Adobe Premiere Pro
If you are a Windows user, Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing software. This one’s a bit of a no-brainer: Premiere Pro is an all-singing all-dancing video editor from one of the biggest names in the industry, which is used by the prosperity of creative professionals. And it’s super simple to download Premiere Pro.
It’s easy to see why it’s so popular for Windows 10 users. It can handle an uncapped number of video tracks, which can be imported from any source you can think of (files, tape, cameras of all standards, even VR). The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it’s hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that make your video stand out from the crowd. There’s also a free companion app – Adobe Premiere Rush – that makes it easy to work with footage captured on your phone: see number 4 on our list for more on that.
You can subscribe to just Premiere Pro on its own, but if you use more than one of Adobe’s apps, it’ll be worth your while subscribing to Creative Cloud for a slightly higher monthly fee.
Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro X is picked for the best video editing software for Mac. As you would suspect with Apple, the must-have editor is consummately easy to use and comes packed with enough features to warrant the (admittedly high) price tag. We like the grouping tools, effect options, and the straightforward way you can add and edit audio.
If you’re already entwined in Apple’s ecosystem, you’ll appreciate how Final Cut cleverly correlates with your Photos or iTunes collections. And if you want time to try it out accurately, then good news: in response to the Covid-19 crisis, Apple has recently bumped up the 30-day trial period to a very generous 90 days.
Adobe Premiere Elements
Adobe makes another entry in this list with Premiere Elements, an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced editors. It is not as complicated as the more abundant Premiere Pro video editing software (listed at number one above), which is best suited to full-time professionals. But Premiere Elements is still packed with excellent features, such as face detection, audio effects, and bundled soundtracks. And it’s friendly to use, too.
Whether you’re an editing newbie or a pro, automated functions – such as motion tracking and smart toning – will make your life a lot easier. The same can be said of the video stabilization option and simplicity of editing. Premiere Elements comes with all the video effects you’d expect in a consumer video editor: transitions, chroma-keying, opacity, etc. The media library is also intelligently organized, with smart searches making it easy to find finished and draft files.
Adobe Premiere Rush
Any PC-using video editor worth their salt has inevitably used Adobe software at some point. Adobe Premiere Rush takes all the best bits that Adobe has perfected over the years and transports it to its palm.
So what does it offer the editor on the go? A straightforward user interface that will be immediately familiar to users of Premiere Pro or Elements; four video tracks; three audio tracks; easy instant export to your social media accounts; in-app editing tools…the list goes on! It’s no wonder that it recently went to the top of our best video editing apps countdown.
Yes, you can give it a good go for free with the Rush Starter Plan, but it’s only enough to export three videos. Luckily, it doesn’t cost a lot to grab the full version of the Adobe Premiere Rush app on iOS or Android.
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate offers a great way into video editing software for novices. A well-designed interface means it’s straight forward to get going straight away, yet it doesn’t lack in features. There’s multi-cam editing, 4K video support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library, and loads of effects, to name but a few. Not bad at all for the price.
The more you use Corel VideoStudio Ultimate, the more you’ll notice and make use of its little features and flourishes. It’s an excellent option for beginners, and still has plenty to offer more experienced video editors – although pros will probably want to opt for one of the standard video editing software options.
Wondershare’s Filmora9 is a secure video editing tool for enthusiasts, or those just getting started with editing. The intuitive interface should make it easy to get started with, and there are built-in titles, effects, and filters designed for budding YouTubers. There’s also a library of royalty-free sound effects and music to give your videos impact – plus the ability to record your media to include, directly within the tool.
If you’re using the tool professionally, you’ll probably want to opt for the more advanced FilmoraPro – explore the differences between the two machines here.
Price-wise, there are a few different options to choose from. If you’re starting out, the free version includes all the same features and tools as the paid tool, but all your videos will have a brand watermark. You can then choose between a one-year plan and a lifetime plan for a one-off fee. Finally, there’s a supercharged Unlimited plan that throws in unlimited downloads from a stock library and new effects each month.
