If you think only studios that make full-length movies or big-budget music videos need expensive video editing software, you can’t be more wrong. Creating engaging video content to promote your product or brand also requires good tools to achieve your goal, especially with the current video-centric consumer and business environment.
The good news is, you have these tools readily available and very often within budget. We’ve got you covered with our lineup of the best video editing software. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best video editing solutions in the market today.
Taking videos in digital form is quite easy nowadays, thanks to your smartphone or digital camera. It is the post-production part that needs serious tools, even more so if you need to edit in 4K or higher resolutions. For this, you will require editing software with top-level features.
A capable video editing software can help your business, corporate, and product video (or any video project, for that matter) that will attract, entertain and engage your audience as well as relay your message across. For your message to be effective, your medium must be well-crafted, and to do this, you need the best video editing software solution that works for your project, be it film, TV, or online.
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We’ll run through some of the highlights and capabilities of different video editing products, as well as their pricing plans, subscription rates, and licensing options. Note that a number of them have free editions or are available as free, open-source platforms. Many of them carry similar tools and functionalities, but they also have distinct features. We’ll present them below so you can narrow down your choices to find the most suitable software for your business.
If you do most of your video editing on a Mac, you may also head on to our compilation of the 12 Best Video Editing Software for Mac in 2020. Without further ado, here is our list of the best 20 video editing software.
Final Cut Pro is an Apple product; hence, you can expect premium quality with cutting-edge tools. The software boasts of professional-level video/audio editing capabilities designed to harness the powerful computing performance of MacBooks with their state-of-the-art graphics processors and CPUs. The fusion of robust hardware and software means you get fast and flawless video editing and the ability to create spectacular videos. Final Cut Pro comes with several built-in special effects, motion graphics, filters, and enhancement tools. It can support RAW formats, HDR materials, and 360-degree video. It offers not only video/audio editing features but also tools to automatically organize your clips and collections, and deliver your video files directly to your Apple devices, online video sites, or through Blu-ray and DVDs.
One of its many standout tools is a Magnetic Timeline that is trackless, which, compared to the typical video timeline, enables you to trim and move clips without affecting the rest of the video. Final Cut Pro also has one of the most extensive ecosystems around, allowing you to integrate dozens of third-party tools, plug-ins, devices, and content right into the software interface. While the software is deployed locally on your machine, it lets you upload and download files from cloud storage and stock media sites for easy collaboration and sharing. You can also manage and archive your digital assets online and source your materials from just about any kind of camera or capture/storage device. Final Cut Pro is available at a one-time enterprise license of $299.
Detailed Final Cut Pro Review
Adobe Premiere Pro raises the bar when it comes to professional video editing software. Its main come on, aside from its powerful capabilities, is that it works on and supports any platform, format, camera, and device. It can run on PC and Mac machines and has extensive tools to help you with your project, regardless if it is a 30-second clip or a full-length feature film. Adobe Premiere Pro has undergone numerous improvements through the years based on the suggestions and needs of its multitude of users. Hence, every new release or update carries with it new features and enhancements. For instance, its latest release before 2018 closed included support for more formats and HDR media, new exports preset, and faster playback/decoding for Canon Cinema RAW Light footage on multi-core Windows 10 PCs.
With Adobe Premiere Pro, you get access to features and tools for basic as well as advanced editing. You can open and work on several projects simultaneously, switch scenes, and transfer clips and footage from one video project to another. You get all the bells and whistles Adobe Premiere Pro is known for, such as simple and precise color grading, slider sound panels for audio improvement, immersive and complex VR editing, smooth workflows, and responsive interface. The software integrates with other Adobe products to give you one robust creative suite. Adobe products are designated CC or Creative Cloud, which means the platform is accessible online from any connected device. There are several pricing options for individual and business/team users as well as for students and teachers, and schools and universities. You can choose from monthly or annual subscriptions, select a single app, or get a complete CC package of all the Adobe apps.
