Best Video Editing SoftwareReviewAdvice

Best Video Editing Software for 2016

We review the best video editing software and reveal our top pick

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Best Free Video Editing Software

Professionals and novices alike use the best video editing software to manipulate and restructure video files. When you're working in such a detailed medium it's important to have a video editor which can facilitate a seamless post-production process.

A few years ago, many of the best video editing software programs retailed for upwards of $300-$500. Now, you can find an affordable, high-quality program well within your budget. Look for an application that offers more than just filters. It should have effects and transitions, visual enhancers, audio mixers as well as a host of other editing tools.

Best Video Editing Software: What to Consider

If you're familiar with the process of using a good video editing software then the following considerations will simply be a reminder. However, if you are a newbie, pay close attention to these points:

Editing Tools

There are hundreds of editing tools made available for video projects. Some of the basic ones include clipping and reorganizing shots, improving the visual quality, and incorporating audio elements. A more advanced application typically has a larger selection of editing tools including effects, transitions, title designer, video stabilizer, Chroma key, and more.

Timeline/Storyboard Workspace

Video editing software typically comes in a timeline or storyboard format. Some individuals may prefer one over the other so if this is the case double check the specs of the program.

Sharing Capabilities

Social media is a staple in mainstream society so for that reason, sharing capabilities are a must! Select software that can post to sites like YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo. Also search for one that allows you to export files to your smartphone and tablet.

Compatible Operating Systems

Depending on which operating system you use, it may be harder to find a compatible operating system. Windows 7, 8, Vista, and XP are compatible with the vast majority of video editing programs. Mac users may have a harder time finding compatible software so be sure to double check under the specifications.

User-interface

Are you able to easily navigate the program and locate where key functions are? The program's ease of use is a tremendous factor. Review user ratings and comments regarding the platform as a whole.

The Best Video Editing Software

  • Pros
  • Suitable for pros and beginners
  • Over 100 video editing tools
  • Timeline and storyboard formats
  • Social media sharing options
  • Intuitive user-interface
  • Cons
  • Not for Mac users

PowerDirector 12 elevates video editing to a whole new level and it has the awards to prove it. Named among the 2013 Best of the Year by PC Mag, and Videomaker Magazine, PowerDirector is a comprehensive tool for high-quality productions. That's not to say that beginners can't utilize their software though. Even novices can execute and transform basic video into a dynamic creation.

There are hundreds of video editing tools included in the software. Among a user favorite is the new theme designer which allows you to convert both photos and video into a 3D animated slideshow by just dragging and dropping the file over one of the 30 design templates. In all, there are over 400 built-in effects, transitions, and titles to choose from. Some of which include:

  • Audio mixer
  • Image editor
  • Video stabilizer
  • Chroma key
  • Hand-paint animation
  • Create 3D movies
  • Title and menu designer
  • Subtitle creation

Beginners will really appreciate the fact that it comes with free tutorials, themes, and templates to ease their learning curve. On the other hand, video veterans will appreciate its lightning fast speed-nearly 40 percent faster in H.264 encoding. Plus it supports Ultra HD (4k content), which is quickly growing in popularity across the digital platform.

Verdict - Superb

PowerDirector should be your go-to video editor. It's a high-powered tool that has the capabilities to accomplish nearly any task in a timeline or storyboard format. While it is compatible with Windows 7, 8, Vista and XP, Mac users may be disappointed to learn that it's not compatible with these computers. Aside from that, PowerDirector receives high marks in every category!

Corel VideoStudio Review

  • Pros
  • Over 20 customizable tracks
  • Range of editing tools and themes
  • Share on YouTube, Facebook
  • Renders 4K video content and HD
  • High-speed performance
  • Cons
  • Not quite as easy to navigate
  • Not compatible on Macs

As a developer in business software, graphics, web, and desktop publishing Corel Corporation is always on the leading edge of innovation. The VideoStudio ProX7 editing software is just another one of their incredible offerings that will help you streamline the creative process and produce high-definition videos.

Movie-making is just a click away with the new 64-bit power, which renders 4k and HD multi-track projects faster than ever before. Available in either a timeline or storyboard format, VideoStudio helps you personalize your project with the following features:

  • 21 customizable tracks
  • Supports HD and Ultra HD (4k)
  • Audio editor
  • Title and chapter designer
  • Video stabilizer
  • Chroma key
  • Subtitle creator

This program supports HD and Ultra HD content, which as we mentioned is quickly changing the way we watch movies. In terms of learning opportunities, Corel offers free tutorials, themes and templates to help users make the most of the software. What it doesn't have, on the contrary, is a strong online community like Cyberlink PowerDirector.

In-all VideoStudio is a very powerful tool for creating everything from action-cam and personal videos to stop motion animation and video blogs. You even have the ability to share videos on YouTube, Facebook and export to your tablet or smartphone.

Verdict - Great

Editing buffs will revel in this program offered by Corel. You get a range of neat features plus an intuitive user interface. One slight drawback is that it is a bit more challenging to navigate than PowerDirector and it's also not compatible on Apple products.

Adobe Premiere Elements Review

  • Pros
  • Automated options
  • Works on Mac
  • On-screen tutorial feature
  • Video stabilizer
  • Menu and chapter designer
  • Cons
  • Overly simplified for experts
  • Lacking more advanced editing tools

Adobe Premiere Elements is easy-to-use software that will fuel your creative side. The core of this application is to teach users the very basics of video editing. With that being said professionals familiar with editing may find the program to be too basic.

