Simple video editor programs have an easy or basic mode for beginners. This is distinct from the familiar timeline and storyboard modes and often reduces editing to its most basic concepts and tools. Some applications make the process even easier by scanning your media and creating a video with it automatically. The best video editing programs let you manipulate the automatically generated video after it has been compiled.
Increasingly, new capabilities trickle down from professional-level software to the consumer category. That's a good thing for nonprofessional movie editors, since the more-consumer-oriented software makes formerly difficult procedures a cinch for them. Read on for a survey of the latest trends in video editing software and our top picks in the field.
Nothing makes an impression like moving images with sound. That's why digital video continues to grow in importance online. Couple that trend with the ever-increasing availability of devices capable of high-resolution video recording—smartphones, GoPros, DSLRs—and the case for ever more powerful video editing software becomes clear. Further, the software must be usable by nonprofessionals, and it has to keep up with new formats such as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), 360-degree VR video, and 4K and above.
When it comes to user-friendliness, sophisticated features and ways to output your video, nothing beats the cross-platform Adobe Premiere Elements. With genuinely inspiring but practical features, Elements’ new video collage, audio remix, enhanced face detection, haze removal and adjustment layers focus on what consumers need every day. Its companion Organizer app keeps assets organized and searchable, and the touch-friendly interface works quite well in Windows 10.
At Top Ten Reviews we’ve researched and tested the best video editing software for 14 years. Over the past year, our team of expert reviewers spent more than 155 hours making dozens of videos to evaluate, compare and rate each product. We evaluated, compared and rated each program. In the end, we picked CyberLink PowerDirector as the top choice. Its full array of tools will satisfy both the novice user and the veteran editor. It’s packed with many of the same tools found in professional video editing software. And its 99-track timeline gives you the flexibility to complete complex projects.
Think about your budget, your current level of expertise, and how much time you’re willing to devote to learning a new skill. Whether you're looking for the best video editing software for YouTube, or the responsibility has simply fallen on you to get your team’s video marketing strategy up to snuff—don’t wait around deliberating! Get invested in one of these video editing products, and make it yours.
In the midrange, there's Adobe Premiere Elements, which is cross-platform between Macs and PCs, and offers a lot more features and lots of help with creating effects. Professionals and prosumers have powerful, though pricey options in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Final Cut is a deceptively simple application that resembles iMovie in its interface and ease of use, but it offers massively deep capabilities, and many third-party apps integrate with it for even more power. It also makes excellent use of the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, as shown in photo above. Premiere Pro uses a more traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features.
I like how simple Windows Movie Maker is to use. It don't come with pre-installed with Windows 10, but I was able to quickly download and install it. The controls are pretty straightforward and remind me of the controls on other Windows software, like Microsoft Word and Excel. I like being able to add basic effects and transitions without needing to set a ton of parameters.
Aside from video, images and audio can also be incorporated into your project by simply dragging your desired multimedia into the project area and arranging them in timeline-like fashion. The resulting video can always be previewed in real time, as well as any effects — themes, text, music, voice-overs — before exporting the file directly to YouTube, Facebook, or a wealth of other platforms.
Ok—so to those of you working with PCs, this one won’t really apply; but we’d remiss to leave it off the list. If you’re looking for simplicity and elegance, it doesn’t get much better than Apple iMovie. iMovie’s ten high-fidelity filters are some of the classiest in the video editing game; and if you’re shooting on your iPhone, or have been editing a project on your iPad, you can use AirDrop to wirelessly and seamlessly transfer your project over to your Mac.
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.