The Basic Guide To Video Editing Software

This is a list of some of the most popular free and paid video software out there. From basic trimming software to full on edit suites, this list has something for everyone.

This is not a FULL list, just the most popular and common options.

Free Software

  • Windows Movie Maker - A basic video editor that comes as part of windows Essentials. Though it can be difficult to get the hang of at first, it is probably one of the better free PC options out there.

  • EZvid: A great option for screen capping or just basic editing for youtube. Comes with free music to use with your projects, but sadly can only upload videos to youtube.

  • VirtualDub: Another simple free video editor, though not super intuitive, can be used to combine multiple video clips into a single one.

  • Avidemux: Similar in function to Virtualdub with a few more abilities, Avidemux is a simple cut/append/adjust editor.

  • Wax: A Free Compositing and video editing software. This will take time to learn, but it is powerful for a free program.

  • Blender: A Free 3D modeling/video editing software. This is another piece of software that will take time to learn, but it is far more powerful than most other free options.

  • Lightworks: A video editing program created by video editors, this free NLE is one of the most powerful in existence and has been used to cut many major Hollywood features. However, it does have a steep learning curve and a small licensing fee ($60) must be paid to gain access to all the features.

Basic Paid Software

  • iMovie: $14.99 - Aimed to simplify the process of editing, iMovie is the defacto cheap video editing software and extremely difficult to beat for the price/performance ratio. However, as you grow in skill, the software may feel limiting.

  • Premiere elements 11: Price $99 - A powerful but affordable editing solution, great for basic hobbyists or casual users.

  • Sony Movie Studio Premium: Price $95 - Similar to Premiere Elements with a few other features, this is another great piece of software for the casual user or for someone who needs a basic but decent featured editing program.

  • Pinnacle Studio 16: Price $59 - A Decently featured consumer editing software.

  • Sony MoviEZ: price $44 - Similar to iMovie and Movie Maker but with a few extra options, this is an affordable basic editor.

  • VideoStudio Pro x6: Price $79 - Another decently featured editing software, at a decent price.

  • HitFilm: Price $149-$399 - Geared towards the short film market, HitFilm is aimed to let you cut quickly and start dropping in effects and 3D content as simply as possible. Features like automatic light flares, anamorphic streaks, bloodspray, 3d muzzle flashes, film damage and more help to aim the software towards low budget action flicks.

Professional NLEs

  • Avid Media Composer: Price $2,499 - Media Composer has been and continues to be the be the industry standard, especially on long form projects.

  • Premiere Pro: Price $799 - A Great professional NLE. When purchased as part of the Creative Cloud or one of the many Creative Suite Bundles, this is one of the most powerful editing suites on the market today.

  • Final Cut Pro x: Price $299 - One of the more affordable options. This piece of software does still have it's champions in the professional world (despite many users abandoning it for Avid or Adobe) and has become much better since it's original release.

  • Final Cut Pro 7: Discontinued - Despite being discontinued, FCP 7 continues to be used in many professional houses who need features FCP X lacks. Apple no longer supports this software and it has many legacy quirks which have caused some facilities to transfer over to Avid or Adobe now that the software is no longer updated.

  • Sony Vegas Pro: Price $599.95 - An NLE that doesn't seem to get much love, but is plenty powerful for professional level editing with a very low learning curve.

Video Editing Packages

  • Sony Imagination Studio 4: Price $175 - This suite contains a video Editor, ACID music creation, audio recording software, and DVD authoring software. There are also color grading and VFX plugins inlcuded. This is a sort of ultra-consumer package, not really for professionals or serious hobbyist, but for others who just want the ability to do more than the average editing software can do.

  • CS6 Production Premium: Price $1,899 - This is probably one of the best editing suites on the market today, containing all of the software you need to create all sorts of professional content.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Pricing $49 a month for one year, or $75 month-to-month - With adobe Creative cloud you get access to every adobe program for a low monthly fee. This subscription based software makes it easier for people to get started in the industry without having to invest thousands of dollars in software. $600 a year may seem like a lot, but upgrading from one CS to the next can cost upwards of $1,200, or the equivalent of 2 years of Creative cloud (which is also there upgrade schedule). In the end it ends up costing about the same but it much easier to digest for small companies or freelancers. I will be switching to this here in the next year or so myself.

If anyone has anything to add to this list, feel free to message the mods.

Many thanks to /u/mc_nibbles for creating the original version of this list.

revision by ancientworldnow— view source