What is the best video editing software for me? Well, the answer to that really depends on more factors than just a simple solution. There are quite a few options out there right now that may be more suitable to your particular video production needs. That’s why we took the time to find the top 10 best video editing software in the market, list the highlight features of each, and who they would be best for. We made sure to provide some free trials in case you wanted to try them out first. We’ve also further added some resources and sample videos to give you more aid in deciding which is best for you.
Video editing software is what makes or breaks a movie, skit, vlog and more — you can always have some creative shots, angles and mere idea\plot\story-line for a video, but being able to piece it all together before showing the world your beautiful creation is just as important. To put it bluntly, video editing software enables the user to trim, splice, cut and arrange video clips across the timeline, add effects, sync up sounds and music, fix some mistakes and more. The more versatile your software is, the more possibilities you have at your fingertips.
With the development of technology, video editing software now includes many more extra features that enable the user to edit the look, feel and sound in the video in more ways we can count. This is where the real magic happens.
Picking the right video software for you
- Budget – Money is a pretty important factor in life, right? Well, when purchasing not only the camera for your video-making adventures but software as well, it’s going to have a price. As compared to music production software, video editing programs can be a bit costly depending on what you want to grab. However, aside from the heavy-hitters we have in here, there are also some pretty cheap solutions we’ve found to help those on a budget and aren’t into the whole bells and whistles thing when it comes to video editing. Read our free video editing software guide if you want to try some other, less-known yet price-free solutions if you’d like, or you can always settle for a video editing app if that’s what you need as well.
- Beginner, semi-pro or expert? Well, these are pretty broad terms, but to expand upon this factor, need to make sure what level you’re at (or where you see yourself getting to). This will not only determine which price-point to check out (since a lot of the more advanced software offer crazy features for a higher price), but which program you’ll be able to use right away. We do however recommend thinking of the future as well — if you want to eventually become better at editing videos, you can choose one of our top picks and slowly learn as you go (since aside from price, they’re pretty user-friendly when it comes to making basic videos).
- Mac or Windows? Nowadays, operating system compatibility is becoming more and more flexible as time goes on. However, there are a few very popular video production programs that may entail you to make sure you’re good to go (such as going with Final Cut Pro over Premiere, etc.). We’ll make sure we include this information if it’s important for the software.
- Try the trials! We’ve provided links to the software’s respective free trials, which pretty much all of these brands are happy to give out (for a limited time or limit on features you can use).
- Check out the tutorials – You’ll get a better grip on how the look and feel of the video editing software will provide you. Although we highlight the notable features of each and who it pertains to, a big must in determining which program is best for you is how you foresee yourself using it and the work flow you’ll be getting.
- Do you still need a camera? Some of the popular video cameras out there include DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras, point-and-shoot cameras, as well as action and sports. We’ve linked you to their respective guides in case you still need to decide on which camera you’ll be using to make your videos with.
The top 10 best video editing software
Adobe Premiere Pro CC
If you are looking for one of the most versatile and best video editing software in the market today, Adobe Premiere Pro CC is definitely at the top of our list thanks to all of its powerful features and capabilities. It’s pretty famous for a reason and used by pros around the world for a multitude of uses. This is a nonlinear software for video editing that has solid performance and stability, a super clear interface, and with their latest technology, easily syncs its settings to any computer around the world (as it is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud). Some of the highlight features (way too many to name) include better management of media, a timeline that has been redesigned to be user-friendly, multitude of effects, a bunch of royalty-free stock images, graphics and videos, and a streamlined grading of colors. Their ‘Lumetri Deep Color Engine’ enables maximization of super clear color grading, and combined with their ‘Adobe Speed Grade’, you can swiftly and creatively add different appearances with a click of a few buttons. The ‘Audio Clip Mixer’ also adds to the favoritism of this software as it enables you to easily control sound with some great precision. Lastly, the ‘Mercury Playback Engine’ enables a wider GPU range when you are editing complex clips. What really stands out with Premiere is not only the advanced features it gives you, but the user-friendly interface many have come to love.
We chose this first because it’s available in both a version for Windows and Mac, and it really is a no-brainer. There’s also a huge library of video tutorials around the net to answer really any question you’ll have, so for us, that’s a huge decisive factor when choosing the best video editing software (for most people). It’s important to have confidence you’ll have help and support if something different comes up in the future (this is also a great sign for beginners).
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Many know the name, and others even consider it to be synonymous when it comes to making movies, skits and more. Final Cut Pro X is one of the best video editing software available at the moment, especially if you’re on a Mac computer. Although it’s a pretty expensive program as compared to the others in this guide, you’re getting not only more capabilities than you need, but a lot of support as well, which as stated previously, is huge for those not only beginning their video endeavors but for professionals who may need help at random moments of their work. To highlight some features, the ‘Magnetic Timeline’ is an easy and flexible editing tool that collects shots together and eliminates timeline gaps and the nifty ‘Color Correction’ effect enables quick grading of images. Thanks to the interactive animation tool, you’ll be able to easily track the effects of editing along the way.
