18 Best Video Editing Software in 2020 + Free Tools for Mac and Windows

Best Video Editing Software + Free Tools for Mac and Windows

Whether you own a blog, are looking to start one or have an ecommerce website, or run your own YouTube channel, you’ll need convincing videos to engage visitors on your site.

And the statistics show that video content is the way to go.

People prefer watching videos over reading text
Source: 17production.com

According to Wordstream, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.

In fact, 64% of buyers make a purchase after watching branded social videos. It’s no wonder especially since video content gets the best engagement on almost all social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Stories, and TikTok.

Having slick, professional-looking and well-branded videos can do wonders for your online business. Apart from increasing visibility and boosting engagement, you’ll also see a conversion boost no matter what you are selling, be it ebooks or even food.

Thankfully, you don’t need to hire a professional or spend a lot to get stunning and well-edited videos for social media or your website. There are lots of free, trial and paid options for anyone looking to create amazing video content, regardless of their experience level.

Much as there are loads of options, not all are created equal. That’s why our post today will look at the top video editing software based on features, ease-of-use and budget-friendliness.

Whether you’re recording with your phone or a professional camera, there’s a software that will turn your work into a masterpiece. Let’s get started!

What is the Best Video Editing Software?

On a basic level, video editing software should allow you to cut, trim, split and loop your videos. However, the best video editing software allows you to do much more.

From transitions, giving you different angles and even controlling the intensity of colours in your videos, top-notch video editing software will help you tap into your own creativity and personalize your work.

Here’s our list of top video editing software.

1. Adobe Premiere Pro.

Best All-Round Video Editing Software for Windows Users. Plans start from $20.99/month.

adobe premiere pro video editing software for windows

Adobe is known for cutting-edge and comprehensive suite of tools for creative professionals and its Premiere Pro software is no exception. In fact, it claims to give you video editing that is a cut above the rest.

Providing high-end, industry standard editing software for video and film, Adobe Premiere Pro will help you turn raw footage into awe-inspiring video content.

Premiere Pro allows you to work with videos in almost all formats, be it 4k, the more professional 8k meant for theatres or even VR. Your output will already be primed to look good on any screen.

Anyone in video content production knows that editing video can be a time sucker. This is where Adobe’s AI technology, Adobe Sensei shines.

adobe sensei workflow management

Adobe Sensei integrates with the Adobe Experience Cloud, helping you collapse the time between getting ideas and executing them. It provides a seamless workflow thanks to its integration with other Adobe apps like After Effects and Photoshop.

This means you can easily keep editing within your timelines saving you time and increasing your productivity.

Another interesting way Adobe boosts productivity is by allowing you to sync your work across any device using Adobe Premiere Rush. Premiere Rush is Adobe’s cloud-based app that allows you to work on video projects from any device.

You can edit, shoot and share all your videos directly to social media or any online platform using Premiere Rush without needing to carry around a PC all the time.

Aside from easy workflows and native app integrations, you also have access to pro-level features like

  • 3D editing and VR 180 editing
  • Automatic video reformatting to fit any frame
  • Multicam editing
  • Lumetri color to make selective color-grading easy
  • Stock audio right from within your editing panel
adobe premiere pricing plan

Adobe Premiere pro comes with two options, Premiere Pro Creative Cloud Single App which gives you exclusive access to Premiere Pro only, billed at $20.99/month and Premiere Pro Creative Cloud All Apps billed at $49.94/month, which is especially useful if you use other Adobe tools like Photoshop, After Effects or Animate. 

Pros

  • Good choice for both professionals and video enthusiasts
  • Free trial available
  • Integration with third party apps like AMD, Codex, NVidia and HP
  • Automatic reframing makes your videos ready for any device
  • Premiere Rush App allows you to work on the go
  • Works on both Windows and Mac

Cons

  • Expensive

Get started with a free trial of Adobe Premiere Pro today!

2. Final Cut Pro X.

Best Easy-to-Use Video Editing Software For Mac Users.

final cut pro x video editing software for mac

As Apple’s native video editing software, Final Cut Pro X has been around for a while and has seen consistent upgrades that make it more intuitive and better designed to work with Apple’s hardware.

For example, it has support for the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar which gives you the added functionality to control things like timeline scrubbing, customizing text and 3D enabled text editing which can be interesting.

The software lets you work on original, untouched footage straight from your camera sensor — without sacrificing any speed or smoothness, thanks to its superb and speedy performance, even on older MacBooks.

What Adobe Premiere Pro does for Windows users, Final Cut Pro X does for Mac users. It makes powerful, professional level features easy to use from anywhere for video enthusiasts at all levels.

It gives you a seamless workflow which allows you to take your 4k and 8k video projects with you and share libraries with collaborators no matter where they are.

It has a proxy engine that allows you to create a proxy-only copy of your library to share locally or via the cloud and displays original media if proxies aren’t available.

In terms of productivity, Final Cut Pro’s Metal is designed to speed up the rendering time of your videos by 20% – 35% depending on the device you are using. For those using a 16-inch MacBook Pro, render performance could go up by 20% while editors using iMac Pro may process up to 35% faster.

