11+ Best Video Editing Software in 2024 [Free and Paid!]

best video editing software

Are you trying to pick the best video editing software for your film or video, but feeling lost?

I’ve been in that same boat – you are not alone!

As someone who makes films and tells stories, I’ve tried a bunch of different video editing programs. I know it’s annoying when you spend time and maybe even money on a program, only to find out it’s not what you need.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of the best 11+ video editing software for 2024. It’s a guide to help you find the right tool without wasting your time.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

What Are the Best Video Editing Software Tools?

The best video editor in the subscription-based paid category is Adobe Premiere Pro. Other amazing options include Final Cut Pro X (exclusive to Mac users only) and Avid Media Composer. If you’d prefer to pay a lump sum for your software, then DaVinci Resolve Studio is an excellent choice.

In contrast, the best free video editing tools are Lightworks and iMovie (Mac users only).

For those looking for a good option for social media videos, invideo is my top choice!

Pro Tip: The free version of DaVinci Resolve Studio is actually very capable of producing high quality videos… and might I add that I think it’s even better than the free version of Lightworks.

Professional Video Editing Software

The mobile and desktop video editing software applications listed below are among the best you can use to edit your videos this year!

Note: If you are specifically looking for programs that use artificial intelligence for video editing, you can also check out my article on the best AI video editing programs!

best video editing software overall

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro

There are numerous factors that earn Adobe Premiere Pro my award for best video editing software in 2024: it provides tutorials in-app; a subscription gives you access to Adobe’s enormous stock footage library; the software has many custom captions that help to boost viewer engagement; and it’s easy to learn and use!

Overview

An interesting fact about Adobe Premiere Pro is that it was used to cut the Oscar-award-winning movie, “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The picture took home several awards, including the “Best Film Editing” category. That’s right: Adobe Premiere Pro is the Hollywood standard for editing movies and Oscar winners.

Top Benefits

  • Audio Tools: Adobe Premiere Pro provides audio editing tools (like Adobe Sensei) with advanced features like automatic ducking, which lowers a music track when it detects speech.
  • Graphics Templates: This video-editing software provides motion graphics templates that let you add custom titles, graphics, etc., to your videos.
  • Remote Collaboration: The software’s collaboration tools make remote collaboration between video editors in different geographies possible.
  • Color Correction: The color correction and grading tools let you create moods in the different scenes of your videos.
  • Automatic Transcription: Its built-in speech-to-text feature lets you automatically transcribe YouTube videos, documentaries, etc.
  • Text-Based Editing: One of its newest AI tools lets you transcribe the video using speech-to-text, and then you can actually delete parts of the text and it will delete that part of the video from your timeline. Super useful if you have long talking videos you need to cut down!

Pricing

Adobe Premiere Pro pricing

Adobe Premiere Pro provides three subscription methods:

  • Monthly – It costs $34.49 for a monthly subscription. You can cancel at any time with no additional fee.
  • Annually, but paid monthly – You can subscribe to an annual subscription and pay $22.99 monthly. However, you may need to pay a fee if you cancel.
  • Annual, prepaid – You can pay a lump sum of $263.88 for an annual subscription, but you only have two weeks to cancel if you want a full refund.

Adobe gives you the option of adding a free 30-day trial of Adobe Stock to each plan. You can cancel anytime before the trial expires risk-free.

My Experience Using Adobe Premiere Pro

premiere pro interface

I know a number of filmmakers who use Premiere Pro for their video editing needs. There’s a reason why they swear by it (and keep paying for it)!

Once you learn how to use the software, it has everything you need as a video editor. You can color your footage, add grain for a cinematic touch, use effects to make the audio sound perfect, change the colors in the video, etc.

Another great thing about Premiere is that almost everyone in the post-production space is familiar with it. So if you’re working with other editors, chances are 75% of them will also be using Premiere. This makes it so much easier to share and collaborate on projects.

Premiere Pro has some exciting developments in store, especially as Adobe has announced some pretty cool plans for AI tools to start coming into the program.

Adobe Premiere Pro Pros

  • The Premiere Pro software is updated frequently.
  • There are many editing and formatting options for videos.
  • People love the variety of effects that are available.
  • Works to edit 3D videos (not all programs do this yet!).
  • Can edit 4k and 8k resolution videos.
  • You can edit your ADR in this program if you need to re-record your dialogue.
  • Works on both Windows and macOS.

Adobe Premiere Pro Cons

  • Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the more expensive editing programs, especially with those ongoing monthly payments.
  • There is a steep learning curve with Premiere Pro… but, once you learn it, you can use it to do almost anything with video!

Final Thoughts

Even if you don’t plan to edit movies, Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing software application to have in your corner. This software is the gold standard in video editing and is suitable for editors of all skill levels and ambitions.