Detailed Adobe Premiere Pro Review
iMovie is a free video editing tool for Apple devices. You can download it at the App Store for your iOS smartphones and tablets, and your macOS laptop and desktop. The entry-level software provides tools for editing video clips and photos, importing files from the cloud storage or local drives, adding music and titles, and creating effects and titles. It is also able to perform necessary tweaks like video enhancements, color correction, and transitions. You can use all your Apple devices to work on your iMovie project. For instance, you can capture and cut photos using your iPhone, then use iCloud Drive to wirelessly transfer clips or photos to your iPad or Mac, where you can utilize additional features to put in finishing touches such as special effects, fades, or background music.
iMovie can work on 4K video and comes with dozens of styles that let you produce animated credits and titles. You can also choose from 10 different filters and apply them to give cinematic effects on individual clips or your entire video. The latest version of iMovie offers more special effects like the ability to change speed to highlight action shots. There are also split-screen, picture-in-picture, and green screen effects (available on iMovie for macOS) that lets you change backgrounds of your subjects. Likewise, it comes with built-in tools for adding voiceovers, music, and other audio elements and effects.
Detailed iMovie Review
Filmora simplifies the often tedious process of video editing. It’s been dubbed “video editor for all creators” with its line up of powerful tools to help you produce videos to the limits of your imagination. It has overlays, filters, custom titles, transitions, and other effects tools. It also has several sound enhancement features to let you equalize audio, remove background noise, and perform keyframing. Aside from basic video editing, it lets you do advanced compositing like layering clips and using green screen to change backgrounds. It allows you to import multiple videos and use up to a hundred layers of multimedia materials.
The software supports 4K videos and is noted for fast and easy rendering. It provides a split-screen function to help you work on multiple footages that are played simultaneously on a single video. It likewise offers a sophisticated text editing feature that allows you to alter font style, size, colors, and borders, and change some clip portions to include texts. Filmora runs on Windows and Mac computers and has various pricing plans for school, individual, and business use. Its most popular subscription plan – Lifetime – is available for a one-time fee of $59.99, which gives you unlimited access to over 1,000 video effects.
Detailed Filmora9 Review
WeVideo is an online video editing platform that you can access and use anywhere and on any device and browser. It can run on PC, Mac, and Chromebook as well as Android and iOS devices. The software offers advanced editing tools that are easy to use through a simple interface. It utilizes a proprietary JumpStart technology that combines cloud-based video editing with the benefits and advantages of desktop. What it does is enable you to immediately start editing your video using media files stored on your local storage without having to wait for them to be uploaded to the cloud. You harness and access powerful cloud-based computing without the waiting time. With WeVideo, you can create, capture, view, and share online your hi-res videos. It can work on and support not only multiple videos but also various image, audio, and graphic formats. It is able to edit multi-tracks and manage different files and media elements.
The software offers open RESTful APIS so you can create custom integrations with any external systems and apps. WeVideo is available in four low-cost monthly subscription plans starting at $4.99/month. Its Business plan at $29.99/month, designed for small business owners and marketing teams, gives you unlimited use of more than 650,000 royalty-free images, music tracks, and video clips. There is also a free plan and a plan for schools and districts.
Detailed WeVideo Review
Nero Standard is an on-premise Windows PC software that gives you four programs in one high-definition multimedia package. Its multimedia capabilities enable you to edit videos, music, and pictures; stream, play, and organize your media files; convert and rip DVDs and audio/video files; and copy, burn and archive files on disc. With its features and functionalities, Nero Standard is also referred to as the “Swiss knife for digital masterpieces.” For editing, it has a 1-Click Video Story tool that lets you easily import and drag clips, images, and audio files into the home screen to create completed movies and slideshows in one go.
You also get one-click conversion of audio CD and video disc, and drag and drop operation for burning files and data directly onto DVD, CD or Blu-ray Disc. Your files on discs are protected with passwords, 256-bit encryption, and disk optimization. While it is deployed locally in your PC, Nero offers multimedia cloud storage and integration with Microsoft OneDrive for quick access and downloading of your online files. The Nero Standard 2019 Suite is currently available at an introductory price of $64.95.
Detailed Nero Standard 2018 Review
DaVinci Resolve is a high-end video and audio post-production platform equipped with sophisticated features and advanced capabilities. It offers cutting-edge tools for video editing, color correction, audio enhancements, and special effects designed to help you create Hollywood-level projects. It is an industry-leading program used for post-production and finishing of full-length feature films, TV programs, and big-budget commercials. Regardless if your project is intended for the small or big screen or the web, you can take advantage of DaVinci Resolve’s powerful features that include color correction, motion graphics, and Fairlight audio with almost 100 enhancements.
Its Fusion visual effects page gives you a full 3D workspace with a 250+ toolset for keying, compositing, vector paint, tracking, rotoscoping, text animation, and more. It boasts of a playback engine for high-performance editing and fast processing even for heavy RAW formats, and multi-cam editing for up to 16 cameras and playback views. The on-premise software can run on Windows, Linux, and Mac systems and is compatible with all major post-production applications, media types, and file formats. The latest version, DaVinci Resolve 15, is available in two editions – a free one and a Studio edition that goes for $299.