Again the Roles function in your library will help you better organize and identify your clips e. g audios, voiceovers, videos etc, making it easier to find pieces needed to finish your work fast.  

One way to make your videos stand out is using effects and Final Cut Pro doesn’t skimp on giving you options. You’ll get 149 video effects, 100+ audio effects, 150+ title animation templates, and transitions which are easy to add using easy custom keyboard shortcuts.

Other notable features include

  • Multi-cam and 3D editing
  • Multiple export options including 4k and 360 videos
  • Chroma-keying support (allows you to place a subject against any background, often called green screening)
  • Advanced Color Grading that gives you color wheels, curves, and hue/saturation curves.
  • HDR support for more true-to-life videos
  • Third-party app integrations with apps like frame.io, Shutterstock and CatVD

Final Cut Pro X usually has a limited time 30-Day free trial offer(which has now been extended to a whopping 90 Days) after which you’ll need to purchase the software at $299.

Pros

  • Good for both professionals and non-professionals
  • Free 90-Day trial available (limited time)
  • Supports sharing with other collaborators
  • Unlimited video track library
  • Intuitive user-interface
  • Native features with hardware support
  • Advanced color-grading
  • Time-saving rendering performance

 Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited third-party app support
  • Needs the full Apple ecosystem i. e MacBook Pro, iCloud etc. to get maximum benefits

If you’re a Mac fan and need powerful features, ease of use and speed, Final Cut Pro X is the perfect choice.

Get Final Cut Pro X  for 90-Days, free.

3. EaseUS Video Editor.

Most Simple and Beginner Friendly Windows-Based Video Editor. (Both Free and Paid plans available.

EaseUS video free video editor for windows

EaseUS is better known for its data recovery software which has been downloaded over 70 million times. Their newer Video Editor is making waves because of its simple, no-frills yet impressive suite of features.

For beginners and video enthusiasts who need to create slick videos, EaseUS is the best choice. It lets you create videos that are well suited to Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms.

You’ll be able to merge, mix, rotate, create slow-motion or looping videos all with stylish effects. With a bouquet of 50+ visual and transition effects, you can add a professional touch and brand all your videos.  

The EaseUS Video Editor also has a variety of export options in multiple formats including WMV, MP4, AVI etc. There is added flexibility of uploading directly to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and converting from YouTube to MP3.

When it comes to audio, EaseUS Video Editor does a great job of importing and helping you mix music tracks like a pro. You can even do voice over recordings and narrations by simply clicking a button.  

If you’re looking for a low-budget Windows-friendly software with free tech support and a 30-day money-back guarantee, EaseUS Video Editor delivers on all fronts. It’s simple, easy to use and delivers stellar results.

EaseUS pricing plan

There are two downloadable versions, a trial version which gives you access to all its features and no limits on export lengths and a paid version for $29.95 which gives you added materials, 24/7 tech support, 1080p video exports and no watermarks.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Comes with Free Video converters for Windows
  • Import from multiple sources including gopros, camcorders, phones etc.
  • Upload your content directly to social media
  • Option to burn directly to DVDs
  • Free trial version with access to most features
  • Produced video formats work on most mobile devices regardless of brands

Cons

  • Minimal tech support on free trial version
  • Watermarks make it impossible to brand videos created with trial version

You can try out EaseUS video editor with a free trial and buy the pro version for just $29.95

4. Adobe Premiere Elements 2020.

Best Feature-Rich Video Editing Software for Beginners.

adobe premiere elements video editing software for beginners

While some video editing software for non-professionals may have watered down features, Adobe’s Premiere Elements provides just the right balance of pro functionality for beginners without being overwhelming.

Adobe Premiere Elements takes the cutting-edge features of Premiere Pro and makes them easy and simple to use in Premiere Elements. Because of this, it appeals to both professionals and beginners alike.

You get a ton of transitions, effects, photo sharpening, GIF creation and animation and done-for-you photo and video collage mixes.

Adobe’s Sensei Technology makes it easy to bring together the best scenes based on the style of your video with Smart Trim. There’s also automatic face detection, video stabilization and motion tracking as well.

You have a choice of three modes to create your video in: Quick, Guided and Expert.

Quick mode does most of the video and highlight selection for you once you choose your raw footage. It automatically stabilizes and organizes your video on the timeline so all you’ll need to do is add a personal touch.

Guided mode is more for those who want to learn as they go along. It teaches you how to use the software and make the most of its functionality.

Expert mode gives you more control over your output with little automation and interference. It’s for those who know what they are doing or are familiar with video editing already.

While a few advanced features like multi-cam editing and 360-degree video are absent, it has enough other features that compensate for the lack and will be more useful to non-professionals.

Some other cool features include:

  • Direct sharing to social media and video platforms like Vimeo and YouTube
  • Visual organization and arrangement of clips
  • Import, edit, and share HEIF photo files and HEVC video files on Windows as well as macOS
  • Up to 23 Guided edits

As always, a trial downloadable version of the software is available so you can try it out and see if it’s a good fit for you. Otherwise, the full version costs $59.99 (currently on 40% discount) to buy.

adobe premiere elements pricing plan

Overall, it’s a great all-around option that’s available for both Mac and Windows 10 PCs.

