Best Video Editing Software for Windows: Late 2017 Review!

Best Video Editing Software for Windows: Late 2017 Review!

– What’s the best video
editing software on Windows right now, and which
one is the best for you, for your budget, and for
your level of experience? Here’s our roundup of the current
editing software landscape and my recommendations
on the best ones for you. (steady electronic music) Hey, it’s Justin Brown
here from Primal Video. We release a ton of content to help you get better results with
your videos faster. If you’re new here, then make sure you click
that big subscribe button, and all the links to everything
we mention in this video you can find linked in
the description box below. So, let’s jump into it. Choosing the right video editing software can be incredibly confusing,
no matter what level you’re at. The number of options seems
to only be increasing, which is great for competition and prices and driving new features, but not so great if you’re trying to
weight out your options and try and figure out
which one is right for you. So we do a video like this
every six to 12 months for both PC and for Mac with an overview of the current landscape
and our recommendations for best editing software
across multiple budgets. So, from free to $200-plus software. As always, there have
been some big chances since our last video. Some of my prior recommendations
will still make the cut, whereas others have fallen behind and newer options have stepped
in to take their place. Now, just like last time, I’m going to break this overview down into multiple pricing categories so that you can see what’s
available at each level. You can hear our
recommendations, and if you’re starting out in one of the
lower pricing brackets, then you can know what
you’re missing out on or that you could upgrade to later. And while you’re watching,
make sure you let us know what video editing software
you’re using right now and what your favorite feature
is down in the comments. It’s always interesting
to hear the experience that others are having
with their software, and your suggestions may
help others make the call on which software is right for them. And once we wrap up looking
at all the editing software, I’m also going to share my top three tips for editing faster, no matter what software you’re using. Okay, so now onto the software. We’ve broken this down
into three categories. We’re going to start of
looking at free software. Then we’re going to look at sub-$200, and then $200-plus. So let’s get started. So, first up, free software. Now, these options are really going ahead in leaps and bounds,
and some of the software that’s available these days
for free totally beats out a lot of the paid options
available just a few years ago. So, in this pricing
bracket, you’ve got software like AVS video editor, VSDC has a free version, WeVideo has a free version, HitFilm Express, Shotcut, Lightworks, Avid Media Composer First, and DaVinci Resolve. This is the first time that
we’ve included VSDC Free and Avid Media Composer First as well. And in the last one, we
had Windows Movie Maker, which still seems to be an
obvious choice for people when they’re looking for
Windows video editing software, but it’s now no longer
officially supported. So you actually can’t download it anymore. So that’s why it’s not on our list. Now, after testing all of
these, my top two picks are VSDC and DaVinci Resolve. Now, for someone who’s just
starting out with video editing, I really like that VSDC
is really easy to use. It’s pretty intuitive. It runs really, really well, and you don’t need to have
the latest and greatest system to be able to run everything in it, but if you do have a decent system, it’s gonna take use of that hardware and accelerate everything for you. So, for someone that’s
an absolute beginner up to maybe intermediate, or someone that’s not looking for all the
additional bells and whistles and isn’t looking to do
any professional projects, just wants to edit basic
videos or YouTube videos, then this will be perfect for you. And DaVinci Resolve is something
that’s really a no-brainer. It is more complicated to use. It is actually professional
video editing software that they use to cut feature films and color grade feature films. So it is an awesome feature set that you’re getting for nothing. So it is definitely worth
using and worth learning if you’re looking to
create more advanced videos or if you’re just starting
out and you’re looking for the best free piece
of software to learn that is scalable, because you can move up to
the paid version as well, then I would recommend DaVinci Resolve. The feature set is just insane. The performance that you’ll
get editing both consumer grade and professional video
files is just insane. Now, if I had to pick a winner for best overall free video
editing software on Windows, it’s going to go to DaVinci Resolve. Really, there is nothing
better in the free category for video editing software,
but it could probably be a bit too advanced for someone that is an absolute
beginner for video editing, and for them, I recommend VSDC. And with the free version
of DaVinci Resolve, there really aren’t too many limitations. Obviously, there is a
paid version as well, which we will cover a bit later on, but you’re not really
missing out on too much in the free version, which is
what makes this so amazing. So the next category
we’re going to look at is the sub-$200 category. So, in here, what you’ll
normally find with these pieces of software is that they are not cut down pieces of software. Normally, these are a full
end-to-end editing solution, meaning that you won’t have
to pay any additional fees to remove things like watermarks or to pay for additional features. So, typically, everything
