A girl working with video editing software on her notebook

Top 10 Best Video Editing Software in 2018

Video is a great way to express your emotions and ideas. Whether you want to make a video for your friends or family or you would like to start your vlog — you will need software that suits you best. There is software for professional with numerous features and there are apps that are easy and capable at the same time — the best choice for beginners.

Here we will discuss the top 10 best video editing software in 2018: for professionals, for beginners and some free apps.

1.  Movavi Video Editor

The best one for home users
The interface of Movavi video editor

Simply the best video editor that you don’t need to learn.

The biggest advantage of Movavi software is that it doesn’t overwhelm you with complicated controls, uncountable menus and an ocean of small buttons.

Movavi Video Editor is an answer to anyone who thinks that video editing is hard. And one can’t blame them — Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas were always famous for making beginners afraid. The most popular software always had a steep learning curve. You should spend a day in order to make your first 5-minute video.

Things are much different from Movavi. You only need to follow simple instructions of the tutorial to make your first video in a couple of minutes. It’s hard to believe, but it is really that simple.

Apart from being easy to learn, this Video Editor features a great number of necessary features — great titles, transitions, chromakey, zoom, etc. In Plus version of the software, you also can use keyframe animation tool which allows you to create a movement of any object at the scene.

For people who love to do some custom tuning of their movies, Movavi recently released Effects Store. There you can find some effects sets on different themes — travel, family and seasons. For example, you can add a beautiful transition with flying plane to your vacation video to make it more entertaining and emotional.

Also, it’s worth to mention Montage Wizard which is an editing mode you can choose when launching the software. This mode is basically made for people who simply can’t find a time to look through all the footage that they have to find interesting moments to include in their videos. How it works: you simply add the whole folder with your clips (your recent trip to Paris, for example) then you choose the length of the desired movie, choose the music and the software just does its magic. That saved me a lot of time when I had to do a report of my recent vacation to my friends.

Movavi Video Editor has a trial version that lasts 7 days. Unfortunately, it adds a big watermark on the exported video, so if you need to show it to someone, you should buy the software. It costs from $39.95 to $59.95 depending on the version.

  • Easy and friendly interface with a smooth learning curve
  • Great collection of titles, transitions, and other goodies
  • Thematic effects sets for different occasions
  • Pretty capable for its price
  • Windows and Mac versions
  • Reasonable price
  • Somewhat short in features compared to more professional software

Learn more about Movavi Video Editor

Read our full Movavi Video Editor 14 Plus Review

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

The best one for professionals
The interface of Adobe Premiere video editor

Adobe is a big name in the software market. This company makes products for everything that there is — photo, video, design, web, documents.

That allows Adobe Premiere to be packed with features like no one else: 4k video, 360 videos, Lumetri Color — you name it. If you would be so brave to follow one of the steepest learning curves ever that is. Simply exporting your video can be a quest by itself — just try to rummage through all the menus and options.

Nevertheless, Adobe Premiere is one of the video industry standards and if you’re really into professional video making you’ll have to pick this or some of its counterparts like Vegas Pro, Avid Media Composer or even something ridiculously expensive such as Foundry Nuke.

Being very popular software with a lot of history, Premiere has just an incredible amount of lessons, courses, etc. to help you to learn it. Be sure that you will find a way to implement any of the creative things that you want — this especially true if you willing to master another of the Adobe software — After Effects which is often used in pair with Premiere.

Speaking of the complimentary software — you can’t really buy any of the Adobe products now. The company has moved towards the subscription model. This basically means that you have to subscribe to get access to the software. The price on the single Adobe Premiere starts with $20.99 for a month if you pay a year upfront. If you want to use After Effects with Premiere, you have to subscribe to a whole Creative Cloud — $52.99 for a month if you pay a year upfront. Don’t know about you, but this is really expensive for me.

  • Industry-standard with an ocean of features
  • A lot of lessons online to help you handle it
  • Great synergy with other video products like Adobe After Effects
  • Windows and Mac versions
  • Steep learning curve
  • Subscription
  • Expensive price

Learn more about Adobe Premiere Pro

3. Vegas Pro Edit

The best Windows alternative for pro and pro-wannabes
The interface of Vegas Pro Edit video editor

You could’ve heard about this software when it had a Sony Vegas Pro name. Not so long ago Sony has sold it to MAGIX company, so now it’s just Vegas Pro.

Vegas Pro Edit is a little brother of the Vegas family and the cheapest one — $249 only, when it’s bigger brother Vegas Pro costs $599.

This software is somewhat short on features comparing to its more expensive counterparts but it will allow you to get familiar with Vegas video editing philosophy and workflow. And there will be a lot to learn — just as with Adobe Premiere you will need to watch some lessons to just export you clip because the amount of the menus and options is really overwhelming for a beginner.