Pros

  • Good for both professionals and new creators
  • Works on both Windows and Mac
  • Free trial version available
  • Upload directly to social media
  • Guided edits functionality

Cons

  • A few missing advanced features (multi-cam editing and 360-degree video)
  • Software isn’t as fast as competitors

Not sure if this is the right choice? Download Adobe Premiere Elements free trial now.

5. Apple iMovie.

Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac.

Apple iMovie free video editing software for mac

If you’re looking for a free, Mac-friendly software that gives you basic functionality with a little extra, Apple’s iMovie software will not disappoint. With iMovie, you can easily sort clips and create Hollywood-style trailers or stunning 4K-resolution movies.

Thanks to Apple’s well integrated ecosystem, you can start off on your Mac and finish on any other synced Apple devices, be it a phone or tablet. On top of that, it supports 4k resolution complete with effects and filters.

Again Apple’s compatibility is a strong point, allowing you to import video clips, audio, and photos from iCloud easily. Plus, you can create slideshows and view your projects right on your Apple TV.

The software functions in a crisp and fluid way on newer Mac models as well as with both the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro.

Other functionalities it has include

  • Studio-Quality Titles to help give your work a more polished feel
  • High-Fidelity Filters that preserve the originality of the video
  • Over 80+ built-in sound tracks to choose from
  • Extra Special Effects like slow-mo, picture-in-picture and split screen

The software comes with Touch Bar support and 4k video functionality, allowing you to process your video clips speedily at as fast as 60 frames per second.

Given that this is a free software, it produces pretty clean and slick videos which compare to some paid versions.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Great for audio
  • Comes pre-installed on Apple devices
  • Fluid performance
  • Decent output for a free software

Cons

  • Works on only Mac
  • Not suited for professionals

Download Apple iMovie for iOS now.

6. Microsoft Movie Moments.

Best Free Mobile Device Tool For Quick Sharing From Across The Web.

If you want a simple, bare bones video editing software designed for mobile, Microsoft Movie Moments is the best choice.

Microsoft Movie Moments allows you to quickly add things like music and titles to your video right from your mobile device. You have a wide variety of sound tracks to choose from including funky themed music and energetic music.

In case you want to further customize your music, you can import your own tracks. However you can’t change sound volumes or add voice overs to the tracks like other software choices mentioned here.

 A few somewhat advanced features that can make up for the lack of more advanced transitions and edits to subclips include opening freeze frames and black-out transitions.

The most outstanding feature of Microsoft Movie Moments is how it allows you to quickly share your video content anywhere on. By pressing the Share button you can send your content easily to Facebook, Dropbox, OneNote, Skype and Twitter.

This software is available for free download in the windows store and takes up less than 20MB of space making it lightweight and fast. It also works well on Intel-based PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Lightweight and doesn’t take up space
  • Perfect for sharing content on Facebook, Skype and Twitter
  • Import your own music for more customization

Cons

  • Can’t be used for professional videos
  • Doesn’t work well on iOS and Android-based devices
  • Severely limited functionality

Download Microsoft Movie Moments now.

7. HitFilm Express.

Best Free Full-Featured Option For Both Visual and Video Effects.

HitFilm Express editing visual and video effects

HitFilm Express is for those looking for cinema–level video editing software on a budget. It is the free version of HitFilm Pro, which is great for creating short-films and movie productions.

One outstanding feature is its customizable layout panel that helps you to streamline your editing process. With HitFilm Express, there are tools that help you arrange objects in a scene with seamless alignment.

Again you can create unique workspaces for 360-degree video editing and colorists, so you can concentrate on the functions you need and skip the unimportant ones. Also, you get 180+ visual and special effects including exports in multiple formats.

As HitFilm Express is designed for more advanced video productions, it comes with unique high quality settings you can customize to save you time. These features let you speed up playback by creating custom playback settings which is helpful especially if you’re working with high-res formats.

Other features include

  • Full 2D and 3D compositing
  • 410+ effects and presets
  • Free video tutorials and projects
  • Unlimited tracks and transitions
  • Available for Windows and Mac
  • Film-making community support

The best part of HitFilm Express is its ability to export work in the background while you still work on other content, saving you the downtime of waiting for an export to finish before continuing to work.

Pros

  • Free to download and use
  • Video tutorial library for beginners
  • Useful for professionals
  • Works on both Mac and Windows
  • Variety of effects and transitions

 Cons

  • Learning the software may take some time

HitFilm Express is free and available for download so you can take it on a test-run for free.

8. VideoPad.

Best Option For YouTubers and Video Bloggers.

VideoPad best video editing software for YouTubers and Video Bloggers

Whether you are creating video content for a new blog you’re starting or your YouTube channel, chances are you aren’t a professional. So you’ll need an intuitive, easy-to-use video editor.

This is where VideoPad comes in as a solid option. It may not have the flashiness of some of the other software listed here, but what it lacks in fanciness, it makes up for in easy usability, quick uploads and ability to render up to 4k resolution videos.

Another thing which makes it attractive is that it works fluidly on both Windows and macOS. This feature combined with its intuitive and clean interface make it great for beginners.