Just be aware that you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time learning how to use it!


best For Color Grading and Color Correction

DaVinci Resolve Studio

DaVinci-Resolve-18-Blackmagic-Design

DaVinci Resolve Studio by software developer Black Magic Cloud is a fantastic video editing software tool for creators. This all-in-one video editor provides a unique solution to your post-production tasks in the form of pages. 

Each DaVinci Resolve Studio “page” is a workspace that provides specific tools needed to accomplish a task. You’ll be working mostly on the Cut and Edits page, where you’ll find all the software’s editing tools. Similarly, you’ll find motion graphics and visual FX on the Fusion page and color correction tools on the Color page.

Overview

DaVinci Resolve Studio is a great all-in-one video editing software option for professionals who want tons of options for their film editing and who want to be able to try the software out for free before they buy it.

Top Benefits

  • GPU Support: DaVinci Resolve Studio is built with performance in mind. It supports multiple GPUs, including Metal for Mac operating systems and CUDA on Windows and Linux systems.
  • Advanced Noise Reduction: The software offers spatial and temporal noise reduction for cleaning up noise in images. You can use them independently or in combination.
  • Scripting and Automation: DaVinci Resolve Studio supports LUA and Python scripting for custom encoding and workflow integrations. As such, studios of all sizes can create custom workflows for their teams.
  • Remote Color Grading: Its remote grading technology lets you synchronize two DaVinci Resolve Studio systems over the internet so colorists can work with clients remotely. The changes made on one system sync with the other automatically.
  • Lens Distortion Tools: You can use DaVinci Resolve Studio’s lens distortion tools to analyze and correct spherical lens distortions in your videos.

Pricing

DaVinci-Resolve-Pricing

DaVinci Resolve Studio (version 18) costs $295 (at the time of writing). It includes the DaVinci Neural Engine and other advanced features not included in the free version.

*Pro Tip: Though my production company owns the Studio version, I’ve used the free version of DaVinci many times for my editing and coloring needs, and I’ve never found myself stuck because I didn’t have the paid tools. So try the free version out, and I bet you could use it for a really long time before you ever need to use one of the advanced features from the paid version.

My Experience Using DaVinci Resolve

davinci resolve coloring interface

I’ve used DaVinci Resolve with my production team for everything from commercials to short films to music videos to feature films and it has always really impressed me. I will say that there’s definitely a learning curve, and I did watch and follow along with YouTube tutorials whenever I got stuck.

DaVinci definitely has a solid editing program that will let you do whatever editing you need, but where it really excels is in its advanced coloring section (which is still free!).

My favorite part of the coloring system is the tracking window, which lets you track tiny details that you want to change the color of, like changing the color of someone’s shirt or eyes in a scene. The tracking is super good, unlike some other softwares that lose the tracking point half way through the scene.

*Pro Tip: When you need detailed coloring done that only DaVinci can do, but you still edit videos in Premiere Pro, you can export them as ProRes4444, import them into DaVinci, use DaVinci’s auto cut feature, which splits my whole video up into individual shots, and then go in and color all those shots and export it as an entire sequence again as ProRes4444. And this is all with the free version!!

DaVinci Resolve Studio Pros

  • A premium editing software with a fantastic free option!
  • Industry-leading color grading and color correction capabilities.
  • Works with files of many different formats.
  • The paid option is a pay-once model (rather than a subscription).

DaVinci Resolve Studio Cons

  • Takes time to learn, so it’s not great for beginners.
  • Doesn’t integrate well with other software.

Final Thoughts

DaVinci Resolve Studio’s free version is excellent, but you’ll get the most out of this software when you upgrade to the paid version. It’s worth considering if your workflow requires advanced features for noise reduction and the like.


best video editing on a mac

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro

Apple’s Final Cut Pro is a cut above regular video editing software. This powerful tool provides several features that make it the go-to software for Macbook-owning professionals.

Thanks to functionality like its duplicate detection capabilities and advanced color grading, you can experience a seamless video editing workflow that lets you act on ideas as they come to you.

Overview

Using Final Cut Pro means you’ll be in good company: Apple’s partnership with Future Media Concepts (FMC) makes it possible for aspiring post-production experts and film and video editors to earn certifications in the software. So you can use your Final Cut Pro know-how to signal your expertise and possibly land a paying gig. 

Top Benefits

  • Object Tracker: Final Cut Pro leverages machine learning to detect objects and faces in your videos, matching their movement to titles and effects.
  • Cinematic Effects: You can transform videos shot with your iPhone 13 in Cinematic mode by changing their focus points, adjusting their depth-of-field, and tweaking the blurring in specific parts of the video.
  • Magnetic Timeline: You can move and trim clips without experiencing issues with syncing or collisions with Final Cut Pro’s Magnetic Timeline. The feature also supports color coding for organization and the use of Compound Clips to bundle disparate video and audio clips into a single package.
  • Duplicate Detection: This feature lets you spot video and audio that appears multiple times in your project.
  • Motion: Final Cut Pro’s Motion feature makes creating effects and graphics for your videos intuitive.

