Choosing the perfect video editing software is a giant pain (there are 140+ applications listed on G2 alone!), so we’re here to help. Here are our top 10 picks, along with their pricing, pros, and cons.
Top 10 video editing software
1. Adobe Premiere Elements
Adobe Premiere Elements is a stripped-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro. This beginner-level video editor gives you the essentials without overwhelming you with excessive features.
- Ideal for users new to editing videos and with basic to moderate editing needs.
- Export video in a large variety of formats (e.g., directly export to YouTube).
- Occasional bugs such as visual glitches, audio distortion, and wrong color format.
- Audio editing tools are not as numerous as video editing functions.
Price: 30-day free trial. One-time payment of $99.99.
2. Apple iMovie
Transform your raw footage into a movie with iMovie. This “movie magic” video editor is best for Apple users who want to do light edits across multiple devices seamlessly.
- Fast and intuitive drag-and-drop editor for video editing.
- Many customizable built-in templates.
- Only available to Apple users.
- Limited control for several tools (e.g., color correction control is pretty basic).
3. Apple Final Cut Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro is a robust version of iMovie. With this video editing platform, it’s effortless to manage your multiple projects in one place. It also provides all the necessary tools a professional editor needs for the entire video production process.
- Numerous third-party plugins that automate and optimize complex video effects for specific use cases.
- Stellar dynamic audio, visual editing, and 360-degree video editing tools.
- Improved color correction controls (they used to be basic and crash quite often).
- Only available to Mac users.
- Prone to bug issues (e.g., random crashes when exporting and sharing files), which usually happen during software tool updates.
- Takes some time to familiarize with the video editor and its extensive features.
Price: 90-day free trial. One-time payment of $299.99.
Camtasia is a screen recording and video editing software with over 24 million users. It’s one of the top-rated tools in the market if you want to create and edit tutorials, webinars, and meeting recordings.
- Simple and straightforward user interface is ideal for beginners.
- Customizable and royalty-free templates, motion graphics, overlays, and audio tracks to enhance your video.
- 2-in-1 software to record your screen and audio and edit it without leaving the platform.
- Processing videos tend to eat up time. Based on reviews, Camtasia struggles with heavily edited videos.
- Inconsistent editing tools (e.g., noise reduction doesn’t always remove background noise).
Price: 30-day free trial. One-time fee of $267.49/user. Discounts available for education, government, and nonprofit organizations.
5. Wondershare Filmora
Wondershare Filmora is a simple video editing software designed for beginners. A popular alternative to iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, Filmora is worth a look if you’re dipping your toes into video editing.
- Vast template library of titles, effects, and transitions.
- Slow interface when exporting videos, especially with green-screen effects. Filmora is also prone to lagging during intensive editing (e.g., moving multiple clips around).
- Unintuitive editing tools. Several novice users report that editing titles, text, and colors are more complicated than it should be.
Price: Trial version available with watermark. Monthly fee of $39.99 when billed annually, with updates. A one-time payment of $69.99, excludes updates.
Animoto is a beginner-friendly drag-and-drop video maker. It’s an ideal fit for marketers who often create short or animated videos on social media.
Price: Starts free. Paid plans begin at $8/month when billed annually.
- Creating and editing videos only take a few minutes.
- Fast rendering — most videos take under five minutes.
- Limited library of audio tracks, fonts (e.g., only about 40), templates, and video editing styles.
Price: Starts free. Paid plans begin at $8/month when billed annually.
7. Avid Media Composer
Avid Media Composer is a popular video editing software tool in the broadcast and film industry. It’s best for professional video editors with hundreds of hours of footage.
- Efficient team collaboration where editors can look through and copy your content but can’t save over your edits when you have the file open.
- Speedy importing and exporting.
- Great trimming tools with different modes (e.g., trim when playing a video sequence, trim multiple tracks).
- Bins system for organization. You don’t need to open and close folders constantly to find what you’re looking for.
- Steep learning curve as features work differently (e.g., audio, trimming, three-points edit).
- Frustrating error messages are difficult to decode.
Price: $23.99/month when billed annually, or $239 upfront every year.
Powtoon is widely used in Fortune 500 companies, and for good reason. This video maker and editor shines in creating fun, animated videos. If you want to breathe new life into your videos, give it a try!
- Zero learning curve with excellent editing tools.
- Great animation settings (e.g., change character’s position or emotion).
- Slide duration is determined by your subscription plan.
Price: Starts free, with paid plans starting at $19/month when billed annually.
9. PowerDirector 365
PowerDirector hits the sweet spot for intermediate video editors. It offers superb editing tools and customization options without overcomplicating the experience.
- Fast rendering thanks to hardware acceleration feature.
- Excellent workflow that enables you to save customized assets for future use.
- Frequent crashes during importing.
- Certain tools might take time to get used to (e.g., cutting video clips, syncing).
Price: Starts free. Paid plans begin at $4.33/month when billed annually.
10. VideoStudio Pro
VideoStudio Pro is an entry-level editor. This software tool is ideal for novices who want to get started in video editing before taking on the advanced ones.
- Great editing tools for light to moderate editing (e.g., gloss effects, masking).
- Unpredictable lags that may result in underwhelming quality output in text and transitions.
Price: 30-day free trial. One-time purchase of $79.99.
Video editing software deals from AppSumo
If you’re on a tight budget, fear not. AppSumo has the deals to help you produce high-quality videos on a shoestring budget.
1. Aicoosoft Video Converter
All-in-one tool for video conversion, video compression, video editing, and video downloading.
Aicoosoft is a video toolbox that lets you convert, compress, and edit your videos in one place. Its video editing tools may be on the basic side (e.g., you can trim, crop, and add effects, but applying transitions and animations is out of the question), but for the casual user, it’s more than enough.
