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The Best Video Editing Software for Every Level and Budget

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The Best Video Editing Software for Every Level and Budget

You’ve filmed your video podcast, YouTube channel content, or movie trailer. The next step: edit the raw footage into a polished product that you’d be proud to share.

The problem for many beginner content creators—and even experienced ones looking for a new tool—is that there’s an overwhelming number of editing software options out there. It can quickly become daunting to try to sift through the various tools and applications to find the best editing software and the one that matches your needs best.

If this problem rings a bell, this article is for you! We’ll walk you go through a list of the best video editor options for every level and budget and then walk you through how to choose the best software for your video editing needs.

What Is Video Editing Software, and Why Use It?

Video editing software is the tool that lets you make adjustments, additions, and tweaks to your recorded videos and video clips and export or upload them to your distribution channel of choice.

No matter the reason why you make and publish videos—or whether you create content on your phone or are a professional videographer—you need good video editing software. Without the editing stage, your video won’t meet consumers’ standards for video content in 2022.

While you might think any video making software will do, you want to make sure you’re using software that’s reliable and meets your editing needs. We’ll later cover how to choose, but to start off lets look 10 of the best video editing software for PC and other devices.

The 10 Best Video Editing Software Solutions

1. Adobe Premiere Pro CC 

video editing software Adobe Premiere Pro CC
(Adobe Premiere Pro)
  • Price: $20.99/month
  • Available on: Windows, macOS
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? No
  • Multicam editing? Yes

Premiere Pro is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools, and it’s one of the most popular video editing tools for professionals and hobbyists alike. It offers many industry-standard features like visual effects, motion graphics, and animation.

Reasons to buy:

  • Extensive array of video editing features, tools, and effects
  • Integrates with other Adobe products like Adobe Audition for audio editing of videos
  • Easy to use interface and layout
  • Supports many file formats
  • Synchronized editing so you can work on multiple clips simultaneously

Reasons to avoid:

  • Can be a little intimidating for beginners
  • Resource intensive on your computer 

2. Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush video editing software
(Adobe Premiere Rush)
  • Price: $9.99/month
  • Available on: macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? No
  • Multicam editing? No

Also part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools, Adobe Premiere Rush is a free mobile and desktop video editing app designed for video creation on the move. If you’re looking for easy and fast video editing on your mobile device, Rush is an excellent choice for shooting, editing, and sharing videos that are still of high quality. 

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to use editing software on the go
  • Compatible with Premiere Pro and other Adobe software
  • Seamless exporting process and easy uploads to social media platforms

Reasons to avoid:

  • Offers limited video editing effects and transitions
  • Not ideal for all-in-one audio and video software as it doesn’t have many audio features.

3. Apple - Final Cut Pro 

Apple Final Cut Pro video editing software
(Final Cut Pro)
  • Price: Free trial, then one-time purchase of $299
  • Available on: iOS and macOS
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? No
  • Multicam editing? Yes

If you’re a Mac user who’s looking to upgrade from iMovie, Final Cut Pro X is Apple’s professional video editing software that includes many high-powered features in a user-friendly interface that’s still simple enough for both professionals and hobbyists to use. Features include high-speed performance, trackless magnetic timeline, and AI-powered cropping for social media sharing to places like Facebook and Instagram.

Reasons to buy:

  • Offers 360-degree virtual reality editing
  • A lot of plug-in options are available
  • Seamless and impressive editing speed
  • Wide range of features and tools
  • Intuitive interface and non-linear editing timeline
  • Great software for audio and video editing as it has a built-in audio editor 

Reasons to avoid:

  • Some might prefer a linear editing timeline
  • Only available for Mac users
  • Can be an expensive initial purchase

4. Movavi Video Editor Plus

Video Editing Software Movavi Video editor plus
  • Price: Lifetime access starting at $64.95
  • Available on: macOS and Windows
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? Yes
  • Multicam editing? No

Movavi is a powerful, easy-to-use tool whose features include filters, transitions, motion tracking, slow motion, chroma key, and a drag-and-drop functionality on Mac.

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to use editing software
  • Has a screen recording feature
  • Allows you to customize and work with green screens

Reasons to avoid:

  • Limited effects for audio and video

5. Pinnacle Studio 25 Ultimate

 

(Pinaccle Studio 25 Ultimate)
  • Price: One-time purchase of $129.95
  • Available on: Windows
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? Yes
  • Multicam editing? Yes

Pinnacle Studio is a fast and intuitive video editing tool for PC users that boasts many pro-level features—such as color grading, special effects, filters, video masking, 360-degree video editing, and motion graphics—without the steep learning curve.  

Reasons to buy:

  • Smart motion tracking 
  • Good video-audio editing features
  • Easy editing software and user interface
  • Variety of effects and tools

Reasons to avoid:

  • Still has a bit of a learning curve
  • Has been reported to be a little glitchy

6. iMovie

video editing software iMovie
(iMovie)
  • Price: Free
  • Available on: iOS and macOS
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? No
  • Multicam editing? No

iMovie is a great entry-level option for Mac users who want a beautiful, minimalistic user interface. It comes with several movie templates, audio editing, color grading, narration, soundtracks, and greenscreen effects. This free app is especially a great one for beginner creators of movies and trailers.

