With the popularity of 4K Cameras and action cams, it is time to use a professional video editing software for handling your delicate 4k video footage.
There are countless software options for video editing, but not all are created equally. And importantly in current times, many do not yet have support for 4K editing. Don't be left behind - below you will find ten of the best and most trusted video editing applications that do support 4K videos; as this technology becomes more widely used throughout the film making community.
(All features of the samples are subjected to the time.)
Whenever you choose a video editing software, you should always consider if your computer meets the requirements for installing and using a professional video editor, as well as the usability of the video editing software and your budget. We have listed these factors below for your quick check.
And in this top list of best video editing software, we have picked up both free 4K video editing software and paid 4k video editor for you to choose. Please keep in mind that the list is in no particular order of ranking, and the price may vary over time.
Ease of Use
Wondershare Filmora X
Intel i3 processor +; 8GB for 4K
OS X El Capitan
4GB of RAM; an OpenCL-capable graphics card
CyberLink PowerDirector 19 Ultra
Intel Core™ i-series or AMD Phenom II or above; 8GB RAM
2.5 GHz 4-core processor; 8 GB RAM
Vegas Movie Studio 17
2GHZ processor, 8GB RAM
Adobe Premiere Pro
Windows & Mac
Multicore processor with 64-bit support; 8 GB of RAM
Final Cut Pro
macOS 10.13.2 or later
8GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later
Magix Movie Edit Pro
2.4 GHz processor; 8 GB of RAM or higher
Top 4K Video Editing Software in 2021 [Free & Paid]
We have listed the top best 4k video editing software for beginners and professionals based on its features, pros, cons and price. Let's check it in detail.
The latest version of Filmora video editor is the stripped back, simpler option for video editors who do not want the complexity, advanced features and extra cost of the professional video editing software. It features an interface that has been created for ease of use, but there is also the option to select between Expert or Quick editing modes, depending upon your skill level and needs.
Cool effects include the particularly interesting Hollywood style effects, sound effects and stunning templates. Other interesting and new features include the Green Screen and Scene Detection options. The software can also automatically fix the footage with lighting or color issues which can result in a much more polished end result.
The newly added Action Cam Tool allows you to merge, cut and edit 4k videos shot by your action cameras, smartphones or other 4k cameras in minutes.
Filmora features the ability to import and edit 4K videos with ease. After launching Filmora, create a new project by clicking New Project in the Get Started window and then go to Project Settings to change the resolution to 3840 x 2160 (16:9 4K UHD) or 4096 x 2160 (DCI 4K) based on your need.
Not sure the differences between these two options, check our guide about What is 4K to get a clue.
The default project setting is 1920 x 1080 (16:9 Full HD), if you didn’t set up the project settings at the beginning, Filmora will prompt up a window asking you to change the project settings to match the 4K video. You can click Match to Media to change the project settings quickly.
Editing 4K videos requires high computer performance, to avoid your computer overrunning, Filmora can create proxy files to load the video in lower resolution during editing, but rending the final export video with the original full quality. You can also customize the playback quality of the 4K videos to half quality or even 1/6 quality for smoother editing.
When exporting to 4K Ultra High Definition Quality, just click the Settings button in the Export window to enter the Settings window to adjust the resolution to 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160. Besides, you can also change the frame rate and bit rate as well.
If you are a Mac user and have iMovie 10.1 or version above, you can now edit 4K videos on your Mac with iMovie for free. iMovie is a free 4K video editing software for Mac. You can also import movies and trailers from iMovie for iPhone and iPad.
With iMovie for iOS and macOS, you can enjoy your videos like never before. It’s easy to browse your clips and create Hollywood-style trailers and stunning 4K-resolution movies. You can even start editing on iPhone or iPad, then finish on your Mac. And when you’re ready to premiere your movie on all your devices, iMovie Theater rolls out the red carpet.
It should be noted that 4K video editing requires a Mac from 2011 or later with at least 4GB of RAM. To playback 4K video in full resolution, you'll need an iMac with Retina display or Mac Pro connected to a 4K display.
Video makers who want a very powerful, professional-level video editing program are often shocked by the price tag. However, they find that CyberLink PowerDirector Ultra, with a more beginner-friendly interface and easier to use, has virtually everything just as other programs with a higher price.
It's hard to look past PowerDirector Ultra if you need 4k support, and if you don't want to sacrifice on advanced features that allow you to create professional-looking videos, even if you are a beginner or have minimal experience with video editing.