Cyberlink Power Director
CyberLink PowerDirector is a severe bit of software for serious video editors: this is excellent video editing software that delivers professional and high-quality features, without a Hollywood budget. Get cracking on the 100-track timeline. You’ll soon find yourself making the most of multitudes of stabilization and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking, and surprisingly easy trimming.
There’s 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. And if you’re finding it all a bit of a struggle, then there are plenty of video tutorials to help get you sorted.
Going for Pinnacle Studio is well worth considering if you’ve never edited video before and want to delve in for the first time. It’s cheaper than most of the paid-for tools on this list, and you can always bail out if you find within the early 30 days if it’s just not for you.
But honestly, we’d be surprised if you need to. For your money, you get more than 1,500 effects, titles, and templates, six-track HD video editing, handy coloring tools, a dedicated stop motion feature, time remapping, and much more. And most features are an absolute doddle to use. So it feels like a good step up from free options, without splashing stupid amounts of cash. It doesn’t have the full suite of features that some others in this list offer, but that’s not what Pinnacle Studio is all about. And if you try and like the Pinnacle interface and tools, you can always upgrade to one of the company’s more comprehensive packages.
Following its acquisition of short-form video editor Magisto in 2019, this February Vimeo launched Vimeo Create, a new app aimed at businesses wanting to produce professional-looking social media videos. Those with no experience of video editing software can use and customize pre-prepared video templates, with millions of stock video clips, photos, and commercially licensed music tracks available to use for free.
The tool also makes it easy to produce videos for various aspect ratios (e.g., square, horizontal, and vertical) to suit different social platforms. Note, though, that it’s not a standalone app, but available as part of Vimeo’s Pro, Business and Premium membership plans.
If you think that trying to edit video on your smartphone or tablet is a pointless exercise, KineMaster will make you feel again. Available for Android devices, iPhones, and iPods, we’d describe this option as the best video editing software for Android (free or paid-for), because it goes way above and beyond what you’d expect from a mobile app.
It packs the ability to edit multiple layers, add handwriting and text annotations, experiment with up to four audio tracks, and precisely write at a frame and sub-frame level. We could go on with a long list of features, but perhaps the best endorsement is the average review score on both the App Store and Google Play. Plus, it’s free, so it’s probably worth just downloading this video editing app and giving it a try.
Lightworks is another professional video editing suite that’s been used on major Hollywood productions, including Shutter Island, Pulp Fiction, 28 Days Later, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Mission Impossible. So it’s exciting that there’s a free version that makes it accessible to everyone.
Amazingly, in the free version, you get nearly all the features. The main restriction for the free license version is the output formats – you can only export a web-compatible file at 720p. If you want to export a few projects into a different format relatively cheaply, you can buy a one-month license for a relatively small fee.
Lightworks is undoubtedly some of the best free video editing software for Windows 10. The superbly designed timeline enables a high degree of control, so you can trim and mix your audio and video clips exactly how you want them. It’s a powerful piece of kit for a freebie, handling video capture and advanced editing with ease.
On the down-side, because it’s a slimmed-down version of a professional suite, you may find that the interface isn’t the easiest to navigate. But there are plenty of useful tutorial videos to help you get you up and running – and you won’t have to pay a penny, as long as your projects are non-commercial.
If you’re looking to shoot and edit a short, snappy video to share on social media using your iPhone or iPad, most of the video editing software on this list will seem like overkill. In contrast, if you’re looking for a tool that’s super-quick and easy to use, we’d recommend Apple Clips. This nifty little app lets you add stickers, titles, captions, soundtracks, and filters to video that you import from your Camera Roll or record there and then.
Free to download from the App Store, Clips has recently been given some cool new features by Apple, including a Duplicate button to make copies of your clips, and Split button to divide your clip into two sections.