19 Best Video Editing Software for 2021

Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by Vasco Lourenço

If you’re looking for the best video editing software for your projects, look no further.

In this post, I’m going to select and compare different video software both for Mac and Windows, hoping to make your life easier when it comes to down to choosing your video editing tool.

Video is on the rise and most brands are starting to rely on video to expose themselves out in the world, or just to make money on YouTube.

video as a marketing tool statistic
Source: hubspot.com

Because we’re a visual species, and we’re living in the information age, it just makes sense to use the power of video as a tool to convey our message to the world.

After taking a sound and video production degree at college, and being editing videos for more than 15 years, I know a thing or two about the ease of flow that’s so important to get things done.

In the video editing world, you have professional-level software as well as nonprofessional software. You just need to know the features you need. Most consumer-level software tends to simplify things for the nonprofessional, making it easy to deal with. This is best for vloggers and editors that don’t need fancy features and are just looking to make some simple cuts, add a song or two and that’s it.

However, if you want more specific and detailed features, like advanced graphics, effects, and transitions, you need to take into consideration more complex software.

In this guide, I’ll show you:

  • The best video software for all purposes.
  • The best tools for beginners.
  • The best for Windows and Mac.
  • The best for iOS and Android.
  • The best for professional editing.

Let’s dive in.

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links. What this means is, if you end up purchasing any of the products through my link, I may get a small commission that will help keep this blog running. Don’t worry, there’s no extra cost for you.

What is the Best Video Editing Software?

If you want to have the best video editing software for your needs, you need to take into account some technical specifications. For instance, have in mind the format of your files, your computer specs, the software’s ease of use, the effects and transitions, and also the codecs needed when exporting the video.

Here’s my list of the best video editing software:

1. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro homepage

The first on the list is Adobe Premiere Pro, a video editing software used by top professionals and enthusiasts alike. Available for both Windows and Mac, it integrates seamlessly with other Adobe applications like Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Stock where you can import stock media, all of them part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

With Premiere Pro, you can deliver videos in any format you want, from social media videos and YouTube HD videos to broadcast-quality videos. Used by Hollywood technicians, you can create stunning cinematic movies and trailers.

Being the industry-leading video editing software, Premiere Pro has some really nice features:

  • Import footage from any file format.
  • Precision trimming.
  • Create animated motion graphics for title sequences or transitions.
  • Lots of audio effects to apply directly to your audio clips.
  • Make color adjustments with Lumetri Color panel, a cinematographer favorite.
  • End-to-end VR 180 capability, where you can make immersive videos. It also lets you publish to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other platform with their Google VR180 format.
  • Green screen effect to remove backgrounds.
  • Auto Reframe lets you optimize your format for different social media resolutions, whether it’s square, 16:9, 9:16, 4K, keeping all the action inside the frame.
  • Access to Adobe Stock audio music tracks without leaving the timeline.

Basically, everything you can put your hands on is fully customizable. Plus, Premiere Pro accepts hundreds of third party plugins so you can increase your visual effects capabilities.

If you’re already part of Adobe Creative Cloud, you can transfer your sound to Adobe Audition and further enhance it by creating deep sounding mixes. This cross-platform integration is something that makes Premiere Pro an attractive program for creatives. Much like Final Cut Pro’s integration with other Apple software.

Premiere Pro has different pricing plans, arranged by category:

  • Individuals. $20.99/mo or $52.99/mo for all apps in Creative Cloud.
  • Business. $33.99/mo or $79.99/mo for all apps in Creative Cloud.
  • Students & Teachers. $19.99/mo for all apps in Creative Cloud.
  • Schools & Universities. Check the prices here.

They also offer a free 7-day trial for individuals, students, and teachers, and a 14-day free trial for businesses, in case you want to try it out first.

Paying a recurring subscription might not be the best plan when you think about buying video software, especially if you’re an individual making videos just for fun or for social media. However, Adobe Premiere Pro is perhaps the most integrated and complete video editing software around, being my first recommendation (for video software with one-time fees, continue reading).