One of the quickest ways to learn the process is by using the guided feature mode which is a tutorial program available on-screen. This is a major advantage and one which we haven't seen in many other applications. With that being said, there are also a host of automated options and three editing modes (expert, guided, and quick).

Let's get down to the nuts and bolts. Adobe Premiere boasts the following components:

  • Image editor
  • Audio mixer
  • Video stabilizer
  • Timeline and storyboard format
  • Easy to navigate platform
  • New music scores/effects
  • Guided edits

Once your project is polished to perfection, you're able to share it instantly on YouTube, Facebook and even Vimeo. Your other option is to export it to your smartphone or tablet-also as simple as the click of a button.

Verdict - Very Good

We can't forget to leave out of the major highlights of this program, which is its compatibility on Macs. That's a huge selling point on any level since so many software programs are limited to the Windows operating platform. Speaking of Windows, Adobe Premiere Elements also works on Windows 7, 8, Vista, and XP. All-in-all this is a great product offered by Adobe. You gain access to a ton of free tutorials, themes, and tips to learn the software.

MaGIX Movie Edit Pro Review

  • Pros
  • Supports full 4K and HD content
  • Automatic wizards
  • Professional color correction
  • Social media sharing capabilities
  • Multi-cam editing
  • Cons
  • Downloading templates required
  • No subtitle creation tool

As a trendsetter in multimedia software, MaGIX has set the bar high when it comes to video, music, and other digital products. Their user base reflects the company's ingenuity and innovative power-reaching over 13 million in total.

Paired up against other big names like Cyberlink and Corel, MaGIX can certainly hold its own. Movie Edit Pro is easily adapted by users from all backgrounds-experts and novices. A few of the key features that stand are the full 4K/HD support, professional color correction element, and 1500+ unique template/effects.

For beginners who are interested in getting a bit of extra support, they can select the optional beginner mode which launches easy-to-follow functions.

After putting the final touches on your project share it with family and friends by exporting it to your smartphone, tablet, DVD or social media account (Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube).

Verdict - Good

While this editing software ranks high on consumer boards, it's important to mention that many of the templates require downloading after the software is installed. Depending on the number of templates you need, this may require a lot of additional work and space available on your computer. That's not to say that you won't be pleased with the templates already included in the software because they are professional grade offerings.

Pinnacle Studio Review

  • Pros
  • Audio mixer
  • Image editor
  • Video stabilizer
  • Chroma key
  • Share on social media
  • Cons
  • No subtitle creation
  • Not for Windows XP or Mac users

The Pinnacle Studio suite of products has received awards in the category of video editing software. This new Pinnacle Studio 17 offers users a flexible and streamlined workflow to execute any editing process. Broken down into separate sections to organize then edit the elements, Pinnacle is the stable platform you've been looking for. Since its previous software version, this program has not only increased the library of editing and visual effects but adjusted the settings to allow simultaneous timeline and storyboard formats. What's more, you can customize the toolbar to work for you! It's a small touch which could save you a ton of time in the long run.

In terms of the features, this comes with an audio mixer/editor, video stabilizer, Chroma key, menu and chapter designer. Pinnacle has sharing options which include YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo as well as exporting tools for smartphones, tablets, and DVDs. For additional information you can consult Pinnacle's free tutorials or online support help.

Verdict - Fair

This program has quite a few nice features. Where it lacks is in the compatibility department. Windows XP and Mac users will have to opt for another program since they are not compatible. Apart from that, the Pinnacle Studio products get gold stars for user-friendliness,

Best Video Editing Software Recap

Selecting one of the aforementioned video editing software options really comes down to your skill level and needs. Beginners may need additional guidance and features to support their learning curve while more experienced users, may look for advanced functions. Take your personal skill level into consideration when browsing the various options.

Best Video Editing Software FAQs

Can I just use free video editing software?

Whether or not you should use free video editing software or a more sophisticated paid software depends a lot on what you are hoping to use it for. Free software tends to have very limited use and comes with the most basic tools. However, will you even be using those extra features?

Sophisticated, paid video editing software is probably necessary for someone who is hoping to create a high quality film or video. On the other hand, the casual video editor my not know what to do with all of the professional quality tools and features and in that case top shelf software would just be a waste of money.

If you are just looking to do some basic edits to the footage you took of your son's football game or create a nice slide show for a school project, you can probably get away with basic, free software. If you are hoping to create professional quality film and video, higher grade software will be necessary.

How can I learn how to use my video editing software?

So, you've bought brand new video editing software and you are ready to create professional quality videos. But once you install it and open it up you discover that there are buttons and symbols all over the place and you have no idea what they do.

Video editing software is not always as self-explanatory and easy to pick up as something like Microsoft Office. If the software is made for high-quality video editing, it may be tailored for veteran editors and it may not bother explaining some of the more basic features and functions.

However, you can use your software to its fullest if you just take the time to learn it. First, you must familiarize yourself with the basics of video editing. You can read articles and watch tutorial videos to get a feel for the terminology and symbols that are used on the program. Sometimes the best place to find comprehensive tutorials for your specific program is on the website of the company that makes it.

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In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.