How much does video editing software cost

How much does video editing software cost? This is an interesting question to ask, but it may not be quite as relevant when you stop to think about it. After all, what type of customer is your business trying to attract? The answer might be different depending on your industry. If you manage a service that helps business clients in certain industries succeed at a higher rate, then maybe you should include more expensive services in your portfolio — like high-end video editing companies or even expert video editors.

Video editing is an extremely popular career option for many internet marketers. If you want to be a freelance video editor, you need the freedom it affords to pursue one of your hobbies or interests. But is professional quality video editing software really expensive?

Video editing software is one of the most popular types of software in the world, and for good reason: it allows you to create professional-looking videos without having to learn how to use complicated editing tools or do much more than drag and drop.

The cost of video editing software can range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on your needs and budget. If you’re just starting out with video editing, don’t worry—there are plenty of free options out there that will allow you to get started with minimal investment.

Once you’ve decided on what kind of video editing software you want to use, it’s important to consider how powerful it is. Some programs are designed for beginners while others are meant for advanced users who are looking for a lot more flexibility.

It’s also important to consider how easy the program is to use. Some programs come with tutorials or manuals that help guide new users through the process; others rely on an intuitive interface that makes learning easier than ever before!

As such, even the best video editing software can be a bit complex, and there’s a lot of choice out there too. The important thing is to get the right software for your needs, not someone else’s, and that means getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of various apps, and seeing how they apply to the sort of videos you like to make. It can help to spend some time trying out various different programs too, which is where free trials come in handy.

This also applies to the level of skill you already have with video editing. Some apps are much more suitable for beginners than others, so it’s worth checking out whether an app has tutorials, or a large online presence with a forum where you can ask questions, before you commit yourself.

To go with your video editing software, you may want some of the best audio editing software (if you need specialized audio edits, for music-heavy video) or video converter software too (for footage shot outside of the normal formats).


1. Adobe Premiere Elements: Best video editing software overall

Adobe Premiere Elements: Best video editing software overall
(Image credit: Future)

Adobe Premiere Elements

For a do it all solution, this is the video editor to pick

SPECIFICATIONS

Format: PC and Mac

4K editing?: Yes

User level: Beginner to Expert

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

View at Amazon

View at Adobe

View at Adobe

REASONS TO BUY

+

From a big name in video+

Teaches you to edit+

Very intuitive

REASONS TO AVOID

No 360-degree support

Adobe Premiere Elements, coming from a visual editing specialist and the company behind Premiere Pro which is widely used within the video production industry, Premiere Elements should be good… and it is. Split into three modes to take into account different skill levels and needs, Premiere Elements is all you need to splice together any number of video projects, from quick showreels to music videos and more. 

The app actively teaches you to edit, by bundling its tutorials into the program itself rather than keeping them on YouTube or some other corner of the web. As a paid-for app, this is where much of Elements’ value lies, you can pick up this app knowing nothing and have a competent knowledge of video editing’s basics within a few days.

Elsewhere, you’ll find the powerful Expert mode, which leaves you alone to get on with things, and plenty of bundled transitions and graphics. There’s no 8K or 360-degree support though.


PowerDirector 19 opening screen: Best video editing software for general purposes
(Image credit: Cyberlink)

An excellent all-rounder that’s easy for beginners

SPECIFICATIONS

Format: PC and Mac

4K editing?: Yes

User level: Beginner to Expert

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

View at CyberLink

REASONS TO BUY

+

Scales well from beginner to pro+

Full feature set+

Loads of export types

REASONS TO AVOID

Buying outright is expensive

PowerDirector is a program that’s suitable for both novices and experienced editors, offering all of the tools you’ll need to fine tune your footage at a fairly reasonable price. You can buy the software outright if you prefer, but subscription options mean that you can also pay a lower monthly fee to access it.

The company regularly updates its package offering; recently, it cleaned up some UX elements and added new tools that make it easier to auto select objects in frame. There are versions of this software available for PC and Mac, although the latter is still playing catch-up in terms of some of the features.

The software has wide-ranging video support and is capable of handling 4K video, 360 footage, and more with ease. We also like that it allows you to either have absolute control over your video, editing it step by step, or you can use the ‘auto video’ creator mode to do most of the hard work for you. Whichever option you go with, you’ll still be able to use the impressively large array of tools and features to tweak your finished product at the end. 