in here, as I said, will work as a full end-to-end solution. So the reason we picked $200 as the cutoff and sub $200 for this category is because there’s a lot of software that sits around that
$150- to $199-price point, and above that, there’s actually a pretty
decent gap between the $200 and some of the other
more professional options. So that’s why we picked $200. So, let’s jump in and see what editing software is in this category. So in here, you’ve got
software like VSDC Pro, so the paid version. You’ve got Film Aura, WeVideo, and that’s the paid version of it, the watermark-free version,
Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium, Adobe Premiere Elements,
CyberLink PowerDirector, Camtasia, and Lightworks Pro. So all of these pieces of software, whether they’re subscription-based or not, will not cost you more
than $200 for the year or $200 outright to
purchase this software. Now, moving into this price bracket, the free options still apply. One of them that stacks
up is DaVinci Resolve. It’s super powerful, as we’ve just covered when we spoke about it
in the free software for professional video editing
and for someone looking for the most advanced piece of video editing software that is free, but now we’ll be looking at
the other options here as well that weren’t available in the free space. My top three picks are
Adobe Premiere Elements, CyberLink PowerDirector, and WeVideo. Now, while Film Aura and VSDC Pro aren’t in my top three picks here,
if you try my top three picks and you aren’t a big fan, then I would recommend
to check out those next, because they are still a solid
solution for editing videos. They are rather powerful as well. So WeVideo is a subscription-based online cloud-based editing solution, meaning that it all runs
in your web browser. There’s no software to
download and install. It’s amazing for
collaborative video editing where you can upload your
files and have people from anywhere in the
world working with you, helping you edit your projects down. It also means you can edit your videos on systems that don’t need
to be powerful at all, ’cause all the processing
is done on the cloud. So, as I said, it is subscription-based, meaning that you’ll be paying per month to be able to access and to be
able to use the application. But it only comes in at
around five dollars per month if you wanna export up
to 720p video files, and if you want the top plan
at around eight dollars, that’ll give you access to
40k and 1080p exports as well. So, amazing. I really like that Adobe Premiere Elements is essentially just a cut-down
version of the professional Adobe Premiere Pro, which
makes it a great option for someone that’s
starting out video editing and wanting to come into the
game at that $99-price point for Premiere Elements
with the option in mind or with the goal in mind to upgrade later to Adobe Premiere Pro, if
that’s what you’re after. You don’t have to. It will still do everything that you want. There’s a great range of
file types and compatibility. The performance is all there. It is a solid editing solution, but having that logical step
up or logical progression to the professional version
is a great thing to have if you’re looking to
advance your video editing. And I really like CyberLink PowerDirector, how it’s not just video editing. It’s also got a built-in screen recorder that works really, really well. It ties directly into your GPU, so it’s really powerful, and your render times are really fast. It’s got things like 360
video editing built in, so at that $65-price point
for CyberLink PowerDirector, it is a really solid solution
for video editing on Windows. So, if I had to pick a
winner out of these three, WeVideo, Adobe Premiere Elements, and CyberLink PowerDirector
for the sub-$200 category, I would pick Adobe Premiere Elements. That would be my recommendation, because it has that logical
step up to Adobe Premiere Pro. If you learn one, you can
easily move to the other, which is really, really powerful. Now, obviously, with all
video editing software, it’s really important to keep in mind that they are just tools
to get the job done. As I’ve said, there’s for’s and against for all of these pieces
of video editing software, and what works best for you might be totally
different to someone else. So wherever possible,
download the trial versions. Give as many as you can a go, and see which one works best
for you, for your workflow, and for the type of
videos you’re creating, because they are essentially
just tools to edit video, tools to get the job done. So if you take that approach
when you’re looking at videos, look for the best tool for you. Obviously then if you’re looking for a cloud-based editing solution, then the no-brainer
answer there is WeVideo, or if you’re really
interested in doing 360 videos and doing them well, then PowerDirector may
be the option for you. But overall, my recommendation in this category is
Adobe Premiere Elements. Okay, so now onto the final category, which is $200-plus. So in this category, we’re really looking at all the professional-grade
editing packages. So the biggest things
that you’ll usually find with these pieces of editing software is you’ll have more
control over your edit, so you’ll have much more
advanced feature set. You’ll have much more advanced tools in regards to color correction. You usually have a much
large range of file types or Codecs that you can
use in your projects. These software applications
will be much more robust and solid for longer-form
projects like documentaries. They’re going to not crash as much and be much more friendly to
working with multiple editors or a team to help you create your videos. So this is really where
you’re going to get all the advanced bells and whistles, things like stabilizers built in, better text effects, better animations, better graphics integrations. This is all the professional software. Now, it’s important to
