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Top 5 video editing software

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

The best video editing software in full: Paid-for

01. Adobe Premiere Pro

The best video editing software for professionals using Windows. Platform: Windows and Mac | Key features: Multi-cam editing, 3D editing | Free trial: Yes | Best for: Video editing professionals, video editing students ₹12,800 VIEW AT UDEMYExcellent automatic functions Industry standard video editing tool Free trial available Expensive

Adobe Premiere Pro is one of two video editing software packages used by top professionals, on everything from YouTube videos and commercials to TV shows or blockbuster movies. The other one is Final Cut Pro, the second on our list. So how do you choose between them? That will depend on a number of factors, but the first and most obvious is that Final Cut Pro is only available for Mac. So if you're a professional using Windows, we can definitely say that Premiere Pro is the best video editing software for your needs.

Another factor to bear in mind is that Premiere Pro is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, and interacts seamlessly with everything from the motion graphics tool Adobe After Effects to Adobe Stock, from which you can import stock video, stock audio and stock images. So if the Creative Cloud is already part of your workflow, then that's another very good reason to choose Premiere Pro.

That said, even if you're a Mac user with no interest in the Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro is still worth considering. It's widely used up and down the industry for all common video editing tasks necessary for producing broadcast-quality, high-definition video, and also supports 4K, 8K and VR formats. 

Its trimming and editing tools give you a high degree of precision and control; you can work on an uncapped number of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source you can think of; and automatic sync makes it easy to handle multi-angle shots. There are customisable keyboard shortcuts make for a speedy workflow, and there are great options for remote team collaboration too.

The latest release (14.4) has a couple of nifty new features too. The software can now automatically detect and add edits where cuts occur in a video. Plus you can now choose to use proxies while exporting if you want a quick export that doesn't require full resolution media. As Premiere Pro is part of a subscription service, you'll get updates like this every month automatically: you won't need to pay any extra.

You can subscribe to Premiere Pro alone, but if you use more than one of Adobe's apps, you'll save money overall by subscribing to Creative Cloud. Need more info? Check out our in-depth Adobe Premiere Pro review, and our explanation of to download Premiere Pro.

  • Download Adobe Premiere Pro CC

02. Final Cut Pro X

The best video editing software for professionals using Macs. Platform: Mac | Key features: Muti-cam editing, intelligent colour balancing | Free trial: 90-day (limited time offer) | Best for: Video editing professionals, video editing students US$299.99 VIEW AT APPLEVersatile and powerful editing Brilliant interface Makes sense for Apple users Expensive

As we mentioned above, it's difficult to say that Final Cut Pro X is better overall than Premiere Pro, or vice-versa, because they are both highly respected tools used throughout the industry. However, there are some clear differences between them to help you choose, and one of those is the fact that Final Cut Pro X is subscription-free. So if you're a Mac user (note: there's no Windows version) and don't like the idea of a never-ending Creative Cloud subscription, then Final Cut Pro X allows you to pay once, and once only.

Optimised for Mac, Final Cut Pro X cleverly coordinates with relevant parts of the Apple ecosystem, such as your Photos or iTunes collections. It also has the advantage of being relatively easy to use, despite being packed with pro-level features. Of these, we particularly like the innovative Magnetic Timeline, grouping tools, range of effect options, organisational features and the straightforward way you can add and edit audio. Plus in the latest version, released in August, clips can now be automatically analysed for dominant motion and intelligently cropped with Smart Conform to convert them into square, vertical, or any other sized video; a handy addition for anyone exporting to social platforms.

Still not sure about Final Cut Pro X? Then the good news is that you have plenty of time to play with it before committing any cash: there's currently a generous 90 day trial period. Meanwhile, if you need more help deciding between these two top tools, then read our in-depth guide to Premiere Pro vs Final Cut Pro for more details. 

  • Download Final Cut Pro X

03. Adobe Premiere Elements

The best video editing software for beginners and enthusiasts. Platform: Windows and Mac | Key features: Video stabilisation, face detection, automatic motion tracking | Free trial: Yes | Best for: Video editing beginners and enthusiasts Easy to use Loads of features Not as powerful as some tools Not the fastest 

Maybe you're not a professional, and have no ambitions to become one, but just want to edit some videos for fun, such as family footage or your own not-too-serious YouTube channel. Or maybe you have thoughts of being a professional one day, but want some easy to use video editing software to get you started? For such purposes, Adobe's Premiere Elements is a great choice. 

It isn't as complex as Premiere Pro, number one on our list, so the interface will look less scary to a novice, and your learning curve will be a lot more straightforward. But it's still packed with powerful features, such as face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks. 

You get all the video effects you’d expect in a consumer video editor: transitions, chroma-keying, opacity and so on. The approach to video editing is very simple and visual. Plus smart search functionality, video stablisation options, and automated functions, such as motion tracking and smart toning, all help speed up your workflow. One thing we especially like in the latest (2020) release is the eye-catching ability to replace static skies with moving ones in your footage.

Premiere Elements is not part of the Creative Cloud but is available for a one-off fee. For more information, check out our Premiere Elements review. 

  • Download Premiere Elements from Adobe

04. Adobe Premiere Rush

The best video editing software for your phone. Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android | Key features: In-app motion graphics, 4K support | Free trial: Free starter plan | Best for: Enthusiasts (Premiere Rush alone), professionals (with Premiere Pro) Adobe Premiere Rush CC US$9.99/mth Adobe Premiere Pro & Premier Rush CC US$20.99/mth VISIT SITE at AdobeAll can be done in the app Excellent for sound editing Ideal if you already know Adobe Don't rely on limited free plan

There's one more piece of Adobe video editing software to consider: an app for iOS and Android called Premiere Rush. This relatively new cross-platform app makes all the best bits of Premiere Pro available on your tablet or phone. 

One of the best video editing apps around, Premiere Rush features a simplified version of the Premiere Pro interface, with large icons and panels that are easier to click on a small touchscreen. You're able to edit four video tracks and three audio tracks. And while there are fewer features available than on its desktop cousins, all the basics are available, such as adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop, and mixing in background music.

Premiere Rush can be used as a complement to Premiere Pro. For instance, a video editing professional on the train might want to do some extra work on some footage they've previously worked on in Pro on their desktop. However, Premiere Rush can also be used entirely independently, by a casual user wanting to do some simple video editing. It's particularly useful for anyone involved in social video, with export options optimised for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and more.

Premiere Rush is part of the Creative Cloud subscription, or you can subscribe to Premiere Rush alone. Alternatively, there's a free starter plan that includes access to the app, 2GB of cloud storage, unlimited free exports on Premiere Rush mobile, and up to three exported projects on Premiere Rush desktop. That zero cost commitment makes it among the best software for editing videos for YouTube.

  • Download Adobe Premiere Rush

05. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate

High quality video editing software for beginners. Platform: Windows | Key features: Real-time effects, colour correction | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Beginners VISIT SITEReally easy to pick up Nice selection of features Relatively inexpensive Too basic (and unusual) for pros

Adobe may dominate the top half of our list, but if you're a beginner who wants to get started with video editing software there are plenty of other options to choose from. So it's well worth checking out Corel VideoStudio Ultimate, particularly if you're already familiar with Corel's illustration and graphic design software.

This very capable tool has a lovely, very visual interface that makes it easy to get started with video editing, while there are some powerful features to discover once you've mastered the basics. These include motion tracking, 4K support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library, multi-cam support, 3D text editing and thousands of effects. All of which makes this tool very good value for the relatively low price. 

  • Download Corel VideoStudio

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