Price: Starts free. Paid plans begin at $29.99 for one-year access.
AppSumo price: $29 for life.
Create unique, high-quality social video content in just a few clicks.
Tyle is a smart video and image editor for social media. With a stock library of over three million images and clips, you never have to worry about shooting additional photos and videos since it has everything you need. Sure, Tyle may not be the standard video editor (it doesn’t have the essential tools like color grading and noise reduction), but it sure is helpful if you want to create short videos on your social media channels thanks to its magic resize feature.
Price: Starts free for up to 20 slides. Paid plans begin at $24.50/month when billed annually.
AppSumo price: $59 for life.
Create customized videos for social media in only a few clicks.
Multimedia5 is an AI video creation tool. It streamlines the video process — from the intro to credit scene — in a few clicks. Enter the article URL, and Multimedia5 will automatically create a customized video with visuals, audio, and highlighted text. Hands down, this is the visual storytelling tool every video marketer needs.
Price: Free for two videos per month. Paid plans start at $4/month when billed annually.
AppSumo price: $36 for one year.
Free video editing software options
Don’t want to commit to a paid plan right away? Play around with free tools! For most casual users, these free video editing software platforms will suffice. Here are three tools to try before you decide to upgrade:
Lightworks is a lightweight video editing platform for casual users.
The free plan offers essential features: Sound manipulation, typography, and the ability to work in mixed frame rates (a handy feature if you want to edit footage from multiple sources).
It’s free to use Lightworks. Pro plans start at $24.99/month.
OpenShot is a free and open-source video editing software.
Users love the simplicity of this video editor. It’s fuss-free to navigate it, as it shows all the essential features in the main window. In terms of features, users like the animated titles and effects.
3. DaVinci Resolve 17
Created by Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve 17 is the ultimate color correction software tool.
This fantastic video editor handles the entire post-production process. Users love the fusion tab; it’s easy to create visual effects in complex scenes. Other fan-favorite features include audio processing and color grading tools.
DaVinci Resolve 17 is free to use. The paid version, DaVinci Resolve Studio 17, which offers more advanced tools, will set you back $295.
Fastreel is a free cloud-based online video editor that lets you compress, cut, merge, and make videos with templates.
You can make a video from images and footage, and then, add music from its copyright-free library directly. This free online video editor tool allows you to add MP4, JPEG, PNG, MOV, MKV, AVI, WMV, and GIF files up to 500 MB total.
Fastreel is free to use and the premium plans start from $5.95 per video.
Do I need professional video editing software?
Short answer: Yes.
Videos are widely used across all business scenarios. Consider these incredible stats:
- 68% of marketers say video has a better ROI than Google Ads.
- 94% of video marketers share they feel video has increased their users’ understanding of their product or service.
- According to 93% of marketers, posting a video on social media attracted a new customer.
If you want to boost engagement and conversions in your videos — explainer video, presentations, ads, or whatnot — you need to invest in a video editing software to make sure it’s in tip-top shape.
But what kind of video editors should you focus on?
Sure, industry standards like Media Composer and Final Cut Pro provide advanced editing tools that turn raw footage into masterpieces. However, these high-level video editing platforms tend to offer over-complicated features at an exorbitant price. For the professional, it’s a no-brainer. The benefits greatly outweigh the costs.
But for the average startup and small business? It’s overkill. Can you imagine paying $200+ every year for a full-on video editing suite when you’re only using a fraction of the features?
To get the most bang for your buck, check out our lifetime deals on AppSumo! You’ll find a video editing software that does exactly what you need while saving money down the road.
How to evaluate the best video editing software for your business and team
Wondering what factors to consider when choosing a video editing software for your startup? Here are several questions to ask yourself as you compare these tools.
1. What operating system do you use?
There are plenty of software tools out there that work on multiple operating systems (e.g., Apple, Windows, and Linux). Occasionally, you’ll spot some video editing software tools for specific platforms (case in point: Final Cut Pro only works for Mac users).
Before committing, double-check if the video editor works for your desktop or laptop.
2. What video editing tools do I need?
If you’re looking to perform heavy edits, you’ll need advanced editing tools like stereoscopic 3D graphics and multiple GPU usage. For this, your best bet is a full-on video editing suite.
What if you’re a social media marketer at a startup? A user-friendly video editing software platform with basic features (e.g., stock images, text customization) like Animoto will suffice.
3. How will the video be used?
Are you using your videos in a massive social media campaign? If so, you’ll want to focus on video editing tools that make the process as easy as possible. In this case, Tyle works perfectly, as it resizes your videos without requiring you to adjust them manually.
4. What are your goals with your video?
Are you looking to attract conversions? Boost engagement? Educate users? Ultimately, it depends on your goals.
Take Multimedia5, for instance. The AI video maker and editor is best if you want to repurpose your blog post into a bite-sized video and attract more eyeballs to your business.
5. What’s your budget?
For smaller businesses, expensive video editing software tools are unsustainable in the long run. Review and see which video editor fits your budget. Better yet, pay only once and get it for life (Hint, hint: Get the AppSumo lifetime deals!).
6. What’s your level of expertise?
It’s overwhelming learning a high-level editing software tool, especially when you’re a beginner.
Even free video editing software tools like DaVinci Resolve 17 require hours of practice. Think hard about how much you’re willing to commit before settling on a tool.
7. What are the system requirements?
Video editors, particularly advanced ones, tend to require “maximum juice” to operate efficiently (e.g., DaVinci Resolve 17 doesn’t work well on older computers and laptops). Check if your desktop or laptop can accommodate your new video editor.