Pricing

Final Cut Pro Pricing

Apple charges a one-time payment of $299.99 for Final Cut Pro. You can try the software for free for 90 days.

My Experience Using Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro Coloring Interface

Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of Final Cut Pro, but maybe it’s because I’m a DaVinci Resolve user.

I couldn’t find the button to cut my clip in half, so I had to Google it. Most of the other softwares, I felt like it was pretty easy to find what I was looking for.

But that being said, I have heard that Final Cut Pro is great for newbies or people who just need to edit content occasionally because it’s so user friendly.

So I think that if you spent the time to watch a few short tutorials on the basics, then you could easily find your way around the interface and turn your footage into something great in no time!

Final Cut Pro Pros

  • Has a lifetime license for a one-time fee.
  • It supports many third-party plugins.
  • Videos render quickly.
  • It has many quick and easy shortcuts to help you edit videos.

Final Cut Pro Cons

  • It is expensive, but might be cheaper overall than a monthly subscription with another software.
  • It uses much less computer processing space – best for smaller video projects.
  • Some people would like it to have more built-in video effects.

Final Thoughts

Consider getting Final Cut Pro if you aspire to get paid work as an editor someday. Earning a certificate from Apple’s authorized certification provider, FMC, will help your career ambitions.


best Video Editing for Collaborating Professionals

Avid Media Composer

Avid-Media-Composer-Video-Editing-Software-for-Mac-and-PC

Software company Avid is better known for its music software Sibelius. However, its Avid Media Composer video editing software shows this company isn’t a one-trick pony.

Packed to the teeth with features, Media Composer is a video editor’s dream. Its powerful video editing capabilities make creating stories from “first cut to final finishing” a breeze. It’s also fantasic at adding your Foley sounds in post-production.

Overview

An Avid Media Composer subscription gives you access to amazing features. For example, its Avid Edit on Demand virtual editing suite lets teams access projects in the cloud.

When you’ve made your first cut, you can gather feedback through Avid Link, a community of video creators. And its automation tools speed up your workflow, making for happy editing.

Top Benefits

  • Intelligent Media Handling: Avid Media Composer is one of the best video-editing software tools for large source files. It’s able to handle files shot in 8k and beyond, letting you edit high-resolution video without worrying about freezes that interrupt your workflow.
  • Symphony: Its Symphony feature makes it possible to stylize shots and correct colors “with ultra-precision.”
  • Automation Tools: Avid Media Composer automatically handles video transcoding, rendering, consolidation, and relinking in the background. In addition, the software automates bin saving, audio/video syncs, audio mixes, etc.
  • Avid Nexis | Edge: This feature enables seamless remote working, allowing video editors to collaborate with showrunners, producers, and other production staff wherever they are.
  • Live Timeline and Unlimited Playback Streams: These two features let you edit videos on the fly and make changes during playback.

Pricing

Avid Media Composer Pricing

Avid’s video editing software has three plans:

  • The Media Composer plan costs $23.99 monthly or $239 for the entire year.
  • The Media Composer Ultimate plan usually costs $49.99 monthly or $499.99 yearly.
  • There’s no pricing information for the Media Composer Enterprise plan. Consider contacting the sales team for its pricing information.

Both the Media Composer and Media Composer Ultimate tiers offer special discounts for teachers and students and provide flexible licensing for teams.

Avid Media Composer Pros

  • The software loads quickly.
  • Lots of active user forums through Avid Link.
  • Has many professional-level editing and collaboration features.

Avid Media Composer Cons

  • The user interface could look nicer.
  • Some users note that it can be difficult to learn.
  • You need hefty specs on your computer to run it smoothly.

Final Thoughts

Avid Media Composer is an excellent video editing software for new and advanced users. Inexperienced video editors will appreciate having access to a community of like-minded individuals in Avid Link.  


Personal-Use Editing Software

best For Social Media

InVideo

InVideo

InVideo is a video editing tool for beginners. It provides over 5,000 templates to get you creating videos quickly, and you can customize each one to your style.

In addition, the software reduces ordinarily tedious tasks like background removal and branding to single-click actions. Plus, it supports remote collaboration with your team members.

Overview

With InVideo, you can use AI to beautify your videos with bespoke graphic assets and record voiceovers in-app. And if you need help with any issues, you can easily get the support you need. The software also provides 500+ tutorials for making videos for platforms like Instagram and YouTube to make publishing videos as simple as ABC.