2. Apple Final Cut Pro X

Apple Final Cur Pro X homepage

Apple Final Cut Pro is exclusive to Mac users, and it’s built on the state-of-the-art computing architecture that leverages the power of graphics processors that runs on the latest Apple computers. It’s the best video editor built and optimized for Mac.

If you already master Apple’s iMovie, you should consider Final Cut Pro for top professional features. It also makes great use of the Touch Bar of the MacBook Pro, allowing you to customize text and scrub within the timeline through touch controls.

Here are some of Final Cut Pro’s cool features:

  • The innovative Magnetic Timeline feature lets you trim and edit clips without collisions and sync problems.
  • Synchronized Clips allow you to align a video clip with second-source audio automatically.
  • Color coding lets you customize the colors of your timeline in order to identify different types of content.
  • You can create Smart Collections by tagging and organizing with metadata all your clips (even clip ranges), helping you to browse and search your files effortlessly.
  • With Skimming, you can browse hours of video in seconds.
  • You can create 2D and 3D titles and expand it with Motion to create amazing titles, realistic effects in real-time, and fluid transitions (Motion costs $49.99 at the Apple Store).
  • Edit multichannel audio with EQ, background noise reduction, or optimize levels. You can also send the project to Logic Pro ($199.99 at the Apple Store) for advanced editing and mixing.
  • You can batch export multiple files to make your life easier. For content creators that edit lots of videos, this is a life saver.

Other great features include advanced color grading with creative cinematic LUTs, virtual reality video creation for immersive experiences, and multi-cam editing.

Final Cut Pro comes at the steep price of $299.99 but you can try their 90-day trial for free.

CyberLink PowerDirector homepage

PowerDirector is a Windows application with an intuitive user interface, suited for beginners but without compromising the professional’s needs.

This tool was one of the first in the industry to use 4K, and it’s also at the forefront of 360-degree virtual reality footage support. Besides these high-end features, it’s also keen on exporting videos to social media with a 1:1 square aspect ratio.

With lots of nice features, you can easily create stop motion videos, use chroma-key, correct fisheye distortions, apply slow and fast motion effects, stabilize shaky footage. All these video editing features are well wrapped in a friendly interface.

PowerDirector was crafted to be a consumer-level product, but it can appeal to the most adventurous and creative filmmakers. Its large collection of cinematic titles, transitions, color grading presets, music, and sound effects (available through the Shutterstock media library with unlimited access) will make sure you never lack creative inspiration.

To top it off, you have free access to loads of tutorials and guides that will help you master the program so you can take your creativity to the next level.

PowerDirector has two pricing models, further divided into four:

Lifetime License:

  • PowerDirector Ultra: $99.99.
  • PowerDirector Ultimate: $139.99.

Subscription:

  • PowerDirector 365: $4.58/mo.
  • Director Suit 365: $8.67/mo.

One of the cons of PowerDirector is that unlimited access to the stock media library through Shutterstock is only available with the subscription model. If you’re not sure what version you should use, you’ve got your back covered with their 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, you can even download their 30-day free trial and give it a try.

For an extensive comparison of the different versions, you can find more about it here.

4. Pinnacle Studio

Pinnacle Studio homepage

A powerful video editing software, Pinnacle Studio is a project by Corel, one of the oldest companies in the industry. With cutting-edge features and a simple interface, Pinnacle Studio is one of the best in the class of Windows video editors.

Lots of great features are included:

  • Create custom motion title graphics.
  • Advanced keyframing with unparalleled precision, allowing you to customize all individual parameters of your videos.
  • Color grading, color correction, and cinematic LUTs and filters.
  • Masking capabilities to create edits that evolve frame-by-frame, like cloning objects, custom transitions, and clip combining.
  • Add graphics or text to moving objects with Motion Tracking.
  • Censor moving objects with mosaic blur.
  • Screen recording and multi-cam editing.
  • Record, edit, and master your audio.
  • Royalty-free music and effects library included.