This latest edition of PowerDirector supports 64-bit processors for faster editing, and of course, new support for 4K resolution videos. At under $100, CyberLink PowerDirector 19 Ultra comes amazingly close to being as advanced and capable as software that is priced multiple times more than it; making it an ideal choice for the budget-conscious video editing enthusiast.
One of the higher end video editing software options is the highly renowned non-linear editor (NLE) Magix Vegas Pro. Now up to version 18, this software is used by professionals and amateurs alike. Vegas Pro 18 comes with native support for 4K video, with maximum frame sizes of up to 4096 x 4096. There is native support for XAVC and XAVC S files, plus files from Red Epic and Red One. There are a number of extras and plugins included in Vegas Pro, including DVD Architect Pro.
Complete support for 4K editing puts Vegas Pro at the forefront of software in this genre, while you can also edit SD, HD, 2K and 3D videos, using Sony's intuitive drag and drop interface. There are a huge number of tools and effects available, allowing complete control, creativity, and flexibility within the editing environment which is easily accessible to those who may even be brand new to editing videos in an NLE application.
The software is available at a cost of $399(on sale)/ $599.99(regularly); and the price is the same whether you select a download version, or the physical packaged version.
At only $39.99, Studio 17 Platinum is just a fraction of the cost of Sony's fully fledged editor, Vegas Pro. Magix Movie Studio 17 Platinum is a basic video editing application, suited for the beginner and home user. With an emphasis on giving users the ability to easily create and share their videos on social media sites, or creating your own home DVDs, the workflow and interface has been designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible to use, without the extensive and more complex abilities of a high end application like Sony Vegas Pro.
Notable features include a simple way of selecting the best output format with the Make Movie dialog, the choice of using the Simple Edit Mode or Advanced Edit Mode, fast direct upload to YouTube 4K, Color Match plug-in, and lots more.
Another video editing application that is considered to be at the highest end is Adobe's Premier Pro. As with most of Adobe's software, Premiere Pro is now part of the Creative Cloud plan. This requires subscription to use the application via Adobe's cloud service.
The sheer number of features within Premiere Pro CC is extensive. But the latest version has been designed to provide a faster workflow during editing, which will be appreciated by both new and seasoned users alike. New features that are worth noting in the CC version include live text templates, which integrates seamlessly with After Effects, native support for a range of new formats, automatic backing up to the Cloud, improvements to masking and tracking, and the ability to export in new industry standard formats.
The minimum cost to access a CC plan that includes Premiere Pro is $20.99 per month. However many users will likely be inclined to select the $52.99 per month plan which includes Premiere Pro and After Effects, as well as Photoshop and more.
The professional level video editing application for Mac is the very well known Apple Final Cut Pro X. Used extensively in the professional movie industry, as well as amongst amateurs, the latest version comes with full support for full resolution 4K ProRes in multiple streams (which is made for working particularly fast on the new Mac Pro).
There are hundreds of features worthy of listing, however some of the most important and interesting ones include the Magnetic Timeline which has been designed to avoid sync problems or small unwanted gaps when editing, easy organization of media with keywords and metadata, multicam clip editing, multi channel audio editing.
Movie Edit Pro 2021 is another affordable video editing solution for home and amateur users that now has full support for 4K videos. This application is available in three versions: deluxe, Plus and Premium, with the Premium version containing the most features and capabilities.
The inbuilt automatic wizards in the basic version of Movie Edit Pro make it easy for those with little or no experience in what can be the daunting process of editing videos. The software includes more than 1500 effects and templates, editing on up to 99 tracks (in the Plus and Premium versions). There is also support for multicam editing, and the ability to easily export your finished product to a range of media and social video websites.
Most Frequently Asked Questions about 4K Video Editor
1. What is the best 4k video editor for Windows PC?
Each video editor listed above has its advantages over others. For example, if you are using Filmora to handle 4K video footage, you can create a proxy smaller file, as well as preview it on a lower resolution to improve the editing efficiency. Filmora has pre-programmed many transitions, effects, filters and elements, which can help you make the video better and faster.
2. Is there any free 4k video editor?
If you are running Windows10, you will find that the inbuilt Photos app only allows you to export from 540p, 720p, and 1080p, no 4K.
For Mac users, the good news is that you can work with 4k and 60 frames per second in the free inbuilt video editor iMovie.
And if there are some other video editing software which is missed from the list, please leave a comment and let us know. But before you leave, do not forget to download and try our latest video editing software Filmora to edit your 4K video footage.
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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