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The Best Video Editing Software in 2024

The Best Video Editing Software in 2024

Video editing has come a long way in the past decade. With the rise of YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Reels and other video-focused platforms, more people than ever are interested in creating and editing their videos. But with so many video editing programs on the market, how do you know which is right?

Read on as I break down the 12 best video editing software options in 2024 based on your needs and skill level. Whether you are a beginner looking for easy-to-use software or a pro editor needing advanced features, there’s an option for everyone. Let’s dive in!

The Best Video Editing Software for Beginners:

You'll want intuitive and easy-to-learn software when just starting with video editing. The following three programs stand out for their user-friendly interfaces geared towards novices.

1. Filmora (Mac, PC):

Filmora Split Button

If you’re looking for video editing software with powerful features but still simple enough for beginners, Filmora is a great choice. Some standout aspects that make it ideal for newbies include:

  • Clean, intuitive drag-and-drop interface
  • Excellent selection of templates and effects
  • Integrated screen recorder and video stabiliser
  • Automated frame-by-frame editing mode

Beginners will be okay jumping right in and editing captivating videos with Filmora. Plus, it remains affordable but has plenty of features to grow into as you advance your skills.

Key Stats:

  • Over 740 visual effects and elements
  • Compatible formats: MP4, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MKV, TS, 3GP
  • 4K video editing support

2. VSDC Free Video Editor (Win)

As the name suggests, VSDC Free Video Editor is a full-featured but utterly free video editing program for Windows. It’s lightweight and surprisingly powerful, considering there’s no cost associated with it. Some of the capabilities that make it ideal for video editing newcomers include:

  • Drag and drop workflow
  • Intuitive interface with helpful tips
  • Image stabilisation and masking tools
  • Extensive audio editing options
  • Hardware acceleration for 4K and HD editing

For a free program, VSDC provides outstanding value—especially for beginners looking to get a feel for video editing before committing to paid software. Considering the free price tag, the ads and watermarks on exported videos are an understandable tradeoff.

Key Stats:

  • Supports virtually any media format/codec
  • Includes over 50 visual effects and filters
  • There is no watermark when exporting to standard formats
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3. Apple iMovie (Mac, iOS)

Imovie For Editing Videos

As Apple’s consumer-focused video editing software, iMovie is designed to introduce even the most tech-averse creators to basic editing techniques. The simple interface prioritises usability over features, making iMovie easy to recommend for beginners getting started on Mac or iPhone/iPad. Highlights include:

  • Streamlined editing features
  • Stylish built-in themes and templates
  • Smooth integration with other Apple apps
  • Direct video/audio importing from iOS devices
  • Optimised performance for MacBooks and iMacs

Although advanced editors may find it constraining, iMovie is hands-down the easiest way for amateurs to combine video clips and photos into polished movies on Apple devices. And you can't beat the price—it's free with every Mac!

Key Stats:

  • Added 80 new soundtracks in the latest update
  • Exports videos up to 4K resolution
  • It supports all popular image, audio, and video formats.

My top introductory video editing software recommendations are Filmora, VSDC, and iMovie. They cater to beginners through an intuitive interface, various effects, and easy exporting. Read on for intermediate recommendations.

Best for Aspiring YouTube & Social Media Creators

Once you’ve gotten the basics of video editing, you may be looking to step up your game for YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and similar platforms. These versatile programs help take your videos to the next level.

4. Adobe Premiere Elements 2023 (Mac, Win)

As a particular version of Premiere Pro aimed at consumers and hobbyists, Adobe Premiere Elements offers an excellent middle ground between beginner and pro-level video editing. Compared to the standard Premiere Pro, Elements curates and simplifies features for home users, like

  • Step-by-step video editor “Guided Edits”
  • Simplified tools for correcting shakiness
  • Audio and colour adjustment sliders
  • Animated titles and motion graphics
  • Easy sharing to social platforms

With plenty of bells and whistles to keep you busy without the complexity of pro software, Premiere Elements hits a sweet spot for YouTubers and social media creators looking to elevate production quality. And it remains intuitively designed for those without formal video editing training.