Pinnacle Studio enables you to make professional-looking movies, record webinars, create tutorials, and produce YouTube videos. This tool is truly a one-size-fits-all type of editor. Plus, it comes in three different editions:

  • Studio. $59.95.
  • Studio Plus. $99.95.
  • Studio Ultimate. $129.95.

Included features depend on the edition, but you have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so no worries about trying it out. Besides, you can download a 30-day free trial (with some limitations) to explore the editing workspace and test its features.

5. Wandershare Filmora

Filmora homepage

Filmora was released in 2015 by Wondershare, a Chinese company with offices in China, Canada, Japan, and Tibet. Boasting more than 77 million users around the world, Filmora is one of the best editing software with features that compares to other competing video editing softwares.

Available for both Windows and Mac, Filmora was designed for beginners and professional content creators alike. It has a simple user interface but also includes advanced functions such as complex layering and fast video rendering.

With a vast range of effects, titles, and animations, a color matching tool, and 100 layers of video and audio, Filmora is great for YouTubers and people who need fun and cool features all in the same place. Plus, it also has audio editing tools that will make your mixing easier.

Other great features include video stabilization, useful for unintentional camera shakes, screen recording, chroma-key, noise removal, and video export up to 4K.

Wondershare also provides you a $9.99/mo subscription to the Filmstock Standard Library, so you can have free access to royalty-free video effects, audio, and stock media.

Filmora has several price plans, depending on whether you’re an individual, business, or educational user. Strangely enough, the Windows version is slightly cheaper than the Mac version.

Filmora pricing for individuals:

  • Subscription Plan. $39.99/yr on Windows. $44.99/yr on Mac.
  • Perpetual Plan. $69.99 one-time fee for both operating systems. This plan includes the Filmstock library for an extra of $9.99/mo with free access for one month.
  • Bundle Subscription Plan. $99.87/yr on Windows. $104.87/yr on Mac. The renewal is also slightly higher on Mac.

They also have a free trial fully functional. The only restriction is that your exported videos will have a watermark.

Filmora is a strong tool with plenty of effects and resources that offers high-quality video editing. Why not try it for free?

6. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve 16 homepage

DaVinci Resolve is a top solution to video editing. It incorporates professional color grading up to 8K, audio post-production, and video editing in a single program. It’s mainly used as a finishing editor for many high-end Hollywood movies since it allows for user collaboration: editors, colorists, VFX artists, and assistants can all work on the same project at the same time.

Besides delivering high-quality and industry-standard films, DaVinci Resolve can also be used to edit and export videos for YouTube, Vimeo, or social media with ease.

The new DaVinci Neural Engine allows for features like facial recognition, speed warp retiming, and more.

This application offers numerous features that it would be impossible to mention them all. Here are som of them:

  • Keyframe editing helps you animate things easier.
  • Image stabilization for shaly footage with full camera lock, zoom, smooth, and strength controls.
  • Audio scrubbing with pitch correction lets you understand dialogue without playing the video.
  • Faster encoding enables you to encode only the changed frames, instead of re-encoding the entire file.

Its Fusion VFX advanced 3D compositing engine lets you create amazing cinematic visual effects and motion graphics right inside the application, such as trace and isolate moving objects, build 3D particles, create volumetric effects (add fog and mist), and more.

Claiming to be the world’s most advanced professional editing software, DaVinci Resolve has everything a cinematographer would dream of. And if you’re keen on audio mixing, the program lets you record, edit, and mix all with professional tools, so you don’t have to rely on an external application.

Whether you’re producing a Hollywood blockbuster or a “talking head” shot for YouTube, DaVinci Resolve will skyrocket your creativity. Plus, it’s cross-platform, so you can work on Windows, Mac, or Linux without any problem.

DaVinci Resolve pricing:

  • DaVinci Resolve: Free.
  • DaVinci Resolve Studio: $299.

7. Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements homepage

Not as complex as Premiere Pro, Adobe Premiere Elements it’s best suited for beginners. With an easy-to-use interface, loads of features like chroma key, transitions, and opacity, you can easily create stunning videos and share them on YouTube and other social media.

