The 8 Best Video Editing Software to Buy in 2017

Whether you’re a professional video editor or an amateur, video is a universal way to enjoy, share and create memories that can last forever. No matter if you’re capturing life’s best (and worst) moments via a smartphone, DSLR or even a point-and-shoot camera, editing video will allow you to highlight and share the footage with the world. Which video editor you use to ship your final product is best determined by your use case, the type of computer you own and, of course, your budget. With those choices in mind, here’s our take on the best video editors available today.

Often considered a pared-down version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements 15 is still an excellent video editor. Buoyed by its user-friendliness, the cross-platform (Mac and Windows 10) Premiere Elements 15 is full of features and options that can be enjoyed by both amateurs and professionals. Once you import media, the workflow is standard with organizing video clips into a timeline, applying any post-effects and then previewing/publishing the final product. Basic additions such as creating video collages, enhancing audio, de-hazing landscapes and stabilizing video are all present to help create the best possible product. Adobe even adds some smart features such as turning frowns upside down or adding a motion blur for creating a dramatic look at sports or action scenes. The built-in companion organizer will help keep previous assets sorted and organized for quickly locating after upload, so it's easy to re-discover previously finished and draft products.

Specifically made for Apple devices, Final Cut Pro boasts an impressive Hollywood resume and its outstanding feature set makes it a standout choice. The excellent and intuitive user-interface adds a timeline feature that helps video editors make the most of post-production without skipping a beat. Automatic color coding for track-specific clips, useful keyboard shortcuts and drag-and-drop media importing all allow Final Cut Pro to answer to Adobe Premiere Pro.

Expert level options are the highlight with Final Cut Pro, but rest assured that beginners and prosumers are welcomed into the Final Cut Pro world with a wide variety of templates, effects, and video transitions. Eliminating unwanted gaps in a timeline or syncing problems between audio and video are handled with ease, thanks to Magnetic Timeline 2. Final Cut Pro offers a large ecosystem of add-ons that can be added to the software, so you can customize it to your exact requirements. More »

Windows users have an affordable and powerful video editing software in Cyberlink PowerDirector 15 Ultimate. This easy-to-use tool sports an intuitive interface that new users can pick up with the help of video tutorials. But the product really distinguishes itself from the competition with a number of premium features, including end-to-end 360-degree video editing, which gives you unparalleled control over every detail in the scene. Numerous modes such as the Extreme Toolkit for sports footage, as well as wedding and traveling packs, make this a versatile tool suitable for a number of directors. TrueTheater color adds dramatic depth by dynamically adjusting color saturation to look like true HDR footage. Finally, the unique Vertical Video Mode blends all of CyberLink’s tech into the 9:16 format used by most streaming media sites, eliminating any headache of transferring your content to the big screen.

Pinnacle’s Studio 20 Ultimate is a fantastic choice for organizing, editing, exporting and rendering all kinds of video, including 4K production. Whether your production is simple and straightforward or increasingly complex, Studio 20 can perform the task, allowing you to import, sort and build a variety of projects from your video and media clips.

Fortunately, the software itself is easy, so creating a storyline from one or numerous clips does not have a lengthy learning curve that will have your head spinning for days on end. With two editing modes available, a timeline for a more linear layout of sounds and clips and a storyboard mode allow each media clip to live on its own until it’s utilized. There’s also a way to combine both modes into one workflow, something no other video editing software does.

There are 24 video and audio editing tracks to work with right out of the box, as well as more than 1,8000 effects, titles, transitions and templates to help create the perfect story. Once the final product is ready to ship, exporting can be done via MP4, MOV and  AVI. You can also directly upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook all without leaving the software.

Corel’s Windows-only VideoStudio offers an equally robust set of features comparative to Adobe or CyberLink’s product line. Right off the bat, it’s easy to see why VideoStudio is a great option: It offers support for 4K, 360-degree VR, multi-cam editing, as well as a large library of royalty-free music. Beginners will quickly learn to appreciate features such as "checkmarks," which can either let you know which clips you’ve already used or can apply effects to all the clips currently in your timeline at once. Additionally, voice detection helps you match subtitles to speech in your video clips.

Purchasing the full version of VideoStudio Ultimate X10 adds a whole extra set of options that beginners will quickly love, including multi-monitor support, easier title creation, and even stop-motion animation. Corel supports almost every output format imaginable, so it's ideal for sharing socially or for hosting online for the world to see. Another highlight for beginners is the inclusion of storyboard mode, which will help draft the exact vision they have in mind for a finished product without wasting hours and days on edits that may never see the light of day.

When it comes to video editing for YouTube, almost every app does it well, but Corel VideoStudio Pro X10 does it better. With nearly every feature and tool that you need at your disposal (including transitions, effects, titles, templates and more), Pro X10 offers an outstanding array of production level value.

Support for 360-degree VR, 4K, Ultra HD and 3D media help round out the export opportunities available with Pro X10 and, while they may not all be supported by YouTube now, it’s good to know you have the capability for when they are. The user interface isn’t for beginners, but within a short amount of time, you’ll be a master at capturing, editing and sharing.

Added features such as time remapping for including slow motion, high-speed effects or freeze action are complemented by easily grouping or ungrouping clips on a timeline to edit in bulk or one at a time. With over 1,500 customizable effects, transitions and titles, there’s something for everyone. Even as the video itself is the focus, custom fitting your project with a soundtrack is handled well with custom-fit audio allowing your movies to both look and sound good.

The granddaddy of video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro is the cross-platform, uber-popular timeline based video editor that’s long set the standard for video editing software. Capable of tackling nearly any type of video format, Adobe’s software is ready to produce video for any type of professional production, including film, television and the Web. Premiere Pro offers enough horsepower to handle 360-degree virtual reality video to 8K footage all in native format. It can even import and export footage from competitive software such as Final Cut Pro.

While most professional-grade software can handle multi-cam editing, Premiere Pro goes one step beyond, handling as many sources as necessary with as many angles as required. The inclusion of the bundled Lumetri Color Panel allows advanced color adjustments to be handled with ease. Additionally, Adobe’s integration with After Effects and Photoshop adds even more reason for professional grade editors to choose Premiere Pro. More »

Editing a video on your smartphone is never going to be ideal, but apps such as Magisto make it a little easier. Feature-packed, it includes options such as video stabilization, face recognition, video filters and transitions. Magisto’s automatic video maker takes the editing right out of your hands and turns out all-star results that are ready for sharing across social networks. Magisto’s business features add a small cost, but allow for HD movies, commercially licensed music, plus the ability to add your own logo and captions.

Available for both Android and iOS, Magisto’s “Emotion Sense Technology” incorporates machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide the best possible video product. It automatically identifies scenery, humans versus animals, color wheels, and mood and mixes them into a “make-your-movie” moment with pre-set themes. There’s a fun element of surprise when allowing Magisto to whip up its own video creations, but you can also rest comfortably knowing that if you don’t like the result, you can just try again. More »

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