Best 5 video editing software in 2020, for both beginner and professional
Welcome to our guide to the best video editing software – applications that have never seemed more important as the world connects virtually more so than right now. Whether you’re creating a short clip for social media or a full feature film, picking the right tool can make the difference between the success or failure of your video project. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best one for your needs?
Don’t worry: we’ve already done the research, so you don’t need to. In this buying guide, we bring together today’s very best video editing software, and explain what they do, what platform they run on, how much they cost, the pros and cons of each, and everything else you need to know to make your decision
1. Apple iMovie
Ok—so to those of you working with PCs, this one won’t really apply; but we’d remiss to leave it off the list. If you’re looking for simplicity and elegance, it doesn’t get much better than Apple iMovie. iMovie’s ten high-fidelity filters are some of the classiest in the video editing game and if you’re shooting on your iPhone, or have been editing a project on your iPad, you can use AirDrop to wirelessly and seamlessly transfer your project over to your Mac.
One of iMovie’s most coveted features is its green-screen, or “chroma-key” tool, which allows you to place your characters in exotic locations—Hawaii, say—at a moment’s notice. Want to overlay the scene with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”? iMovie ties directly in with iTunes and GarageBand, so you can easily implement custom tracks and sounds. When your movie’s finally ready to ship, release it into the wild using iMessage, Facebook, YouTube, or any other of iMovie’s succinctly connected platforms. Free with the purchase of a Mac.
Standout Features: Seamless Apple product integration; green-screen; audio and social platform integration.
2. Lumen5: How to Edit Videos Without Much Technical Ability
We’ll put this more in the category of a video editing “tool” than video editing software, but for social media marketers who want to create fun, flashy social promos in the blink of an eye, Lumen5 is a no brainer.
Lumen5 markets itself as a tool that turns blog posts into social promos. While the process isn’t perfect, and you’ll likely have to do some tinkering to get your blog content looking just the way you want it, the rest of the video creation process is a cinch. Merely refine some copy that teases your blog post; drag and drop some gifs, screengrabs, or video clips; add some music; and your engaging social video will be ripe for Facebook and Twitter.
Standout Features: Blog-to-social-promo creation; drag-and-drop interface.
3. Corel VideoStudio
Corel VideoStudio has all the characteristics of the other top-of-the-line products on this list, including 360-degree VR and 4k support, but it also has the distinction of being the first piece of consumer video editing software to offer motion tracking—which, if you’re not already familiar, is a feature that allows you to track specific objects throughout your cut (if you wanted, say, to point an arrow at one of your characters, blur out his face, or bestow him with a funny hat). Most of the products on this list come equipped with motion tracking, but VideoStudio still boasts one of the best motion tracking systems around.
One of the knocks on VideoStudio is its speed, which lags notably behind some of the faster systems on this list.
Standout Features: Motion tracking.
4. Filmora from Wondershare
When it comes to video editing software, Filmora is about as multi-faceted as they come. Filmora is Wondershare’s standard, simple, high-quality video editing offering; but Wondershare also offers FilmoraGo (for mobile editing) and Filmora Scrn (for screen recording and editing). The design is intuitive and easy to use, and comes replete with filters, overlays, motion elements, transitions, and a small selection of royalty-free music. Here are a few more of the “basics” Filmora offers:
4k and gif support are boilerplate features for most video editing products today, but one thing Filmora does particularly well is titles. Title tools are trending in video software, and while Filmora’s doesn’t have the functionality of say, an Apple Final Cut Pro X, which can superimpose 3D titles over your videos and rotate them on three axes, it nonetheless has some snazzy titling features for the money you’re spending.
Another Filmora feature beginners to video editing will find attractive is “Easy Mode,” which allows you to create fun, polished edits by merely dragging and dropping clips, choosing a theme, and selecting music.
Standout features: Title tool; mobile and screen editing; “Easy Mode”.
5. CyberLink PowerDirector
So—we stretched the meaning of “software” a bit earlier; now, we’re going to stretch the meaning of “beginner.” We included CyberLink PowerDirector on this list because its interface is, at the end of the day, pretty straightforward. Head to the product page, run through the tutorials, and you’ll be alright. There is within the interface, however, an embarrassment of options and effects. If you’re not willing to invest the time in learning all of them, it can get a bit overwhelming.
In terms of rendering, PowerDirector is regarded as one of the fastest video editing systems around. It also operates consistently in the sphere of the innovative and cutting edge. PowerDirector led the charge in the switch to 4k, and today, it’s one of the first systems to support 360-degree virtual reality footage.
Standout Features: Lightning-fast rendering; comprehensive suite of effects.