It comes with a 64-bit engine that allows you to work in real-time with a number of different frame rates and sizes as well as different formats to give you some flexibility. You can automatically create clips with their ‘Clip Connection’ and drag-and-drop sound effects and music on the timeline. Lastly, the ‘Precision Editor’ provides a wide editing point of view so that you can have an overview of both unused and used parts of videos, which really helps when it comes to work flow.
Sony Movie Studio
Here’s another one of the best video editing programs by Sony, and user reviews indicate that Movie Studio 13 is an awesome solution thanks to its affordable price and many useful editing features. Since Vegas was recently bought, we wanted to list this ahead of their other popular program since we want to see what Magix does with it first. Movie Studio 13 is a powerful piece of software — it offers strong editing tools, streamlining workflow, fancy transitions and text tools, screen shaking, clip restoration, real-time effects, as well as some other various audio and video editing effects. If you are unsure of your steps at any moment, just consult the streamlined ‘Make Movie tool’ and choose the right template (one of dozens of them) for some extra help (great for beginners). Importing is also super easy (quick with HDV, AVCHD camcorders, smart devices, DSLR’s and more) and the audio tools are pretty fancy considering many programs tend to ignore that side of the equation (adding music, live recording, audio restoration and more).
Additionally, you can easily and swiftly upload your videos to Facebook or YouTube directly from the Sony Movie Studio application. There’s also a lot of support available with this one, giving us confidence that it won’t be going away any time soon and most common questions or troubles can be helped with a quick search. Unless you’re looking at the Suite version, it’s pretty affordable as compared to some other programs that offer features like this one.
MAGIX Movie Edit Pro Plus
As previously stated, Magix bought out Sony Vegas, so this will be up there in terms of quality video editing software to check out (it also shows us Magix is serious when it comes to trying to compete with the heavy-hitters out there). The MAGIX Movie Edit Pro Plus is their flagship program, and it has a number of excellent video editing features and tools — you can easily control your work flow from the simple 64-bit interface, and the high-tech tools include 25 custom templates for editing, an automatic editing tool and a surprisingly decent amount of special effects. Panorama videos can be edited around 360 degrees, creating completely different perspectives thanks to the solid editing tool. It also comes with 99 tracks, 4K proxy and multi-cam editing (up to four simultaneous cameras). Users will enjoy the convenience of the NewBlue Titler EX (if you’re into labels and titles for your clips) and you can mark important parts of your video with the marker tool.
You can directly upload your on the go videos with the Movie Edit Touch application if that’s what you fancy, and although not as many bells and whistles found in this one, may be what you’re looking for if the advanced programs weren’t your thing. There isn’t necessarily as much as support or tutorials for this either, however it’s usually found a bit cheaper than Sony Vegas so we’d definitely include this in one of our list of favorite budget-friendly video editing software in the market today.
If you want a creative and versatile video editing software with some awesome abilities for a super cheap price, Manga Studio (also known as Clip Studio Paint) is definitely one of the best video editing software there is today. This particular program has been developed for comic and Manga art editing, so it comes with some very specific tools. These include Tablet-Sketch that enables you to import or scan sketches and art directly as well as a ‘Pen Tablet’ that allows you to directly draw and sketch.
Choose from among pencils, pens, air brushes and erasers to fully customize your artwork. Manga Studio 5 comes with advanced new support for 3D figures and objects, which enables you to reference and edit materials for the background. The ‘Vector Toolkit’ will speed up work with built-in tools for vectoring for easy smoothening. This is definitely a bit more of a specific type of video editing software, but if you’re an artist, enjoy drawing and painting or merely want to get those creative juices flowing, this program is a great pick.
Sony Vegas Pro
Although stated to be recently bought out, we still feel Vegas is one of the best video editing software available today. If you weren’t feeling the previous two most popular choices by many, this will give you a bit of a cheaper price tag but still offer some solid capabilities at your fingertips. Sony Vegas Pro 13 is a creative and versatile nonlinear video editing software with essential features for video editing, such as improved tools for archiving, audio metering, easy-to-use edit modes, clear interface, and media synchronization. In this software you will also find a number of useful technical features: ‘Dolby Digital Professional Encoder DVD Architect Pro 6’ and collections from NewBlueFX, iZotope and FXHOME, to name a few. Editing is available for clips in HD, SD, 2K and 4K in either 2D or 3D, using a simple drag and drop feature. If you prefer, you can also use the classic 3-point and 4-point editing option.