Key Stats:

  • Added 27 Guided Edits in the latest version
  • New auto-reframe feature for vertical videos
  • Expanded animated titles & graphics options

5. VideoProc Vlogger (Mac, Win)

Videoproc Vlogger Software Review

Designed specifically with digital content creators in mind, VideoProc Vlogger stands out with a streamlined toolkit for editing footage from cameras, smartphones and screen recordings. As the name hints, it’s ideal for today’s vloggers and influencers looking to edit content for YouTube, Instagram, etc quickly. Key features include

  • Multi-track timeline editing
  • Hundreds of filters, transitions, and elements
  • Hardware-accelerated 4K editing
  • Tools to remove background noise
  • Direct publishing to YouTube.

With everything tailored towards optimising social video production, VideoProc Vlogger lifts much of the complexity out of the editing process. The intuitive interface lets you turn around engaging videos faster than traditional software. If creating YouTube or internet videos is your primary goal, put VideoProc Vlogger at the top of your list!

Key Stats:

  • 400+ special vlogging effects and elements
  • Enhanced audio mixer with volume control
  • Custom tagging for organising media clips
  • Exports videos with no watermark

6. PowerDirector 365 (Win)

Another competent intermediate program, PowerDirector 365, provides a one-stop shop for users looking to publish great-looking videos online without jumping into the deep end with pro software. Useful capabilities include:

  • MultiCam Capture Lite records from multiple devices
  • 600+ unique title effects for text
  • AI Style Plugins instantly change video look
  • Background removal and green screen editing
  • Integrated action camera centre supports GoPro footage
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PowerDirector hits a nice sweet spot for social video creators who find iMovie too essential but don’t need every bell and whistle. You get tons of effects and customizability without being overwhelmed. One caveat is it’s only available for Windows.

Key Stats:

  • Added over 200 new effects in v20
  • Supports 18:9 & widescreen vertical video
  • MultiCam Capture Lite supports 4+ devices
  • Customisable keyboard shortcuts

I recommend Premiere Elements, VideoProc Vlogger or PowerDirector 365 if you're ready to expand beyond entry-level software and make quality videos for YouTube, TikTok or other social platforms. But you still may desire even more advanced tools…

Professional Video Editing Software

Once you’re ready to enter the world of professional filmmaking and broadcast video production, you need software to handle anything you throw at it. These industry leaders provide top-notch tools for Hollywood blockbusters and beyond.

7. Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac, Win)

Adobe Premiere Pro

If you’re doing professional video editing or filmmaking, Adobe Premiere Pro remains an industry-standard option trusted by video pros worldwide. Some highlights that make it a go-to choice include

  • Integration with other Adobe software like After Effects
  • Collaborative workflows and cloud integration
  • Advanced colour grading and audio mixing options
  • Extensive hardware and codec support
  • Tools for VR video, animatics and more.

Think of any high-profile movie or show with dazzling editing and effects—possibly Adobe Premiere Pro was involved. Although the learning curve is steep, Premiere can handle even the most demanding editing workloads once mastered. Just be prepared to pay monthly, as it’s only available via Creative Cloud subscription plans.

Key Stats:

  • Over 275 file formats/codecs supported
  • Real-time collaborative workflows
  • Enhanced tools for immersive content
  • Over 15 plugins for captions & subtitles
  • Over 45 plugins to expand functionality

8. DaVinci Resolve Studio (Mac, Win, Linux)

Created for colour grading and correction, DaVinci Resolve has evolved into a competent editing program in its own right. Some of the high-end finishing tools that make it popular with professionals include:

  • Facial recognition and isolated editing
  • Resolution up to 8K with real-time effects
  • High dynamic range colour support
  • Neural engine and multi-user collaboration
  • Fairlight digital audio workstation:

If your work involves colour grading, audio engineering, or editing high-resolution/high-dynamic range video, DaVinci and Premiere should be on your list. And with a permanent license fee, some may prefer its pricing model over Adobe’s subscription plans. Just know there's a learning curve to harness its immense toolset.

Key Stats:

  • Used on over 1000 feature films per year
  • Supports frame sizes up to 8K resolution
  • Advanced filters use facial tracking for precision
  • Collaborative workflow across 30+ systems
  • Immersive 3D audio mixing with Dolby Atmos support

9. AVID Media Composer (Mac, Win)

Avid Media Composer Video Editing Software

Used by many professional editors in film and television, Media Composer by Avid focuses solely on non-linear editing. By specialising in multi-camera editorial workflows, collaborating with large teams, and compatibility with industry technology, Media Composer is built for serious post-production. Standouts include:

  • Collaborative editing with Avid Nexis storage
  • Optimised for editing using multiple cameras
  • Interplay integration for reviewing footage
  • Supports HDR, 4K, UHD media and beyond
  • Highly customisable keyboard shortcuts
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So, while Avid can’t match Premiere’s breadth of features, Media Composer provides best-in-class media organisation and timeline editing tools trusted by old Hollywood and major networks. If you work in film or TV editing, its capabilities with team workflows should put Avid on your radar along with Adobe and DaVinci.

