How to make videos that don’t suck! Choosing the Right Editing Software for the Job
I am asked weekly what is the best editing software. There are a few options worth considering and what you choose will depend on your specific needs. The first three I recommend cover all the bases, from beginner to expert, and from Mac to PC.
The first and most widely used software is Adobe Premiere Pro. It is the gold standard of easy-to-use, professional-grade editing software. It works on both Mac and PC and your subscription will allow you to access both. It has all the functionality that I have ever needed and the best part is that it is constantly expanding. Lumetri’s relatively new color grading panel is a particularly useful feature that helps achieve a fast and efficient workflow. Being able to do everything ‘at home’ is great. It’s a bit pricey, around $19.99 per month, but if you really want to make videos, it’s worth considering.
Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is also a competitor, although in recent years the popularity has dropped significantly. FCP gained a reputation for favoring amateur productions like skate and surf videos, and as a result, many pros looked elsewhere (including me). The software also only works on Mac so this might not be an option for those who prefer a PC. If you’re a fan of the Mac interface, this software has all the ease of use you’d expect. It handles 4K video streams better than other software on comparable machines due to the way it processes and manages background files. Overall, Final Cut is easy to get around, but at $299.99, I recommend beginners test the water with Premiere Pro first. Ultimately, both programs are great for learning the basics of editing, but Premiere will be more beneficial to you. as you begin to demand advanced features.
For those who don’t want to spend money, iMovie is a good option. As you’d expect with free software, it’s aimed at beginners and doesn’t have as much functionality as the others. You can get the basic editing features with little or no prior experience, but ultimately you won’t have much flexibility and some of the action options look amateurish (titles and transitions, etc.). If you are looking for something accessible and easy to use, this could be for you.
Bonus: If you want to have some fun editing on your phone, check out Premiere Clip. You wouldn’t expect to be able to edit on a phone, but this one might surprise you. Combine it with an app like Filmic Pro for advanced mobile camera controls and you have a great ‘mini’ setup. There have even been award-winning feature films like ‘Unsane’ shot entirely on the iPhone!