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Best Video Editing Software

Written by: Dunja Djuragic  | September 20, 2021

It’s becoming increasingly hard to keep a reader’s attention on your page.

Whether people’s attention span is really getting shorter or not, there’s an abundance of content readily available – so you need to try extra hard to stand out.

Video is not only a great way to keep your reader engaged. Video is an amazing communication device too. It helps you tell stories and deliver information in a vibrant, memorable way.

If you want to delve into the world of attention-grabbing media, look no further than video.

It doesn’t matter if you want to create feature-length documentaries, Instagram reels, artistic movies, or you need an editing software for YouTube videos. Your most important tool of trade should be the best video editing software out there.  

But before we get into top-rated video editing tools, let us tackle a philosophical question…

Is Video Content Overrated?

Video is not the holy grail of SEO. Embedding a video won’t make your badly formatted and unedited blog post rank sky-high

That’s not to say that video content isn’t great for SEO. People stay longer on your page when you embed eye-catching YouTube videos. Besides, video content is 50 times more likely to rank organically than text.

But the real benefit of the video format is that you can get the message across directly.

That's why video is the most popular format of high-impact content on social media.

No lengthy explanations are needed. Videos engage multiple senses to help us communicate as naturally as possible. We are visual creatures, after all.

Besides, perhaps, face-to-face contact, video is still an unmatched communication channel. So why not utilize it to speak to your audience?

The Best Video Editing Software For Everyone’s Needs

The Professionals’ Choice, MAC, and Windows - Adobe Premiere Pro

Free Beginner Editing Software for MAC and iOS - iMovie

A Professional Video Editor for MAC users - Apple Final Cut Pro

Pro-like Freemium Software for MAC and Windows - DaVinci Resolve

The Best Free Video Editor for Windows Users - VSDC Free Video Editor

Things You Need To Know Before You Start Editing Videos

If you want to create video content yourself, you need to jump headfirst into the creative sea of video editing. Of course, the essential tools you’ll need are a camera and software to edit videos with.

Is Video Editing Difficult To Learn?

Even the most user-friendly video editing tool can be intimidating to a beginner.

These intricate programs come with plenty of buttons and sliders to play with. But that can make for a steep learning curve. Reaching the exact results you brainstormed earlier will be hard until you get to know the software in depth.

Which video editing software is best for beginners? There are many beginner-friendly video editors out there. iOS and macOS users may enjoy iMovie, and VSDC is a free video editing program available to Windows users. But really, any good editing program will do!

Approach learning how to use the program step-by-step. Learn the basic functions first – things like changing the length and the aspect ratio of your video and adding subtitles. Don't stress over advanced features like motion tracking and 360-degree video editing in the beginning - you'll have time for that once you master the basic editing tools.

And don’t worry if you get stuck and don’t know what to do next – you can find plenty of video editor software tutorials and advice on YouTube.

What Are The Must-Have Features In A Video Editor?

With the expansion of digital commerce, video editing software became widely accessible. As a result, the technology was no longer reserved for big movie studios and art universities.

Today, consumer video editing software comes with both basic and advanced features like:

Cutting segments of video clips and joining them together in whatever sequence you want

Computer programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro are also known as non-linear editors (NLE). With an NLE, you have the ability to change whichever part of the video you want, whenever you want. With the beginner-friendly programs, changing the order of your footage is easy with a drag-and-drop interface.

Special Effects and Animated Transitions

Rich transition galleries (cross-fades, cuts, fades to black, etc.) include all kinds of effects that can make your story flow smoothly.

Add Titles and Subtitles

You’ll reach a wider audience and help people understand you the way you intended.

Color Grading

Change the colors in your videos to set the mood just the way you want it. Many programs contain easy-to-use tools like color wheels, hue sliders, and eye-catching filters.

Green Screen

Otherwise known as chroma key, it will let you film in Hawaii, outer space, or a neat studio straight from your living room. 

Several Output Formats

It lets you balance the size and quality of your video files; 4k video support is a big bonus.

https://unsplash.com/photos/1vP7tqexb8g

The Best Video Editing Software on the Market

Adobe Premiere Pro - The Professionals’ Choice, MAC, and Windows

Adobe was a pioneer in the field of computer graphics. To this day, the company sets standards among image and video manipulation software solutions.