Key Stats:

  • Trusted by over 75% of films edited in Hollywood
  • Over 200 production companies use Avid Nexis
  • Real-time collaboration with remote editors
  • Over 200 import/export plug-ins are available
  • Customise virtually any command or tool

For the highest-end projects where time is money, these three professional options have the horsepower and pedigree demanded by video editors, colourists and engineers alike. Their tool sets cater to everyone from indie filmmakers to industry veterans.

Most Unique & Innovative Options

Beyond the most popular software, amateurs and professionals who use some wild card programs are thinking outside the box. These options provide unique capabilities or workflows compared to traditional non-linear editing tools.

10. Lightworks (Win, Mac, Linux)

As the only free program with a genuinely professional-grade editor, Lightworks makes the list for its innovative business model. Unlike other free software, Lightworks has a proven track record of use in major films like Pulp Fiction, LA Confidential, Heat and more. Some critical aspects beyond price include:

  • Used to edit films that won 3 Academy Awards
  • Compatible with SD, HD, and 4K formats
  • Real-time effects with background rendering
  • Tools for stereoscopic 3D editing
  • Content and codec expansion packs are available

Despite being free and open source, Lightworks still delivers capabilities on par with paid competitors. The caveat is export options are limited unless you purchase the $25/month Pro version. But it remains a competent editor available at no cost.

Key Stats:

  • Exports videos in up to 4K resolution
  • Compatible with a wide variety of video formats
  • Over 400 customisable keyboard shortcuts
  • Used to edit content for NBC, ABC, BBC and more

11. Shotcut (Win, Mac, Linux)

Shotcut Video Editor Software Review

Like Lightworks, Shotcut is another open-source video editor that is entirely free. Considering there's no price tag, it manages to pack an incredible amount of functionality into a sleek interface. Useful features include:

  • Support for hundreds of audio & video formats
  • Powerful waveform and histogram analytics
  • Highly customisable interface layouts
  • Master filter for applying effects to any clip
  • Real-time previews for filters & transitions

For freeware, Shotcut hits well above its weight class. The open-source platform allows for the rapid development of new features and add-ons. And supporting 4K YouTube uploads plus FFmpeg integration should satisfy non-professionals and moderately advanced editors alike. Try Shotcut if you want capable free software.

Key Stats:

  • Supports unlimited audio sound effects, video, and filter tracks
  • Added 12 new filters & 58 improvements in v22.01
  • GPU-optimised playback performance
  • Custom encoding presets for over 40 formats
  • Advanced colour correction tools

12. DaVinci Resolve Fusion (Mac, Win, Linux)

As mentioned earlier, DaVinci Resolve Studio aimed squarely at serious post-production with advanced colour grading, editing, audio, and the Fusion compositing toolset. Even in the basic Free version, editors get access to Fusion’s 2D and 3D compositing workflow and hundreds of effects. Key traits that set Fusion apart include:

  • Node-based visual workflow
  • 2D/3D compositing in real-time
  • Paint and rotoscope tools
  • 3D particles, objects and cameras
  • GPU/CPU accelerated rendering
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By baking this compositing software right into Resolve, editors gain a host of animation, particles, tracking and other motion graphics capabilities typically requiring a separate program. Under one roof, this Swiss army knife of post-production tools provides serious value to Resolve users.

Key Stats:

  • Over 250 built-in tools for compositing
  • Support for industry-standard formats like EXR
  • Added Neon Creator node generates realistic neon
  • The new Camera Shake node animates camera moves
  • Dynamic Media Folders automatically organise assets

While not traditional non-linear video editors, Lightworks and Shotcut provide competent tools, considering their free price and open-source status. DaVinci Resolve earns a spot for putting advanced compositing into every editor’s toolkit alongside editorial, colour, audio and more.

Video Editing Software Comparison Tables

Still, trying to figure out where to get started? Here are some quick reference tables I put together comparing key stats, features and pricing across various video editing programs.

