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There’s no doubt that video is one of the most relevant and engaging content formats today and this trend is expected to continue. Not only does Facebook see some 8 billion video views each day, global video traffic is expected be 80% video by 2019.
If you’re in the field of digital marketing or you just like being on camera, chances are you’ve experimented with uploading simple videos to YouTube at least once, or have been involved with video production on some level. At the very least, you’ve certainly seen the different types of video that people are making from their own homes on a regular basis, even just for social reasons, like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.
But if you’re looking to take your video to the next level, be it for personal or professional reasons, you’re going to want to have a solid understanding of what kinds of video editing software is out there and what it can do.
Here are a few solutions for your video editing needs.
Video Editing Tools for Beginners
The first 5 tools we’ve listed here are great for digital marketing students, hobbyists and independent entrepreneurs who are just starting out and want to try out a few different options to learn how to get the basics down.
VSDC Free Video Editor is one of the most comprehensive video editing software options out there, and best of all, it’s free! While it features a fairly powerful and versatile interface that offers the user a variety of objects and effects, it’s still simple and pleasant to practice with. It offers a simple drag-and-drop interface and easy-to-follow instructions.
One drawback of this option is that it can give beginner users too much information at one time, which could be overwhelming for those just starting out. In addition, some of the more specialized features aren’t as intuitive as they could be.
Easy to use and capable of great performance, Pinnacle Studio 21 is a great software option that gives the user plenty of options beyond simple editing. Featuring an effective drag-and-drop interface of user video and audio snippets, Pinnacle Studio is intuitive and accessible. It is professional quality in terms of its capacity and its range of functionalities.
The creative toolset at Pinnacle really stands out amongst others that are more geared towards beginners. You can capture and import material from a broad range of sources, and can incorporate unique effects like stop-motion and 360-degree editing.
This is one of the best video editing software options out there and although there is a paid version, the free version is great for beginners who are just testing things out. This professional-grade solution integrates several tools into one that allows for editing, calibration and audio post-production.
Primarily dedicated to colorimetry and post-production professionals, DaVinci Resolve has a wide range of advanced features for editing, mixing and producing high-quality video. A key feature here too is that it has built-in features for data storage and project collaboration.
The IMovie software is a great place to start for any Mac user and it consistently receives top ratings amongst all of the software available, which says a lot. It features an extremely simple and user-friendly interface, and just enough special features to keep things interesting without overwhelming new users.
Although less comprehensive than Final Cut Pro X, the paid version of Apple’s editing software it has everything you need for making quality video at a medium-professional level. In addition you can create clips, trailers and movies in 4k resolution.
One of its notable qualities is its multi-media aspect -- for instance, you can start editing on a different device such as a mobile or tablet and move your material onto your Mac with no trouble. There’s also a green-screen feature which is great for those interested in digging into the arena of special effects.
Avidemux is a totally free video editing software that’s complete and accessible for those just starting out. It’s a linear video editing software available on multiple platforms.
With this simple and intuitive software, even a beginner will be able to encode his videos. For this, he will have the choice between several formats. The program has at its disposal, to perform this task, many codecs. This software also offers several video processing features.
Video Editing Software for Professionals
The following list is software that has higher level features and most of these options will use a considerable investment - they’re certainly worth the investment, but only if you know you have a skilled professional on the other end to take advantage of all the awesome features, or you’re committed to learning all the ins and outs of the program yourself.
The Adobe reference video editing solution is popular with many professionals in a range of industries. It’s really one of the best in its class and is a must-have for video editing and post-production professionals. It is full of advanced tools and is very powerful to process your video streams.
This non-linear editing tool allows direct access via a video acquisition source, which is why it’s frequently used by television studios. It’s super responsive, stable, and has all the professional tools you could need.
Final Cut Pro X is the standard for post-production and video editing on Mac OS X. Acquired by Apple in 1998, this software provides functionality for both beginners and video professionals.
A must-have video editing on Mac OS X, this one gets richer and more innovative with every update of new features. It now features 360-degree footage and HDR, quality 3D effects and more multi-camera options. This powerful and stable software is distinguished by its easy-to-use interface coupled with very good editing tools.
Avid is one of the top software programs used in the professional film industry today and stands out as one of the very best. Their new, simplified menu offers a better selection of menu categories and overall a more intuitive experience than previous versions. This is one of the more expensive ones on the market, in part because it’s one of the few editing tools that explicitly focuses on audio. But if you’re looking for high quality, this is the way to go.
Lightworks is a complete video editing software that’s best for more advanced users. Using it to its full extent does require a high level of technical knowledge. Although it can be downloaded for free, this program has a Pro version with additional features and greater export flexibility.
Lightworks offers a simple and intuitive interface. After registration, the software invites the user to launch his first project, within a somewhat austere interface but rather simple to handle. It consists of four tabs with all the tools to manage audio / video files, edit video, add effects and edit audio files.
A toolbar provides access to a video or audio stream capturing tool, import windows (video, sound and image) and export windows, as well as the video editing tool
First developed and edited by Sony and then taken over in 2016 by Magix, Vegas Pro is a longstanding software and is a must-have for professionals for movies, TV shows and more. Vegas Pro has an intuitive user interface for quality results. You can use it to create special effects like 3D titles and you can also even use it to copyright your own discs.
It’s great for editing and media processing, and amongst other features, it offers the opportunity to create professional-level video montages. The software is constantly evolving to offer users the most up-to-date options in the industry and as such it remains one of the best professional tools out there.
If you’re interested in learning how to create videos and you’re just starting out in the field of digital, learning some tools on your own or even taking a course will be safe bets, given the popularity of videos in content marketing and social media today.
When choosing a video editing software, make sure that it not only fits your budget but actually suits your needs. You don’t need to end up with something overly complex and technical when you’re mostly going to be doing short advertisements or basic 1-minute personal videos.
And if you’re a small business looking to create something super high quality, it’s probably a good idea to hire an agency. Many creative agencies offer professional video services these days. But in order to figure out what you’re really looking for, there’s no harm in checking out some of the beginner versions of the software listed above.