We've written time and time again that video editing is one of the most crucial aspects of content creation. Without it, we'd have stale, straightforward, and boring content all over social media. But if you're just starting out, which video editing software is best for you? Whether you only plan on sticking to simple editing, or you’d like to start with the best and learn the ropes, the following options will have you covered.
Pinnacle Studio 26 (Windows)
While Pinnacle Studio 26 may not appear on many “best of” lists, it’s a surprisingly robust option for beginners with tons of tools and a setup that’s easy to use from day one. Like most apps, Pinnacle Studio has a very specific, yet intuitive workflow with a comfortable learning curve.
The app encourages new users to learn the ins and outs of video editing by playing around with features, most of which are also found in more professional options. Once you’ve constructed your ideal workflow, you can save your setup as a template, allowing you to immediately jump into new projects with little fuss.
When it’s time to export your projects, you can choose from the most popular formats, or upload directly to social media straight from the app.
Vegas Pro 20 (Windows)
For those beginners who want a mix of relative ease of use while having access to the newest features, Vegas Pro 20 is a solid choice. First released way back in 2003, Vegas Pro captured the imaginations of many early video editors.
While the workflow may be a bit more difficult to master than Pinnacle Studio, the access to a consistently updated roster of new features may be worth the extra effort. As a testament to its manageable learning curve, Vegas Pro tends to be the video editing software choice of young video game streamers and content makers. The option of starting with their free option combined with the ability to try new features makes this a worthy middle-ground choice.
DaVinci Resolve (Windows/Mac)
We’ll go out on a limb and crown DaVinci Resolve as the best free video editing software. While they do have a paid tier, you can go a long way without spending a dime. The only caveat here is that there is definitely a steep learning curve to contend with. The layout and workflow of the app is quite unique, and you’ll probably spend many sleepless nights figuring everything out.
With those caveats in mind, DaVinci Resolve has a devoted following, and for good reason. The app has the most robust and frankly, best tools for color correction. While this may not be as important for most simple content, as you graduate to more professional work, the more crucial color grading becomes.
To avoid undue frustration, we don’t recommend this as your first step into the video editing world. But if you have the patience and determination, you can gain some serious editing chops with DaVinci.
Final Cut Pro (Mac)
Final Cut is Apple’s “big brother” upgrade from its free app, iMovie. Apple has a brilliant strategy for its ecosystem, offering simplified production apps, free out of the box. Most users that familiarize themselves with apps like Garageband can seamlessly upgrade to the more professional option (Logic Pro) when they’ve reached the limits of the app. The same goes for iMovie and Final Cut Pro.
Final Cut is the go-to choice for many content creators, as it’s intuitive and easy to learn, much like many Apple products. It has all the main features you’d expect from a professional editing program, and while it may not be as robust as Adobe Premiere, it only requires a one-time purchase and you have access for life.
Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows/Mac)
Even with the steepest learning curve of this bunch, and a pricey subscription plan, Premiere Pro is still lauded as the industry standard for professional video editing. Many popular movies are edited in Premiere and Adobe’s robust suite of apps (like After Effects) work seamlessly.
If you plan on collaborating with others, the ability to save project files to the cloud allows for anyone to effortlessly pick up where another has left off. This feature is unparalleled in the industry and sets it above the rest in many minds. To put it simply, there is virtually nothing that you can’t do in Premiere. If you’re just starting out and can afford the monthly subscription, mastering this app will place you at the top of the video editing totem pole.
When you factor in your individual needs; budget, time for learning, and features needed for your particular content, you can rest assured that any of the programs we’ve mentioned will aid you on your video editing journey.