Beginner & Entry-Level Software

SoftwarePlatformMax Project ResolutionNotable FeaturesPrice
FilmoraWindows/Mac4K UHD740 effects/elements, easy drag & drop$7.99/month
VSDCWindowsUltra HD 4KHardware acceleration, 50+ filtersFREE
iMovieMac/iOS4KStylish Apple templates, easy sharingFREE (Mac only)

Intermediate Options for Online Creators

SoftwarePlatformMax Hardware InputsEffects & ElementsPrice
Premiere ElementsWindows/Mac4 CamerasGuided edits, auto-reframe for vertical$99 one-time
VideoProc VloggerWindows/Mac5 Tracks400+ vlogging-focused$78 one-time
PowerDirector 365Windows5+ Cameras600+ title effects, 200+ filters$69 one-time OR $99/year

Professional & High-End Software

SoftwareReal-time Collaboration3D/VR ToolsSample UsersPrice
Premiere ProYes, ProductionsImmersive Video PluginsApple, BBC, Netflix$239/year
DaVinci Resolve StudioYes, across 30+ systemsCompositing, 3D Particle SystemsWarner Bros, Universal, Paramount$445 one-time
Avid Media ComposerYes, Avid NexisSome VR CapabilitiesNBC, ABC, SkyTV, Sony Pictures$1,299 one-time OR $699/year

Most Unique & Innovative Options

SoftwareOpen Source4K ExportSample Films EditedPrice
LightworksSort ofYes with ProPulp Fiction, Heat, LA ConfidentialFREE or $25/month Pro
DaVinci Resolve FusionNoYesFeatured in Resolve StudioIncluded FREE in Resolve

I hope breaking down the contenders into beginner, intermediate, prosumer and professional categories helps narrow your search. As you can see, there are excellent options at every price point and experience level. Read on for a quick FAQ addressing common questions about selecting your software!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still evaluating the many excellent video editing programs available in 2024? Here are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions:

Should I pay monthly or buy a program outright?

Whether you rent the software monthly or buy it as a one-time purchase depends on your budget and usage. Adobe and others now focus on subscription plans while options like CyberLink PowerDirector sell outright licenses that never expire.
If you only edit occasionally, purchasing a program outright avoids paying when you aren’t using it. But subscriptions make sense if you edit constantly and always want to access the latest updates. They lower barriers to getting started and can sometimes be cheaper in the short term. Overall, it comes down to your financial situation and video editing frequency.

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How much does professional video editing software cost?

Professional video editing programs range from around $250 to $700 annually for a subscription. One-time purchase options can run from $300 to $1,300 or more. Free software lacks capabilities for high-end work.
For example, an annual Adobe Premiere Pro subscription runs $239 annually. DaVinci Resolve Studio is a one-time cost of $445. Avid Media Composer requires a $699 annual plan or $1,299 outright purchase. So you're looking at a yearly fee in the hundreds for professional tools.

Can I edit a 4K or 8K video?

Most modern video software supports editing 4K resolution footage without issue. But editing higher resolution 8K video remains less common among consumer programs—DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro are prime examples supporting 8K and unique hardware. You’ll want a more advanced editor when working in these ultra-high resolutions.

How much hard drive space do I need?

Video files consume vast amounts of drive space compared to other media. Aim for at least 500GB of free space as a baseline when managing multiple video projects. 4K footage, in particular, can quickly monopolise terabytes of HDD or SSD storage.
Investing in a fast primary drive (like a 500GB+ SSD) for active editing and larger secondary HDDs (2+ TB) for completed archives is recommended. Additional external drives help, too. Video editing pushes storage needs to the limits!

What computer specs are ideal?

When selecting hardware, prioritise maximum CPU cores, and higher base clock speeds for smooth video previewing and export. Discrete GPUs also accelerate rendering and effects. 32GB+ RAM provides breathing room for editing HD and 4K footage.
The aim is for newer processors with 6+ cores like Intel i7/i9 or Ryzen 7/9. Pair it with 32GB+ RAM, 500GB+ SSD storage, and dedicated Nvidia/AMD graphics cards for the ultimate experience. Powerful PCs translate to smooth editing!

Ready to Get Editing?

I hope this comprehensive guide to finding the best video editing software options in 2024 helps you select the right program for your needs and experience level!

The key is matching your goals and budget to tools that won’t provide unnecessary complexity while enabling you to achieve the editing capabilities you desire now or in the future.

Whether you picked up some new ideas browsing beginner, intermediate or professional-grade solutions, let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy to chat more about optimising your video editing workflow and setup.

Now, pick your platform of choice and dive into editing captivating videos—I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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