Detailed DaVinci Resolve 14 Review
VideoPad is an intuitive, full-featured video editing software designed to help you create professional videos easily. You can create videos and burn them to Blu-ray and DVD, send videos to your mobile devices, or share them online. It works with all major video, audio, and image formats and has versions that can run on Windows, Mac OS, iPhone, iPad, and Kindle. The software comes with more than 50 visual effects and allows for video editing in 3D as well as 2D to 3D conversion. You can put in overlays, effects, and texts on 360-degree videos, add captions and credits and use green screens to change backgrounds.
VideoPad also offers audio enhancement and effects tools, allowing you to add and mix music or audio tracks, or import free sound effects from a database. The software optimizes video with tools for fine-tuning colors, slowing down or speeding up playback, and stabilizing video. You can also burn videos to discs, share videos on social media, or export videos in different resolutions from HD to 4K. VideoPad offers several pricing options, including a lifetime license that starts at $39.95 and a subscription license that begins at $4.95/month. Several add-on tools for converting, capturing, labeling, recording, and more are available at additional cost.
Detailed VideoPad Review
HitFilm Express is an all-around VFX and video editing software packed with advanced tools and professional features. It’s an online platform that requires high-end systems such as MacOS 10.11 or higher, 64-bit Windows 8 or 10, latest Intel or AMD processors, 8 GB of RAM, and 2 GB or more of video memory especially for working on 4K UHD. All these are necessary for you to be able to take advantage of the software’s powerful tools for video editing, particle simulation, color correction and grading, keying and extraction, specialized effects, 3D modeling, file handling, and more.
Hitfilm Express carries a stylish user interface. It is equipped with sophisticated screen simulation and tracking that enable you to view the movement of objects and add more objects to replicate the same motion. You’ll be able to come up with realistic explosions, blaster and lightning effects, one-of-a-kind titles, seamless animation and texturing, and depth mapping, among others. The software also offers next-level workflows that can combine timelines, customize work panels, and enhance rendering and playback performance. You can immediately use the free edition of Hitfilm Express simply by opening an account. Eleven other packs for various effects are offered at prices ranging from $10 to $50.
Detailed HitFilm Express Review
Why choose HitFilm Express?
VEGAS Pro is a big-league player in the video editing industry, offering professional tools for producing, modifying, and enhancing films, videos, and audio materials as well as for authoring discs. Its robust workflows and editing capabilities allow you to create movies and videos with ease, speed, and flexibility. It can optimize hardware and GPU, provide intuitive timeline workflow, save window layouts, offer dynamic storyboarding, and perform video stabilization and motion tracking, to name a few in its long list of features.
VEGAS Pro is able to support 4K UHD, multi-cam editing, 3D adjustments, compositing and layering, 360-degree editing, HDR footage, and color matching. Audio editing is facilitated through multi-track audio capabilities, surround sound decoding and encoding, dozens of audio effects, and real-time audio recording. VEGAS Pro is in partnership with The Open Effects Association (OFX), which provides the software with filter plug-ins and video effects, ensuring that you have the right effects that you need for your video project. The software is offered in four different editions, with prices starting at $698. Discounted prices are regularly offered.
Detailed VEGAS Pro Review
Magisto is a cloud-hosted video editing software specifically designed for business video editors to help them build customer relationships, enhance brand awareness, and increase sales. Built for the specific purpose of creating product and marketing videos, the software simplifies the process in three easy steps – upload your videos and images to the software site, pick a style and soundtrack for the site library, and let an AI-powered video creator process and edit your video. Afterward, you can host the finished video on your website with the software’s native player or distribute the video through your advertising platforms, social media pages, or via your content and email marketing.
Aside from being able to quickly create videos through smart editing tools, you also get to view insights on your video marketing campaigns such as the viewing behavior of your audience, which video content gets the most views, and which performs best. Magisto offers a variety of editing styles. With its partnership with iStock, you get access to unlimited HD clips and hi-res images that you can use for your business videos. The cloud software offers three monthly subscription plans with prices ranging from $2.49/month to $39.99/month.
