Several of the products here (Adobe Premiere Elements is a notable exception) still support 3D video editing if that's your thing, though the this has been replaced by 360-degree VR footage like that shot by the Samsung Gear 360 as the current home-theater fad. As is often the case, our Editors' Choice, CyberLink PowerDirector was the first product in this group to offer support for this new kind of video media.

The Easy Editor launches the Magic Movie Wizard to help you create a finished video in just a few minutes. All you have to do is load the clips you want in the video, select the style of video and pick your background music. The program then analyzes your footage with its Magic Style algorithms to pick out the best shots in your footage and arrange them into a finished project. When you preview this generated video, you have the option to do some fine-tuning in the Full Feature Editor.


If you are new to the video editing world, a free video editing software can be the best choice for you. Although most free video editors are feature limited, they are easy to use and can meet almost all of your basic video demands like cutting, trimming, cropping, or rotating. Our top 12 list focuses on the best free video editing software for Windows we could find, and it will give you a overview of what you can expect from each video editor.
You may want to expand into specialty and high-end features like stop-motion video, multi-camera editing, 3D 360 VR, and support for the official Ultra HD 4K format used by most Blu-ray players. You’ll generally find that the most expensive consumer video editors support these features well, and the cheaper ones either don’t support them or produce lackluster results.
One of the cheaper options around ($49.99), Nero Video holds its own on this list—it comes well-stocked with a lot of the tricks and effects you’ll find among other products vying for video editing supremacy, and as far as software for beginners, you can certainly do worse. If you’re going to spend money learning how to edit videos, however, you might want to steer clear. Nero just doesn’t have the speed and functionality of some of the other products listed here, and if it’s value proposition is its price, $50 is still not all that cheap.  
Particularly intensive is the process of rendering your finished product into a standard video file that will by playable on the target device of choice, be that an HDTV, a laptop, or a smartphone. Most of the software can take advantage of your computer's graphics processor to speed this up. Be sure to check the performance section in each review linked here to see how speedy or slow the application is. In rendering speed testing, CyberLink and Pinnacle have been my perennial champs. /injects>
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.

Corel’s Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate gives you everything you’ll get with the standard copy of Pinnacle Studio 21, plus a host of upgraded features. It does everything the lower version will do: giving you seamless editing interface, the ability to work in full HD, as well as a great set of features for laying out a perfect story with video. But, it will also offer you a host of post effects that put this thing way out of its price class.
You may want to expand into specialty and high-end features like stop-motion video, multi-camera editing, 3D 360 VR, and support for the official Ultra HD 4K format used by most Blu-ray players. You’ll generally find that the most expensive consumer video editors support these features well, and the cheaper ones either don’t support them or produce lackluster results.
This is an excellent question, and it has a simple and short answer: I make and edit videos with it, so that I can sell them and earn money. My industry is the freelance world for music and video, thus, if there´s software that allows me to make and edit videos quickly, then this software will be one of the main tools for my business, and this is the reason why Movie Maker is a vital piece for my business that allows me to handle most of my video needs.
Another hidden "cost" is periodic or even constant in-line advertising or reminders that an upgrade is available. Our favorite program, HitFilm, never pushes an upgrade on you, but it makes you go through a social media and authorizing song and dance to download the product or switch computers. VideoPad (on the Mac) makes you verify at every launch that you are using the free version for noncommercial purposes.
There are more video editing software applications than we can fit into this roundup of the best options, which includes only software rated three stars and higher. The best known among them is probably Vegas Movie Studio, which was recently acquired by Magix from Sony. Sony's product used a very cluttered interface that more resembled high-end professional video editing software from the early days of the craft. Magix has made some progress in simplifying it and bringing it up to par with the competition, but more work is needed for it to be included here.

Tyler explained that the software you buy should complement the hardware you use, as well as the type of project you’re working on. “You want to have software that will work well with your phone, digital camera, action cam or whatever you’re shooting on. If you plan on shooting on a lot of different devices, you want a program that’s compatible with a lot of different formats.”
Its 360-degree footage tools allow you to set anchor points, pan and zoom through your footage, add effects, and stabilize shaky recordings. The program even has dedicated 360-degree titles that match your footage perfectly, rather than trying to warp a regular title to fit. And with the view designer, you can convert 360-degree videos to work with conventional projects.
The Express Projects module offers a library of preprogrammed video templates to choose from. PowerDirector walks you through sorting your footage, choosing the best shots for your video and letting you experiment with where to place footage in the template. This is important for two reasons: First, it allows beginner and novice users the opportunity to complete a project without being intimidated by the complexity of the software; second, it does so in a way that teaches you to use the tools in the Full Feature Editor, making the jump that much easier.
There are the times when you just want to edit a video -- no fancy collages and no splicing. For that, there's InShot, a handy app that lets you trim, speed up, or add music and filters to video. It's pretty fundamental, but with that comes a high ease of use. You can also add a background, if you like, though we think it's pretty cool to have an overlap of images, like we did with the video below.
As the industry leader in video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro CC comes with a redesigned timeline and Paste Effects, which allows you to copy and paste the effects you need from one clip to another, making your editing faster and more efficient. Other new features include new sync settings, the ability to browse through your projects to find and combine clips faster, closed captioning features and improved multicam editing. And as part of the Creative Cloud, it’s backed by the Adobe Creative Suite, integrated with Behance and can be synced across multiple workstations.
With Movavi Video Editor, it’s fun and easy to create wonderful videos even for beginners. Simply drop your media files onto the timeline and use the Windows-friendly editing tools to customize. Like most video editors, the Movavi Video Editor allows you to make basic changes to your clips by trimming, cutting and rotating them to any angle. With this software, however, you can also become your own movie producer by using multiple filters, transitions, titles, stickers and special effects. Show multiple videos on one screen with the picture-in-picture tool or freeze the video at any frame for added emphasis. Make video cards to send to family and friends or preserve vacation memories in a format people will actually want to watch. Automatically improve video quality with Magic Enhance, or manually adjust color parameters like brightness, contrast and saturation for better viewability. Movavi Video Editor even helps you minimize annoying motion distortion with the stabilization tool. 
Being a YouTube creator is hard. When you're not getting subscribers nor views on your videos, it's easy to feel discouraged, disappointed, frustrated, and quit. Yes, YouTube is hard and there's a lot you need to learn in order to grow a successful YouTube channel, including video editing, audience growth, storytelling, video production, business development, and more. But when you have a mission that's bigger than all that, the motivation to keep going can be stronger than all the struggles and difficulties in the process. This is how I stay motivated on YouTube and don't quit despite the struggles.
There are times when you don't want to share your video with the entire world. Burning a disc of your video is an excellent way to finish and personalize your creation. PowerDirector comes with several menu templates, but it also allows you to build custom menus. You can add chapters to your videos as well as features such as subtitles for the hearing impaired. You can create a disc for any purpose, whether it be as a gift for family, a screener for an independent film or a professional presentation for colleagues.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.
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