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A grand amount of people out there are wondering what is the best professional video editing software you can use. The answer? Well, it depends on what you need to get done. Are you on a budget, and need a free professional video editing software? Are you looking to use the professional software for commercial purposes, or strictly for yourself, as a hobby? Maybe you’re looking for something that’s easy to use and free download, or you might want to get your hands on the most complicated video editing software you can find.
No worries - we’ve got you covered. We’ve done some extensive research on what some consider to be the best professional video editing software that is currently on the market, and we’re here to present what we’ve managed to find.
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Part 1: Top 10 Professional Video Editing Software Free Download
Price: $499, One-Time Purchase
Pros: Renderless video editing, 4K HDR workflow, flexible user interface, real-time conversion rates, support for a wide variety of video formats, fast AVCHD editing, motion tracking, 3-way color correction.
Cons: Relatively broadcast-oriented.
EDIUS is a free download video editing software that evolved out of what was originally a number of Adobe Premiere Plus plugins. Ever since its release, EDIUS has gained a loyal following that appreciates both its business model and the operations that the program can perform. More than a handful of broadcasters across the world use EDIUS as their program of choice, both due to its flexibility when dealing with various video formats, and also because it’s quite easy to use when compared to some of its competitors.
Why do so many people swear by EDIUS? Well, according to its fanbase, EDIUS tends to be quite fast when processing, importing, editing, and exporting videos - couple that with the fact that EDIUS doesn’t require a subscription, and you’ve got yourself a thoroughly solid video editing software that can go toe to toe with its rivals.
Pros: Timeline-based creative workflow, node-based compositing, ability to flawlessly make use of 3D animations and modeling, high degree of stability (no crashes!).
Cons: Can only be used on a single monitor. Furthermore, Autodesk Smoke is exclusively for Mac users.
Autodesk is a video editing software that is favored by many people to due to its node-based compositing. To put it as simply as possible, this allows the video editor to achieve a higher level of complexity when compared to other popular software.
Smoke’s real strength lies in editorial and finishing functions. While the professional video editing software that is free download doesn’t necessarily offer anything that its competitors don’t, this video editing software really comes out on top when it comes to 3D effects.
Price: $199.99 for a Year’s Subscription, or $24.99 Monthly
Pros: Free download, Advanced color-correction, built-in metadata and effect tools, HDR support, multicam editing, FrameFlex, keyboard mapping, background rendering, real-time editing, very high degree of stability, and serves as a great starting point for budding video editors.
Cons: Steep learning curve and outdated interface. However, learning how to use Avid Media Composer will enable you to jump right into other video editing software with ease.
Most people interested in the business have heard of Avid Media Composer because it’s what most professional video editors use for big blockbuster Hollywood movies. Avid Media Composer is, arguably, the video editing industry’s preferred software you can download it freely - and it’s easy to see why, since it pretty much has everything you might ever need, all rolled up into one neat package.
While some complain about the fact that it’s hard to use and the interface looks very outdated, many people insist that this allows you to build a very strong foundation from which your video editing career can skyrocket. As a matter of fact, its popularity only serves to show that people prefer it for a reason: and that’s because Avid Media Composer is stunningly robust.
Pros: Highly customizable and streamlined interface, easy to use for people with past experience in Adobe products but no previous video editing experience, a large variety of tools such color matching and multi-camera rendering, and a fast rendering speed.
Cons: New updates might have a couple of bugs, so you should be a bit patient before you update if you want to keep it on the safe side. Mac users also report that it runs a bit slow on their systems.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC is by far one of the best choices an amateur video editor could make when choosing his apparatus. Both affordable and intuitive, this software has been at the top of the market for more than a couple of years, and now shows no sign of stopping, since it is constantly being supplied with new updates with free downloading.
If you’re looking to achieve a professional level of video editing with little to no previous experience, then look no further, as Adobe Premiere Pro CC might just be the perfect tool for you. With that being said, professional video editors should not shy away from this software.