Apple Final Cut Pro X: Best video editing software on a budget
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Final Cut Pro X

Get all the feature without all the costs

SPECIFICATIONS

Format: Mac

4K editing?: Yes

User level: Beginner to Expert

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

View at Udemy

REASONS TO BUY

+

Easy to use+

Super powerful+

4K and HDR as well as 360 editing

REASONS TO AVOID

Not traditional timeline

Apple Final Cut Pro X is a full-powered video editor that gives you pro-level tools but at a very affordable one-off price. It does this while also remaining easy to use with a minimal design, as you’d expect from Apple, but also with lots of tutorials to welcome beginners.

From 4K and HDR editing to 360-degree video manipulation, this does it all. It also does it fast with lots of power which will take full advantage of a more well equipped hardware setup. 

The timeline editing style isn’t traditional, which can take a bit of getting used to but once you do, this allows you to enjoy a fast workflow without sacrificing features. 


4. DaVinci Resolve 17: Best free video editor

DaVinci Resolve 17: Best video editing software that's completely free
(Image credit: Blackmagic)

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DaVinci Resolve 17

A powerful, free editor, used by professionals

SPECIFICATIONS

Format: PC and Mac

4K editing?: Yes

User level: Expert

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

View Deal

REASONS TO BUY

+

Completely free+

Has every video editing tool we look for+

Professional software

REASONS TO AVOID

Intimidating for beginners-

Does try to sell you keyboards, weirdly

The software used in the production of feature films such as The Last Jedi and Deadpool 2 is given away completely free by its developer, which also happens to be one of the biggest names in digital movie cameras and editing suite hardware. A cynic might say this is to bait you into springing $995 for the Editor Keyboard or $31,000 for the Advanced Panel… but Resolve works perfectly well with the keyboard on your laptop. 

Giving this software away for free is the most astonishing bargain. Combined with the beginner’s guides and hours of video tutorials on YouTube and the Blackmagic Design website, a lot of people are going to learn how to edit video with this software, and if only a few of those make it as a professional editor, then they’re going to buy that Advanced Panel – maybe five of them – and Blackmagic has justified the low cost of entry.

For the rest of us, this is a chance to see how the big boys do it, and learn from them. New features in version 17 make Resolve quicker and easier to use for the novice or those on a budget, but sitting down cold with a professional tool such as this will always be intimidating. Get past this, however, and there’s a lot of depth in this application.


5. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate: Best for beginners that want to learn

Corel VideoStudio Ultimate: Best video editing software for beginners
(Image credit: Corel)

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Corel VideoStudio Ultimate

Supports all types of video, and is very easy to use

SPECIFICATIONS

Format: PC and Mac

4K editing?: Yes

User level: Beginner to Expert

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

Check Amazon

REASONS TO BUY

+

360-degree video support+

30 day free trial+

Easy to use

REASONS TO AVOID

No tagging-

The Pro / Ultimate split is confusing

Confusingly sold in two different versions, Pro and Ultimate, with no clear reason why anyone would want the Pro version, VideoStudio is one of the few editing apps to support 360-degree video at the time of writing. 

VideoStudio is easy to use, and comes with a website and forum full of advice and tutorials. Its developer Corel has been a big player in the creative software market for a long time with its Draw and Painter apps, and this shows in VideoStudio with the ability to paint onto the video timeline, recording your brush strokes to build up a picture over time or importing a still image to paint over. 

Other advanced features include multicam editing for up to six cameras, 3D titles, enhanced color grading, and improved video stabilization. Its main drawback is that it doesn’t support tagging and organization of your clips library beyond a basic level, something included in other apps. Beyond this, however, it’s a great choice for the novice video editor.


6. Lightworks: Best for free powerful editing

Lightworks: Best video editing software that's both free and powerful
(Image credit: Lightworks)

Lightworks

A free editor with super powerful features

SPECIFICATIONS

Format: PC and Mac

4K editing?: Limited

User level: Beginner to Expert

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

Visit Lightworks

REASONS TO BUY

+

Advanced tools+

Real-time effects+

Free version will suit many users

REASONS TO AVOID

Powerful interface might be a lot for newcomers-

Free version limited to 720p exports

Lightworks is a super powerful fully fledged video editor that offers some great tools and effects all totally for free. The powerful interface is enough for semi-pros which might be a turn off for some beginners, but for those that persist it’s a very valuable investment in time.

The catch? The free version limits output to 720p video quality with the paid for Pro version offering highly quality output options. That said, this will let you output directly to YouTube and there are lots of other options including Vimeo, Facebook and more, with the H.264 codec for web friendly viewing.

Export two file formats at once, multicam edit, add real-time effects, enjoy group project sharing and more with Lightworks. And if you want even more you can upgrade at a fair price.

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