note with these once again that some of these are subscription-based, like you’ve got Avid Media Composer, which is around $50 per month, and you’ve got Adobe Premiere Pro, which is around $20 per month,
and the others are paid. So HitFilm Pro sells for
349, VEGAS Pro Edit at 399, and DaVinci Resolve Studio
currently selling for 299. Now, after testing all of these, my top two picks here are Adobe Premiere Pro and
DaVinci Resolve Studio. Now, with DaVinci Resolve,
we’re already said it’s an amazing pice of software for free. So the biggest differences that you get with the paid version
include more GPU effects or effects that are going
to utilize your video card for faster rendering
and better performance, but also things like true 4k
and higher than 4k resolutions that you can edit for your projects. There’s also a heap more really
advanced color correction tools and features that
they’ve got in there as well. Adobe Premiere Pro is
probably the most popular video editing application
in this category. It seems to be one that, if you mention video editing software on
Windows or Mac, that a lot of people would have at least
heard of Adobe Premiere Pro. And that’s for good reason. It has an amazing feature set. The color correction and color tools in there
are really, really good. It is amazing to work with teams as well to simply share the video projects or use the Adobe Cloud to
work with your team remotely. It is a really solid
solution for professional video editing but also for
smaller project as well. There’s a lot of people
that are starting out their YouTube channels and jumping
straight into Adobe Premiere. Now, picking a winner in this category out of DaVinci Resolve and
Adobe Premiere Pro is probably the hardest decision out of
all the other ones previous. I have been a long-time
Adobe Premiere user, after I was an Avid user
for many years before that. So I went to Avid, to Premiere. Now I’m using Final Cut a lot as well, but I’m really, really
impressed with DaVinci Resolve. But I feel that Adobe Premiere Pro is still the more complete
package at this point. So my recommendation in this category will go to Adobe Premiere Pro. I really like the
integration that you have with the rest of the Adobe Suite. A lot of people are turned
off by the subscription model, that is is $20 a month, but really, if you’re taking your
video editing seriously and you buy the whole
package and you get Photoshop and After Effects and everything built in, then it is a solid solution
to allow you to do everything. Your motion graphics, your video editing, your color, all in one place. So for that, it’s really, really powerful, and that’s why it’s my pick. So I understand that all of that is definitely a lot to take in, but before we wrap up
with my top three tips for editing faster in any software, let’s do a quick recap. Out of all the free video
editing software on Windows, and there is a heap of them,
we narrowed it down to two, VSDC and to DaVinci Resolve, with my pick or my recommendation
being DaVinci Resolve. And then in the sub-$200 category, we narrowed all the
options down to WeVideo, CyberLink PowerDirector,
and Adobe Premiere Elements with my recommendation going
to Adobe Premiere Elements, and then in the $200-plus category, so this is where all the
professional video editing software is, we narrowed it down to Adobe Premiere Pre and
DaVinci Resolve Studio, with my pick going to Adobe Premiere Pro. Okay, so my top three tips to help you edit your videos faster. The first one is to be aware that your editing actually
starts in your filming. So when you’re filming, make sure that you’re not
filming a heap of extra footage that you know you’re not ever going to use or is not ever going to make
the cut for your final edit. So be conservative with the footage that you’re actually capturing, because then less footage in your editing means that you’ll be able to edit faster because you’ve got less
footage to go through. So, consider your editing
while you’re filming, and that alone will help you edit faster because you’ve got less
footage to deal with. Tip number two is when
you’re filming, once again, make sure that you’re only
moving onto the next section or next dot point, next paragraph, when you’ve nailed the last take or when you’re happy with the last take. So make your best take the last one. And then in your video editing, instead of working from left to right, edit backwards and edit
from right to left. So that way, you’ll always
hit that best take first, and then you can go back
through, remove all the mistakes, and then you’ll get the next best take. So it makes it a much faster way to edit down a heap of
footage to just the best takes or just the content really, really fast. And tip number three is
to save all your effects, your color corrections
and everything ’til last. Most people get excited
and wanna jump straight in and start applying effects
and making their footage look good before they’ve
actually gone through the process of editing their footage down. So all this does it put
your computer or your iPad or your Android device,
whatever you’re editing on, under a heap of load and
slows down the entire process. So focus on cutting all of that footage down to something small
and manageable first, and then you can start making it look good by applying your color
corrections and effects. So, don’t do that stuff until later. Now, these are just
three tips from our full video editing process guide
called The Primal Video Method. There’s a link to where
you can watch the video talking through the
entire method onscreen now and also a direct link
to where you can download the .pdf version as well. I’ll see you soon.

