Whether to create a home movie, edit a professional video, or upload a comedy skit on YouTube, it is the perfect advantage to have the video editing software on hand. A completely capable video editing program can make you accomplish all of the three processes involved: capture those memorable family moments, organize those clips and attach special effects to create a client’s output requirements, and share the end product online to share with everyone.
But then, why stop at just a capable software? Using a reliable video software editor can make your creations look like they were done by a pro or if you are a pro, all the functions needed to accomplish the task are found in just one powerful product!
So after testing various options available, in this article we are going to run through our recommendations across every price brackets. But before that, it’s good to know the secrets of getting a good video editor.
Is Free Video Editing Programs Reliable?
There are several video editing programs on the market some are free while others are shareware (paid). We are going to break it into three pricing categories – free, paid, and professional. The paid software generally less than $200 while the professional video editors will cost more than that or some are monthly subscription-based.
If you are a newbie or just start up with video editing, you can start with free software like Windows Movie Maker on PC and Apple iMovie on Mac. Even the Windows Movie Maker is technically unsupported by Win 10 but you still can download it from Microsoft and it still works.
Alternatively, you can look for other free tools available in the market but you should take a look at the two free programs recommended here:
- Davinci Resolve (Free Version)
The interface of this software is simple and the way it works. But in order for the program to work, you need a 64-bit Windows system and it also supports Mac OS and Linux. During installation, you may need to update your graphic accelerator to the latest in order to work with Davinci Resolve.
With this free tool, it really has some amazing features like fast speed editing, color correction, etc that can be used for TV and film post-production. Of course if you need more advance and complex features, go for Davinci Resolve Studio.
- VSDC Free Video Editor
For newbie just startup up to intermediate level users, this is an ideal choice since you can run VSDC on a normal system (not need top-notch hardware). The program can support many popular video file formats including the 4K and HD files. You also can use the editor to capture video, convert files to different formats, edit it and output to DVD or upload to social network sites. More info on the program can be found here.
Those programs are free and not the best but it definitely can help you get the simple editing jobs done. Also, please do not expect the free tools can do everything for you that’s why some of the editors also have the option to upgrade.
If you are looking for full software features for your video editing needs and solutions, then you need the paid version or even professional video editors as recommended below.
The Top 5 Best Video Editing Software Reviews
Probably the main reason you want to look at the paid option over the free tools is that in most cases you get the full end-to-end video editing solution without being cut down any features or things you need to pay to upgrade in order to use the features. You can do everything with the paid software without any limitations. With the paid options, you can find some of the more advanced features like 360 degree and 4K video editing and having more streamline editing process from import to export.
In the market every developer claims that they produce the best video editing tool out there. So who should you trust? Our review experts have tested many similar programs and narrow them down to the top five products. It can help you decide which video editing software is the best to meet your needs.
- Cyberlink PowerDirector
PowerDirector 16, the newest offering from Cyberlink, one of the premier providers of digital video solutions. It’s suitable for beginners and experts; Cyberlink has come up with the world’s first video editing software that supports 64-bit Windows. Its simplicity that makes achieving standing results even you are pretty new to video editing. You would like to have a full range of tools for cutting, splicing, and other sorts of editing for videos.
It has a full suite of powerful editing tools that allow video quality enhancement, noise removal, photo importing and editing including 3D effects, audio editing with WaveEditor, previews in HD quality real-time, and much more. Another breakthrough of PowerDirector that makes it the top video editing software is that it’s the fastest consumer video editor for PC. Also, its proprietary True Velocity capability is found only in Cyberlink products. Unlike other similar software where running a powerful program significantly slows down the computer, True Velocity ensures a speedy and satisfying editing experience.
Besides, this is also the world’s first 360-degree video editor. This means you can afford to edit and produce 360 degrees for entirely new ways of captures and tell your story. The 4K video editing was supported by this software too.
DirectorZone, the online community of PowerDirector is a great source of support material including thousands of downloadable tutorials, special effects, and templates. Users can ask more experienced editors for tips and recommendations. Users can also showcase their completed projects and in turn see how others have done theirs. Best of all, with all of its features and capabilities, PowerDirector is the fastest and powerful video editing software. A trial version is available for download.
