Googling the “best paid video editing software” is probably an indicator that you are interested in video editing. Whether you are excited by the prospects of the industry and interested in gaining a new skill set, have a dream of becoming a top video editor, or simply taking on video editing as a hobby, knowing where to start can become a herculean task.
Considering the sheer number of video editing software out there, getting hold of the best paid video editing software is also no easy task. There are several software makers playing “catch up”, making it difficult to distinguish one product from the other. Well, that’s why I have written this video editor buying guide.
This guide will walk you through all you need to know with regards to choosing the best video editing software; from knowing what to look out for in making your purchase decision to the top video editors in the market. I’ve rounded up the best products that make cutting, trimming and editing of clips quite simple for beginners and professional editors.
Let’s dive right in…
What to Look for When Buying a Video Editing Software?
Knowing what you want is arguably the first step towards achieving your goals as a video editor. You may be tempted to purchase multiple software if you don’t know what you are searching for or have any concrete goals. So, before you settle for any product based on some recommendations you found online, consider the following:
Needs: Why do you need a video editor? Are you taking on video editing as a hobbyist or do you intend to become a professional filmmaker?
Your answer to these questions will help you decide what to go for. You probably won’t need a complex or expensive feature if you are trying to edit an in-house event. You could even opt for free editing software in such cases. The same cannot be said of a pro filmmaker.
So, in summary, your goals and video editing needs should determine which software you should purchase. As a rule of thumb, don’t waste money on a software you rarely use or with functionalities you don’t understand.
Pricing: The price of video editing software ranges from free to as much as $3,000. The good thing about this is that there is something for every budget. However, you should never expect a free software to outperform an advance one.
We all want to get a bang for our buck. So, look out for a something that can effectively get the job done without breaking the bank.
Compatibility: I once bought a mobile device based on the recommendation of a sales attendant only to go back home and discover that it didn’t support the primary software for which I bought it for. Learn from me!
Before you get all excited and purchase a video editing software because of hype, think about its compatibility. Does it support the video format you will be using? Will it run on your current system’s specs?
Don’t purchase any software until you have confirmed that it runs on your system. And this brings us to the last point for this section.
Free Trials & Support: Most paid software will allow you to try the product for a few days before committing to make payments. If there is no free trial, simply move to the next product.
And while it is true that you can find virtually anything on YouTube, you may also want to consider the strength of a software’s community as well as its support, just in case you run into any issues.
5 Best Paid Video Editing Software to Consider
Free Trial: Yes | Pricing: $20.99/month | Platform: Windows and Mac
Without mincing words, Adobe Premiere Pro CC is one of the best video editing software out there. It is a great choice for both enthusiasts and professionals and the reason for its popularity is quite clear. The industry-standard video editor features multi-cam and 3D editing, has a non-linear and customizable interface and supports pretty much any source and format you can think of; 8K, 360-degree and VR videos.
There are tonnes of resources available on the web for editors in all levels due to its popularity. There’s also a vast assortment of tools that allows you turn unprocessed shots into masterpieces.
As a member of the Creative Suite family, Premiere Pro works seamless with other apps and services, including After Effects, Photoshop, and Audition.
The only downsides of using Premiere Pro are its steep learning curve and the absence of an outright purchase option. Spending some time to learn the software is however worth the investment.
Free Trial: Yes | Pricing: $299.99 outright purchase | Platform: Mac
Final Cut Pro X is another great product on this list. This Apple’s signature video editing software is targeted at the professional end of the market. Notwithstanding, its interface is not overly complicated and is intuitive enough for both new users and veteran editors. If you own a Mac device, then you may want to consider the software because it was made with you in mind.
At almost $300, Final Cut Pro X comes fully packed with enough features to justify its high price; from its grouping tool to its effect options, advanced color-grading, and support for 8K, multi-cam, 360-degree, and VR editing. The product also cleverly coordinates with photos and music in your iTunes and Photos collections.
It’s sad that Final Cut Pro is only available to Mac users. Considering the number of new and improved features, the learning curve may become steep. Some users have reported that FCP has the tendency of over simplifying advanced features.
Free Trial: Yes | Pricing: $69.99 outright purchase | Platform: Windows and Mac
Premier Elements made this list because it is the most beginner-oriented option. Needless to say, it is also a great choice for experienced editors even though it is not as complex as Premier Pro. The software is designed to simplify the process of editing videos and features face detection, motion tracking, smart toning, video stabilization, bundled soundtracks, and audio effects.
Unlike other software on the Adobe premium list, Premiere Elements is available as a one-off purchase. Once you buy the software, it is yours to keep forever.
Although the product is ideal for beginners, there are some trade-offs coming with a low price. It does not support 8K videos. There is also no multi-cam feature, 360-VR or 3D editing.
Free Trial: Yes | Pricing: $89.99 outright purchase | Platform: Windows
Corel VideoStudio is another feature-packed consumer video editing software. It is a great tool for starters, featuring seamless transitions, text masks, top-notch color-grading tools, real-time effects, multi-cam editing, and support for 360-degree VR, 4K Ultra HD, and 3D media. Not bad for $89.99, right?
Whilst pros may want to settle for any of the industry-standard video editing software, Corel VideoStudio is relatively inexpensive and should be able to handle all your editing needs. Sadly, the product does not offer a keyword tracking for media and has a limited keyframing capacity.
Free Trial: Yes | Pricing: $99.99 outright purchase | Platform: Windows
PowerDirector is one of the fastest and the most feature-packed consumer-level video editing software on this list. Although it’s a premium product, beginners are guaranteed of a soft-landing. This is an ideal product if you are into basic video editing.
One of its unique features is the Magic Movie Wizard which simplifies the task of merging and optimizing videos. It also features 360-degree, 4K and 3D editing, motion tracking and full feature editing.
Users have however reported weak color matching options and too many features which make the software appear overwhelming.