For a simpler version, it includes some neat features like:

  • 4K support and video stabilization.
  • You can watch effects in real-time.
  • Improve grainy videos shot in low light conditions.
  • Remixes any music automatically to match the length of your video.
  • Create time-lapse videos with a collection of photos.
  • Add animated overlays.
  • Add movement to static skies.
  • Make animated social posts.

Although not compatible with 360-degree video and multi-cam editing, Adobe Premiere Elements has good features that will let you create cool and fun videos without the complexity of its older brother, Premiere Pro.

Being a great entry-level app targeted at beginners, it’s not as fast and advanced as others on this list. However, if you’re not aiming at being a super movie director, you’ll find plenty to work with here.

Adobe Premiere Elements is not included in the Adobe Creative Cloud, so it needs to be purchased standalone for $99.99. You can also try it out with their 30-day free trial, available both for Windows and Mac.

8. Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush homepage

Adobe Premiere Rush was designed to be used mainly on the smartphone, both for iOS and Android. See it as a minified version of Premiere Pro, simplified for the small touchscreen.

With simple tools to edit video, audio, and motion graphics, it enables you to create videos without rush (pun intended). Although it doesn’t include all the features of Premiere Pro, you can still add 4 video tracks and 3 audio tracks, and edit all seamlessly.

One of the benefits of Premiere Rush is that it functions well across devices, so you can start working on your phone and then switch to your desktop (whether Windows or Mac), enabling you to save everything in the cloud.

Other cool features let you record voice-overs, add text and color overlays, choose from an array of motion graphics titles, and add some fundamental transitions.

While you’re not going to make a feature film with Adobe Premiere Rush, this tool is highly optimized for social media, and you can also learn a lot by editing your videos. Basically, it’s a great app for the content creator that’s always on the run.

Being part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can use it by subscribing to all the apps ($52.99/mo) or just the app itself for $9.99/mo. Not sure if it’s the right deal for you? You can try out their free trial.

9. Screenflow

Screenflow homepage

Screenflow is a Mac desktop application by Telestream, a privately held company founded in 1998 that specializes in products related to video content for consumers and professionals alike.

It’s a highly intuitive software that allows you to capture your screen while recording the computer video camera, audio, and microphone. Besides the screen recording tool, it enables you to add annotations, text, callouts, and motions.

Screenflow is a great program for creating tutorials, online courses software-related, as well as software demos and reviews. Its user-friendliness and ability to also record your mouse’s movement makes it a real deal for people looking for screen recording tools.

If you’re not into screen recording, Screenflow also allows you to edit easily videos with its easy drag-and-drop tool and simple effects. Plus, this program has automatic guides to help you carefully position images, callouts, and other text within the frame.

One of the best features of Screenflow is its Stock Media Library, where you can access an ever-growing library of well over 500.000 images, audio, and video clips for free. If you’re constantly creating videos and need stock images and music, then you’ll save a lot by purchasing Screenflow with the Stock Media Library.

Screenflow pricing:

  • Free Trial. Fully functional with no time limit, but exported videos will have a watermark.
  • Screenflow: $129
  • Screenflow Super Pak (includes Stock Media Library): $175. Stock Media Library is $46 for the first year, and renews at $60/yr).
  • Screenflow Super Pak + Premium Support: $209. The customer support is charged at $39/yr.

It’s a bit expensive, although it’s a great deal if you’re constantly in need of stock footage.

10. Camtasia

Camtasia homepage

Similar to Screenflow, Camtasia is an all-in-one video editor and screen recorder software that helps individuals, businesses, or entrepreneurs to easily create tutorials, online courses, instructional videos, marketing ads, and more. Built for Windows and Mac, its core feature is the ability to record the screen of your computer.

Optimized for training videos, Camtasia enables you to screen record the whole screen or just a specific part of it, and it lets you zoom, animate, and move things around to create special emphasis on what you’re teaching. Plus, you can even draw arrows and shapes to highlight parts of your presentation. Bonus: it also integrates with PowerPoint.