Top Benefits

  • Massive Template Collection: InVideo offers 5,000+ templates for YouTube videos, shorts, etc. All the templates are professionally designed and customizable.
  • Text-to-Speech Tools: This software offers text-to-speech functionality. Also, you can record voiceovers for your videos.
  • Bespoke Graphic Assets: You can liven up your videos with custom captions and graphic assets like animated icons.
  • InVideo Mobile App: You can bring video-making to your phone by downloading the InVideo mobile app. It lets you edit on the go while providing access to mobile-exclusive filters and royalty-free music.
  • Collaboration: InVideo supports remote collaboration between teams.

Pricing

invideo pricing

InVideo has three plans:

  • Free Plan: You can sign up to use it in a web browser or download the app on your Android or iOS-powered mobile device.
  • Business Plan: The Business Plan costs $30 per month or $180 per year.
  • Unlimited Plan: The Unlimited Plan costs $60 per month or $360 per year.

My Experience Using InVideo

invideo interface

After playing around with the free version of InVideo, I think it would be a great video editing platform for any general content creator out there! (Using the paid version, or else you get stuck with a watermark on your final video.)

There were several templates to choose from, and I could even mix and match to create the exact video I wanted. It was easy to find relevant stock footage, chop the footage up, add subtitles, and music.

I will say that there wasn’t too much AI going on with InVideo, but I did play around with the new InVideo AI (a separate product entirely) and it was really cool that it generated a whole video with stock footage and a voiceover using a one sentence prompt I wrote.

Overall, if you’re creating content with your phone and stock footage, I think this is a great platform to use to spice up your video. But if you’re more of a professional who’s using a DSLR to record your own footage, I think you would need one of the editing softwares mentioned above.

InVideo Pros

  • You can incorporate professional-grade text-to-speech voiceovers or integrate your recorded voiceover seamlessly.
  • Produce videos in various formats, including portrait, landscape, and square formats.
  • Use their extensive library of stock video footage, background music, templates, transitions, and effects with over 5000 options.
  • Has a free trial, so you know if it’s going to work for you!

InVideo Cons

  • During peak periods of the day, you may experience slight latency while using InVideo, as it is a web-based editing platform.
  • InVideo is great for beginner to intermediate users, but may not be the best AI video maker for advanced video editors.

Final Thoughts

Are you new to video editing? InVideo is for users like you. Consider getting it if you want to learn the ropes or create videos as quickly as possible. Its paid plans aren’t expensive, and the free plan lets you test the waters.

To see my full review of this program, check out this article: InVideo Review: An Easy-to-Use AI Video Generator


best For Beginners

Filmora Wondershare

filmora wondershare

Filmora by Wondershare is a tool for editing videos wherever you are. It’s meant for digital content creators (YouTubers, coaches, etc.) and has over 100 million users. As a cross-platform application, you can use it on your desktop, mobile device, and pad. You’ll get access to millions of stock media for inclusion in your videos, including royalty-free music. 

Overview

Notable Filmora features that make this video editor beginner-friendly include its auto-reframe and motion-tracking tools. If you make YouTube videos that feature product comparisons, you’ll love how easily you can create a split screen by putting clips of each product side by side.

Top Benefits

  • Auto Reframe: Filmora’s auto frame feature lets you resize your video even if you don’t have editing skills to speak of. This makes creating videos for different social media dimensions accessible to all.
  • Screen Recorder: Video game streamers, mastermind group leaders, teachers, and more can use Filmora’s screen recorder to share their screens. It supports audio recording and provides tools for post-air editing.
  • Motion Tracking: The motion tracking feature lets you follow a moving object’s trajectory in a video, making it easy to pin interesting graphics to the object to create impressive effects.
  • Keyframing: Filmora’s keyframing capabilities let you create exciting animations in your videos.
  • Split Screen: You can position multiple clips within the same screen to create reaction videos, comparison videos, intros and outros, and more.

Pricing

filmora pricing

Filmora has plans for individuals, teams and businesses, and educational institutions:

  • Individual Plans: You can choose to pay for a quarterly plan ($29.99/qtr), an annual plan ($49.99/year), or a perpetual plan ($79.99).
  • Teams: This plan costs $155.88 yearly and lets you manage licenses across teams. Meanwhile, the business plan doesn’t have any pricing information, meaning you’ll have to contact the Filmora sales team for the details.
  • Education: Students can pay $19.99 monthly, $40.99 annually, or $49.99 for the perpetual plan. Educators will have to contact Filmora for the price.

My Experience Using Filmora

I was actually really impressed with Filmora!

I liked that it was a downloaded program, so you don’t need to rely on internet. The interface looked very similar to professional video editing softwares, but a bit more intuitive and easy-to-use.

