6 Best Video Editing Software for Beginners
Not an expert? Don’t know how to edit videos, have a video studio, or have a bona fide video specialist to shoot and cut your features? That’s all right! The goal of today’s blog is to show you that with the right video editing software, you too can churn out sleek, professional video content—regardless of experience—and keep your content strategy ahead of the curve.
Let’s dive in! Here are our recs for the top best pieces of video editing software or video editing apps for beginners—from cheapest (i.e. free!) to most expensive.
- Apple iMovie
Ok—so to those of you working with PCs, this one won’t apply; but we’d be 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.
Standout Features: Seamless Apple product integration; green-screen; audio and social platform integration
Pricing: Free with the purchase of a Mac
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
Pricing: Create as many 720p videos as you want with the free version. Remove the watermark for $11 per month, or upgrade to 1080p for $59 per month.
Animaker has its online video editor that enables anyone to easily create videos from their videos, photos, text, and audio. No video editing experience is required. It’s a lightweight app that works in your web browser, so there’s no complex timeline, layers, or complexity. Just an intuitive drag-and-drop experience to tell your stories.
Standout Features: Lightweight app without a complex timeline, easy drag-and-drop option with real-time collaboration
Pricing: Starts at $10/mo, goes up to $49/mo
- Nero Video
One of the cheaper options around ($49.99), Nero Video holds its own on this list—it comes well-stocked with a lot of the tricks and effects you’ll find among other products vying for video editing supremacy, and as far as software for beginners, you can certainly do worse. If you’re going to spend money learning how to edit videos, however, you might want to steer clear. Nero just doesn’t have the speed and functionality of some of the other products listed here, and if its value proposition is its price, $50 is still not all that cheap.
Standout Features: Low pricing
Pricing: One-time payment of $39.95
- 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, like CyberLink PowerDirector and Pinnacle Studio. Still: for a one-time payment of $99.99? You can do much worse.
Standout Features: Motion tracking
Pricing: One-time payment of $99.99
- 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 (how to use music in your marketing here).
Standout features: Title tool; mobile and screen editing; “Easy Mode”
Pricing: Starts at $68.98 for a lifetime license