Reasons to buy:

  • Completely free and already built-in to your device
  • One of the easiest editing software options for beginners
  • Good editing software with many video and audio editing tools 

Reasons to avoid:

  • Only free for Mac users 
  • Requires a lot of storage space
  • Limited amount of controls, but note that this is a free platform after all.

7. HitFilm 

HitFilm Express video editing software
(HitFilm)
  • Price: Free or paid plans starting at $6.25/month
  • Available on: Windows and macOS
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? Yes
  • Multicam editing? No

HitFilm Express is a powerful app designed to make Hollywood-style movies—but it works just as well for other kinds of video content. It comes with a customizable dashboard, chroma keys, extensive visual effects toolkit, and 3D tools. This software works best on a computer with a processor powerful enough to support it.

Reasons to buy:

  • Offers green screen video editing and customization
  • Advanced motion tracking 
  • Hitfilm Express free plan with a wide variety of tools and features for free editing software
  • Impressive visual effects
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use video editing software

Reasons to avoid:

  • Heavy on computer resources
  • Some effects come with a watermark in the free plan

8. Lightworks

Lightworks video editing software
(Lightworks)
  • Price: Free or paid plans starting at $9.99/month 
  • Available on: Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Supports 4k? No (must upgrade to Pro for this feature)
  • Motion tracking? No
  • Multicam editing? Yes

Lightworks video editing software is used by amateurs and professionals alike—and many top Hollywood movies were edited using the pro version of this tool. Even in the free version, Lightworks comes with many professional-quality features, including a customizable interface, cross-platform feature, advanced sharing options, advanced color correction, and other real-time effects. And it’s optimized for speed, meaning importing and rendering processes happen in the background, so you can keep working on other editing tasks while you wait.

Reasons to buy:

  • Great for ready-to-use and real-time video effects
  • Support for cloud storage
  • Easy video editing software to learn to use
  • No watermark on the free version
  • Large royalty-free video and audio library

Reasons to avoid:

  • Need to pay for more advanced editing features
  • Doesn’t have as many plug-ins as some other video editing software
  • Some users have reported software crashing issues 

9. Clipchamp

Clipchamp video editing software
(Clipchamp)
  • Price: Free or paid plan at $11.99/month
  • Available on: Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers
  • Supports 4k? Yes
  • Motion tracking? No
  • Multicam editing? No

Clipchamp is a free, browser-based, and user-friendly online video editor. It integrates with your favorite storage tools like DropBox and Google Drive. It comes with basic editing functions like trimming, cropping, flipping, filters and transitions, and adding text and graphics.

Reasons to buy:

  • Online video editor so no downloads are necessary
  • Video templates for quick, easy editing
  • A variety of video effects and filters, including green screen options

Reasons to avoid:

  • Watermark on videos if using stock media
  • Editing videos online means you need a stable internet connection

10. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve video editing software
(DaVinci Resolve)

With 8K video compatibility and a wide array of effects and features, DaVinci Resolve is another great video editing software. Davinci Resolve is an ideal video editor with audio editing tools as well. It offers multicam viewing options, easy subtitles, and a Dolby Atmos deliverable toolset for impressive video and audio editing. Best of all, the platform allows you to host projects on the cloud, making it one of the best remote desktop software for video editing. 

Reasons to buy:

  • Tools for remote collaborative video editing
  • Great for motion graphics, even on warped surfaces
  • Impressive video sound editing software 
  • Compatible with 8K video
  • Many effective tools for professional video editing

Reasons to avoid:

  • Requires a large learning curve
  • Uses up a lot of computer resources

The Best Video Creating and Editing Software

The number of software tools and apps on our devices can quickly become overwhelming for many of us. If minimalism is your goal, you may want to look for software that can pull double-duty, such as one that lets you both record and edit high-quality video. In this case, you should opt for an all-in-one video recording and editing software. 

Riverside.fm is an excellent option for minimalists, looking for a recording and editing video platform in one. 

On the recording side, it lets you capture uncompressed 48kHz WAV audio and 4k video, all from your browser. Video is recorded locally, meaning each participant’s track is saved to their device—so even if your internet connection drops, you don’t need to worry about your video being affected. 

And it also uploads each file to the cloud progressively while you’re recording, so you don’t need to wait for long uploads after you press stop.

On the editing side, Riverside’s new Magic Editor now combines recording and editing into a single platform. The editor automatically stitches together the separate audio and video tracks (but you still have the freedom to download tracks separately if you choose to).

Riverside’s Magic Editor uses an AI Speaker View feature to analyze the recording and automatically switch to whoever is speaking into full-screen milliseconds before they talk. If you’re recording a lot of video interviews or multi-cam presentations, this automation alone saves you hours of editing time.

