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Video Editing Software

Written by: Stefan Medovarski  | November 1, 2021

Video editors are in high demand in recent years due to the focus shifting to social media and video streaming services. Marketing campaigns and promotional videos are filled with incredible videography and editing, pushing viewers towards the end goal. However, creating such videos or clips would be impossible without the best video editing software on the planet.

Video editing programs of today are filled to the brim with features, some even too complicated to use unless you're highly skilled and experienced. Editing video files is never easy, but luckily some video editing tools offer tutorials for newcomers.

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Let's remember that the only way to achieve true greatness with video effects (and audio files to accompany them) is through grit and determination to learn more. Software today, in general, is much more capable than before. Thanks to popular demand, things have drastically changed to just 10 years ago.

With that said though, everything has become more accessible - especially video tutorials. Beginners can at least start their video editing journey with some simple video clips and a green screen. Of course, the best video editing software can be daunting to newcomers but it still shouldn't dissuade them from trying to learn and better themselves. Even if it means using some free video editors with not so many features.

The list we've compiled contains a mix of various video editing tools; some free, some paid. Whether you want to make Youtube videos or create a stunning 360-degree video - you'll be able to find a video editor from our list that you like.

Our Top Picks for Best Video Editing Software

Reviews of the best video editing software from our research

Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements comes in 1st place as the leading video editor on the market. You'll be able to edit videos seamlessly with the help of its artificial intelligence which speeds up the entire process. Its video editing features are absolutely amazing and easy to use.

For instance, artificial intelligence is present in the Guided Edits capability; beginner filmmakers and editors will have a much easier time learning the ropes from the beginning of the editing process to the end.

4K resolution support and cross-platform usage cement this video editor as one of the best. Other features include video stabilization, subject selection & selective edits, real-time effect application, and more.

Unfortunately, 360-degree video editing is still not present, as is true for multi-cam support as well. Nonetheless, even if it's not the most advanced video editing program, it's still packed with features that are friendly towards both beginners and professional editors. This software will set you back $99.99 which might be slightly expensive for absolute beginners.

Features:

  • $99.99
  • 30-day free trial
  • Available on Windows and Mac
  • Video stabilization
  • Motion tracking (automatic)
  • Face detection
  • 4K support

Pros:

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Plenty of features
  • Has artificial intelligence
  • Video stabilization and 4K support come in very handy

Cons:

  • No VR support
  • No 360-degree cam support
  • No multi-cam support
  • Slightly slower than other video editing software
  • Not as powerful as others

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe's Premiere Pro enables users to take the next step in editing videos. Almost all of the professionals in the industry use Premiere Pro due to its extensive features list and capabilities. This piece of software supports many different video formats that are quite often used in various applications such as YouTube clips and videos, promotional cuts, and short movies.

The app, although oriented towards professionals, can still be used by amateurs due to its ingenious user interface. Additionally, Premiere Pro supports 4K and 8K resolutions, VR formats, and an infinite number of video tracks. The video file you import can be divided into separate video and audio tracks, which can further be trimmed and edited with Premiere Pro's powerful tools.

Lastly, the software lets you customize keyboard shortcuts for a personalized experience. The largest downside of Premiere Pro is that it costs $20.99 per month. A subscription payment system is not ideal, especially for amateur video editors.

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Although, from a different perspective, the price is justified for what you get to make a nicely edited video.

Features:

  • $20.99/month
  • 7-day free trial
  • Available on Windows and Mac
  • Multi-cam editing
  • 3D Editing
  • H.265 exporting format
  • 360-degree support
  • 4K and 8K support

Pros:

  • Standardized software for the industry
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Exceptional number of features and abilities
  • 3D and multi-cam editing are great
  • 360-degree support is a game-changer

Cons:

  • Subscription-based payment
  • No motion tracking

Pinnacle Studio

Pinnacle Studio is made by the same people who created VideoStudio Ultimate - the Corel company. They've had their hands in the media and graphics industry for a while, so it shouldn't be surprising that this software is one of the best choices you can make.

Coming in at an impressive $127 for the Ultimate Edition (which has thousands of effects, templates, and titles), Pinnacle Studio might sound expensive but the price is well justified. One of the most feature-packed video editing tools you can find, it might be a shock to learn that it is super simple to use and generally oriented towards novice videographers!

Finding the right video editing software is made easier with the existence of Pinnacle. The ultimate version comes with some stunning functionalities such as color correction tools, stop motion animation, 8K importing ability, grouping keyframes, various blending modes, audio tools, and more.

Although Pinnacle Studio doesn't have a free version and no free trial, the Standard Edition is still a great purchase to test the software out. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you ultimately don't like it, you can get your money back. Overall, using this video editing software feels like a breeze... Which might not be enough for the experienced professional video editor. There's no Mac support either - Windows only.

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Features (Ultimate version):

  • $63.5 (Standard version), $104 (Plus version), $127 (Ultimate version)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works on Windows
  • Stop motion animation
  • Multi-cam capture
  • Color controls
  • 3D editing
  • Motion tracking & multi-cam editing
  • Video masking
  • 360-degree video editing
  • Audio editing

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Variety of useful features
  • Free templates, effects, and titles
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Lack of Mac support
  • Somewhat basic
  • Sometimes buggy

Apple Final Cut Pro

Although costing a high $299.99 for lifetime access, it's better than paying a monthly subscription for use. The Apple Final Cut Pro is a highly respected and optimized piece of software for Mac users and as such, it's the best you can get (on Mac). However, this is also a negative; Windows users cannot use it and that limits the number of people that can utilize it, which in turn drives the price upwards.

