters suitable for Instagram or YouTube bloggers. You can create titles and use the built-in templates. On the timeline, you will only see 2 footage tracks.
It is another non-linear good video editing software which is worth paying attention to. It was developed to imitate Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut. The program is suitable for export to YouTube, Vimeo, or DVD. Besides, it supports Magic Bullet and Sapphire plugins. The color adjustment panel is no worse, providing varied color spaces. This particular program is used for multi-camera editing and for working on television.
This free and easy video editing software attracts with an unusual but appealing interface and many powerful video editing features, including a new layout panel and improved export tools. An additional starter pack ($9.99) adds even more video editing instruments. HitFilm Express is suitable for enthusiasts, offering possibilities of cross-platform post-production and overlapping, tracking options, 2D and 3D effects, speed control, audio tools, and an arsenal of tutorials on how to edit videos.
Video Converter is a free video editing software with convenient and simple editing functions, which differs it from other complicated and confusing video editors. It is easy to perform basic video editing before posting you video clip. You can convert files into other formats or even record files right to the disk. You may add subs, highlight or delete any part of the video easily and fast.
It is a complex x-plat editing software for Youtube videos. In the main menu, you may choose which social networks you need to use. This app gives you the following variants: Facebook, YouTube from 480 p to 4K, Flickr, Dropbox and Google Drive and it is free for non-commercial use.
Movie Edit Pro offers reliable stability, 4K support, and 360-degree and multi-camera editing. This app is for those who need a convenient software.
VSDC is one of the best video editing software for Windows. If you are trying to edit video clips for the first time, this free video editor may seem quite difficult for you because of its variety of functions and menu.
Here you can add lines, diagrams, text and figures, animations, images, audio and subs. Besides, VSDC, like any other software can export video into different formats.
Wondershare Filmora doesn’t support VR and multi-camera post-production. However, it has a really pleasant interface and a lot of useful video editing effects, which will help you make your video more interesting.
You must admit that only 10 % of people, who use video editing software, fully take advantage of its potential, opportunities and options. In most cases, it turns out that everything they need is video post-production capabilities, work with color and sound settings. In order to find out what exactly you want to get from the best video editing software, let’s have a look at the following 7 aspects.
Any additional opportunities of video editors cannot eliminate that fact that you need at least the simplest video editing. All programs included in this list allow you to combine, cut and separate video clips. Program pack contains animated transitions, keying (a technique which allows cutting blue or green background), filters that improve colors and other video effects.
Even low-cost cameras support 4K now. That is the reason why users tend to wait for any editing software to cope with such kind of format without any problems. For instance, some of the apps, but not all of them, are capable of importing such formats as Sony XAVC and XAVC-S, which are used by widespread Sony SLR cameras, mirrorless cameras, video cameras and professional video cameras. The same goes for H.265. That’s why if you intend to buy the best video editing software, first of all, find out the following characteristics of your camera: its maximum bitrate, framerate and resolution.
Support can vary within different apps. The difference may be in stabilization, movement tracking and 360-compatible headers. PowerDirector contains the first two characteristics. Final Cut offers a useful tool, which removes the camera and tripod from the image shot 360 degrees.
LUTs и CLUTS are filters, which you may use for creation of atmospheric frames, experiments with a color to a full extent. LUT (searching table) are also well-known as CLUT (tables of searching color). You may download them from free websites or use those LUTs, which have already been included in some of video editor software. If you want LUT to be well applied to your frame, you should film in a flat profile, such as SLog or RAW.
This function allows to switch over camera angles of the same scene, which was shot by several video cameras. Earlier it was used as a function of professional editing software. Fortunately, now this and many other expanded effects are accessible for home video editing software. So, even if you are not a professional, you may also try this tool out.
Movement tracking is one more impressive effect, which allows you to attach anything to object or subject which is moving in your video.
The speed of video editing is one of the most resource-intensive activities. Therefore, you will need a good laptop or computer, if you intend to make a great career in video post-production. The majority of apps help speed up video editing by creating a proxy file with lower resolution. As a result, usual video editing and preview won’t slow down because of enormous files with full resolution.
The process of converting your ready product into a standard video file, which can be rendered on the chosen device (HDTV, laptop or smartphone), is especially intensive. The most part of editing software may use a graphics processor of your computer to speed it up. When I tested rendering speed, Cyber Link and Pinnacle were my permanent leaders. So, while choosing the best video editing software for you, pay attention to the factors mentioned above and take your time.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.