We also reached out to professionals who use video editing software on a regular basis and asked what aspects are most important to look for in consumer-level programs. Drew Tyler, instructor of digital media at Weber State University, told us there are two primary questions to answer: “Does it fit your eco system?” and “How much do you want to grow into the software?”
Avid Media Composer's latest version comes with a wealth of new and improved features, such as accelerated high-res-to-HD workflows and automated media management to handle background media tasks while you focus on your creative vision. The $999 price tag is steep for amateurs, but worth it if you're looking for a professional-grade software. As the editing software of choice for summer blockbusters like Star Trek and The Great Gatsby, Avid Media Composer 7 can handle any editing challenge with ease.
There are two different licenses you can choose from with Lightworks: "Free" and "Pro." (The latter of which, as you might have guessed, requires that you cough up some cash.) The main difference between the two licenses is that the Pro version offers more features, including stereoscopic output and advanced project sharing. But the free version is still quite powerful, providing 100+ effects and supporting multicam editing.
There are so many different video formats out there, and one device may capture in a different format than another. Furthermore, different devices and platforms need specific file formats for playback—and those formats may be different than what your camera captures! That means you’ll want software that can import from a variety of sources and that will support many file formats for export.
4k and gif support are boilerplate features for most video editing products today, but one thing Filmora does particularly well is titles. Title tools are trending in video software, and while Filmora’s doesn’t have the functionality of say, an Apple Final Cut Pro X, which can superimpose 3D titles over your videos and rotate them on three axes, it nonetheless has some snazzy titling features for the money you’re spending.
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.
Interface design: While the layout of the interface is clear and functional, the color scheme definitely leaves something to be desired. A lot of the text is in gray or brown lettering on a black background, and some menus are even light gray on dark gray, making them almost impossible to read. There are several skins available for this program as well, and they all have the same issues in at least some parts of the interface.
After struggling with GoPro Studio's constant glitches and quirkiness, I finally got fed-up enough to search for an editor that fits my needs. For me that was something simple, reliable and actually usable. I didn't need a lot of features yet, just a means of basic editing without freezing-up. Very reliable! Two things I noticed that were minor issues for me: 1. - audio/video syncing during editing/preview was an issue that was solved by rendering often, 2. - I'd like the fade transition to be more smooth and adjustable but maybe I have to look into this a bit more. Overall a pleasure to use. I actually look forward to using it compared to the dread I felt using GoPro Studio, which isn't even available to download any more. Another appropriate review I read of GoPro Studio was that it was free, powerful and dysfunctional.
We created, exported and reviewed all of the results. We watched every video we made, looking for imperfections in the video and audio. Flaws such as pixelation, compression artifact, motion blur and more were present in most of the videos we examined, but they varied greatly depending on which program we used. Each program was given an A to F quality grade based on this evaluation.
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.
With an attractive interface, a multitude of video effects and the ability to upload directly to Facebook, Vimeo, Box and YouTube, Pinnacle Studio has long been a favorite in video editing. While it is one of the more expensive options in this list, and it doesn’t have 4K UHD support, Pinnacle serves as a nice middle-ground option for those who aren’t slackers in the video editing department, but who haven’t reached pro status just yet.
Trusted by 250+ exceptional customers across the world including Duke University, the University of Nebraska, Mortenson Construction, NBC, and General Electric, ilos is the fastest growing interactive video platform for business and higher education. ilos is the most simple yet robust video platform on the market, enabling video makers to record, edit, share, and host interactive videos within one app. Built on the newest technology stack, the ilos platform is miles ahead of legacy video services. What sets ilos apart from other video platforms? Intuitive for Non-Video Professionals: Empower every member of your organization to make professional-level videos, regardless of their video experience level. Interactive Video: Easily add in-video quizzing and live commenting to videos to transform passive viewers into active learners. Guest Record: Crowdsource content directly from your SMEs, students, or customers, with just the click of a button. Rapid Record: Record personalized videos at scale for sales prospects or members of your organization. Admin Control: Control LMS integrations, video analytics, user profiles and more within you ilos dashboard.
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.
There are two main draws to the Creator app. First, it includes some special features for Facebook Live. Anyone using it will be able to create custom intros and outros — intros are especially handy, as it takes a moment before other people see the link and start watching — as well as the ability to add interactive stickers and a custom video frame. The app is also able to take and edit photos and post them to Facebook Stories and other platforms (it’s not clear if that includes Instagram, but it really should).
The simplest way to create a digital movie in Movie Maker is to add your clips to the timeline and choose one of the seven AutoMovie Themes—Default, Contemporary, Cinematic, Fade, Pan and Zoom (best used with photos), Black and White, and Sepia. It's nowhere near as extensive a set of options you'll see in iMovie, let alone Adobe Premiere Elements, but they're in simple good taste. These are displayed as thumbnails in the center of the Home ribbon. They add an intro title screen, transitions, and credits to the production.
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.
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.
There are tons of in-program effects such as transitions, titles, credits, captions and even included audio scores, meaning you won’t get held up at any step of your editing process. There are panning and shift capabilities, high-quality post-processing zoom, as well as a plethora of color filtering plugins to give you the look you’ll need, even if the raw footage isn’t quite there. You’ll have the ability to export your movies in up to 4K resolution, and the software even supports 360-degree video projects. It’s a great powerhouse for beginners.