It had tons of templates to choose from if you wanted to start with a base for your video.

Filmora also had a lot of AI features, like removing the background from a speaker without needing a green screen. It wasn’t the best AI motion tracking that I’ve seen, but it was still pretty good.

With it’s low price point, I think it’s a great editing platform for any beginner.

Filmora Pros

  • Filmora is more affordable than other many video editing programs.
  • You can remove or change backgrounds with its AI software (no green screen needed!).
  • It is a fast, efficient program.
  • Filmora is wonderful for beginners, as it is so easy to use and has many of the most important video editing features!

Filmora Cons

  • Filmora has fewer features than other video editing programs, which is why it is better for beginners!

Final Thoughts

Filmora is excellent for individuals, teams and businesses, and educational institutions. Its intuitive controls and ample asset libraries make this one of the most beginner-friendly video editors you can use.


best One-Time Payment Option

Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements is an excellent video editing software for making quick edits to video clips and movies. It leverages the power of artificial intelligence (Adobe Sensei Technology) and automation to simplify the video editing process for editors of all skill levels, offering step-by-step guidance along the way.

Overview

As one of the best video editing software tools on the market, Premiere Elements is packed with features galore. For example, you get access to a template library that makes creating collages, slideshows, and social media posts straightforward. Its 26 guided edits save you time by offering super-quick fixes to everyday editing tasks. And it’s got a web and mobile app!

Top Benefits

  • Auto-Reframes: This feature lets you resize your videos for different social media channels while keeping the most important and action-packed parts and subjects within the frame.
  • Noise Reduction: If parts of your video appear grainy due to being shot in low light, Adobe Premiere Elements has a fix for that. Its noise reduction feature helps you get crisper-looking videos via simple drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Precise Selections: Its tools for precise selection make it easy to select parts of a video and apply effects to them. You can brighten, blur, or even add animations and composite elements to parts of your video.
  • Smart Trim: Powered by AI, Adobe Premiere Effect’s Smart Trim feature locates the best bits in your video and brings them together using the video’s style as inspiration.

Pricing

Adobe Premiere Elements Pricing

Adobe Premiere Elements costs a one-time fee of $99.99. Adobe offers a 30-day free trial of the software.

My Experience Using Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements Advanced Interface
Adobe Premiere Elements Guided Fun Edits

Adobe Premiere Elements was actually more advance than I thought it would be.

While they didn’t have a ton of pre-made social templates to choose from, they did have a lot of guided steps to show you exactly how to do cool things in the program. (Pictured above)

I enjoyed that they had a basic editor and an advanced editor, depending on how much work you wanted to put into the edit.

I will say that if you’re a total beginner to video editing, I can see someone getting a little overwhelmed by all the tools. But I’m sure you could watch some YouTube tutorials on it!

Adobe Premiere Elements Pros

  • Intuitive and simple to use.
  • Has a clean, uncluttered user interface (drag and drop).
  • Includes most of the editing tools that beginners or non-professionals will need.
  • Has a one-time payment option, rather than a subscription.

Adobe Premiere Elements Cons

  • Has fewer tools and features than Premier Pro, Avid, or Final Cut.
  • Videos take up a lot of space.

Final Thoughts

Adobe Premiere Elements is for the beginner video editor. Its features are geared toward making video editing accessible to all. Also, people who want to improve their skills will love its one-time payment model.


best for YouTube

VEED.io

Veed.io

VEED is an uncomplicated video editor that simplifies video editing. It has all the features a YouTube personality needs to record and edit their videos and even provides streaming capabilities.

Overview

The VEED video editing software provides access to a vast template library that can help inspire your next video project. You can use it to transform your video clips into shareable GIFs. And it excels at standard video editing tasks like noise removal, audio syncing, and resizing.

Top Features

  • Video Reframes: VEED can resize videos for different platforms. Whether you publish to YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, the software will resize to fit the platform’s video dimensions.
  • Automatic Subtitles: This software can automatically add subtitles to videos with speech. It also has translation capabilities.
  • Green Screen Editing: Need to put your video’s subjects in an environment that comes straight from your imagination? VEED makes the feat possible via green screen editing.
  • Noise Removal: If you find that background noise drowns out the audio in your video, VEED provides the tools to get rid of it.
  • Progress Bars: You can keep your audience engaged by adding a progress bar to your videos.

Pricing

veed pricing

In addition to a free plan, VEED has three paid pricing plans:

  • Basic – The Basic plan costs $25/month.
  • Pro – The Pro plan costs $38/month.
  • Business – The Business plan costs $70/month.

If you want to pay annually, can you save 28% on any of the plans.

My Experience Using VEED

veed,io interface

I thought VEED was a great platform for editing your social media videos.

