HitFilm Express is one of the more professional video editors to make the list. It contains all the features you would expect from a basic editor (splicing, trimming, and audio editing) plus much more. While some users may find HitFilm a little advanced, it’s certainly one of the best all round free video editors out there. The free package includes over 180 special effects.
Another program, VSDC Video Editor Pro, had a terribly outdated interface when we tested it, but its developer has recently done a major update, so look for an updated review soon. Longtime pro video editors will note the absence of Avid Media Composer, which is simply too unwieldy for PCMag's primarily consumer audience. There are a couple of more interesting applications—NCH VideoPad and AVS Video Editor among them—that we simply haven't tested yet.
Spark Video comes pre-loaded with themes that control the overall look and feel of your video. Themes power transition effects between slides, allowing for logo reveals and logo animations. Simply tap the “Themes” category and choose from tk unique themes. You can also add music by uploading your own track or selecting one of the free songs in Spark Video.
Clicking the big plus button on web or in the iOS app will open Spark's video editor for YouTube. No complicated timelines here! We suggest storyboarding out your video story within the app by selecting one of the preloaded story structures or creating your own by adding notes to slides, which will guide your creation. Each slide should represent just one point or thought.
Freemake is a free video converter that can modify and convert videos, extract audio from video clips, and embed videos to websites. Simple and fast, Freemake can be used to convert video clips to be played on various mobile devices and gadgets. The software can convert videos between more than 500 video file formats and supports multiple audio and image file formats for creating slideshows and video clips.
Nothing makes an impression like moving pictures with sound. That's why digital video continues to grow in importance online. Couple that trend with the ever-increasing availability of devices capable of high-resolution video recording—smartphones, GoPros, DSLRs—and the case for ever-more powerful video editing software becomes clear. Further, the software must be usable by nonprofessionals, and it has to keep up with newer formats such as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) and 360-degree VR video. It also must be able to let you work with 4K video, since common devices are now capable of producing 4K content.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is more-detailed color grading. Color wheels, curves, and histograms give editors control over the intensity of every shade. Related to this is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
Our last proposition for you is HyperEngine-AV, another free video editing software for Mac. You can capture, edit, and export audio and video files, and even to create quality DVDs with your movies. It offers you twelve studio quality effects, and you can also add info and credits, titles, or karaoke lyrics. We like it a lot because it comes with editable fonts, colors, styles, and many more.
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Last but not least we come to FilmoraGo. FilmoraGo is a solid video editing app without any watermarks or paid subscriptions. Add music, transitions, and trim video clips all from within the app. You can easily add themes, text, and titles to your videos. There is a desktop version starting at $44.99 a year, but you can still get a lot of editing joy from the free mobile app.
In the midrange, there's Adobe Premiere Elements, which is cross-platform between Macs and PCs, and offers a lot more features and lots of help with creating effects. Professionals and prosumers have powerful, though pricey options in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Final Cut is a deceptively simple application that resembles iMovie in its interface and ease of use, but it offers massively deep capabilities, and many third-party apps integrate with it for even more power. Final Cut also makes excellent use of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, as shown in photo above. Premiere Pro uses a more-traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features, and of course plays well with Ancillary Adobe software such as After Effects and Photoshop.
This slick video editing tool is great for marketers, publishers, individuals and agencies alike. With support for video stabilization, team collaboration, and much more this software is best in class for many different reasons. Users praise this video editing software for it’s amazing customer service, UX, value for money, and of course it’s features.
Finishing tools: Once you have your screen capture recording the way you want it, you can utilize the various tools included in the program to make your video complete. These include multiple Transition Options, Voice Narration, a Zoom and Pan effect, Cursor Effects, Captions, Quizzing, and more. You can also use built-in tools to enhance and improve the audio quality of your voice recording.