Detailed Magisto Review
Lightworks is a complete video editing and video creation solution that has built its reputation since it was first introduced two and a half decades ago. Since that time, it has been used as the post-production and video editing tool for blockbuster films like Pulp Fiction, Heat, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Its features and capabilities have since been made available to everyone looking to create movies and videos not only for the big screen but also for the web such as social media and video sharing sites. It becomes super easy to create your video masterpieces with tools for timeline editing and trimming, real-time video and audio effects, extensive file format support, sequence grading, and video exporting.
Its intuitive and simple user interface lets you get started quickly with your video project with all tools directly accessible from the timeline. It comes with several effects packages as well as direct access to Audio Network for royalty-free music and Pond5 for stock videos. Lightworks runs on all major operating systems, supports all popular files and formats, export files quickly to online sites, and is optimized for fast rendering and precision editing. This online platform offers a free version with limited features and three premium editions, with prices starting at $24.99.
Detailed Lightworks Review
Windows Movie Maker first came out in September 2000 when it was bundled with Windows ME. Through the years, it was included in the installation packages of new operating systems Microsoft introduced – from Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 – up until January 2017 when Microsoft dropped support for it and replaced it with another app. For nearly two decades, it underwent improvements, added new features, and became the default video editing tool for millions of Windows PC users who have come to love it for its simplicity and robust features. Windows Movie Maker lives on for its horde of users and can be downloaded, still for free, from trusted sites. You can click on the product link to read our full review of the software.
So what’s in Windows Movie Maker that made it such a favorite? For one, it came pre-installed on your new Windows PC and was ready to use. Second, it was simple to use with its intuitive tools. Third, it had powerful features and was quite advanced for its time when it came out early on. More capabilities were introduced with every new release. Its key features include the ability to organize photos, videos, audio, and other media files that you’ll use in your project; tools to add effects, transitions, and text to your movie; and posting of your movie on social media and other online sites directly from the software.
Detailed Windows Movie Maker Review
Avidemux is a zero cost and open-source video editing software designed for simple video editing and processing. The software is a free, lightweight video editing solution that supports a wide range of audio/video files and formats. It is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X platforms. It can cut, copy, and remove portions of a video and apply visual effects or filters. It is also able to insert audio streams into a video (a process called multiplexing) or the other way around – extract audio parts from a video (know as demuxing). It can likewise resize video files and transcode video into a variety of formats such as MP4, AVI, and MPEG-2. It offers partial support for modern formats like WebM, Opus, and AV1.
The three core capabilities of Avidemux is cutting, filtering, and encoding. The first one lets you choose and cut, copy, delete, and paste a part of a video and save it in a different file format. Meanwhile, filtering allows you to alter videos such as sharpening and resizing the file, perform deinterlacing, adding color profiles, and inserting titles. Audio can also be tweaked and improved. Encoding and decoding enable you to convert a video input to digital format to make it compatible with popular Web media players as well as run on mobile devices.
Detailed Avidemux Review
macXvideo distinguishes itself as the first free video processing software for 4K ultra high definition video. It is not an Apple product but is built by Digiarty Software, Inc. for use on Mac computers. The video editing tool makes it easy to edit and compress UHD videos of up to 8K resolution without loss of quality. It can lower or increase video quality depending on your specifications, as well as edit, encode and decode 4K and even higher resolution videos. With its cutting-edge technology, the software makes it fast and easy to edit, modify, and transcode UHD video materials compared to expensive video editing tools.
macXvideo offers an array of editing capabilities to help you turn raw video materials into professionally made movies. It has tools for video trimming, cutting, merge, splits, audio enhancements, variable playback speed, and captions/subtitles. It also has advanced tools for controlling and adjusting colors, contrast, hue, saturation, and gamma. The software can process videos from whatever source and supports all types of formats, quality, size, and codecs.
Detailed macXvideo Review
Wideo is an online video platform that specializes in creating animations. You don’t have to make the animations yourself since there are over 80 pre-built video animation templates you can use and edit to create business, product, promotional, tutorial, and explainer videos. It has been reported that more than half of marketers already use animation software to relay messages and tell stories, and Wideo capitalizes on that with a solution that is affordable and easy to use. Outsourcing your animation videos to professional animators and designers is expensive. Now you can do it yourself in minutes with drag and drop functionality, allowing you to create, edit, and personalize ready-made templates to carry your message and reflect your branding.
It is easy to add elements – vector objects, images, audio, and background – to the templates. There are also tools to edit text, check spelling, replace image, and share and export the finished video to YouTube. Wideo is intended to help increase your ROI in less time and make more effective your marketing campaigns through engaging and fun videos. The software has three subscription plans starting with the Basic plan at $19/month.