Uploading directly to YouTube or any social media platform from the editing panel is easy. You can also add animated titles, background clips, text, and image overlaps with the “Add Objects” function seen on the editor’s Home tab.

VideoPad’s other features include…

  • Fastest video stream processor
  • Great visual Effects & Transitions with over 50 effects & transitions
  • Supports multiple video formats
  • Export to file or disc by burning, uploading or sharing
  • Pure Digital Audio Tools that let you edit and apply effects to audio tracks
  • 3D and 360 Video Editing and exporting

VideoPad comes in two versions, Home Edition and Master Edition, both of which are paid.

The Home Edition limits you to only two audio tracks with no external plugins. The Master Edition however doesn’t have these limits.

Pros

  • Easy to use and intuitive user-interface
  • Beginner friendly
  • Directly upload to social media from editing tab
  • Fast video processing and rendering
  • Edit and apply effects to audio tracks
  • 3D and 360-degree processing

Cons

  • No free trial or free version

Get started with VideoPad Editor today.

9. Windows Movie Maker 10.

A Basic Free Video Editing Tool for Windows.

Windows Movie Maker 10 free video editing tool

If you own a Windows PC, then this may be your first go-to choice when it comes to video editing software. As Windows native tool for video editing, it is extremely simple, giving you the essentials you need to make a decent video.

The good thing is the software has evolved since its early versions, with new and more interesting features being added to the versions that work on Windows 7 and Windows 10.

New features include voiceover recording and video staibilization., Movie Maker should work just fine for most beginner projects and edits. However if you need any added functionality, you may need to consider other Windows based options on this list.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Free to download
  • Does simple basic editing 

Cons

  •  Not useful for any kind of advanced editing

The Windows Movie Maker service has been discontinued and is currently unavailable for download on Microsoft’s website. 

10. Pinnacle Studio.

A Full–Featured Video Editing Software With Precision Editing Functionality.

Pinnacle Studio full-featured video editing software for professionals

Pinnacle Studio has a comprehensive, powerful suite of tools that give you full control and accuracy of the editing process while infusing creativity. You’ll be spoilt for choice with their array of effects and creative tools.

One of their most outstanding features is their keyframe control and multi-camera editing. Keyframe control allows you to fine-tune every tiny detail be it transitions or effects down to each frame.

Apart from added control, you also get a customizable workspace so you can streamline your editing process. Set custom tool shortcuts, group and edit clips simultaneously and batch tasks in ways that boost your productivity and save time.

Pinnacle Studio also has third party tools included in its software that help you capture video and record your screen, author DVDs, and make the most of its compatibility with third party apps.

Some other powerful features include

  • Color Grading including white balance adjustment, and LUTs so you can give your videos more emotion.
  • Video stabilization to remove jarring movements for example in sports
  • 360 Video Editing
  • Dynamic Split Screen Video
  • Screen Recording and screen grab for webinars, gaming, courses or tutorials
  • Multicam Editing for up to 6 cameras
  • Motion Tracking
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Audio Ducking to modulate music and important sounds and keep them even.
  • Green screen and chroma-key

While their tools are intended for Advanced video editing, their plans are designed such that you are not overwhelmed with so many functionalities at a go. All plans come with keyframe control, multicam editing, color grading and video stabilization.

pinnacle studio pricing plan

Thus if you are not a professional, their Studio Plan gives you just enough features to work with, without being overkill and starts from $59.95.

If you have intermediate skills, the Studio Plus Plan is perfect, giving you multi-cam editing for up to 4 cameras and audio ducking at $99.95.

If you’re a professional, the Studio Ultimate Plan is fully loaded with 4k and 360 degree video editing, motion tracking with blur and Dynamic Video masking at $129.95.

Pros

  • User-friendly at all levels
  • Built-in tutorials & learning videos
  • 10-day all access pass to StudioBacklot for first time subscribers, includes training and royalty-free content
  • Direct uploads to YouTube and Vimeo
  • Multi-functional (has built-in converter, video capture, screen record functions)
  • More tools for audio editing and mastering

Cons

  • Works with only windows
  • No free trial

Get started with Pinnacle Studio starter plan today.

11. Filmora9.

A Good Choice For YouTube and Social Media Videos.

Filmora9 simple video editing for YouTube and social media

Filmora9 by Wondershare is one of the few video software that have remained true to serving the film editing community.

So while some of their competitors keep adding ‘bloat’ to their software, Filmora9’s updates so far are suited for film editing. That means the software will work perfectly for other less demanding video content like social media or video blogging.

Its user-interface is very friendly, making it appeal to novices and veteran video editors alike, because it’s easy to understand and use. In spite of being user-friendly, it still packs a punch, providing powerful features like 3D LUTs and keyframing.

Another outstanding feature of Filmora9 is it has added layers of security integrated into the software. Your creative content is your intellectual property and so protecting it is important. Their added security encrypts your uploads to keep them safe.

Filmora9 has three plans with different levels of features available.

filmora pricing plan

Annual Plan billed at $39.99 annually and gives you access to all their features without the watermark.

Annual Bundle Plan billed at $99.87 annually and comes with new effects monthly and unlimited downloads from their stock library.