- Adobe Premiere Elements 2018
This is the cut download version of Adobe Premiere Pro version, which makes it a great option for someone that starting up or just newcomers to the video editing world. You can choose to upgrade to the pro version later when you become more professional.
The very first thing we would like to highlight is the simple interface and workflows of this program.
This features rich Premiere Elements can do everything that you want as great types of files were supported, compatibility, and performance is all there. This is a solid editing solution and having a logical progression to the professional version so it’s a great thing to have if you are looking to advance your video editing.
It’s recommended you get Adobe Premiere Elements bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements so not only you can edit the videos with Premiere Elements but also can create like thumbnails and other media graphics with Photoshop Elements. The latest version also comes with new features so it’s recommended you start with a free trial of the software.
- Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5
This is one of the award-winning software that can easily turn memory into videos. Instant project and hands-on timeline make your video editing flexible and fun. They have learning and resources that help you develop the editing skills so every movie is better than the last.
You can tell your story from different angles and easily combine, seeks, and edit from multiple cameras. For coloring your original video, add a filter, enhance color, or turn to black and white; the possibilities is endless. Also, you can experience the new feature of 360 degrees videos was supported.
You also can easily balance the audio levels among selected tracks or the entire tracks. Automatically lower background sounds to make narration. The output can support popular formats and latest cameras including the 4K video for better looking. You also can easily share the videos with family and friends through online upload to video sharing sites or export to mobile devices like smartphones.
Other features include live screen capture, fast clicks slide shows, and burn video to DVD discs.
- MAGIX Movie Edit Pro
This software has been steadily gaining its popularity over time and it’s one of the best video editors that enable you to create a unique video as it’s ready for your 360-degree videos.
One of the main points of this stable application is that it supports many different inputs files like AVCHD and it supports 4K, HEVC, XAVCS files too. You can export the edited videos to many sources including the popular blu-ray & DVD disc, smartphones or tablets as well as upload to social sharing sites like youtube, Facebook, etc.
The program has basic and advanced mode so you can edit the professional level videos at a faster pace if you do not need to use the advanced features. Anyway, there are three different versions available to cater to the user needs, which included MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Pro Plus, and Pro Premium.
- Pinnacle Studio 21
This is another good alternative for your video editing projects. It has all the features that you need to edit your videos and the latest version allow you to show several video streams simultaneously.
The only drawback of this program is that it may crashes so you need to save your editing projects often to avoid any kind of loss.
There are three versions available for your needs including Pinnacle Studio 21, Plus, and Ultimate version.
In the market, most of the video editors can be download and install on your computer before you use it. The following online video editor makes a difference!
WeVideo – The Cloud-based Video Editor
It’s a subscription-based online video editor, it means that you do not need to download any software as it runs on the web browsers. It’s amazing for collaborating video editing where you can upload your file and hire people around the world to help you edit your project. Since the process is done on the cloud, you do not need a powerful computer system to run it.
Visit site: www.wevideo.com
The Top 3 Professional Video Editing Applications
In this category is where the professional video editing packages play the role. The main difference between the pro software compare to the free or paid software is the level of performance, flexibility, and control you will get from these editing programs.
So, if you need more controls over your edit, more advanced features and tools, much larger range of file types, or codex can use in your project, then you need the more complex and professional software editor. These editors are more robust and solid for the longer forms of projects like documentaries or TV shows that last generally more than an hour. They seldom crash and be more friendly to work with multiple editors or team to help you create the videos.
The professional software will provides you the things like stabilizer build-in, better animation and text effects, color correction, graphics integration, etc. You also able to do things like import a huge range of professional-grade video files and video codex to edit files.
You will be able to mix the frame rates, mix different types of files, or even convert files before you start editing.
You should expect to have better PC specifications (faster processors, more RAM) in order to run that high-end software. Following are some of the top players in the industry now and some of these are subscription-based while others are paid software.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC
This is one of the best options available and it’s extremely powerful. You can use it to do fast editing for a big project or any files that you like. This Premiere Pro really has too many features to lists. Adobe understands that every editor and every project has unique needs and hence they created the application to really customized it to fit those needs.