They provided a lot of templates that you can mix and match or customize. VEED also has “Magic Tools” which is where the AI capabilities come into play.

I really liked their text to speech option where you could turn any blog post or script into a short video. You can make that into an AI narration over the video and then you can even translate it into several different languages if you want!

One thing I noticed on VEED that made it stand out is its capability to record your video and screen directly from the platform, eliminating the need for a third-party app.

VEED Pros

  • VEED has easy-to-use, one-click video editing features, such as adding auto-subtitles and translating audio to text.
  • VEED uses AI (artificial intelligence) in many aspects of its video editing.
  • Easy to learn and use.
  • Creates great videos for any social media platform.
  • If you need help, support is provided by real people!

VEED Cons

  • Not easy to use on mobile (much better on desktop).
  • Some people find that exporting videos can be difficult to do.

Final Thoughts

VEED is one of the most beginner-friendly video editing tools, so it’s worth a look if you want to practice your video editing skills. You can start with the free plan and work your way up to the Pro plan as you get more proficient.

To see my full review of this program, check out this article: VEED.io Review: An Impressive AI Video Editor


best For Kids

iMovie

iMovie Apple

If you can’t afford (or don’t need the capabilities of) Final Cut Pro, Apple’s other video editing software, you can check out iMovie, a free video editor with powerful capabilities. This application can transform your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook into a movie-making machine, and it leverages the same technologies as Final Cut Pro.

Overview

You can use iMovie’s collection of high-fidelity filters to give your videos specific looks (e.g., comic book), add one of 100 soundtracks, include personalized title cards, and more. It also has a green screen effect that lets you place yourself in any scenery. These features make iMovie one of the best free video editing software tools available.

Top Benefits

  • Magic Movie: iMovie’s Magic Movie feature lets you create amazing videos complete with transitions, visual effects, music, and more in a few taps.
  • Storyboards: You can choose one of iMovie’s 20 templates to storyboard your video. Each template corresponds to a type of video (e.g., product reviews), reducing the time it takes for you to plan your presentations. 
  • Cinematic Mode: iMovie lets you import shots captured on your iPhone 13 in Cinematic Mode and edit them. You can adjust the depth of field, alter or delete focus points, etc.
  • Trailers: You can turn your video clips into a trailer with iMovie. The software provides several trailer templates and you can add your branding (logo) to the mix.
  • Multiple Sharing Options: After creating your movie, you can share it in multiple ways, including mail, message, and social media uploads.

Pricing

imovie pricing

iMovie is 100% free (Woohooo!!). You can download it from the Mac App Store for your iPhone or Macbook.

My Experience Using iMovie

imovie interface

This comes full circle as I started my video editing journey on iMovie.

iMovie is definitely easy.to navigate! I haven’t used it in many years, and I was still able to just open it up and start piecing together my film immediately. It doesn’t have tons of bells and whistles like other platforms do, but if you already have your own footage and you’re just looking for somewhere to stitch your clips together, add a few dissolves, and some end credits, then iMovie is for!

If you’re creating content for social media using lots of flashy edits and stock footage, I wouldn’t suggest using iMovie. They don’t really have templates, but they do have a lot of drag-and-drop effects.

If you’re looking for super simple editing because you’re either looking to get your feet wet, or that’s the only type of editing you need to do, then I definitely recommend tying out iMovie! And if you end up wanting something different, at least you didn’t pay for it.

iMovie Pros

  • Free on mac devices.
  • Great for casual users or beginners, as it is very easy to use (my kids love using this app on the phone!).
  • Exports videos in up to 8k resolution.
  • Easy to add music and audio tracks, as well as fade-ins and fade-outs.
  • You can do simple video edits quickly!

iMovie Cons

  • Lacks many advanced video editing features.
  • Takes tons of processing power and RAM storage space.
  • Slow when working on large files.

Final Thoughts

iMovie is for Apple fans who want to try video editing without having to spend money immediately. The app is a worthy gateway product to Final Cut Pro, so consider using it if you plan to pay for the latter software someday.


best Budget Video Editor

HitFilm Express

HitFilm

HitFilm Express is a video editor for individuals of all skill levels. You can use it to create everything from social media posts to Hollywood movies.

It’s built with ultra-fast technology that prevents lagging issues while you cut, trim, and slice your latest masterpiece.

Overview

You can bring your videos to life using one of HitFilm’s many built-in visual effects (vfx). Use lens flares, lighting, color grading, and more to transform scenes into evocative visuals that wow your audience. Meanwhile, plugins like Mocha HitFilm and Boris 3D Objects let you incorporate rotoscoping and 3D titles into your videos.