Detailed Wideo Review
Video Pro X is a complete audio/video editing solution built for the needs of professional editors and post-production specialists. While it has all the basic editing tools that enthusiasts can use to hone their skills, the software shines in its offerings of advanced features for making high-quality movies. It has capabilities for color grading, audio processing, media authoring, effects design, 360-degree editing, keyframe control, object tracking, and more. It does multi-cam editing for up to nine cameras, supports up to 6K UHD, and is optimized for smooth and fast video editing workflows.
Video Pro X is built on 64-bit architecture. This means that it can utilize to the maximum your computer’s resources without affecting the software’s performance when it comes to rendering and playback. Likewise, the solution is compatible with a wide range of cameras, including DSLR, XDCams, ANCHD, and other card-based cams. It also supports various file formats for audio, video, and images. Video Pro X is an on-premise software that is priced at $399.
Detailed Video Pro X Review
Shotcut is a video editing software that is free and open-source. It is also a cross-platform tool, which can be used on Mac-, Windows-, and Linux-powered computers. The software was first introduced in 2004 and has since undergone improvements. Its latest release carries an array of impressive capabilities and sophisticated tools for video editing and encoding. It has wide support for various video, audio, and image formats and can work on videos with up to 4K resolution. The software is loaded with over a dozen video editing features and two dozen audio enhancements and filters. Several video effects and filters are also available, including compositing, de-interlacing, transitions, color correction and grading, masking, and stabilization, among others.
Aside from being cross-platform, Shotcut is also codec independent, which means it does not depend on system codecs and can transcode/encode to different codecs and formats. You can even run it as a portable application on your external hard drive. It has built-in UI translations for 25 languages and can integrate with external monitors and displays. It can do webcam capture and audio capture and recording as well as encoding of NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel hardware.
Detailed Shotcut Review
Rocketium boasts a number of impressive tools for editing and enhancing videos on your own or with the help of your colleagues. This video creation platform is incredibly easy to use, allowing users with no design expertise to create and edit videos that their audiences will appreciate. Despite its ease of use, users still have access to advanced video editing and image editing functionalities that can help them achieve their vision.
Rocketium makes it possible for you and your team to collaborate effectively. The software features Trello-like task boards that allow users to easily monitor the status of each project, the involved individuals on each task, and the current project progress. Rocketium also makes video uploading easy, letting users drag-and-drop media files that they want to place on the web.
Detailed Rocketium Review
Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 is a software solution that aims to simplify the creation of interactive and engaging presentations and videos. Built for Windows and Mac, it comes with an extensive image library and allows users to embed all sorts of videos and music in their presentations. It also supports the use of doodles for presentations so you can add a more personal and creative touch to your work.
Even the most powerful graphic design software can be demanding at times. This video editing app, however, does not have a steep learning curve and allows novices to easily adapt and maximize the platform’s full capabilities. Due to its simplicity, Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 will let you build engaging videos within a few minutes, making it ideal for novice users. With this at your disposal, you are well-equipped to create professional marketing videos that can meet the expectations of your clients. Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 is available in three licensing options ranging from $37 to $97.
Detailed Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 Review
Before you rush to buy video editing software, think first of how and where you will use it. Is it for your Hollywood clients? Are you starting from scratch? Will it be at the core of your editing studio? Will you be making regular videos as part of your content marketing strategy?
You might be tempted to go for the most expensive software with tons of features, but all you’ll be creating are simple and short promotional videos that will require just a half dozen tools at the most. You’re better off with more affordable software or even a free one if it’s just basic editing that you’ll be doing. Determine your situation and study your requirements so that you can choose the right video editing software for your present and future video projects.
The video editor that ticks all these boxes is Final Cut Pro. While it’s exclusively for Mac devices, its ease-of-use belies the power under the hood. For most people, the first and last video editing software they will ever need.
On the other hand, you could be a beginner looking for an entry-level video editing program just right for your budding needs. In that case, check out these 15 Best Free Video Editor Tools for Beginners.
Also, if you’re using Adobe Premiere, one of the most widely used platforms in this niche, you may want to explore other options, as well. For that, you can read our Top 10 Alternatives to Adobe Premiere post.
And if you’re ready to market your video masterpieces, here are a number of the leading online ecommerce platforms to help you reach out to your target markets and monetize your works.
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