You can mix as much as 32-key frameable and high-quality effects to use them for different levels such as event, media, track or project. The ‘OpenFX plug-in’ standard enables compatibility with numerous different video editing effects. The ‘Shape Masking’ and ‘FX Masking’ tools enable quick and easy cropping and panning and the ‘Color Match’ plug-in in combination with other tools for color correcting allows you to swiftly match color elements in all the clips you desire. It feels like just yesterday we were still arranging our Counter-Strike videos in this software in the early 2000’s — this one really has a place in our hearts.
Pinnacle Studio Plus
Get some amazing creative video editing and production capabilities for a pretty affordable price with the Pinnacle Studio Plus. It’s the middle version of their three available, and we chose this one just to stay safe in terms of options. Thanks to the advanced multi-camera editing tool, you can edit clips from up to four cameras, put additional transitions, and automatically align clips as you wish with their solid interface (as seen above). In terms of some extra standouts, you have 3D auto-color adjustment, an integrated media asset library for easy drag-and-drop, as well as efficient import and export abilities. The ‘Stop Motion Animation’ enables you to control the focus, shutter speed, and frame rate and make your own animated movies. Your personal video edits can also be fine-tuned when it comes to audio using their ‘Audio Ducking’ feature, with which you can easily decrease background sound in order to ensure a clear and clean dialogue sound.
Pinnacle Studio Plus comes with a 64-bit engine that supports swift editing activities, along with an Intel Skylake processor, improved HD processing as well as playback performance. With Live Screen Capture, 24-track editing as well as over 1,500 effects, numerous templates and optional titles, the Pinnacle Studio 19.5 Plus has all the features (depends on the version) one could really ask for. You can also check out the few other and older versions available if you wanted less or more features (the previous version is cheaper with less 3D support and a few other sacrifices, while the 22 Studio Plus has 4K HD support, a bunch of presets and plugins as well as some additional file support).
Up next, the CyberLink PowerDirector Ultimate is highlighted by an overall clean and genuine interface for some easy use right out of the box. It’s within the lower price-range of the numerous programs we have in here, and although not as equipped as other more expensive and thorough software, will enable you to express some creativity for more common video applications. You are getting three labeled “director” engines — AudioDirector (enables solid audio editing and mixing, production and recording, ColorDirector (color grading with some great results), as well as PowerDirector (their fast and simple way of editing videos). You’re also equipped with most format and codec support (yes, 4K HD), customizable design tools (transitions, titles, animated themes, multi-cam designer and more), an ‘action camera center’ if you went with one of those, as well as some motion tracking to add to it all.
There’s about 500 built-in effects in PowerDirector, so if you were concerned with having an abundance of options when it comes to flexibility, this one is great. They also have a mobile app and a 40GB free cloud service. Not too bad for a pretty affordable program.
Corel Videostudio Ultimate
This is the last of the traditional video production software we’ll include in here, and we have yet another solid video editing software solution if the previous recommendations weren’t your thing. The Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is one of the best video editing software when it comes to affordability and ease of use without many fancy features. Their new and improved multi-Camera video editor means you can correct and improve your video while adding in some different creative elements from other angles and close-ups you may have handy. Thanks to the automatic audio tools, you can also improve the sound quality and remove annoying background noise which is always a plus. The premium video FX apps are also pretty impressive — they ensure professional-looking editing quality due to its 64-bit engine, special video cleanup tools, video editing effects, and advanced motion effects (it comes with 2,000 plus effects that can be customized along with templates). You also have some essentials for video production, such as stop motion, freeze frame, multi-point motion tracking, and solid multi-track editing.
This one’s recommended for those on a budget, beginners, or need a simple solution to create some feasible video clips for social media and personal YouTube videos. There aren’t many tutorials or support out there, and although they’ll be able to answer your questions and you can find some common problems here and there, we’d recommend previous suggestions if you were concerned with this factor.
Last but not least, number 10 goes to Nero’s 2016 Platinum software. It isn’t really like the rest, and since we didn’t find a good piece to list last, felt this would be a decent option for a few who may be looking for a solution such as this. It is reliable and innovative video editing software (isn’t at all like the traditional programs in here), and thanks to its numerous features that enable copying, burning, editing, creating, streaming, playing, converting multimedia files and ripping, you will definitely get all-in-one software for all different tasks and ideas you might have in regards to your video. The 2016 Platinum software also comes with completely new creative templates and design features that will enable you to create unique content and covers.
The features for 4K proxy and multi-cam editing enable you to produce some pretty decent video effects on videos imported from different devices. The streaming option enables you to instantly upload your edited videos on social media in case you want some easy accessing to Facebook and Twitter posts. It’s ripping capability allows you to reuse Blu-ray discs, AVCHDs and DVDs in your editing projects by changing the format into whichever you want. Who knows, it may be exactly what you’re looking for.