Best Video Editing Software

Which one is best?

Updated: October 19th, 2018
If you're a regular content creator like me, chances are you've stumbled across many different video editing softwares out there. They can range anywhere from free to nearly $1,000! So, which one is the best option?

Product Usage

Probably one of the best things to consider when finding the best video editor software for you is your target usage. Are you doing this for commercial business, for a school project, or just as a hobby? How often will you use it? Will it be a one time thing, or even almost daily?

First off, investment is always key. If you're looking for high quality then you need high quality software. Don't be afraid to pay that extre dollar if it's for extensive purposes! However, don't pay too much if you don't really need it!

Sound confusing? Looks at this scenario:
   "I wanted to start making movies for a Youtube channel. I started looking around but was confused as to what I should get! I don't intend to make movies every day, just every now and then as a hobby. Do I need to pay for a $600 program?"

What should this person do in this scenario? Look at their comment "...I don't intend to make movies every day...","...just every now and then as a hobby...". The target usage is not extensive. They are probably not going to need something with a lot of whistles and bells.

Look at this other scenario:
   "I have been assigned a filmaking project for my company. it will be presented to our clients at a national convention. The overall look and feel of the video is critical. We must impress our clients at all costs. What should I do? Can I get away with a simple video editing software?"


What should these people do? Both have different scenarios and different needs. I will give by two cents here:
1. If you are just using it for a hobby and don't need a lot of editing capabilities, then you don't need to spend a lot of money. There are softwares out there that are very inexpensive, some even free. Especially if it is a small one-time project, I would highly recommend a free alternative to get you by.
2. As for the corporate clients, this is a situation where something more powerful might be necessary. If you need to perforam high quality edits, chances are a free or cheap software won't do. Instead you'll need something more powerful like Sony Vegas. However, even in this one situation, if it's a one time thing they might be able to get away with a free software like HitFilm Express (probably highest rated free video editing software). They need to evaluate their needs for quality vs efficiency.



My personal suggestion to the corporate client would in fact be to try out the free software first. Don't spend that extra money if you don't need to. If you find you need more editing capabilities, then move on to something more powerful. In my opinion, Sony Vegas Pro is the best video editor software out there and a good choice for business. However, there are still many different options to choose from.

So now the question is, what are these different options? Thankfully I have had the opportunity to work with many different video editing softwares, and though i have my preferences, I have given you a list of them with some info. Beside them are purchasable links. You could purchase them directly from the vendor, but I personally find that Amazon always has the best deals (and a lot of the vendors sell directly on Amazon any way).

Product Listings - PAID

1. Sony Vegas

Hands down this is my favorite video editing software! I have stopped using others and gone almost exclusively to this one! It has a wide range of capabilities and most of all probably the easiest interface ever made! If you're looking for power+ease of use, then this one is top of the line! of course, there are many different versions to purchase from. I myself have landed securly on Sony Vegas pro 13 and love it! Of course, you can't really go wrong with any version, it's up to you!

2. Adobe Premiere

This is my second choice based on performace and reviews. Adobe premiere is a choice software among most video editing professionals and a must for extensive video editing engagements. It can do just about anything and even comes with in-depth tutorials! I have enjoyed my own experience with it, but be wary, the price can be a little expensive!

3. Hitfilm Pro

HitFilm is a truly surprising piece of software hitting the markets! They've spent extensive hours working and perfecting their software! What's best is you know that when you purchase it you purchase their future updates as well! I myself have tried it and loved it! My only concern is its interface isn't quite as easy as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere.

4. Corel Video Studio

I remember using corel software when I was just a kid. It's surprising to see them still around and creating software, and their video editing software is another wonderful addition to their history. Probably one of the best things I've heard about this software is the ease of use when making edits. Sometimes speed can be of the essence and this software can get you there! It has a wide range of video editting capabilities and is especially nice because the price is much lower than other software! A definite choice even if you are an amateur just getting into the scene.

5. Cyberlink

Cyberlink is another powerful video editing software that is still popular among movie making enthusiast. It has many different video editing capabilities to meet your needs including very fast video rendereing. However, the interface can be somewhat confusing and difficult to become acustomed to. It's stilla good choice if you want, but for the price I would choose corel video instead. 

6. Pinnacle

This is one of the first video editing platforms I have ever used! I remember my brother purchasing it years ago and trying it out. Back then it wasn't too bad compared to other editors at the time, but it was slow and lacked many capabilities. Pinnacle as made leaps and bounds since then and perfected their software to a cleaner and more crisp platform. It's a good choice, however I find it still lacking in performance and diversity. It can also crash sometimes in use which can be very frustrating. Be sure to always be saving while editing!

7. Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements is a little brother to the powerful Adobe Premiere Pro. It's cheaper and nice for smaller projects. I myself have little experience with it but know that it is far lacking in performace and capabilities. Of course, if you just need something simple this could be your top choice, though I'd still suggest other video editors or just biting the bullet and purchasing their pro version.

8. Wondershare Filmora

This software again is still a good platform but perhaps not top of the line. But for the price it's really not expected to be. Probably two of the best things about this editor is it's low price and easy interface. However, I have seen that the options and capabilities seem to be somewhat limited. If you just need to be able to do a few things then it's fine, but if you have a lot of intense edits to do you had better go somewhere else (they do have nice video converters though).

9. Apple Final Cut Pro

If you're a MAC use than this is an option (not for windows). It's got tons of features and is very powerful! However, the interface is a style of it's own and may take some getting use to. I would highly suggest watching tutorial videos before engaging in a purchase. Also, it is more pricey than some of the other cheaper video editors, but you get what you pay for. It's still a good option for MAC users looking to find a good video editing platform.

10. Magix Movie

This is still another solid video editing platform that is fantastic when working with codecs and adding tons of video effects. It seems very decently price when you consider all the effects you can add to videos and is especially nice for fast rendering. However, I personally have found the software to be difficult to understand and to use. It's still a good software, but can require a learning curve.

11. Nero Video

This may seem bottom of the line now days at utilizes older technologies and interfaces, but for it's price it can come with a powerful punch. The interface is easy and the editing tools are very easy for amateurs to utilize. Personally, I think this is a good platform for young people just wanting to start learning how to edit videos. However, more advanced editors will want to look onward to more powerful platforms.

Product Listings - FREE

1. Hitfilm 4 Express

In my opinion and experience, this is hands down the best free video editor out there! It has amazing capabilities and editing tools that you simply will not find in other editors! What's surprsing to me is it isn't much of a step down from their paid version! I've downloaded it a while back and still use it now and then often making tutorials to show to others. When I first got it the editor was a simple download. Last I checked it's free but you have to refer a friend first. But hey, that's not big deal for something so free and amazing as this, and why not spread the word for something so awesome! My word of advice, download it quick before they make it "harder" to download!
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2. Apple iMovie

This is a very nice standard movie editor for MAC users. Chances are you've already heard of it. It's super easy to use and has some nice simple editing capabilities. The only real downside is it does not have has many capabilities as some of the bigger paid video editors on the market.
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3. Lightworks

Of the free video editors out there this is definitely one of my favorites (#3). What's so wonderful about this editor is it comes with tons of useful editing tools that you simply won't find it the other free editors! It may not be as good as Hitfilm Express, but it certinaly ranks up there with it! My only gripe is that I found it a little difficult to learn to get around the platform to perform the edits. Still, this is a top-dog editor you simply can't go wrong with!
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4. Blender

If you haven't heard of Blender by now then now is the time. This is one of the best free platforms out there for doing all kinds of effects. It's not just for video, but also for creating 3-D images and all kinds of other actions. It's super powerful, but it comes with a downside...it's VERY hard to get use to using! If you're up for the challenge than I suggest Blender. However, if you're not wanting to spend a lot of time learning how to use it then I'd suggest sticking with Hitfilm Express or Lightworks.
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5. Shotcut

This video editor is making headway into the force of popular free video editors. What's surprising is it's wide spread of editing effects and exceptional video rendering quality. Often free video editors don't offer working in super high definition, but this editor does! I've personally come to like it a lot, but sometimes I've found the interface to be a little strange. But for being free, that's not problem, and you can't go wrong with this software!
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6. DaVinci Resolve

I personally do not have a whole lot of experience with this software, but from what I've seen I can definitely say that it is impressive! It has a lot of editing capabilities and as easy to understand and use! For something free, i definitely recommend this to advanced users!
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7. Machete Video Editor Lite

This software provides very basic video editing abilities and is nice simply because it's free. It will get you by, but it is very limited!
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8. Avidemux

This also is a VERY limited video editor with hardly any capabilities. If you're just looking for a quick free editor, than this may just do the trick for you.
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9. Openshot

This is one platform I'm taking more time to learn about. My experience is new, but already I'm seeing some advantages! The editing capabilities, though limited, are still quite nice and easy to use. It's an easy platform to understand and seems to offer nice effects for clips. It may not have as much as a few other free platforms, but I personally would suggest trying this out to see if it works for you! (I may advance this one up my list!)
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10. VSDC Free Video Editor

VSDC Free Video Editor offers nice editing effects and visual enhancement that seem to be quite useful as a free version. There is also a paid version (which I personally don't really like), but I'd just stick with the free version. It'll get you where you need to go and help spruce up some of those videos you've been wanting to make!
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