When it comes to post-production video editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro is the golden standard – and has been since 1991.

Features

Available to Windows, Linux, and Mac users, Premiere Pro has everything you might ever need.

From powerful hardware acceleration, a huge library of transitions and special effects, to intricate tools like an audio mixer, Premiere Pro has it all.

Its huge variety of precision tools will give you complete control over your video. If the program doesn’t have exactly what you need, chances are there’s a plug-in for it.  

Chock-full with features, Adobe programs can be intimidating to beginners. But they’re worth the effort – the more experience you have with Premiere Pro, the more powerful the program will become. If you intend to edit videos for the long run, learning Premiere Pro is a great long-term decision.

You can even adapt it to your habits as you go with fully customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Premiere Pro comes with all the advanced features pro movie studios use, including motion tracking, multi-cam, and 3D editing. The program even supports 4K, 8K, and VR formats.

Pricing

However, it doesn’t come free. After a 30-day free trial, you’ll need to purchase a monthly subscription or an annual plan. Adobe products are top of the line, so they come with a relatively hefty price tag. Check out their product packages, though – you may find a great deal if you get a few products at once.

Snag your quote for Adobe Premiere Pro.

Free Beginner Editing Software for MAC and iOS - iMovie

Both iOS and macOS users can find one of the best video editing programs pre-installed on their Apple devices.

iMovie is an amazing choice of video editing software for beginners. This intuitive video editor is straightforward to use – and rocks the simplest drag-and-drop interface among our picks.

Features

However, its simplicity and the fact it’s free comes at a price. That’s why Apple iMovie lacks some of the advanced options of other programs. For example, you won’t be able to do video masking or create animated intros.

Still, all of your footage will be neatly organized and seamlessly joined, coupled with lovely music, color transitions, and effects, and exported in up to 4K quality.

Along with other basic functions like titles and slideshow transitions, iMovie's intuitive interface supports some advanced functionalities too. For example, you can use a chroma key – the ability to transport you anywhere in the world with only a green sheet behind you.

The fact that you can use this editor on all of your Apple devices makes it easy to prepare footage and trim the excess on the go. Then, once you’re in front of your computer, you can perform detailed post-production without wasting time.

Pricing

Apple iMovie is completely free – for as long as you have an Apple device to use it on. In fact, the chances are that iMovie is already installed on your iPad or Mac computer.

Sang your quote for iMovie.

A Professional Video Editor for MAC users - Final Cut Pro

People who do video editing professionally usually opt for Adobe’s Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro. While you can use Premiere Pro on a Mac, Final Cut is the more popular choice among Mac users. This comes with a few advantages – an intuitive interface, faster rendering, and a somewhat lower price tag.

Besides, Apple Final Cut Pro X is the natural next step for people who outgrow iMovie.

Features

The most recent edition of the program, Final Cut Pro X is rich with basic and pro features.  

The interface is based on the magnetic timeline – Final Cut’s unique timeline can be expanded or simplified into a single-track storyline for less advanced users.

When it comes to other features, Final Cut Pro X lacks nothing. It comes with advanced options like multi-cam editing and intelligent color balance adjustments. In addition, once you start exporting your video, your computer won’t be locked in place – you can even continue using the program while it’s exporting.

Overall, Final Cut Pro X is an advanced video editing program that most Mac users will enjoy!

Pricing

Final Cut Pro X doesn’t come for free – but it only requires a single payment of $299.99 and you can use the program forever. If you’re not sure whether this program is a good choice for you, check out its 90-day free trial!

Snag your quote for Final Cut Pro.

Pro-like Freemium Software for MAC and Windows - DaVinci Resolve

Video editors from the DaVinci Resolve product line can be found in amateurs’ homes and professional movie studios worldwide. So what sets this program apart?

Well, for one, you can run it on any operating system: Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Features

What started as a color correction tool today is a super-powerful, all-encompassing video editing software. With all the little features you could want, DaVinci Resolve is becoming more and more popular among users.