And if you just want to get rid of the watermark, the Life-Time plan which is a one-time fee of $69.99 gives you access to all the features forever.

There are also student plans that start at $7.99/month if you intend to use the software for teaching and learning purposes.

Pros

  • Free trial.
  • Works with Windows and Mac
  • Different plans for different budgets
  • 30-Day money-back guarantee.
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Not budget-friendly
  • Limited features on trial version

Get started on a Filmora9 free trial version today.

12. Lightworks.

Best Full-Featured Video Editing Software with Multiple Operating Systems Support.

Lightworks video editing software for all operating systems

Lightworks has been in existence for over 25 years and is a known brand name in cinematography and video editing. 

It has been the powerhouse behind some of the most iconic movies from Hollywood including The Wolf of Wall Street, LA Confidential, Pulp Fiction, Heat, Road to Perdition, Hugo, The King’s Speech and many more!

This year’s release of Lightworks 2020 has been updated to include features that would appeal more to the creative and non-professional crowd. Be it for social media, YouTube or for a 4K film project, Lightworks has features for you.

Another unique thing about Lightworks is, it is one of the few that supports Linux based operating systems, in addition to both Mac and Windows, making it the most versatile in terms of operating systems.

Lightworks gives you high precision video trimming for more detail and lets you work with a wide range of video formats. Exports to 720p for Youtube and Vimeo and up to 4K are available as well.

To top it off, you can work on other aspects of your video while rendering and processing takes place in the background, saving you time and boosting productivity.

Other notable features include…

  • Access amazing royalty-free audio & video content
  • Easy timeline editing & trimming 
  • Lo-Res Proxy workflows for 4K
  • Wide file format support including variable frame rate media
  • Grade your timeline professionally using up to GPU precision and histogram tool.

Lightworks has a free trial version that comes with a 7-day license which you can extend by registering or simply pay and upgrade to Pro for full functionality.

Pros

  • Free version available
  • Video Tutorials Included
  • Proxy workflows for 4K to save time and speed up editing process
  • Share directly to social media or hard drive.
  • Supports Mac, Windows and Linux

Cons

  • 4K Video Support Only in Paid Version
  • Features may be confusing for complete newbies

Download a free trial of LightWorks today!

13. Shotcut Open Source.

Best Open Source Video Editing Software with Multi – OS Support.

shotcut open source video editing software

ShotCut is one of the best free video editing software that is compatible with multiple operating systems. It was initially designed for Linux but now supports both Mac and Windows. Because it is open source, you are free from any added costs.

For a freeware, ShotCut has an impressive array of features, specifically its 4K HD resolution support and timeline editing. Even on paid software, 4K editing tends to be available only on higher plans, so this is a great feature.

Its timeline editing feature means you don’t need to import your video into the editor to work on them, which is great for saving time especially when working with large files.

Again, ShotCut comes with a comprehensive video tutorial library to make it easier for beginners to use.

Pros

  • Freeware with some premium features including 4K support
  • Compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows
  • Native Timeline Editing
  • Full Video and Audio Editing functionality
  • Open-source

Cons

  • Interface may be confusing
  • Not beginner-friendly

Not sure if ShotCut is right for you? Download it for free and try it out.  

14. Sony Vegas Pro Video Editing Suite.

Most Beginner-Friendly, Feature-Rich Video Editing Suite.

Sony Vegas Pro video editing suite

Vegas Suite is a video editing software package for non-linear editing originally published by Sonic Foundry, then by Sony Creative Software, and now by Magix. The software runs on the Windows operating system.

It claims to help deliver amazing results for everyone – from beginners video enthusiasts to busy professionals by giving them creativity without limits. It has a truly impressive lineup of features that do just that.

This software offers three suites of tools all created for different aspects of your editing process. Vegas Pro is their advanced, A.I powered video editing software. It offers interface flexibility, advanced audio editing and mastering with fast hardware processing.

Next is Vegas Movie Studio which is aimed at helping you refine and polish your home movie and social media videos. This is the more beginner-friendly version yet it comes with advanced tools including motion tracking and video stabilization

And finally there is Vegas Post Suite which takes care of all your post-production needs. Apart from video and audio editing, it also handles compositing, visual effects, image compositing and finishing for a seamless workflow to speed up your post production.  

Each of its software suites comes its unique added functionality but since our focus is on Vegas Pro, here are some of its key features 

  • Color correction and color grading including LUTs
  • Multiple transitions and special effects like Chroma-key/green screening
  • Motion tracking and video stabilization 
  • Pro-level audio effects and editing 
  • Multiple video exporting formats
  • HDR colour support
  • 8K editing support

Vegas Pro has four plans ranging from $19.99/month (billed annually) for the Vegas Pro Edit plan which is upgradable to their premium Vegas Pro Suite for $349 saving you $450.

sony vegas pro software comparison

Pros

  • Free trial available 
  • Rich features for all levels of experience
  • Built-in tutorials available
  • Allows for a lot of customization

Cons

  • Rendering process is slow
  • Not budget-friendly 

Get started with a Vegas Pro free trial now.  