Also, this software works beautifully with other Adobe applications like Adobe After effect and Photoshop Elements. For example, if you use Adobe Photoshop you can import your layers. This can bring life to all your Photoshop designs.
- Davinci Resolve Studio
The Davinci Resolve is one of the best free editing tools, this Studio is the upgrade version and users need to paid for it. But with the fantastic features, this editing or enhancing software gives you a set of specialized tools and a very suitable environment to do the editing, color correction, etc.
This software also allows multi-users editing which cuts the process of video import, export, and translation projects. Several editors can work on the same project at the same time. For more info, you can visit their site at blackmagicdesign.com
- MAGIX Vegas Pro (previously known as Sony Vegas Pro)
The Vegas Pro is a professional video and audio editor. Packed with special effects, easy to cut video and easy to make a DVD. Depending on the version of the software you get, it comes with many advanced features to cater to the needs of different level of users. You can choose either Vegas Pro Edit, Vegas Pro, Vegas Pro 365 or Vegas Pro Suite.
Like really good video editing software, excellent DVD authoring, and great audio options for editing your audio almost as good as actual high-end audio software such as Equalizer, Reverb, Noise Filter, and many more. For more info, please visit their website at vegascreativesoftware.com
Tips on Choosing a Reliable Video Editing Software
The following is the features that a good video editing software should have:
- Simple User Interface – Editing a video required several steps to achieve a final intended results so the interactive and simple user interface is important for this kind of software.
- Input File Format – Although most of the editors offer wide ranges of video file formats but nowadays there are many recording devices and sources.
- Capture and Playback Video – A good video editor allows you can capture/input any videos from TV, VCR, DV/AVCHD/miniDV & analog camcorders. Editing video will be easier if the playback is smooth.
- Editing Options – The software must allow you to edit video in storyboard and timeline mode. You can make the video cutting & trimming or adding the text a simple process. Also, a good editor can let you change the aspect ratio, correct lighting, and helps stabilize shaky camera work. Not to forget it supports the latest 4K video editing too.
- Special Effects and Transitions – It’s important that the software includes a library of effects, or filters as well as the transitions. This will give you more options to make the videos look better and transitions allow you to move from scene to scene smoothly. Finally, the ability to overlay animated or static objects is can give your clips that professional touch.
- Exporting Sources – When you finished editing the videos, you may want to burn it to DVD or Blu-ray disc, can the software support. Also, you may want to shares it on youtube or Facebook, can you do that including inserting the metadata like tags and descriptions.
- Speed and Stability – Speed is not critical if you’re not a pro video editor, but program stability is definitely needed as you don’t want to lose your editing jobs because the program crashes or caused your computer freeze.
- Software Upgrades – Some software is built for the consumer market, while some go for semi-pro to pro and others cover the entire range from newbie to professionals. You may need more advanced software features along your video editing journey!
- Supports Multiple Languages and OS – This is crucial for those non-English speaking users and various operating systems (OS) versions supported i.e. Windows and Mac will have a great advantage.
- Great Help and Support – A good product should comes with great tech support as well as a guide for users. Beside phone & email, users may require instant messaging support such as Skype, live chat as well as online tutorials, FAQs, and help.
- Reasonable price & Free Trials– The software should come with affordable prices and free trial options to let users test it before buying. After all, it depends on your budget, and in the above section we already introduce to you some of the free, paid, and pro video editors.
Each of the option recommended in this article come with slightly different workflows. The best way to find out what’s work for you is to trial the recommended software above. If you stick with any one of the recommendations, you really can’t go wrong.
Good software really lets you take your creativity to a new level. Simply speaking if you choose a limited tool your abilities and creativity will also be limited. Good video editing software is essential in your ability to produce a video that looks polished and keeps others interested. So, it’s up to you whether to choose the free tools or getting a paid option.
All the editing tools recommended on this post pass the test without any spyware and viruses warning, so you can download and use them safely. If you want to make good movies get good software. You will accomplish so much more.