In short Vegas Pro is an alternative to Adobe Premiere if you don’t like it. Windows only buy the way, so sorry Mac users, that one is not for you.

  • A great amount of features
  • Widely acknowledged by professionals
  • Steep learning curve
  • A little short on features, comparing to its bigger brothers
  • Windows only
  • Expensive price

Learn more about Vegas Pro Edit

4. Apple Final Cut Pro X

The best Mac alternative for pro and pro-wannabes
The interface of Final Cut Pro X video editor

Adobe Premiere alternative for professional video editors on Mac. It has its distinct flavor with a big focus on the video preview instead of the timeline which is not really typical for the professional software because professionals tend to use multiple monitors and timeline size usually made very big to work with a lot of files. That’s not a problem — you can always tune the interface the way you like it — it just shows Apple’s approach to video editing.

Final Cut Pro X is very rich with complicated features, just as Premiere and Vegas Pro are: 360 editings, RAW video formats support, advanced work with audio and so on. Professional staff that is.

Apple software is really good with color grading and performance — perhaps a legacy of the Mac family traits with their little diversity in hardware and focus on the art tasks.

To sum it up — Final Cut Pro X is a great alternative to Adobe Premiere for professionals who work on Mac. It’s really capable and well suited for multiple camera shots and huge RAW video files. The price is $299.99 which is also aimed at the top league.

  • A lot of professional features
  • Great color correction tools
  • Stable performance
  • Can be hard for beginners
  • Mac only
  • Expensive price

Learn more about Final Cut Pro X

5. Wondershare Filmora

The best effects out there
The interface of Filmora video editor

Here we are once again in the home segment. Filmora is a great editor for anyone who dreams to make cool videos for YouTube. The big reasons for this are the vast library of additional effects which can be used via the subscription — $9.99 a month and $99.99 a year. There are a lot of themes of the effects: travel, retro, neon and so on. Effects are great and they are the main reason that you would like to buy Filmora. Unfortunately, a subscription is sold separately.

The software itself, however, is not so great. The biggest disadvantage for me was a complicated interface, although their website states otherwise. It seems to be easy at first until you start editing. The tools sometimes behave themselves unpredictable, making it hard to be sure how they should work. So be ready to spend some time learning Filmora.

Also, it is a little short on features part, comparing to other software. It is somewhat like Movavi Video Editor but without keyframe animation.

The software itself also can be subscribed to for $44.99 a year. Also, there is an option to buy it for a lifetime for $59.99. Just keep in mind that you would probably want to access that beautiful effects store and it costs money too.

  • Great Effects Store
  • Reasonable price
  • Windows and Mac versions
  • Not as easy as Movavi Video Editor
  • Somewhat short in features compared to more professional software
  • Effects Store is subscription only

Learn more about Wondershare Filmora

6. Cyberlink PowerDirector

The best for old-school users
The interface of PowerDirector video editor

This software comes from the times when the bigger was the only better out there. Which basically means that PowerDirector is just bloated with unnecessary features. Of course, it’s nice to have all this fashionable 360 video stuff, where you can work with new formats and so on, but let’s be honest, how many of you have 360 camera?

Apart from that, it’s a very capable video editor with a great bunch of handy features — it’s more packed than Movavi Video Editor or Wondershare Filmora. It can be the right pick if you want to have a lot of like-a-pro features at a reasonable price.

You, however, need to be aware that PowerDirector is not much easier to learn than professional video editing software like Vegas Pro. It can take you some time to get familiar with all the controls and buttons, but the difficulty is not insane.

The reason for this poor usability is a long history of the PowerDirector. A lot of features and controls came from times when one should install all the drivers in order to make a computer work.

Also, just like Movavi Video Editor and Wondershare Filmora, PowerDirector has its own Effects Store. It’s safe to say that CyberLink isn’t very keen on developing it. Sets are few, and there hasn’t been a new one for a long time. Also, they are pretty meh in quality, considering their price which is up to $149.99.

The cost of PowerDirector is from $69.99 to $89.99, depending on the version. Don’t believe the marketing bullshit about the discounts, CyberLink sales are just eternal.

  • Rich with features
  • Pretty fast export
  • Not as easy as Movavi Video Editor
  • Additional content is pretty lame comparing to Filmora and Movavi
  • Windows only

Learn more about CyberLink PowerDirector

7. HitFilm Pro

The best for the video enthusiast
The interface of HitFilm Pro video editor

Here we go with one of the most advanced tools for video enthusiasts. HitFilm Pro aimed at people who love to work a lot with their footage and add a bunch of CG effects to make their own semi-professional movie.