DaVinci Resolve has anything an amateur video editor will ever need from timeline editing, rich transition and effects galleries, outstanding color grading, and intricate audio editing tools. Including rich libraries with hundreds of titles, transitions, and effects. As a bonus – you can use pre-made or set up your own keyboard shortcuts.

Divided into “pages”, this program gives you a dedicated workspace with tools ideal for particular process steps in video editing. While that takes some getting used to, the DaVinci Resolve interface quickly becomes like second nature – it’s completely logical once you delve into it.

The biggest disadvantage of this program is you’ll need a powerful computer to run it. Unfortunately, DaVinci Resolve is not suitable for slow PCs.

However, people with two screens rejoice – DaVinci Resolve neatly divides its workspace between dual monitors.

Pricing

The best part – unless you need really advanced features, you can use DaVinci Resolve completely free of charge!

Get yourself acquainted with this program, and if you decide you want more, you can get the pro version called DaVinci Resolve Studio for a one-time payment of $299. The Pro version brings you export resolutions higher than Ultra HD, frame rates higher than 60 FPS, and additional plugins and effects like motion blur.

Snag your quote for DaVinci Resolve.

The Best Free Video Editing Software for Windows - VSDC Free Video Editor

It’s not hard to find good video editing software for Windows – but it is a challenge to find a decent program that can run on weaker PCs, and completely free of charge at that!

VSDC has it all – it’s readily available and completely amazing!

Features

We were surprised by how lightweight this program is, considering all of the features it brings to the table! You can run it on a PC with as little as 2 GB of RAM – and encounter no issues.

It boasts almost everything that expensive programs have:

  • Most popular video, image, and audio formats supported
  • Large library of video effects, customizable filters, and transitions
  •  An advanced color correction toolset
  • Tools like zoom, charts, and 360 video editing
  • Powerful green screen function – and your screen doesn’t necessarily need to be green
  • Various export formats and profiles.

It’s an amazing tool for advanced video editing and basic functions like audio improvement, creating voiceovers, capturing your screen, and more.

Pricing

The basic version of VSDC is completely free and contains all features a beginner may want.

If you feel that the free version of VSDC doesn’t have everything you need, consider the Pro version for $20/year – which is significantly cheaper than any other paid video editing software on the market. In addition, the Pro version brings you video masking, motion tracking, syncing video effects to the rhythm of music, hardware acceleration, and editing your audio through a waveform.

Snag your quote for VSDC Free Video Editor.

Tips For Making Great Video Montages

Keep Your Footage Organized

Messy files are a common source of frustration for people who do video editing. Even projects that start out simple usually end up with a bunch of additional files.

Keep this in mind – and act accordingly.

Prepare your files in advance to keep your editing a smooth ride.

Trim the beginnings and ends of your scenes in advance, label your video and audio files, and keep them all organized in an easy-to-reach folder.

From First Draft to Final Cut

All video editing software presented here falls under the category of non-linear video editors. That means they let you change whatever you want in a timeline. So whenever you add or remove a part of the footage, other parts adjust accordingly.

That means you have the freedom to play with arranging and rearranging parts in the video timeline. If you’re not exactly sure how you want your movie to go, experiment with rough drafts. 

Watch a few versions, go with what feels pleasant and logical, and refine your video as you go.

Once you’re happy with the flow of your video, adjust the sound and colors, and - voilà!

Save Frequently

No matter how reliable your computer is, and no matter how confident you are with the power supply – save often. Even high-end programs like Adobe Premiere Pro sometimes crash.

Video editing tools manipulate large and complex files, and many processes happen at the same time. That’s why even the best video editing solutions sometimes crash.

Getting into the habit of clicking the save button every half-hour may pay off. Occasionally back up your files on the cloud. It’ll be worth it, even if a crash only happens that one time.

That's a Wrap!

There are many video editing apps available on the market. They come with different sets of features and very variable price points, so it can be a tough choice - especially if you're after editing software for beginners.

Even though it can be a tough choice, there's great video editing software for everyone out there. Some people only want the basic tools like joining video clips, while others want to try out motion tracking, 360-degree video editing, and much more.

Here, we compiled a list of the best video editing software out there and pinpointed the exact benefits of using each specific program.

We hope you found exactly what you were looking for on our list and have fun with the creative video editing work!

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