15. DaVinci Resolve.

Best All Round Video Editing Software for Color Correction and Large Scale Productions.

davinci resolve video editing for large scale productions

We’ve already seen some advanced video editing software on our list, but DaVinci Resolve takes it to a whole other level. Designed mainly to help professionals with color correction and collaboration on tasks, DaVinci Resolve makes 8K editing a breeze.

With DaVinci Resolve, your entire workflow can be streamlined with their cut page feature. The cut page lets you import, trim, add transitions, edit, automatically match color, mix audio and more from one place. 

This is useful whether you’re working in mass media or just editing for YouTube. 

Again, DaVinci Resolve offers an extensive array of tools when it comes to audio post production. You get a completely integrated and powerful digital audio workstation with full mixer, equalizer, sample level audio editing and much more.

Other outstanding features included:

  • Advanced trimming
  • Multicam editing
  • Artificial Intelligence(A.I) powered features such as speed warp motion estimation for retiming, super scale for up-scaling footage, auto color and color matching, facial recognition etc.
  • Collaborative editing feature that lets different artists work on the same project at the same time.
  • Advanced 3D compositing engine and node based workflow that allows you to connect effects and tools together in a flow chart style

DaVinci Resolve is available whether you’re online or offline, because it’s downloadable and syncs once there is an online connection. All you need to do is pay a one-time fee of $299 to have access to their entire suite of features.

Pros 

  • Free version available with lots of features
  • Allows multiple collaboration on large projects
  • Excellent color correction
  • Exclusive audio editing and mastering workstation included
  • A.I powered features to streamline workflow
  • 3D advanced compositing

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Full software is not budget friendly

Get started with DaVinci Resolve with a free download today.

16. Corel VideoStudio.

Best Windows-Based Option Comprehensive Video Editing Software for All Experience Levels.

corel videostudio video editing software

Corel VideoStudio allows beginners to create videos with a professional finish. Made to work on Windows only, Corel VideoStudio has a simple, user-friendly interface that makes it easy to start editing right away. 

Much as it helps novices, it has enough features for intermediate to advanced video makers like 4K  video support and multicam editing. There are also other features like motion tracking and stop motion effects which are helpful for videos with movement.

If however you’re looking for high-end professional video editing capabilities, you’ll want to look into  Corel VideoStudio’s Ultimate version which has more advanced features or consider other options on this list.

Some of Corel VideoStudio’s capabilities include…

  • HD, 4K and 360 degree editing 
  • Pan and Zoom
  • Chroma Key/Green screening
  • Lens correction
  • Smart Proxy editing for large files
  • Batch Processing
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Slideshow, screen recording and burn to DVD tools available

You can try the software out for free for 30 days after which you can upgrade for $38.99 the full version.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Free 30-Day trial available
  • 1500+ effects, transitions and filters available 
  • Relatively budget-friendly
  • Extensive user guides and video tutorial library

Cons

  • Not helpful for high-end professional level work
  • Works on only Windows

Get started with Corel VideoStudio on their free trial or buy the full software and save 35%

17. VSDC Video Editor.

A Good Free Editing Tool for Editing GoPro Footage and Presentations.

VSDC best video editing software for GoPro footage

VDSC Video Editor is a free multimedia suite that comes with tools for improving audio, editing video, recording voice overs and much more. With over 5 million downloads, its versatility and budget-friendliness make it popular among the creative community.

This software is non-linear meaning it allows you to create professional-style videos where multiple layers of footage can be combined into a single video. It also means the files or images can appear in random positions in a scene and still be synchronized.

For those looking to spice up their presentations, VDSC editor allows you to add fun text, lines, charts and special effects to your work. 

You also get other cool features like Instagram style filters, color correction, masking and blurring so you can apply effects to selected parts of your video. 

If your video was filmed with a GoPro, their video stabilization feature will help reduce the shakiness of the video. Your completed work can be exported in most popular formats and can even be customized to for better playback on certain devices. 

If you’re looking for more advanced functionality, you can try VDSC Video Editor Pro which includes…

  • Motion tracking 
  • Sync video effects to audio volume and modulations
  • Apply multi-color chroma key (not just green)

Pros

  • Free to download 
  • Easy to use
  • Supports multiple input and output formats
  • High-speed and performance software
  • Works well with GoPro footage

Cons

  • Works for only Windows-based devices

18. Camtasia.

Best Choice For Creating Webinars, Video Lessons and Online Courses.

camtasia best video editing for webinars and online courses

Camtasia is popular for its screen recording capabilities but it’s still a strong contender as a video editing software. 

Created and published by TechSmith, it is aimed at helping you create professional looking video tutorials and presentations directly via screencast, or a direct recording plug-in to Microsoft PowerPoint.

This makes it ideal for content creators who are looking to sell courses, webinars or instructional videos. It is fully compatible with both Windows and MacOS. Apart from that, it also has a great free mobile app that allows easy file transfer to PC and online uploads to YouTube, Vimeo etc.