Pros: Support for 360-degree VR, HDR, multi-camera editing, fast rendering speed, a large variety of interesting tools, expansive library of plugins, and easy-to-use colour correction, grading, and adjustment tools. Final Cut Pro has also been designed and optimized for Mac operating systems.
Cons: Only for Mac users. Large project files can also be slow.
Final Cut Pro is Apple’s response to video editing software. The UI design is sleek and modern, the workflow is intuitive and easy to work with, and the program is impressively fast, even when working with 4K resolutions. For many Mac users, Final Cut Pro is the definitive answer to their search for a strong video editing software that has been created with MacOS in mind (free download).
Price: $299 for Studio, one-time purchase; or $0 (Free)
Pros: 3D workspace, very extensive tool library, intelligent de-mosaic codec technology, far-reaching metadata support, customizable keyboard, stackable timelines, and a good amount of effects, best for color correction workflow.
Cons: Runs best with a multiple screen setup. A familiar yet deep learning curve. GPU heavy.
DaVinci Resolve 15 is a free video editing software that features a large variety of tools that are needed to get the job done right, and with efficiency. The UI feels familiar, as the workflow is that of many similar NLE’s, and you can save setting preferences, which is always nifty when dealing with large projects.
One last thing that is definitely worth mentioning: despite being free, Davinci Resolve 15 does not apply a watermark to the media you edit.
The paid Studio version features everything found in the free version, and the exclusive collaboration features, 3D tools and various Resolve FX. To be honest, the free version can meet most daily editing, and the Resolve 15 is much affordable than previous versions. DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagic also allows you to edit further and deeper, and improve the workflow efficiency with the DaVinci Resolve Panels.
HitFilm Pro is an NLE that puts heavy focus on the graphical aspect of such free download software. Additions like the automatic audio syncing is highly valued as a convenient quality of life tool. Multiple plugins can be added, though they cost a fee. The program features several video tutorials that are clearly targeted towards amateur video editors, as well.
Lightworks is a flexible video editing software that has gained a good position on the mark due to its consistent design structure. The workspace is customizable, and while the UI can feel outdated at first, those with past experience in video editing should not find it too much of a hassle. Lightworks is the type of software that is robust all-around - and there’s also a free version out there, so amateurs can get to know what they’re getting into.
Pros: Easy to use, with a good variety of tools and the ability to quickly add text and effects to produced animations. Compositing is very impressive.
Cons: No audio editing. Lacks complexity when compared to a couple of its competitors.
While Blender is mostly known for being a software whose main focus is animation, it also features a built-in video editor that is by no means lackluster. Blender has the added bonus of being able to work on 3D animations and take care of the video editing process at the same time.
Magix Video Pro X is an NLE that has recently been making a name for itself due to its consistency and welcoming attitude towards amateur video editors. This tool is versatile and can deal with a wide range of situations head-on with no issue whatsoever. While this isn’t the easiest program to start using if you don’t quite know what you’re doing, you’ll be happy to know that Magix Video Pro X features a basic mode that has been designed to ease newcomers into the industry.
Part 2: Tips for Choosing Professional Video Editing Software
1. Check your computer specification and performance before purchasing
The professional video editing software may use lots of resources, it is recommended to check your computer specification and the system requirements of the professional editing software that you want to purchase. To get the full experience of professional video editing, your computer would be better to equipped higher than meeting the mini requirements.
2. How to master the professional video editing software
If you have limited video editing experience and want to become a professional video editor, it is recommended to spend time in editing and take some training or course to master it. You can find there are many tutorials about Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro X on YouTube. Or, you can attain online courses on Udemy or Lynda. If you want to convince people that you are a professional video editor, it is recommended to take some certifications. As you may know that Adobe and Apple both provide official certification exams. A certification will be more convincing when people doubt your editing skills.
We hope this list will have guided you towards making the right choice when it comes to investing in a professional video editing software. While this was by no means an extensive list, our aim was to summarize professional video editing software information to help you make an informed decision when the time comes to purchase your tool of the trade. Watch the video tutorial below to find out how to make color grading & color correction with FilmoraPro video editor.
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Liza Brown
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