Top Benefits

  • Drag-and-Drop Transitions: The software includes transitions that are professional and ready to use, letting you move seamlessly from one scene to the next.
  • Creative Assets: You get access to a huge library of assets that includes stock footage, SFX, music, and more.
  • Automatic Audio Syncing: HitFilm automatically lines up your audio and video, providing a smooth and swift workflow.
  • Text Tools: With HitFilms text tools, you can easily add professional 2D or 3D subtitles to your videos.
  • Ultra-Fast Technology: HitFilm is incredibly fast, meaning you won’t experience lagging while editing, trimming, syncing, and exporting your videos.

Pricing

Pricing-FXhome Hitfilm

HitFilm Express has three plans:

  • Free Plan: This is the software’s free version, and it provides basic editing functions.
  • Creator Plan: The Creator plan costs $7.99/month and is excellent for social media content creators (e.g., creating YouTube videos).
  • Pro Plan: The Pro plan costs $12.99/month and provides advanced video editing features like 8K video exports and a 3D Camera Tracker.

Both paid plans include premium support and offer discounts when you pay their annual subscription prices.

My Experience Using HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express Interface

HitFilm Express had a familiar interface similar to a professional video editor.

It has a lot of effects and presets, but not really any templates to start with.

What I did appreciate about HitFilm is that upon opening the program, it showed me a free mini course on the basics of the program, along with a timeline to follow along with. If you’re a beginner, I think seeing how the timeline looks laid out with edits and having a follow along mini course would be a great way to start learning.

HitFilm Express Pros

  • It’s a great free option!
  • Great to start video editing.
  • The paid plans are super affordable.
  • Includes stock video footage and even visual effects!

HitFilm Express Cons

  • The free plan doesn’t have as many features as paid plans.
  • Some users report that the software has bugs or lags.

Final Thoughts

HitFilm Express is a good video editing software for beginners and professionals. You can use it when working on small productions or massive movies, and the software will come through no matter what. 


best Video Editing for Beginners

Lightworks

Lightworks-LWKS-Video-Editing-Software

For over 30 years, Lightworks has provided “Hollywood-strength” industry-standard video editing features to all.

Editors in the industry have used it to cut big-name Hollywood productions like “Jerry Maguire,” “The Irishman,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “Braveheart.” You can, too, because this is a free video editing app with optional paid versions.

Overview

Despite its age, Lightworks has modern features. For example, its ioGates React technology makes remote workflows with the software possible. Its social media exports let you deliver videos destined for your audiences’ social media feeds.

Top Benefits

  • Drag-and-Drop Editing: Lightworks makes video editing a breeze. It offers drag-and-drop functionality that makes working with your timeline straightforward. Need to rearrange content in the timeline? Drag it where you need it to go.
  • Titles and Motion Graphics: Thanks to a library of over 700 pre-built customizable titles and motion graphics, you can easily bring your videos to life when editing. This feature is incredible for YouTube videos.
  • Color Correction: You can use the color correction tools Lightworks provides to make adjustments to your video’s scenes.
  • Voiceover: Recording voiceovers in Lightworks is straightforward. You can record them while your timeline is playing.
  • Multi-Format Support: Lightworks can import any common video file format.

Pricing

lightworks pricing

Lightworks offers free and paid versions of the software. Its paid plans include:

  • Lightworks Create: This plan costs $9.99 per user per month and is best suited for YouTubers, video game streamers, and advanced editors.
  • Lightworks Pro: The Lightworks Pro plan costs $23.99 per user per month. This plan offers all of its features, making it suitable for filmmakers and broadcasters (whether current or aspiring).

You can purchase either plan outright without expiry. It costs $159.99 for the Create plan and $389.99 for the Pro plan.

My Experience Using Lightworks

Lightworks Interface

I actually had a great experience with Lightworks!

After installation, it provided a 15-minute tutorial on how to use the platform (the perfect length). And even after watching the tutorial, it gave me little callouts on everything I clicked on to help me understand how to use all the features.

It was easy to sift through the tabs and find all of the tools I need.

Even though there is a free version, it only exports at 720p. So if you plan to upload your video to social media or send it to a client, you’ll definitely want to use a paid version to get a 1080p export.

Overall, I was really impressed with the follow-along approach provided by Lightworks.

Lightworks Pros

  • Great for making simple social media videos.
  • Easy to use – good for beginners.
  • People love that there are many tutorials available, helping you learn fast!

Lightworks Cons

  • The interface may look a little dated.
  • The free and base plans have limited features, like a max 720p export quality – so you basically need a paid plan to make anything of quality.
  • Some users have difficulty with editing audio.