Some other video editing features that make it a great choice include…

  • Screen Recording Specifications so you can record exactly what you want–the entire screen or specific dimensions
  • Web Camera Capture for more personalization especially with courses
  • Audio recording (Mic + System) Record and edit your audio clips from a microphone or other custom options
  • Record with the PowerPoint Add-In or import slides directly into Camtasia with PowerPoint Integration.
  • Interactivity + Quizzing to encourage more viewer engagement
  • Record directly from the screen by connecting your Apple device or using the TechSmith Capture app for PC. 
  • Annotations that let you add important notes to your recordings
  • CursorFX to highlight or smooth the motion of your cursor Interactive Video Table of Contents for easy navigation

Camtasia comes in 4 different versions all at a one-time fee and one license that allows installation on two machines. 

camtasia pricing plan

Individual plan  – $249.99 per license

Business – $249.99 per license with volume discounts and site licenses 

Educational – $169.99 with tax exempt ordering

Governments and NGOs – $223.99

Pros

  • Free 30-Day trial available
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent tutorial videos
  • Free mobile app available
  • Supports multiple file input and output formats
  • Runs on both Windows and MacOS 

 Cons

  • Lacks the auto-record feature
  • Not budget-friendly
  • Watermarked videos with free trial

Get started with a free 30-Day trial of Camtasia today! 

How to Choose the Right Video Editing Software?

The right video editing software should have enough features to help you produce videos that look professional and are shareworthy. 

Apart from the basic split, trim, loop and crop, your video editing software should be able to handle most intermediate level projects. The last thing you want is software with features you have no use for. 

The features below will come in handy on most of your video editing projects and so are worth looking out for in any video editing software. 

1. A Clear User Interface

Sometimes simpler is better. A good video editing software should strike a good balance between an easy-to-understand user interface and advanced functionality.

A user friendly interface guarantees that anyone of any experience level can make the most out of the software. You want a software that allows you to spend more time actually working on your content than on figuring out how it works. Apple’s iMovie shines in this category. 

2. Variety of Visual Effects and Transitions

The major selling point of video as a tool is that it is more engaging and gives plenty of room for creativity. A part of that creativity is infused by adding transitions and special effects. 

green screen effect
Chroma-key/Green screen effect.                                                           Source: Bored Panda

From fade-ins, fade to black, blur etc, special effects add spice and spontaneity to video content. They also help to keep the viewer engaged and pique their curiosity about the message in your video. 

While there are different levels of complexity to effects, basic ones like fades and simple transitions are non-negotiable. A good video editing software will have a number of simple-to-use effects and transitions that will make your project look professional.

3. Solid Text Tools

Another huge part of video editing is text. Text overlays in video are important because they help the video to communicate better in general. Text like subtitles, links, contact info etc in a video are all part of why videos convert better. 

Hence it is important to make sure your video editing software gives you decent text editing functionality alongside some creative options like 3D and animated text. 

4. Basic Audio Editing

Like text, audio is technically half of a video (unless the video deliberately doesn’t have sound). Apart from adding musical intros and sound effects, sometimes the original sound of a video may need editing e. ‘P’ pops and background noise. 

Your video editing software should allow you to easily get rid of these added sounds while still keeping the important audio intact (called mastering). Even if you’re not a pro, noise is noise. Your software should give you enough flexibility to edit out noise.

On a more professional level, you may want to include certain musical scores or even voiceovers and narrations to evoke some type of emotion or give your video character. A good video editing software should give you this option too. 

For newbies, advanced audio tools like audio ducking may seem like overkill but whether you are adding your own custom music or choosing from a royalty-free soundtrack library, your software should allow for such manipulation. 

5. Good Video and Image stabilization

Oftentimes while filming, especially objects in motion, the camera may involuntarily move causing shaky images. Blurry images and videos look unprofessional and can be quite distracting. That’s why features like image and video stabilization are important. 

video stabilization
Source: ikream.com

Image and video stabilization eliminates the shakiness from your videos and images making them look smooth, fluid and professionally shot. There are similar  features that work for grainy images as well. 

A good video editing software will help make sure your final output is flawless and fluid, and video stabilization is one feature that will contribute to that effect.

6. Color Correction

Ever shot a video and realized there was too little or too much light? What about finding that your favorite red shirt or blue shirt color was bleeding or overwhelming the rest of the frame?

color correction
Source: Studio Binder

The color correction and adjustment feature lets you balance colors that may be overwhelming in your video by either toning them down or changing the background hue of the frame to match the color. 

Apart from balancing out colors and light, a good video editing software will also allow you to use color wheels, tweak color saturation and hues for beautiful outputs. 

The features mentioned above are the basics and not everything is covered here. For example, some may feel that 4K editing support is basic, but really it comes down to what you intend to use the software for. 

Ideally your choice of video editing software should be influenced by the kinds of projects you expect to do regularly. E. g YouTube videos, short films or clips meant for social media, editing video recordings of your podcast etc.

How to Turn Raw Videos into Stunning Edited Videos Fast?

Now that you know how video editing software works, let’s look at a few simple steps to turn your raw footage into stunning share worthy pieces. You don’t need to know how to use too many fancy effects or transitions.

Sometimes all you need is a simple split, a few trims and simple transitions to give your video a more polished look. Most of the software reviewed offer many advanced functions which may be a little overwhelming.

