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 480p videos as you want with the free version; or, for $50 per month, upgrade to 1080p HD.
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 location, Hawaii, say, at a moment’s notice. Apple 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
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: Affordable and convenient for anyone
Pricing: One-time payment of $49.99
Coral 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.
Standout Features: Motion tracking
Pricing: One-time payment of $51.99
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.
Standout features: Title tool; mobile and screen editing; “Easy Mode”
Pricing: Starts at $59.99 for a lifetime license; or, $39.99 for a year.
Adobe Premiere Elements
It’s been an industry leader in the video editing game for some time. And $79.99 is not egregious, but we’re here to say that at that price, you’re mostly paying for the name. In the time since Premiere Elements’ inception, too many other products have surpassed it in speed and capability for us to place it among the cream of the crop. That’s to take nothing away from Premiere Elements’ usability, though, specifically for beginners.
The Guided Edits feature makes Adobe Premiere a particularly attractive option for beginners, as it allows them to take on both quick edits and advanced projects with substantial assistance from the software.
So, while Premiere Elements lags behind the competition in terms of speed, 3D editing, multi-cam, and some other advanced features, it’s still a great choice for the beginner looking for a comprehensive suite of effects, and some guidance on how to implement them.
Standout Features: Guided Edits; simple interface
Pricing: One-time payment of $79.99
At the higher end of the Corel product line is Pinnacle Studio which, at $129.95 (the amount you’ll need to pay to edit 360-degree and 4k content with the “Ultimate” version), costs more than twice as much as VideoStudio. What do you get for the extra money?
Well, not only does Pinnacle come readily equipped with all the features you’d expect from an upper-echelon product, motion tracking, 360-degree VR support, 4k support, multi-cam, etc, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a faster product on the market in terms of rendering.
For all of its features, Pinnacle’s interface is still as user-friendly and intuitive as anything on this list. Thus, is you have the need for speed, and you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for it, Pinnacle might be the product for you.
Standout Features: Top-of-the-line rendering speeds; full range of features and support
Pricing: One-time payment of $129.95
Adobe Premier Pro
With a virtually unmatched suite of features, 360 VR and 4k support, and a newly implemented ability to store, organize, and share assets online with a team, Adobe Premiere Pro is perhaps the most complete piece of video editing software around. Here’s a recent video promo for our free AdWords account structure guide we cut using Premiere Pro.
One of the more dazzling of Premiere Pro’s tools is the Lumetri Colour tool, which offers colour adjustment and manipulation on par with that of a Photoshop. The multi-cam feature is also a winner—whereas most systems allow you to work with a limited number of camera angles, Premiere Pro’s latest iteration allows for an unlimited amount.
Throw in a wealth of titling options, readily connected ancillary apps (like Photoshop and After Effects), and a flexible, easy-to-use interface, and Premiere Pro is a no brainer.
Standout Features: Multi-cam and coloring options; title tool; easy integration with Adobe Products; straightforward interface
Apple Final Cut Pro X
For the most advanced, least fiscally prudent of beginners, there’s Apple Final Cut Pro X. $299.99 might be a little steep for a product you may well have a difficult time understanding; but for those among you who enjoy a challenge, and who aspire to some level of professionalism in video editing, why not go for it.
Apple has made the transition from iMovie to Final Cut Pro more painless than ever—so if you’re the kind of guy or gal who enjoys him/herself an Apple product, and has worked with iMovie to the point of mastery, it might be time to splurge on Final Cut Pro. The power is still daunting; the interface, significantly less so.
Standout Features: Magnetic Timeline; Touch Bar support
Pricing: One-time payment of $299.99
Cloud-based video editing software (i.e., software that you access via a browser instead of downloading directly to your hard drive) is growing more and more popular. One of the programs leading the charge is WeVideo. WeVideo definitely offers some advanced features and functionality, including audio editing capabilities, a library of commercially licensed music, and the ability to share videos in 4K resolution.
However, the free version of WeVideo isn’t without its limitations. One major downside is that you’re only given 10GB of cloud storage. If you’re making a one-off video, this is fine. But if you’re planning to edit multiple videos, you’ll definitely need more space.
The free version also puts a WeVideo watermark on your videos, which isn’t ideal.
Standout Feature: WeVideo is also available as a desktop computer product and comes with free and paid plans. For complete breakdown of the differences between these plans, check out WeVideo’s pricing page.
Magisto allows you to make incredible videos without ever leaving your smartphone in three easy steps: First you’ll choose your video editing style (the type of story you’re telling), then you’ll choose the photos and video clips you’d like included, and lastly you’ll pick your music from Magisto’s built-in music library.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), this intuitive app helps organize your footage in a video that best delivers the message you have in mind. Why not stop at the free version? Upgrade to Premium or Professional for a small monthly fee and make longer movies with more of your own content.
Hyperlapse is an app created by Instagram itself that condenses videos into brief, hyper-speed videos that you can upload to Instagram or Facebook. You can choose among a few different speeds, and the app will show you how long the Hyperlapse video will be for every speed in comparison to the length of the video in real time. (So, a 40-second video in real time will become roughly a seven-second video in Hyperlapse at 6X speed.) It’s a really cool way to capture something that usually lasts a while — like a sunset or an event setup.
It only seems fitting that the makers of GoPro would also release an app that allows you as the name suggests, to splice together different video clips on your phone to create a moving collage. Splice even contains a library of musical tracks that can be used as a background for your finished product. You can also use the app to trim and edit the different pieces of video and customize transition lengths from one scene to the next.
The open source program Blender is more than just a video editor: It’s a full-blown 3D animation suite, which allows for modeling, rendering, motion tracking, and more. On the video editing side, there are a ton of features, including transitions, speed control, filters, adjustment layers, and more.
There are also 32 slots available for adding video clips, audio clips, images, and effects, which means you can produce some incredibly complex video. For the amateur video editor, all the functionality that’s available can be a bit overwhelming. But if you’re looking to produce truly professional-quality video — without having to deal with watermarks, Blender is a solid option.
The best part: “You are free to use Blender for any purpose, including commercially or for education,” according to its website. For the fine print, check out its licensing info.
Like Blender, Lightworks is definitely on the more advanced (and powerful) end of the video editing software spectrum. In fact, it’s a program that’s been used to edit some well-known and award-winning films, including Pulp Fiction, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The King’s Speech. There are two different licenses you can choose from with Lightworks: “Free” and “Pro.” (The latter of which, as you might have guessed, requires that you cough up some cash.)
The main difference between the two licenses is that the Pro version offers more features, including stereoscopic output and advanced project sharing. But the free version is still quite powerful, providing 100+ effects and supporting multicam editing.