More and more these days, you’ll find photographers creating and sharing videos on their social media platforms and other video-sharing applications. Some videos might feature behind-the-scenes footage mixed with final still images, while others play out like a short feature film, complete with inspiring soundtracks. While still images (photographs) work amazingly well at freezing special moments in time, a video provides a unique, immersive way to experience and revisit all sorts of events, almost in realtime as they happen.
In many professional photography markets, due to high demand, a lot of pro photographers have added videography to their list of services too, such as wedding photo+video packages.
With the added services, of course, comes the need to learn to use new tools of the trade! One of the most important tools is video editing software. Just like with photo editing software, there are many options available! To help narrow the list, we’ve taken a quick look at six popular go-to options for the best video editing software. You may also be interested in our list of the Best Photo Editing Software.
This article was originally written in 2021 and updated in January 2022.
Considered to be a common favorite, Adobe Premiere Pro is (as its name implies) a professional-grade video editing software that is packed with features, customizations, and integration with various high-end tools.
You can utilize Adobe Premiere Pro for a variety of purposes, from YouTube videos, corporate and commercial work, to personal memories of events such as weddings, birthdays, and more. Whatever you’re doing, if you’re truly serious about video editing and want as many tools as possible, Adobe Premiere Pro has it all for you.
This video editing software is available for both Mac and Windows. It also supports formats for different social media platforms, as well as 4K, 8K, and VR formats. You can use Adobe Premiere Pro as a standalone app (or with other Adobe suite apps) by paying for a monthly subscription, of course.
- High-end features
- Trimming and editing tools that provide precision and control
- Industry standard
- Provides Creative Cloud Integration
- Monthly subscription price instead of one-time purchase
- Subscription price higher than alternatives.
One of the top alternatives to Premiere Pro is also used by big-time movie-making studios, actually: DaVinci Resolve, the software created by Black Magic. Known for bringing affordable raw video cameras to aspiring filmmakers, Black Magic’s DaVinci Resolve software is truly a powerhouse software studio that is on the same level as Premiere Pro, and depending on who you ask, even better.
Unlike the now-common subscription business model, you can buy DaVinci Resolve 17 “outright” for $295. Even better, you can get the “basic” version of their software totally free; its feature set is still extremely capable!
Also, DaVinci makes a wide array of physical editing tools to go with the software, which makes things like “scrubbing” footage almost effortless.
- Equally high-end features
- Totally free (for consumers) basic software version
- Trimming and editing tools that provide precision and control
- (Also) industry standard
- Seamless integration with abundant physical control panels
- Steep learning curve
If you are a Mac user and are looking for video editing software that is optimized for your computer, then this option could satisfy your needs. Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is a powerful and reliable tool for high-level video editing. You can also get your hands on this software for a one-time payment.
Final Cut Pro X integrates with Apple’s ecosystem such as iTunes and Photos. It is packed with features such as HDR, 3600 video, and advanced tools for color grading (color correction). Additionally, one feature that stands out is its Magnetic Timeline and grouping tools. This feature makes it a must-have for photographers and videographers who are looking to produce quick and stunning results.
- Intuitive and easy-to-use
- Powerful software for high-level video editing
- Fairly-priced and software updates for new features
- Not available for Windows
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is a video editing software that is suitable for professionals who need to produce video content frequently. Its intuitive design, a wide array of features, and availability for both Mac and Windows devices make it a great choice.
You can edit your videos with this software by paying a one-time fee instead of paying for a subscription. Aside from the affordable price, professionals admire its video correction tools, stabilization options, lots of professional effects, and simple but accurate trimming.
- Professional features at a reasonable price
- Numerous payment models
- Access to royalty-free content from Shutterstock
- Latest release provides new tools such as speech enhancement
- Can be too advanced for beginners
For professionals and enthusiasts who utilize Windows on their devices, the Pinnacle Studio video editing software makes a great option. It’s not as powerful as the choices mentioned above, however, it can still produce a captivating video (minus the complicated processes). Pinnacle Studio has been said to offer a decent amount of professional tools for a beginner’s price.
This video editing software includes features such as 4K timeline support with 8K importing, various blending modes, a stop-motion feature, time remapping, and more. If the tools of their most basic software version aren’t enough for you, (such as the limited number of tracks you can have) you can always upgrade your Pinnacle Studio to either Pinnacle Studio Plus or Pinnacle Studio Ultimate.
- Ideal for both beginners and professionals
- Delivers a variety of features
- Access to free effects, templates, and titles
- Features may not be enough for videos that need complex edits
Are you the type to work while you travel? Or is a travel device (such as a tablet or similar notebook type mobile OS computer) a useful workflow tool? If so, consider making this video editing software your dedicated go-everywhere companion. Adobe Premiere Rush takes the most important tools of Adobe Premiere Pro and makes them available on your iOS or Android devices.
Although it is the portable version of Adobe Premiere Pro, you’ll still get to work with fundamentals such as drag-and-drop, trimming, mixing music, and sound effects. Also, if you intend to post your videos on varied social media platforms, this video editing software allows you to optimize exporting for Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Vimeo.
- Simple and easy-to-use interface
- Ideal for social media videos
- Can be integrated with Adobe Premiere Pro
- Limited features compared to Premiere Pro
With the best video editing software, you can craft your imagery, both photo and video, into immersive works of art! Before you choose one, consider the devices you use, your skills, and what output or final product you intend to produce.
We hope our selection helps you find the most suitable video editing software for your lifestyle, your work, and even your creative passion!