With its easy drag-and-drop interface, you can add effects, callouts, lower thirds, annotations, transitions, and use a vast collection of pre-built video templates to help you in the editing process.

Other nice features include:

  • Green screen (chroma key) to remove backgrounds.
  • Audio processing like reducing background noise, adjusting levels, and more.
  • Record audio from a microphone directly in the application.
  • Access a royalty-free music library (with a subscription) to include music tracks and sound effects in your project.
  • Include quizzes and surveys in your videos (you need TechSmith’s Smart Player for this).

Camtasia comes with a one-time fee of $249.99 but you can start with a fully functional 30-day free trial.

11. Movavi Video Editor

Movavi Video Editor homepage

Movavi Video Editor is a lightweight and easy video editing software available both on Mac and Windows.

Movavi offers several versions depending on your needs, including but not limited to:

  • Movavi Video Editor
  • Movavi Video Editor Plus
  • Movavi Video Suite

With its simple user interface, you can easily create wedding videos, travel clips, birthday films and home movies.

For more advanced users, Movavi Editor Plus offers many filters, transitions, and titles, audio synchronization, LUTs processing, keyframe animation of titles, overlay videos, stickers, fast processing of HD and 4K video files, and many more features.

In the Movavi Video Editor version, many of these features are limited or non-existent, though is great for beginners who are just starting to make their first edits.

If you want extra transitions, effects, and intros crafted by professional designers, you can buy hundreds of them in their Movavi Effects Store, or pay an annual subscription and download them all.

Best features

One of its great features, in my opinion, is video stabilization. Imagine you’re recording with your phone while running. This feature lets you stabilize and smooth the video so the small bumps are imperceptible.

Other cool features include:

  • The ability to crop and turn your videos, where you can rotate them the way you want.
Movavi Video Editor Crop and Turn Effect
  • The green-screen effect, also known as Chroma Key, where you can change the background in case you’re recording with a green-screen.
  • Cool ready-made intros.

If you want to share your videos on social media, the tool gives you the appropriate aspect ratio for each network when exporting, so you don’t have to worry about those resolutions.

In Movavi Video Suite, you have more tools for creating stunning videos:

  • The Screen Recording tool lets you high-quality capture only the are you want, and record from your webcam and microphone while capturing the screen.
  • The Media Files Conversion tool allows you to convert video, audio, and images in seconds to more than 180 different formats.
  • You can create slideshows and even digitize your old VHS tapes.

All versions come with a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you decide to purchase. Plus, you also have customer support for any edition you get.

Movavi Video Editor pricing:

  • Movavi Video Editor: $39.95
  • Movavi Video Editor Plus: $59.95
  • Movavi Video Suite: $79.95

The more you edit, the more tools and features you’ll need, so if you’re serious about editing videos, I’d recommend you to go for the Suite edition. You can check here the supported formats and devices.

12. VideoPad Video Editor

VideoPad Video Editor homepage

VideoPad Video Editor is owned by NCH Software, an Australian company that’s been creating software since 1993. With a vast array of audio and video products, VideoPad stands out as their most professional video editing software.

Actually, they claim it to be the fastest on the market.

With over 50 visual and transition effects, you can add a professional touch to any video you work with.

Here’s a list of the tool’s best features:

  • Import and mix music tracks.
  • Lots of audio effects and processing.
  • Free sound effects library.
  • Record your voice over with a click of a button.
  • 3D video editing and 2D to 3D stereoscopic conversion.
  • Overlay text for captions and movie credits.
  • Chroma key green screen video production.
  • Reverse, slow down or speed up your video.
  • Color correction.

You can also export your final video to PSP, iPod, iPhone, or 3GP mobile phones in different resolutions, including HD and 4K.

VideoPad is a simple and intuitive editor, with a fast video stream processor. It also allows you to publish your video directly to YouTube, Vimeo, or Flickr.

Available both for Windows and Mac, VideoPad Video Editor comes in two versions:

  1. Home Edition: $39.95. Fully featured, but allowing only two audio tracks and no external plugins.
  2. Master’s Edition: $69.95. All features with unlimited audio tracks and plugins.

