Nero Video 2017 is slightly cheaper at $50 than many competing video editing suites, but it offers most of the same features, including Ultra HD 4K support and intelligent curation features for your media library. And with H.265 format support for mobile devices and the handy ability to switch between a basic and advanced editing mode, Nero will please a wide range of users. It’s mostly intended for burning physical media, and doesn’t have good social exporting options. But even if you’re not planning to do DVDs, Nero is worth a look if you want a budget option for video editing software. (Read our full review.)

What I like best abut Windows Movie Maker is that it is so simple to use! It's been the standard movie editing program for me for a while now, for basic movie editing needs. There is no need for countless controls and buttons. The interface is so simple and easy to use. Easily import footage such as photos and videos, and easily edit/cut and combine them all together. Even very easy to add pre-made transitions without having to manually animate them.

That’s assuming you’re just exporting files. You may want to burn a DVD or Blu-ray disc, or upload your videos directly to YouTube or Facebook. Each of these comes with its own set of necessary features that some apps have and others don’t. For disc burning, you need not only support for the right formats, but DVD menu authoring tools so viewers can navigate what you’re presenting. On the social side, it’s much easier if the application syncs up directly with your account online and allows you to enter metadata like a description, tags, and privacy settings.

Apple’s iMovie, which competes only with cross-platform free apps and Adobe Elements, is the obvious choice for the best Mac video editing software, thanks to its outstanding output, themes and trailers, macOS integration, and features that encourage good moviemaking skills. For the best free software, HitFilm Express 9 gets the nod for its abundant cinematic capabilities and stylish interface. If you often share your videos on YouTube and other social media platforms, the free, cross-platform VideoPad is your best option.

The set of features provided in Windows Movie Maker is, yet again, quite modest. You can use only a handful of effects and transitions there, compared to the impressive collection offered in Movavi Video Editor Plus. The same goes for title presets. When you edit your projects, whether at home or in the office environment, you’d probably want a bit more room for creativity. This is precisely what is available to Movavi users, together with handy features like callouts, auto adjustment, and timeline mode.
A unique mix of video editing, visual effects and 3D compositing for filmmakers and professional motion artists. Everything you need in one product. Free edition HitFilm 3 Express also available. From short films to documentaries, commercials to vlogging - HitFilm has features for beginners and experts alike, combining depth and sophistication with an intuitive simplicity. Chief among the advancements are a powerful video editor, greater realism when rendering 3D scenes, advanced animation controls and a refined interface. Also included is HitFilm Ignite (over 140 plugins for all major video platforms), mocha HitFilm and BorisFX 3D Objects to create incredible title sequences.
Our team of reviewers used each program’s editing tools, effects and export options to create identical test DVDs. They timed how long it took to burn a new DVD, complete with menus and chapters when possible. Our video experts then played the new DVDs on a large-screen television and searched for imperfections such as compression artifact, motion blur and interlacing issues. The results of these tests, as well as our reviewers’ personal experiences using each program, were used to decide the programs’ final scores and ranks. All our tests were designed to replicate the experience of an average user as well as a veteran editor. 
Magix is a bit of a sleeper as far as movie editors go, and honestly it does fall short in some of the higher level features that you’ll find in the big dogs like Final Cut and Adobe Premiere. But let’s start with the basics of what makes it great for a beginner, and that’s the fact that, well, it handles the basics really well. First off, it’ll run on most modern Windows machines, up through Windows 10, which is great for beginners because those people most likely won’t have the budget or desire to shell out for a Mac. So it’s software that will work out of the box for your affordable Windows machine. According to their website, the software has been going strong for 15 years, delivering upwards of 93 percent customer satisfaction on its iterations.
For starters, they’ve added in some crazy seamless morph transitions to help you blend together all the parts of your visual story. They’ve thrown in a pretty unique paintbrush filter effect that will work in tandem with already-shot video, letting you transform raw, live footage into living animations. Not only does Studio 21 Ultimate offer support for uploading 360-degree video but they’ve included a surprisingly intuitive set of trim, edit and control features for 360 video that will let you ensure your viewer gets the exact immersive experience you want.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
VideoPad is a comprehensive cross-platform software package for the YouTube social media crowd. While this app lacks the flashy, whiz-bang appeal of some commercial apps, it’s still a rock-solid choice for simple video editing. From the main menu, you can choose which social network you want to upload to. The app offers a number of YouTube choices ranging from 480p to 4K, as well as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and Google Drive, and is free for non-commercial use.
I decided to upgrade (pay) when the free version only allowed 5 min videos max. So I paid for a gold class and now I am told I can only make 10 min videos - WTF! You would assume once you pay you can make much longer videos! That cost me $42 AUD. I also notice that once the video is "completed" some of the processed video is black and only has sound. Windows Movie Maker (which was actually FREE) never did this, and its controls were much easier to use. The controls are also very hard to use.
Windows Video Maker is an easy-to-use solution ideal for beginners. Although the program is offered for free and come standard on virtually every windows PC, it provides all the basic features for a perfect introduction. The software utilizes the most common workflow elements of the professional video editing systems. However, it offers an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate even for the novice editors. The interface provides a simplified version of a standard video editor timeline. The timeline features clips that are characterized by Long thumbnails and ease of use.
When using this software, I was able to create videos that helped me teach and motivate students. I was also able to make videos that clarified concepts that we were working on in the classroom. I was able to teach students how to use the software which they did wonderfully. It brought joy to the classroom and the kids were doing something that they clearly enjoyed.
Cyberlink is often the first to roll out new and innovative tools and features. For example, it pioneered multi-cam functionality for consumer-level software. That technology was previously only found in professional programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Cyberlink’s basics are also top-notch. This program has a 99-track timeline, which gives nearly unlimited versatility. You can make simple videos quickly but also delve deeply into complex projects. You may never edit a feature film with this software, but it is more than capable of that task. In our ease-of-use tests, PowerDirector earned an A. Our reviewers noted that the interface is intuitive, the tools are accessible, and even the most advanced features are simple to learn. You can unlock the fullest potential of the program easily if you learn how to use the tools properly.
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