Final Thoughts

Lightworks is great for anyone wanting to get into video editing. The software’s developers generously offer it for free, meaning cash-strapped aspirants can get comfortable with it and upgrade to a paid plan when their skills and financial fortunes improve.


best free open-source version

OpenShot

OpenShot-Video-Editor-Free-Open

If you’re looking for one of the best free video editing software tools available, give OpenShot a try. This “award-winning open-source” software was built with ease of use and simplicity in mind for Windows, Linux, and Mac users.

It can do everything from video editing to animations (including 3D).

Overview

OpenShot is available in 70+ languages. It offers a straightforward user interface and plenty of features. Some of the notable ones include a video effects engine that makes it possible to remove backgrounds from videos and slow-motion and timing effects.

Top Benefits

  • FFMpeg Library: The software’s powerful FFMpeg library makes it possible for OpenShot to read and write a wide range of video and image formats.
  • Unlimited Tracks and Layers: In OpenShot, you’ll use tracks to layer video, audio, images, and text when working on a typical project. The software lets you create an unlimited number of tracks, depending on your project’s complexity.
  • Transitions and Previews: OpenShot provides 400 transitions. As such, you can transition from one scene to the next in a variety of ways. In addition, it’s easy to initiate transitions: when you overlap two clips, the software will automatically make the transition.
  • Audio Mixing: The developers behind OpenShot understand that videos aren’t complete without audio. Thus, they’ve given the software excellent audio-editing capabilities.

Pricing

OpenShot is a 100% free video editing software. With that said, if you find the software useful, you can donate to the organization here

My Experience Using OpenShot

openshot interface

OpenShot greeted me with text call outs to show where everything was when I first opened it.

It was fairly easy to get my footage in there, but then I had a hard time trying to move the footage around.

They didn’t have any templates, but they had many transitions and a good amount of effects to use (pictured above).

While OpenShot can get the job done, if you’re a mac user, I would say iMovie is the better free option when it comes to a video editing program.

OpenShot Pros

  • It’s free!
  • Easy to use, with a drag-and-drop timeline editing capability.
  • Tools include: trimming, slicing, merging clips, adding transitions and effects, adjusting color and brightness settings.
  • You can also add text to your videos.
  • Supports a variety of video and audio file formats for downloading.

OpenShot Cons

  • Doesn’t have as many features as paid video editing software options.
  • Users report that it can be slow and buggy at times.
  • No pre-made templates for video editing.
  • Not great at animation.

Final Thoughts

For free video editing software, OpenShot packs a punch. Normally, the worry with free software is that it can be discontinued at a moment’s notice. However, since OpenShot is open-source, developers worldwide contribute to the software to improve it, meaning it’ll be around for a long time.


How to Choose Video Editing Software

When choosing video editing software for your project, make sure to consider the following factors:

User-Friendly Interface

User-friendly implies that you can begin using the software without prior knowledge or video editing skills. Everything you need to make adjustments, add audio, insert titles, and so on should be within arm’s reach so you don’t have to pore over an instruction manual or documentation before starting your video projects.

Advanced Editing Features

As you build proficiency with a software program, your projects will become more ambitious and creative. When that happens, you’ll ideally be using software that provides advanced tools and editing features.

Compatibility With Various File Formats

Video files come in different file formats. Some common ones include MP4, AVI, and MOV. Regardless of the format your video is recorded in, your chosen video editing software needs to be compatible with it.

Pricing Options

Multiple pricing tiers are necessary because customers have different needs, i.e., the more expensive the pricing tier, the more features are at the customer’s disposal. Therefore, if you don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with a software, you should have the choice to pay for a lower subscription tier.

Is a Free Trial Available?

Typically, free trials last 30 days, which is enough time for you to test-run the product. When you’re given a choice to trial software and ample time to do so, it’ll help you make an informed purchasing decision.


infographic defining video editing

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, there are plenty of incredible video editing applications on the market. What’s nice is that some of them are actually free to use, and most others have free trials so you can see how easy they are to use, and if they will work for your needs.

Whatever your decision, make sure your chosen software is user-friendly, has advanced features, is compatible with different file formats, and offers multiple pricing tiers! Happy editing!

Best Video Editing Software

Common Questions (FAQs)

Which software is the best for video editing?

Adobe Premiere Pro is by far the best software for video editing. It combines a user-friendly interface with industry-standard editing, resulting in an application that excels at editing video, adding special effects, making color adjustments, and more.

What do most Youtubers use to edit their videos?

Most YouTubers use video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro to edit, resize, and add effects, music, and captions to their videos.

Which is the easiest video editing software?

InVideo is the easiest video editing software to use. Like most professional video editors, it has a ton of features. However, it stands out as the easiest to use because of its vast template library that makes the editing process approachable to complete beginners.

Interested in video editing? Check out these other articles:

The 9+ Best Cheap Stock Video Sites [HD & 4K]

The Best Tablet for Video Editing: 5+ Options Reviewed

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