13. KineMaster

KineMaster homepage

KineMaster is a high-quality free video editing software available for Android and iOS, best suited to beginners, but not lacking in professional features.

Its top features include:

  • Editing and exporting 4K video projects at up to 60fps.
  • Playback up to 9 videos at a time on different layers (depending on the device and video resolution).
  • 8 different blending options, with the ability to create magical overlays.
  • Reversing and making focal shifts.
  • Chroma key to overlap two files and put your character wherever you want.

With KineMaster, you can import audio, images, and video files from your device, and combine them in the tool’s multi-layer timeline. Besides the option to color correct your videos, you can also add text, effects, overlay graphics, or even draw directly on your screen with handwriting layers.

If audio is important to you, the app includes pro audio features such as volume envelope control, EQ presets, voice-changing filters, and multi-track editing.

Since KineMaster is an editing software for smartphones and tablets, you can easily upload your final videos to social media and keep the file in your camera roll.

The KineMaster app comes in two ways:

  • Free version. All features are available, although it displays ads (on Android devices), has a watermark (“Made with KineMaster”), and doesn’t have editing presets.
  • Premium version: $4.99/mo or $39.99/yr. No ads, no watermark, all editing presets, and premium assets added weekly such as effects, transitions, overlay graphics, fonts, music, and more, all available to download.

Currently, the app is available at the App Store and Google Play.

14. Lightworks

Lightworks homepage

With over 25 years in the industry, Lightworks established a good reputation in film editing, being used on Hollywood movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Pulp Fiction, and The King’s Speech, among many others. And whether you use Windows, Mac, or Linux, Lightworks got you covered.

But don’t think this tool is a solution only for the big screen. It also allows you to produce videos for YouTube, Facebook, social media, and 4K film projects, with great features for professionals as well as enthusiasts.

One of the most impressive things about Lightworks is that the free version includes almost all the editing features. The only major restriction is the output format – you can only export a final video at 720p (no HD). However, to export at a higher resolution, you don’t need to buy the software; you can purchase a one-month license for $24.99.

Lightworks best features include:

  • Simple and intuitive user interface.
  • Wide file format support including variable frame rate media.
  • Amazing royalty-free audio and video content.
  • Work with effect keyframes.
  • LUTs for color correction.
  • Boris FX and Grafitti Pro Bundle.
  • Chroma key.

Lightworks pricing:

  • Free.
  • Pro. $24.99/mo, $174.99/yr, or $437.99 outright.

15. EaseUS Video Editor

EaseUS Video Editor homepage

A Windows-only based software, EaseUS Video Editor comes from EaseUS, a company famous for its data recovery software, boasting 530 million customers around the world. With more than 15 years of experience, they decided to create a video editor, becoming quite popular for its ease of use and simplicity.

With lots of timeline features, you can trim, cut, split, merge, rotate, mix video clips, apply stylish video effects, and accelerate and slow down video speed. You also have over  50 visual and transition effects to choose from.

Plus, you can even record your own voice over inside the software and mix it with music.

It supports many video formats and it also has its own video converter tool. You can export your final video to any format played by a different range of smartphones and other devices, or even burn it to DVD, or publish it directly to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

EaseUS Video Editor comes with a free trial and a Pro plan for $29.95. To get features like exporting to 1080p resolution, no watermark, and free 24/7 customer support, you need to buy the Pro version.

With its 30-day money-back guarantee, EaseUS Video Editor is a great choice for Windows users looking to start diving into video editing without the need for more complicated and advanced features.

16. HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express homepage

Created by FXhome, HitFilm Express comes as the free version of HitFilm Pro. Available for Windows and Mac, HitFilm Express assembles everything you need to create indie films at home without requiring you to pay for a professional editor.

Boasting 5.6 million filmmakers and content creators, you can join their international filmmaking community and start learning as you go.