Other than that Riverside’s Magic Editor gives you tools to customize your videos with branding and logos, but it also provides you tools for automatically finetuning audio with background removal and noise suppression. Best of all, you can create short shareable clips from your long-form content with a few simple clicks. 

And if Riverside’s video editor software isn’t enough for you, you can still record on the platform and download separate tracks for your own editing. In fact, to make your editing more seamless, you can import your tracks from Riverside into Premiere Pro as a timeline package.

The Best Overall Video Editing Software

It’s hard to nail down one video editing software. At the end of the day, it really depends on your use case. If you’re a beginner looking for something easy to use then a platform like Clipchamp or iMovie may be better for you. On the other hand, if you’re a professional video (and audio) editor, you may want to choose something with more tools like Adobe Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve. 

If you’re looking for all-in-one recording and editing video software, then an option like Riverside would be best for you. It all depends on your needs, but fortunately there are many video editors that cater to everyone’s needs.

The Best Free Video Editing Software

Tight on a budget?  Luckily for you, many of the video editors mentioned above include free plans. It’s important to note that some of the free plans have fewer features and include watermarks on your final exports. In this case, we suggest Lightworks which has no watermarks in its free plan. Some other of the best free video editing software options include HitFilm Express or for more basic editing you can try iMovie and Clipchamp. 

The Best Video and Audio Editing Software

If you’re looking for something that offers flexibility and control in editing both audio and video, you can always use Adobe Premiere Pro. Considering its part of Adobe’s software, it integrates with Adobe Audition which offers high-end audio editing. You can also try DaVinci resolve with its Dolby Atmos deliverable toolset. 

If you’re looking for more specialized video sound editor software, read our guide on audio editing platforms: Best audio editing software for every skill level + budget

How to Choose the Best Video Editing Software for You

A wide range of video editing software options is available at all different price points and user levels. Some editing software is designed for beginners, with minimal features and a low price point. At the other end of the spectrum, some editing software is meant for professional content creators—and it has all the bells, whistles, and hefty price tag that come with it.

The best thing you can do is decide what features are a must for you. We’ve listed five examples you may want to consider below.

1. Is it Easy to Use?

One of the most important considerations when choosing video editing software is the learning curve required to start using it. How easy will it be to learn and become proficient with the editing software?

It’s usually best to look for software that comes with tutorials, auto-editing features, and templates to let you hit the ground running. Then as you learn the software, you can play with some of the more advanced features as you become comfortable.

Of course, it helps to use recording software like Riverside.fm, which has a Magic Editor that does much of the preliminary editing work for you automatically. That way, you can experiment with advanced editing software at your leisure. 

2. Does It Require Internet Access?

Some software comes as a download and functions entirely on your device. In contrast, other software options work in a browser or otherwise need to be connected to the internet to function correctly. It’s worth considering whether the internet access question will matter to you.

3. Does the Software Support 4k Video? 

If you’re creating consumer video, your content needs to be crystal clear—which is why the video editor you use needs to support at least 4k video. 

This level of clarity is beginning to be the standard for most quality editing software tools. Still, you’ll want to double-check any software option you’re considering purchasing to ensure it can handle the quality output you plan on producing.

4. What Are the Multicam Options?

Multicam editing lets you use multiple cameras to shoot several angles of the same scene, then pick and choose which angles are used in the final video. If you’ve seen shows like The Office, you know what multicam video looks like. 

high five gif

And while multicam capabilities used to be regulated to the pros, advanced effects such as this are now found in many mid-tier tools.

5. Does it Have Motion Tracking?

Do you want to be able to use effects on a moving object? Perhaps you want to blur out faces or insert graphics and text boxes that will follow moving objects. This capability is called motion tracking, and many consumer-level video editing tools now offer this feature.

Video Editing FAQ:

Should I pay for a premium video editor?

In other words, is free video editing software good enough? It all depends on the features you’re looking for. 

The adage that “you get what you pay for” is true in many ways for video editors. While many free options get the job done well for hobbyists, be prepared to pay for the best features.

What is the best video editing software for beginners?

Any of the options listed above should work well for beginners. You may want to start with one of the free options, such as iMovie or HitFilm Express, which come with plenty of tutorials to help you get started.

Which is the best video editing software for windows 10?

For Windows users, consider Adobe Premiere Pro, Movavi Video Editor, or Pinnacle Studio.

What do most YouTubers use to edit their videos?

According to G2.com, most YouTubers use Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe After Effects.

Which programs do professional video editors use?

Professionals typically gravitate towards the programs with the most features and granular options, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and the premium tier of Lightworks.

Final Thoughts

The editing stage is almost as important as the recording process in any video creation project. Whether you’re creating YouTube videos, recording a video podcast, or making your movies and trailers, you’ll need to put a few finishing touches on your video before putting it out into the world.

In 2021, there are seemingly limitless video editing software options for you to choose from. The above options are some of the most popular paid and free tools—so choose which one works for you based on your preferences, such as budget, learning curve, internet capability, and advanced features.

And if you’re looking for a simple tool that lets you record and edit in one place, look no further than Riverside. Get started for free today!

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