Shotcut is a multi-track editing software like any other serious software, and you can readily rearrange the workspace to suit your editing needs. Shotcut supports a wide variety of file types for both input and output, including 4K video. Plus, you can edit audio, color, and lighting effects in Shotcut.
And, if you want a readily portable option, Shotcut is it, since you can run it directly off an external storage drive. Lightworks blends the offerings of a free editing software with a paid one. Whether or not you need the free or paid versions is a question you can answer for yourself later on though, as either will let you import a wide range of file formats, easily edit together multiple files, manage your audio, add titles, and tweak your visuals.
But, if you try out Lightworks, like how it works, and want to stick with it as your video editor of choice, you can upgrade to the Pro software and start putting out high-quality video. For the most part, DaVinci Resolve 15 is going to give you plenty of functionality to take your footage, organize it with data to help you find what you need, and edit it all together. If you want a video editing software you can get serious with, then DaVinci Resolve 15 fits the bill.
Plus, you have the option of adding webcam footage on top of the screen-captured video. Beyond screen-capture, Camtasia also gives you multi-track timeline editing and tools for transitions, animations, audio and video effects, and annotations. If you want to make a presentation video, you can also add in a PowerPoint. A free trial will give you a chance to see if its tool and features a good fit for you.
Share Pin Email. Updated January 23, Final Cut Pro X at Apple. Apple iMovie at Apple. Lightworks at Lwks. DaVinci Resolve 15 at Blackmagicdesign. Camtasia at Techsmith. See on Apple. See on Amazon See on Adobe. See on Shotcut. See on Lwks. Of course, none of the extras matter if an app can't do the most basic editing tasks.
At this point, however, all of the products included here do a good job of letting you join, trim, and split video clips. They also let you make use of special effects such as animated transitions, picture-in-picture PiP , chroma-key the technique that lets you place a subject against any background, often known as green screening , and filters that enhance colors or apply creative effects and distortions.
With most of them you can add a multitude of timeline tracks that can accommodate video clips, effects, audio, and text overlays. One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is support for LUTs lookup tables , also known as CLUTs color lookup tables. This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood.
For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night. Many video editing apps now include tools that cater to users of action cameras such as the GoPro Hero7 Black. For example, several offer automated freeze-frame along with speedup, slowdown, and reverse time effects.
CyberLink PowerDirector's Action Camera Center pulls together freeze frame with stabilization, slo-mo, and fish-eye correction, and color correction for underwater footage. And Wondershare Filmora lets you subscribe to new effect packs on an ongoing basis. I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year.
Which is the best video editing software for macOS?
Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters.
Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG what you see is what you get mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview. Video editing is one of the most computing-intensive activities around, so you'll want the best laptop or desktop you can afford if you're serious about cutting your own movies. Most applications help speed up the editing process by creating a proxy file of lower resolution, so that normal editing and previewing aren't slowed down by the huge full-resolution files.
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.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.
If you don't want to invest a lot of money and effort into your video editing exploits, there are a few free options.
Top 8 best video editors for Mac
Of course, if you use a Mac, the excellent iMovie comes with it. For PC users, Windows 10 's Photos app as of the Fall Creators Update lets you join, trim, and even add background music, 3D animated effects, and titles to video. Some of these are quite basic, but the Magix app is fairly capable, with clip joining, transitions, and effects, in a very touch-friendly interface.
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 p output resolution limit. Though Mac users don't have the sheer number of software choices available for PCs, Apple fans interested in editing video are well served, by four products in particular.
At the entry level, the surprisingly capable and enjoyable-to-use iMovie comes free with every Mac sold since at least 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. 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.
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Premiere Pro uses a more traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features. We still live in the days of talkies, so you want to be able to edit the audio in your digital moves as well as the images. Most of the products included here offer canned background music, and many, such as Pinnacle Studio, can even tailor the soundtrack to the exact length of your movie. All of these programs can separate audio and video tracks, and most can clean up background noise and add environmental audio effects such as concert hall reverb.
A couple of the products have an auto-ducking feature, which lowers background music during dialog—a definite pro-level plus. There are more video editing software applications than we can fit into this roundup of the best options, which includes only software rated three stars and higher. The best known among them is probably Vegas Movie Studio , which was recently acquired by Magix from Sony. Sony's product used a very cluttered interface that more resembled high-end professional video editing software from the early days of the craft. Magix has made some progress in simplifying it and bringing it up to par with the competition, but more work is needed for it to be included here.
Longtime pro video editors will note the absence of Avid Media Composer, which is simply too unwieldy for PCMag's primarily consumer audience. The video editing application you choose depends on your budget, the equipment you're using, and how serious you are. Fortunately, you're spoiled for choice with the products available. Peruse our in-depth reviews of enthusiast-level video editing software reviews linked below to see which is the right one for you. One final note about the features table at the top of this story: Check marks represent differentiating, above-the-call-of-duty features, rather than essential ones.
So, just because Nero Video and Wondershare Filmora don't have any checks, it doesn't mean they're not good choices. In fact, both offer decent basic editing on a budget. Clear, flexible interface.
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Lots of organizational tools. Responsive speed. Ultimate power in video editing.
The best free Mac video editor | TechRadar
Rich ecosystem of video production apps. Excellent stabilization. Unlimited multi-cam angles. No keyword tagging for media. Some techniques require additional applications such as After Effects or SpeedGrade. Wide selection of fun video-creation tools. Clear, simple interface. Multipoint Motion tracking.
Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac
Multicam editing. HTML5 video page creation. Stop-motion tool. Middle-of-the-road rendering speeds. No search for effects or media. Only 20 video overlay tracks. The update adds even more including degree support, 3D titles, and action-cam lens correction. Fast rendering. Clear interface. Loads of effects.
The most degree video capabilities of any video editor. Motion tracking. Screen recording. No trimming in source panel. Number of options can make interface overwhelming. Weak color matching. Edits degree VR content. Fast rendering performance in testing. Tons of effects. Tagging and star ratings for media.
Good audio tools. Motion tracking issues on one test PC. Occasional crashes in testing. Uneven degree VR implementation. New color grading and four-point editing make it even more appealing, though our testing uncovered some instabilities. Lots of video effects. Good titling tools. Trailer-like movie templates. Solid audio editing tools. Strong disc authoring. Good stability. Not much help with difficult procedures. Lacks import and organization tools. Extra costs and coded downloads for some video formats. Guided Edits ease basic and advanced projects. Solid text tools.
Powerful Audio editing.