For the enthusiast, the software offers free tutorials to help recreate footages and effects of famous Hollywood movies, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Packed with more than 400 effects and presets, unlimited tracks and transitions, resolutions up to 4K, and full 2D and 3D compositing, its professional-grade video editor allows you to make awesome movies and gaming videos.

A cool feature about HitFilm Express is that you can export a video in the background while continuing to work in the editor. And if the visual effects are not enough, you can purchase single add-ons on their Express Add-on store.

More cool features include:

  • Sky replacement tool. This tool allows you to change the scenery of the footage. You can turn a boring and flat plain into a majestic mountain or a pinky sunset sky.
  • Advanced tracking and screen simulation. You can track the movement of moving objects in a video and then add new objects to follow that same movement pattern.
  • Masking and layering technique. With this tool, you can duplicate characters to make them look like a giant army.

More features like creating realistic shotgun effects, blaster impacts, footage distortions, and lighting effects make HitFilm Express a great tool for film students, beginners, and professionals alike.

For advanced features, you can try the free demo version of HitFilm Pro ($349). Here’s a list comparing the two editions.

17. Apple iMovie

Apple iMovie

If you use a Mac, then you probably already have iMovie since it comes free with every Mac.

iMovie is a classic, but it’s only available for Mac and iOS. With resolutions up to 4K, you can create stunning trailers with its abundant special effects and audio tools, including 13 filters to give your video a cinematic touch. A new addition to its features are the personalized cards and credits, all of them having further customizations.

iMovie integrates seamlessly with other Apple products. You can start shooting and even editing videos on your iPhone, and then transfer them via AirDrop to finish on your Mac. Besides, it connects well with iTunes so you can easily implement custom tracks.

One of the most interesting features of iMovie (being a free software) is the green-screen effect, which lets you place whatever you want in any location.

Recently, iMovie was updated to integrate with the Mackbook Pro Touch Bar, giving you access to the most used commands at the touch of a finger.

Topping it off, when you’re done with the editing, you can export your video directly to your social media accounts, and even publish directly to YouTube.

Although being a simple video software, you can still join Apple Teacher, a learning community of Apple products, and get free iMovie training materials.

18. MiniTool MovieMaker

MiniTool MovieMaker homepage

MiniTool MovieMaker is a free video editing software available only to Windows. With an easy and simple interface, you can drag-and-drop video files, add titles, transitions, and effects.

One of its keen features is the ability to create Hollywood-style trailers and movies. You just have to choose a template, import photos or videos, save it, and share it.

Top features include:

  • High-quality titles. You can add animated titles and subtitles to your movie, as well as final credits.
  • Filters. With its simple interface, you can adjust the color of your videos easily and quickly. They even have professional 3D LUTs, where you can add famous cinematic filters to your movie, and see the result immediately in the preview window.
  • Video Speed Controller. With this tool, you can reverse your video, speed it up, or slow it down.
  • Photo Animation. The Animate Zoom Tool lets you animate your photos to bring them to life.

MiniTool also offers other free products in the same line, namely a video converter and a YouTube downloader.

19. Shotcut

Shotcut homepage

Shotcut is a free and open-source video editor available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Originally created in 2004, Shotcut has been fine-tuned to take advantage of the new multi-cross capabilities of MLT, an open-source multimedia framework, designed and developed for television broadcasting.

If you’re a filmmaker but are not quite ready to invest in a premium video editing software, Shotcut will impress you with its vast array of editing features and effects. Besides all the tools of a classic video editor, it comes with a host of other options that will make you wonder if it’s really free. It’s too good to be true, but it is.

One of the most prominent features of Shotcut is that it supports a wide range of formats. Because of the FFmpeg open-source project, it can support hundreds of video and audio formats and codec.

Although the software is free, it doesn’t compromise its editing features, such as:

  • Append, insert, overwrite, lift, and ripple delete editing on the timeline .
  • Unlimited undo and redo for playlist edits including a history view.
  • Create, play, edit, save, load, encode, and stream MLT XML projects (with auto-save).
  • Scrubbing and transport control.
  • Keyframes for filter parameters.
  • Presets for most filters and Export – both supplied and user-created.
  • And many more.