Nonetheless, Apple offers a 90-day trial for the Final Cut Pro which is more than generous to explore and experience all of it. It's great for both beginners and professionals; the user interface is neatly organized and accessing the software's features is quick and seamless.

Integration works similarly to Adobe's products; the Final Cut Pro goes well with Apple Photos or iTunes. Boasting an intelligent magnetic timeline, a vast number of video effects, grouping tools, and an innovative system to edit and add audio, the Final Cut Pro can easily further your video editing career.

Lastly, I'd like to mention an unusual but amazing tidbit of info about the Final Cut Pro - automatic and free updates. Usually, software that is not subscription-based doesn't come with auto-updates but Apple decided to take a unique approach.

Features:

  • $299.99
  • 90-day free trial
  • Available on Mac
  • Advanced color balancing
  • Multi-cam edit support
  • 4K & 360-degree support

Pros:

  • The 3-month free trial is very generous
  • Powerful and packed with features
  • Intuitive user interface enables ease of access to all features
  • Perfectly optimized for Macs
  • Better than other video editors for Mac

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Available only on Mac
  • Motion tracking & stabilization non-existent for 360-degree video
  • Video timeline might be confusing to those who are used to a traditional design

Nero Video

Nero Video is definitely the cheapest video editor on our list. It's also the skimpiest of the lot. Beginners and slightly advanced videographers will find it useful and a perfect step to learn more. But nothing more than that.

So if you're interested in testing out your skills and learning a couple of new ones, paying $47.95 is a great investment. With all of that said, it still comes with 4K video support and H.265 file format support which is a big plus for one of the more basic software.

It comes with a wide variety of video effects and some templates, as well as the ability to edit audio. Nero Video is fairly quick with processing the end result after you edit videos. Unfortunately, its interface leaves more to be desired as it feels outdated and old. It's also used in a different way than other interfaces and not in a positive way.

Still, for such a cheap price, Nero Video is an impressive video editing software - plus you get 15 days free trial to test out the software before purchase.

Features:

  • $47.95
  • 15-day free trial
  • Vertical video support
  • Royalty-free sounds
  • 4K video support
  • H.265 support

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Free software version lasts 15 days
  • Impressive number of video effects
  • Some audio tools and effects available

Cons:

  • Doesn't have a lot of features
  • No motion tracking support
  • No 360-degree or 3D video support
  • Inability to export videos to social media
  • Dated user interface

Buyer's Guide for video editing software

Before opting for any of the best video editors, you need to take some time to analyze what exactly you want to do. Some software is better than others in some regards but overall, all of them serve the same purpose. It's the smaller details that make a huge difference.

Supported video formats

Some of the most common video formats include MP4, AVI, and MKV. But these just scratch the surface of what kinds of video formats exist. You should also take a look at which audio formats the software supports although, in general, all the major audio formats are supported by most video editing apps.

For example, you would seldom need MKV since this format combines video, audio, and subtitles in one file. That is if you don't dabble with promotional videos for movies or shows. Always make sure to check what formats your chosen video editor supports and make a choice according to that.

Ease of use

Depending on your skill set and experience levels, some video editing tools will feel lackluster and unable to fulfill your requirements. With that said, if you've just started video editing and are looking for some simple-to-use software, a video editor with fewer features but a great UI should be more than enough for you.

Effects

Using video effects to create videos, edit them, and submit the final cut is arguably the most interesting and fun activity you'll do from beginning to end. Having the ability to create custom video masks and apply video filters, creating a work-of-art, is what most video editors desire.

Adobe Premiere, for example, is jam-packed with features and effects that the user can apply to any video clip from their video library. But does this mean it's the best video editor out there? Absolutely not! The number of effects doesn't determine how good a software is, but it does signal potential users about what they will get with the software.

Frequently Asked Questions about video editing software

Is free video editing software any good?

A free video editor is just as good as paid ones, albeit not if you're in need of some of the most advanced features. Imagine a comparison between Adobe Photoshop and the GIMP software; GIMP is free and perfectly capable of fulfilling all needs graphic design software should have.

This is slightly different with video editing software as there aren't nearly as many free choices as there are paid ones. But one great free video editor is the Apple iMovie tool; free on the Apple website but slightly lagging behind a paid video editing tool (like the Final Cut Pro). Still, it's great for beginners and those that want to dip their fit in the video editing business.

How to choose the best video editing software for yourself?

That all depends on what you want from video editing. Some video editors are easier to use than others with arguably a similar number of features. Others are complicated and oriented towards professional video content and high-quality videos.

For starters, it might be best to choose a video editor that isn't too far-fetched as far as your capabilities are concerned. Starting off with home videos and a personal video project is perfect if you need some experience or want to try something new.

Otherwise, paid video software should be your primary choice for creating specialized, high-quality video files.

Is 4K or 8K support necessary for video editing?

Unless you are dealing with some advanced video clips and your client (or yourself) needs top-quality video footage, video effects, audio effects, and more - then 4K or 8K support should not be your worry. Still, it's very nice to have so if your long-term goals require such high video quality, then by all means go for a video editor capable of importing and exporting 4K or 8K video tracks.

Final Thoughts

Creating mesmerizing videos with epic background music wouldn't be possible without capable software and an experienced video editor at the helm. These video and audio tools are what enable even the wildest of ideas to come to life.

But with the vast number of available ones, choosing the video editor that fits your style and needs can become complicated. This is why this guide will set you on the road to making the best decision for your video editing career.

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Whether you choose the best overall software in the form of Adobe Premiere Pro or a fast and beautiful one like the Pinnacle Studio - you can be sure that you've made the right choice. After all, the tools at your hand define the extent of what your possibilities are.

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