There are many video editing applications to choose from, and all can be used to create good-looking, high quality video projects. If you are considering becoming a video editor, here are seven of the most popular versions that professionals use.
1. Adobe Premiere Pro
When it comes to basic video editing, Premiere Pro is at the top of the list. It allows you to create multiple tracks for video and audio that you can use to edit an entire project from beginning to end. You can import raw footage and then choose shots, create clips, move them around, and combine them all to create a finished piece. You can run Premiere Pro on a Mac or PC with at least 8GB of RAM, though 16GB or more is recommended. A dedicated video card works better than integrated graphics. This program is for people who want to produce video and need a program with professional level tools and functions. One of the advantages of Premiere Pro is the ability to edit video from a wide variety of cameras and formats because Pro allows you to sync footage from multiple cameras.
Another plus for Premiere Pro is that it integrates smoothly with other Adobe apps such as After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, and Media Encoder. Also, there is no need to convert files before editing. Premiere Pro does that automatically. Another automatic feature that is very popular is scene edit detect, which finds all of the cuts in a sequence, so you don’t have to look for them. Premiere Pro is highly customizable. You can set up your workspace to your own specifications and set your own keyboard shortcuts, although there are plenty of those in Pro to start with. With the customization and the way the different Adobe apps work together, one of the best things about Premiere Pro is how efficient the workflow is.
Adobe offers a monthly subscription to Premiere Pro with a 7-day free trial available before purchase. This allows you to edit some videos before deciding if you want to pay for it. For a few dollars more a month, you can get the full Creative Cloud, which includes storage as well. The cost of a monthly subscription to Premiere Pro is $20.99. A monthly subscription to Creative Cloud is $52.99.
2. Apple Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is Apple’s video editing software. It is known for its approachable user interface that hides complex editing features to make it less intimidating for beginners, but those features are accessible when you need them. Final Cut Pro can be more confusing for editors who are used to Premiere Pro and other editing software because it allows you to work on more than one thing at a time and in any order you want. Final Cut Pro only runs on Macs, so if you have a PC, you cannot use it.
Final Cut Pro allows you to import video files from Apple devices and edit them. It can handle compositing, multi-camera editing, audio, and standard editing features, plus special effects like transitions. You can also do color correction. Final Cut Pro accomplishes the same tasks as Premiere Pro, although many users say it is faster and doesn’t crash as often as Premiere Pro. The current version handles large projects better and renders faster than previous versions. Final Cut Pro doesn’t handle collaborative projects as well as Premiere Pro. Both Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro use CPU and GPU for rendering. Premiere Pro brings up Media Encoder to handle this. Final Cut Pro runs best on the Macbook Pro and has better rendering and performance speeds. Apple offers a generous 90-day free trial period. After that it costs $299 to buy Final Cut Pro. There are no on-going subscription costs.
3. CyberLink PowerDirector 365
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is considered to be one of the easiest to learn and use of the powerful video editing programs. It offers fast rendering speeds and a clear and easy to use interface. You get lots of effects, which some reviewers found overwhelming. PowerDirector includes multicam editing and motion tracking, as well as screen recording. Version 20 is the current edition and has a new sky replacement tool that works much like Photoshop, as well as the ability to add stock footage from Getty Images and Shutterstock to allow you to combine stills and video in the same project. PowerDirector runs on both PCs and Macs and is sold by monthly subscription or lifetime license. A monthly subscription to PowerDirector 365 Suite is $8.67 and this is the best deal because it includes every available feature and effect.
4. Pinnacle Studio
Pinnacle Studio is the professional-level video editing software from Corel. Pinnacle has a clear interface and good rendering speed. Pinnacle allows multicam editing. A big plus are the masking tools and many special effects. Pinnacle also has a good title editing feature. The current version of Pinnacle is number 25 and it includes support for 8K video, object tracking, blending, and noise reduction. Past improvements included face tracking with blurring, an update to the title editor, and better keyframe manipulation. Pinnacle can create animated GIFs, correct color, and apply edits to many files at once. It is only available for PCs and costs $129.
5. DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is a video editing product from Blackmagic Design, a company that produces cameras and video equipment. DaVinci Resolve comes in two versions, a pared down free version and a very powerful professional version called DaVinci Resolve Studio.
DaVinci Resolve has been the preferred product for color grading for many years. Video Editors would often do everything else in Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer, and then use DaVinci Resolve for color grading because it was so much better than anything else. Blackmagic added and beefed up other features to the point that DaVinci Resolve is attracting fans in its own right. Part of the reason for this is its superior user interface. The free version of Resolve doesn’t have all of the features that come with the Studio version, but it is still very powerful and can be used to make good quality videos. The full version costs $295.
6. Movavi Video Editor Plus
Movavi’s claim to fame is an easy-to-understand user interface along with enough tools to produce good quality videos. It offers features like transitions, sound effects, motion tracking, and chroma keying. Movavi is a bit slow at rendering and is not compatible with Apple’s new Silicon M1 chip. However, if you are looking for video editing software that doesn’t take up too much space on the hard drive, Movavi is it. It only occupies 280MB of disk space, while most other applications take up around 1GB. Movavi is also reasonably priced at $59.95.
7. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
Although less complicated than it’s partner Pinnacle, VideoStudio is the choice of many people who want to learn video editing. The 2021 version offers faster rendering speeds, social media templates, Instagram-style AR stickers, more color palettes to choose from, and improved masking. VideoStudio Ultimate sells for $79.99.
How to Learn Video Editing
If you are interested in video editing and are thinking of switching careers, you will need to learn to use video editing software. There are many tutorials out there to get you started, but editing software is complex and many people find it easier to learn technical information through classes.
You can choose classes that meet in-person or online to learn video editing. Some people prefer to attend brick-and-mortar sessions when learning new information, but that isn’t always available. Live online classes have a similar set-up with a real-time, remote instructor who can answer questions and take control of your monitor—with permission—to show you how to do things. Training is part or full-time and available weekdays, weeknights, or weekends.
The best way to prepare for a career shift to a technical field like video editing is to enroll in a bootcamp or certificate program. These are intensive training courses that run for a few weeks to a few months and will cover video editing in much more depth than tutorials can. Another plus of training is that you will leave class with a professional-quality sample video portfolio that you can show to prospective employers.
It’s easy to learn video editing and start a new career. Check out Noble Desktop’s video editing classes. Choose between in-person sessions in NYC at Noble’s location or sign up for live online video editing courses and attend from anywhere. Use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me to find other courses in video editing in your area.