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, and Corel followed suit with a similar tool in VideoStudio. 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 feature update. If you don't want to invest a lot of money and effort into your video editing exploits, there are a few free options. 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 most include 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. Several of the products here Adobe Premiere Elements is a notable exception still support 3D video editing if that's your thing, though the this has been replaced by degree VR footage like that shot by the Samsung Gear as a current home-theater fad, and to be honest, it's light is starting to fade.
As is often the case, our Editors' Choice, CyberLink PowerDirector was the first product in this group to offer support for this new kind of video media. Support varies, with some apps including compatible titles, stabilization, and motion tracking. PowerDirector is notable for including those last two. Final Cut offers a useful tool that removes the camera and tripod from the image, often an issue with degree footage.
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. Premiere Pro uses a more-traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features, and of course plays well with Ancillary Adobe software such as After Effects and Photoshop.
The Surface Book 2 is on the lighter side of the laptops we tested, though, at 4. This lack of traditional ports requires creative professionals to change their workflows—which likely includes lots of peripherals—to include multiple adapters, cables, and hubs for connecting crucial accessories, and that costs money, time, and convenience. The sleek, unified design has evolved over time, but the power—it has always been about the power. Should you upgrade? With these ports, you can connect a 5K display plus a separate 4K display, or up to three 4K displays. Dual USB 3.
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. 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. Another program, VSDC Video Editor Pro , had a terribly outdated interface when we tested it, but its developer has recently done a major update, so look for an updated review soon. 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. Lots of organizational tools. Responsive speed. Ultimate power in video editing.
3 days ago Which Mac should you buy to edit video: iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, editing professionals will find the prices attractive in comparison with other. Best From Hobbyist to Pro: Final Cut Pro X at trusatcoovi.ml, “A video editing software that you can use even if you don't have much experience.
Rich ecosystem of video production apps. Excellent stabilization. Unlimited multi-cam angles.
Cons: No keyword tagging for media. Some techniques require additional applications such as After Effects or SpeedGrade. Pros: Fast rendering. Clear interface. Loads of effects. The most degree video capabilities of any video editor. Multicam editing.
Motion tracking. Screen recording.
Cons: Number of options can make interface overwhelming. Weak color matching. Pros: Wide selection of fun video-creation tools. Clear, simple interface. Fast rendering. Multipoint Motion tracking. HTML5 video page creation. Stop-motion tool. Pros: Clear interface. Edits degree VR content. Fast rendering performance in testing. Tons of effects. Tagging and star ratings for media. Good audio tools.
Masking tools. Cons: Occasional crashes in testing. Unreliable motion tracking. Uneven degree VR implementation. Pros: Lots of video effects. Good titling tools.