Best Video Editing Software for Windows (on every budget)

Video editing software on Windows.

Now there are a ton of options out there, and there have been some new awesome players that have entered the market over the last few years.

But for anyone considering options, it can be pretty overwhelming to know where to start, whether you’re using the best software, and what upgrade options you’ve got.

So after the testing heap of choices, in this video, we’re going to run through my recommendations across every price bracket.

No matter what your budget is, whether you’re just getting started with video and you don’t know where to begin, you’re considering an upgrade from your current software, or if you’ve been editing for years and just want to know that you’re using the best options that are out there for you, then stay tuned.

[MUSIC PLAYING] Hey, it’s Justin Brown here from Primal Video, where we teach you how to get better results with your video faster.

Now on to the software.

We’re going to break this down into three pricing categories, so you know exactly where to look no matter what your budget is.

First up, free software.

Now, the options here are just going ahead in leaps and bounds.

Really for the free software that, you can get now you would have had to pay quite a lot to get the same features not that long ago.

In this pricing bracket of free, you’ve got video editing software like Windows Movie Maker, which technically isn’t supported by Windows 10.

But you can still download it from Microsoft, and it still works.

You’ve also got things like AVS Video Editor.

And now you’ve got new additions from DaVinci Resolve, HitFilm, and Lightworks.

From testing all of these, my clear three standouts are DaVinci Resolve, HitFilm, and Lightworks.

They’re all pretty comprehensive editing software and offer a high degree of flexibility for new and intermediate editors.

I really liked the interface and the way thatDaVinci Resolve works, as well as the insanely advanced color correction and color control that you have over your editing.

I like HitFilmfor its simplicity when it comes to editing, but also its insanely advanced effects and special effects features that it has.

Lightworks is also the a really solid solution.

And it also works on Linux as well, for all you Linux users out there.

One of the best things about these three pieces of software is that they are all elite or the cut-down version of the full professional suite, which means that if you start out with one of these, and you really learn it, and really get used to it, and really love it, then you’ve got a clear upgrade path to the full professional or full studio version of that software.

It’s a tough call.

But if I had to pick a winner, my pick would be DaVinci Resolve.

Now, I like the interface.

It’s easy to use.

It’s pretty intuitive.

I also really like how it sort of mimics Adobe Premiere.

One thing to be aware of though is that DaVinci Resolve can be pretty picky as to what file types it will handle.

And you may need to convert any of you consumer grade footage into something more professional, into a more professional codec, for DaVinci Resolve to see and allow you to edit the files.

The next pricing bracket that we’re going to look at is the sub $199pricing category.

We are talking US dollars.

And in this category there are a heap of video editing options to choose from.

You’ve got things like Filmora, Corel Video Studio Pro Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, Cyberlink Power Director Ultimate, Adobe PremiereElements, Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate, and Magix Movie Edit Pro.

So like I said, there’s a heap of the option here in this pricing category.

Probably the biggest reason that you’d want to look at these paid options over the free options are that in most cases you’ll get a full end to end video editing solution without them being cut down pieces of software.

So they won’t have any features missing or things that you’ll have to pay to upgrade to use.

So Lightworks, for example, in the free category has a limitation where you can export your files to, which is limited to Vimeo at 1080p and YouTube at 720p.

So really they’re your options.

If you want to export an actual file, you have to pay them for their pro version.

So once you’re in this category, there’s none of that.

What you see is what you get.

What’s you’re paying for is the complete end to end solution.

You can do everything that you need to do in here without needing to transcode your footage or convert your footage on the way through.

They’ll accept a large range of formats.

They’re normally really intuitive and easy to use without any limitations.

So there are no limitations on the files that you can export.

You’ll also have features that they’re starting to bring in, like 360 VR editing as well, and full 4K video editing as well, as well as a streamlined editing process from import right through to export.

And using things likeGPU rendering as well, which is where it’s using your video card to offload a lot of that rendering from your CPU to your video card, so you’re getting a much quicker render time.

Now, from testing all of these, my top three standouts are Adobe Premiere Elements, Cyberlink Power Director, and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate.

Now, they’re all quite comprehensive and offer a huge degree of flexibility for the new and intermediate editors alike.

I like the interface and the workflow of Adobe Premiere Elements.

It just mimicsAdobe Premiere Pro.

On Cyberlink PowerDirector, it’s awesome that it’s just such a complete solution.

You can even do things like screen recording.

It supports 4K footage, which most of them do in this category.

But the way that it processes the 4K footage, and just the full editing experience is intuitive and smooth, and easy to edit in.

I also really like the editing workflow and the process of editing through Pinnacle Studio.

And it also supports things now like 360 videos as well, which is cool.

Now, this one is a really tough one.

But if I had to pick one out of this category, it would be AdobePremiere Elements.

I just like the fact that you can upgrade to Adobe Premiere Pro if you need to if you’re outgrowing the capacity of Adobe Premiere Elements.

But my close second would be Cyberlink Power Director.

Now we’re in the final category, which is everything above $199.

So in this category is really where all your professional video editing packages come into play.

The biggest difference that you’ll find in this category versus the previous two categories is the level of performance, and the level of flexibility and the level of control that you’ll get over your editing.

All of this packageswill allow you to get right down to the nitty gritty, frame by frame editing, so you’ve got an insane amount of control over your editing process.

You’ll also be able to do things like import a huge range of professional grade video files and video codecs to edit from.

You’ll be able to mix your frame rates and mix your different types of files that you’re going to bring in.

And you won’t need to convert everything before you start editing.

So in this category, you’ve got things like HitFilm Pro, DaVinciResolve, Lightworks Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, Magix VideoPro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, and AVID Media Composer.

Now, some of the packages inhere, like Adobe Premiere Pro, are only available on a monthly subscription.

You actually can’t buy the latest and greatest version as an obvious one off purchase that you then own and can run for as many years as you want.

AVID Media Composer and Lightworks Pro also give you a subscription option.

But at the time of filming this, both of them still have the ability to purchase the software outright as well.

Now, from testing all of these, and to give you my recommendations, it’s personal preference.

I mean, I’ve said that before.

But really at this level, it’s personal preference.

And the best editors will be able to jump from the piece of software to piece of software.

Because at the end of the day they’re just tools to get the job done.

So the pricing in this category does range from $349 forHitFilm Pro, right up to $1,299 for AVIDMedia Composer.

Now, I’ve been usingAVID for years.

But it’s not something that I like to recommend because the learning code is huge.

It’s not something that most people can sit down and workout in the afternoon and then start editing straight away.

Some people will be able to that, but most won’t.

So my recommendations are based on usability, on features, and for getting videos in and out quickly.

My personal recommendations would be Adobe Premiere Pro takes the cake hands down, closely followed by Sony VegasPro, and then HitFilm Pro.

Probably the biggest reasonI like Adobe Premiere Pro, besides the power and the control that you have over your editing, is the ability to edit pretty much any files that you like and to mix and match them in your timeline seamlessly.

So for a quickrecap, in the free category, my recommendation is to check out DaVinci Resolve.

In the sub, $199 category recommendation is to check out AdobePremiere Elements.

And in the $199and above category my recommendation isAdobe Premiere Pro.

So as you can see, there’s a ton of options out there, each with a slightly different workflow.

The best way to figure out what’s right for you is to trial a few of these and see what works.

And starting with these recommendations, you really can’t go wrong.

If you’re looking to improve the quality and the speed of your video editing, make sure to grab our free guide running through the ultimate video editing process.

There’s a ton of tips in there to help you create awesome quality videos faster.

And it’s completely free.

Just hit the link on a screen right now to grab your copy.

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