Whether you’re a professional video editor or an amateur, video is a universal way to enjoy, share and create memories that can last forever. No matter if you’re capturing life’s best (and worst) moments via a smartphone, DSLR or even a point-and-shoot camera, editing video will allow you to highlight and share the footage with the world. Which video editor you use to ship your final product is best determined by your use case, the type of computer you own and, of course, your budget. With those choices in mind, here’s our take on the best video editors available today.
Best Overall: Premiere Elements 15
Often considered a pared-down version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements 15 is still an excellent video editor. Buoyed by its user-friendliness, the cross-platform (Mac and Windows 10) Premiere Elements 15 is full of features and options that can be enjoyed by both amateurs and professionals. Once you import media, the workflow is standard with organizing video clips into a timeline, applying any post-effects and then previewing/publishing the final product. Basic additions such as creating video collages, enhancing audio, de-hazing landscapes and stabilizing video are all present to help create the best possible product. Adobe even adds some smart features such as turning frowns upside down or adding a motion blur for creating a dramatic look at sports or action scenes. The built-in companion organizer will help keep previous assets sorted and organized for quickly locating after upload, so it’s easy to re-discover previously finished and draft products.
Best For Macs: Apple Final Cuts Pro
Apple’s Final Cut Pro X software falls into what we call the “prosumer” category because it treads the line between a product for consumers who want to up their video-editing game and one for professionals who need powerful editing tools. It lacks a traditional timeline-track interface, which is enough to scare some users off, but the software is intuitive and powerful nonetheless. It has great organizational tools like libraries, ratings, tagging, auto analysis for faces and scenes, and automatic color coding for track-specific clips, useful keyboard short-cuts and drag-and-drop media importing give Adobe’s Premiere Elements a run for its money. Unfortunately, you can’t directly open projects from Final Cut Pro 7 or earlier, but there are many third-party plug-ins that will help you out there.
Best Video Editing Software for Windows: Cyberlink PowerDirector 15 Ultimate
Windows users have an affordable and powerful video editing software in Cyberlink PowerDirector 15 Ultimate. This easy-to-use tool sports an intuitive interface that new users can pick up with the help of video tutorials. But the product really distinguishes itself from the competition with a number of premium features, including end-to-end 360-degree video editing, which gives you unparalleled control over every detail in the scene. Numerous modes such as the Extreme Toolkit for sports footage, as well as wedding and traveling packs, make this a versatile tool suitable for a number of directors. TrueTheater color adds dramatic depth by dynamically adjusting color saturation to look like true HDR footage. Finally, the unique Vertical Video Mode blends all of CyberLink’s tech into the 9:16 format used by most streaming media sites, eliminating any headache of transferring your content to the big screen.
Best for Storytelling: Pinnacle Studio 21
For a piece of consumer software, Pinnacle Studio 21 has an impressive number of features. You can import video from a broad range of sources and it even supports stop-motion video capture from any connected camera, 3D, 360 video and multi-camera editing. You’ll bask in its wide variety of filters and transitions, which help in the storytelling process. Previous Pinnacle users who were unsatisfied with the interface will be happy to know it’s gotten an upgrade, and is now one of the best-looking and most intuitive Windows editors out there, granting you quick access to your favorite tools. It’s also gotten a big boost when it comes to reliability, and users no longer report buggy crashes.
Best For Beginners: Corel VideoStudio
Best For Youtube: Corel VideoStudio Pro X10
Best For Professionals: Adobe Premiere Pro
Best for Professionals: Adobe Premiere Pro
Best For SmartPhones: Adobe Premiere Clip