This video editor is unique because it kind of has two functionalities — both of Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. That means that it’s not only a video editor but also a post-production tool for creating animations and complex compositions.

Say you want to add beautiful flying snow to a shot of a man who stands on a top of a mountain? No problem, HitFilm Pro allows you to add nice particle effects and pan them in 3D space to make the effect just completely Hollywood-quality. Just make sure that you have half an hour to make a 5 seconds footage look great.

As all professional and semi-professional software, HitFilm Pro has a very complicated interface. It’s not the fault of the software — it’s just how it is. One simply cannot make a professional soft without sacrificing simplicity and making the learning curve as steep as hell. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that the developers did the best interface that they could — it’s pretty familiar for people who have been working with Adobe Premiere for example. Also, the interface has just a beautiful design.

HitFilm Pro also has a free video editor version — it’s called HitFilm Express, you can also download it from the HitFilm website. Express version has fewer features than Pro, but it’s still as complicated and aimed to professionals. It can be a good choice if you want to test the HitFilm Express workflow, but eventually, if you like to use all the features, you have to switch to HitFilm Pro.

The price of HitFilm Pro is $299. For this money, you will have 12 months of updates and support. Also, the license can be used on up to 3 computers simultaneously — a great choice for a small video production studio.

  • Can do both video editing and cinematic effects making
  • A lot of professional features
  • Stable performance
  • Great UI design
  • Windows and Mac versions
  • Pretty hard to learn
  • The price is high for a home user

8. Corel Video Studio

The best alternative for old-school users
The interface of Corel Video Studio Ultimate

Corel Video Studio has a long history in the video editing world, same as CyberLink PowerDirector — this is a software who loves to do it as in the old days.

Of course, with their new interface that came out just recently, they’ve added a little of freshness to the editor, but it’s still is the type of software that cannot decide whether it’s for pros or for home users. New design beares a strong resemblance to Adobe Premiere by the way.

Nevertheless, Corel Video Studio is tightly packed with features. Here you have your 4k, 360 videos and even 3D (as if anyone still uses it).

What Corel Video Studio is famous for are its big library of transitions and other effects. It is truly vast, but comparing to Movavi Video Editor or Wondershare Filmora you will find out that just a little of them worth your attention. They are not themed and aimed not to make your video great, but to give you a chance to play with them.

The big disadvantage of the cheaper versions is a limited amount of video tracks — for example, in the basic version of the soft you can have only 6 video tracks, in Plus version — 24 tracks and in Ultimate version they are unlimited.

Pricing is pretty average: Corel Video Studio Pro costs $59.99, Corel Video Studio Ultimate costs $99.99

  • Rich with features
  • Pretty fast export
  • Effects are numerous but not very good
  • Limited video tracks in less expensive versions
  • Windows only

Learn more about Corel Video Studio

9. Shotcut

The best free video editing software for home users
The interface of Shotcut video editor

Here we go with truly free video editing software. It’s open-source that means that anyone can get the code of the app to find out how it works.

The biggest advantage of Shotcut is that it’s free. Don’t say you’re surprised with it. The interface of the program is cluttered and complicated. You would like to have a lot of spare time just to learn how to handle it, or you must be able to tell the difference between yuv420p and  yuv422 from the start to be sure what you’re doing.

Aside from that, Shotcut is not very stable nor it’s very fast. But this could be expected if you think that it supports Windows, macOS and even Linux. Free software does have its costs after all.

  • Free video editing software
  • Windows, Mac and even Linux versions
  • Not stable
  • Not fast
  • Complicated, hard to learn

10. Lightworks

The best free video editing software for professional users
The interface of Lightworks video editor

Another free video editing software. This time it’s from the top league of professional editors which makes it even more complicated. Honestly, at first, I needed 20 minutes just to figure out how to import a file and see the timeline. I guess this software has the steepest learning curve of all from this list.

Workflow is tuned for professional use with a lot of data and settings. Menus are numerous, the interface is quite different from any other video editor. Lightworks kinda has a desktop on which you can place any program windows that you want — a handy feature for professional with multiple monitors.

Aside from being insanely hard, the program has a lot of pro features like professional working with sound, great effects and ability to work with professional video editing hardware — special controllers and so on.

  • Free video editing software
  • A lot of features
  • Windows, Mac and even Linux versions
  • Insanely hard to learn
  • New versions come out rarely — the last one was more than a year ago

That wraps it up!

When choosing the video editing software remember that not a tool determines how good your video would be. Professional software won’t make your work look more expensive, as well as home soft won’t make your great footage lose it’s cool look.

Just be sure to choose the soft that suits you best.

If you would like to learn more about creating marketing videos check out this article – Top 4 Marketing Video Software you should know about.

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