One of Shotcut’s top features is its hardware support, namely with Blackmagic Design SDI and HDMI for input and preview monitoring, which is a must if you’re a filmmaker and need to see all the little details.

Due to its open-source nature, there are many editing features that can’t be presented here without making this sound too complicated, but you can see them on this page.

Although not intuitively designed as most of other video editors, beneath its harsh look lies an extremely powerful tool.

Best Video Editing Software FAQs

Below is a list of the most common questions about video software editors:

What is the best video editing software?

The most comprehensive video editor I recommend is Adobe Premiere Pro, used by industry-leading professionals all over the world. Part of Adobe Creative Cloud, it integrates seamlessly with other ancillary Adobe applications, such as Photoshop, After Effects, and Audition. This integration can enhance your video experience by providing specific detailed features that will take your final video to an astonishing level.

For Mac and Windows users alike, no-one is left behind. And by using Adobe Premiere Pro as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, you’ll get access to the latest features and updates as soon as they’re released, plus 100GB of cloud storage.

What is the best video editing software for beginners?

If you’re a beginner or a tech enthusiast with no video experience, Adobe Premiere Elements is the way to go. Not only it gives you a simple and easy interface with no complexities, but it also prepares you to become more familiar with other high-end video editors.

What I mean is, although Adobe Premiere Elements’ features are simple enough and easy to understand for a beginner, by using the program he/she will get a feel of what it’s like to work with a more professional video editor, making the switch (in case that happens) a lot easier.

If you run a Mac, Adobe Premiere Elements is a great choice, but you can also try iMovie (already included with the Mac), as it’s specifically optimized to run on the Apple machinery.

And if you’re constantly on the run, and don’t have time for some desktop time, you should consider Adobe Premiere Rush or KineMaster. Both work well on iOS and Android and you’ll have a nice editing experience right on your phone.

What is the best free video editing software?

Leaving aside all the 7-day or 30-day free trials, the best free video software is DaVinci Resolve.

With its free download, you get no time restrictions nor watermarks in your final videos. Aside from lacking some features only available in the Studio version, you have access to one of the most sophisticated video editing software available out there. Besides, many of those limitations will not affect you in the majority of cases.

Even professionals have benefited from the free version and were able to edit and post-produce many projects.

Second on the list comes Shotcut, a cross-platform video editing solution that will make the delights of filmmakers open-source friendly.

What is the best video editing software for iOS and Android?

The best video editing software for the smartphone, whether it’s iOS or Android, is Adobe Premiere Rush. It has all the basic features like recording your own audio, add text, motion graphics, and transitions.

And it doesn’t end here. If you need to transfer your project to a computer, whether Mac or Windows, Adobe Premiere Rush got you covered. This tool is also great for you to get to know how a more professional video editor works, as it’s Premiere Pro’s smaller brother.

Another great tool for editing videos on your smartphone is Kinemaster. Cheaper than Premiere Rush, you can try it for free or via subscription. One of the advantages over Rush is that KineMaster has more professional features and allows for more creative versatility. The downside is that you’re limited to your smartphone or tablet (there’s no desktop compatibility).

What is the best video editing software for YouTube?

All of the video editors listed in this article are suitable for making YouTube videos. It all depends on the features you require.

Best Video Editing Software: Conclusion

Demand for video content is ever-increasing, and choosing the right software is key to reach your audience the way you really want to.

In the end, it all boils down to the type of videos you make. There are many different video editing programs that you can choose from, whether you intend to create vloggers’ journals or complex films with tons of effects.

If you want a video software that’s versatile enough to help you create all types of videos, I recommend Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’re a Mac user, Final Cut Pro X is probably the best tool that takes advantage of the powerful Mac.

I hope this guide helped you in any way. Please let me know in the comments if you use any of these tools and how you like them (or not).

Vasco Lourenço is a digital entrepreneur and created his blog vaslou.com to inspire those who are willing to put in the effort to start their online side hustle and create a life of financial freedom. Besides writing on his blog, Vasco delights playing the piano and composing music.

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