By following the basic steps to edit your video, you can transform it into a semi-ready masterpiece that only needs a few finishing touches. 

1. Import Your Media Files

Regardless of which software you use, you’ll need to import whatever content you work on into the editing panel. While a handful of software allow you to edit without needing to import the file, it is standard practice to add the file(s) to your editing panel. 

You can simply do this by opening your software and going to the file tab and selecting ‘New’. This should open a new window where you can select raw footage to add. In case you’re looking to add custom music, import those files too.

import media file
EaseUS video editor import window

2. Trim Footage and Remove Errors

The next thing you’ll need to do is to trim your footage. At the time of filming, there are a number of slips, shakes and bloops that you may unintentionally capture on camera. The trim function serves to help you eliminate these slip ups and clean up your video. 

After importing your video into the software, add it to an editing track where it applies and begin to use the trim function to remove sections of footage. Each software may have unique features or names for its editing panel. 

There may also be restrictions on how many items you can edit at a time especially file types. Pay attention to the fine print of your software. Either way, if you can’t do multiple edits at a time, you can still edit each aspect one at a time.

3. Build Your Video in Your Timeline

After splitting and trimming out the parts of your video you don’t want, now you can add special effects and filters. Basic effects like fade-ins, fade-to-blacks and slow-motion are a must if you want a smooth transition between your trims.

After adding basic effects and transitions to smooth over your videos, you can now experiment with more fancy special effects  like 3D text, green screen effects, color correction etc add a creative edge to your projects and give it a professional touch.

These effects also help you further brand and customize your content to boost engagement and improve conversions. 

build and edit video
EaseUS video editor special effects panel

4. Export Your Finished project

Congratulations, you have finished your first video project. It’s time to show your creative genius to the world. In order to show your work off to the word, you’ll need to export it in a suitable format. 

Most videos need to be compressed in a way that makes them easier to stream or access online. Choosing the right format to export your videos will make it easier for your viewers to play them regardless of whatever device they use. 

digital video file formats
Source: Slideserve

If you intend for your video to be streamed on YouTube, Vimeo or any other VOD service, .FLV format was designed precisely for streaming. It is not supported however by iOS devices if used as a regular file format.

MP4, popularized by Apple is also a favorite and plays well on most media players and devices. AVI is another equally popular format that plays well on both Windows and MacOS.

And finally MKV is an open-source format that has a number of features, offers minimal loss of quality with compression and can be played basically anywhere.  

Video Editing Software FAQ

These FAQs should help simplify which software works best based on the kind of content you are creating.  

What video editing software do YouTubers use the most?

YouTube videos are often based on voiceovers / narrations and usually a singular camera. Filmora9 and Final Cut Pro X both provide the ease of use and intermediate functionality that anyone can use to create great videos for YouTube, regardless of experience level.

What’s the best video editing software for beginners?

If you’re brand new to video editing, Apple’s iMovie and Microsoft movie Moments are good options to get started. Their clean uneasy to understand features are good for the basic editing needs of any video editing software.

What do gamers use to edit their videos?

Gaming videos may not need as many fancy effects like a video meant for social media. The focus is more on recording how a game progresses or perhaps some neathacks to win.

Thus basic editors like Windows Movie Maker, VideoPad and ShotCut will work just fine for gaming videos.

Why should I pay for video editing software, if there is free software available?

Free software is no doubt appealing, especially for newbie video editors. But unfortunately what you don’t pay for in purchase fees, you end up paying for indirectly with software functionality limits, watermarks and severely restricted uploads.

This is why it pays to know what you’ll be needing the software for and which options provide  a good balance between price and features. Budget-friendly options include Adobe Premiere Elements and EaseUS video editor.

What video editing software to use for 4K, HD video projects?

For 4K editing and processing, you’ll need software that is powerful and has made provisions for handling files of such a large size.

Final Cut Pro X and Pinnacle Studio both allow you to work with smaller sized versions of 4K files but have the edits you make updated in real-time on the original file.

What video editing software is best for beginners on Mac?

Beginners on Mac can try their hands at iMovie which has a similar interface to the more advanced Final Cut Pro x.

What video editing software is best if you need correct colors?

Color correction is necessary to balance, tone down and modulate colors in your videos. DaVinci Resolve’s color feature, ResolutionFX is specifically designed  for all things colour. possesses exceptional color correction qualities and does an exceptional feature that lets you.

Ready to Edit Your Youtube Videos?

Videos are here to stay and the stats show that video can do wonders for your business. Boost your conversions, followers and engagement rates by creating videos and ads that present your brand in a visually appealing way.

We hope this list of the best video editing software has helped you better understand what to look out for in a software and find great options to help you create some awesome content, regardless of your experience level.

Just to summarize, if you’re looking for

  • The best overall video editor, you can try out Adobe Premiere Pro CC (both Mac and Windows) or Pinnacle Studio (only Windows).
  • If you’re a Mac fan, go with Final Cut Pro X.
  • If you’re looking for the Best Free Video editing software with 4K support, try ShotCut.
  • For beginners and budding YouTubers, try out Filmora9.
  • And for professionals who need a powerful editing engine, LightWorks is your best bet. 
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