100 thoughts on “Best Video Editing Software for Windows: Late 2017 Review!

  • DaVinci Resolve now has Fusion integration as well, so compositing is included now. Though Fusion isn't really good for motion graphics (like with Nuke you will be tearing out all your hair, but it is better for advanced 3D compositing than AfterEffects). Also you can do team projects even with the free version of Resolve (just get an IT guy who can set up a PostgreSQL server for you). If Blackmagic Design improves on the caching and don't get lazy with improving their software like Adobe does, the better software will be Resolve (objectively) in a couple years time.

  • I downloaded VSDC and found two problems that appear to make it virtually unusable unless I'm doing something wrong. First problem is that imported video clips appear upside down and require a painstaking process to put them up the right way. I then found that when the final result is activated, it just jumps from one frame of one clip to another frame of the next clip (ie no movie).

  • Going over to VSDC now to check it out, but so far I've been disappointed with free software. Most attach a watermark on the vids or require some kind of paid membership deal. Not really free.
    UPDATE: The "Free" version won't allow me to export. It keeps saying I'm using hardware acceleration. I've watched several vids on how to export and follow all the steps, but still does the same thing. Not sure the free version actually allows someone to export.

  • I used this VideoMakerEFX. Much way better than the others especially unique software. Been using this different kinds of scenarios. Best App Ever i would definitely recommend this to my friends and to all people on social medias.

    Heres where you can get it You will never regret this so do i

  • Thank you, some good advice and tips on editing here. I am using Final Cut Proon. 6 year old Mac mini. Self taught and still have loads to learn. Thanks again for the tips.

  • I have a 2Gb ram, windows 7 (64bit) and 2Gb video and use hitfilm express and it works great on a low end PC. Best feature I like is the motion tracking if the point is lost, it will stop and ask you to correct the tracking if the point blurs due to the motion is too fast, you can correct it and continue tracking. Most other software will try to think where to track and will screw it up! LOL

  • My recommendations is:
    Free: Davinci Resolve and Hitfilm Express
    Sub 200$: Filmora and Cyberlink Powerdirector
    200$ and above: Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro
    Skill Levels:
    Beginner: VSDC free and Filmora
    Intermediate: Hitfilm Express and Cyberlink Powerdirector
    Pro: Adobe Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve
    Thank me later 😉

  • Did you know?

    I just was on Adobe Premier and i looked on the trial tab, AND IT INSTALLED THE TRIAL!


  • Thanks a lot for explaining the free versions so well and recommending one especially for beginners – such as myself!

  • We all should be aware of the requirements to ruin demanding software. Seems that anything running below 2 Ghz is not recommended. So will for example, the latest 1.6 Ghz 4 core Intel gen 8 on an Asus Zenbook get the job done? I downloaded DaVinci Resolve but you get a watermark, so it's free but useless.

  • I run adobe elements premier. I absolutely love the fact that I can cut multiple videos at one time!!!

  • thank you for this video i really need the basic free editing i just started making videos more frequently i really wanted something free and basic to see how it goes in time ill up grade

  • this is not what i was looking for but i comment because i want to know how to get like the mp3 video format yeah i need video formats but i dont know how to get them and i cant find any on youtube.

  • So to get this completely strait. I cannot purchase a product code and own my own copy of Adobe Premiere pro? I can only lease it?

  • Everytime I try uploading a videi to Youtube saved from an editing app Youtube would say the file is too big and I can't upload it

  • anther great helpful video thank you Justin , I am a farmer , so really appreciate how down to earth your advice is , makes it easy to understand and follow

  • Hi Justin! This video about finding the best editing software is what made me subscribe to your channel. Your clear and sincere communication skills makes me want to use these videos as I learn more about improving my YouTube channel.

  • I am moving to using mostly my laptop, but currently use iMovie and it is pretty good, and I am happy with many of my videos

  • I really like you video , keep it up 🌷🌷
    check my Tutorial on 👍 how to edit IGTV VIDEO FOR INSTAGRAM ?
    👍 👍

  • Hey my friend I’m new to this I got an Alienware – 15.6" Laptop – Intel Core i7 – 16GB Memory – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 – 1TB Hard Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive . I’m using iclone 7 for my 3D animation series and would like you to recommend a video editing software. Please note I’m a rookie.

  • Thanks for this amazing choices👍 windows is hard to work with when it comes to designing and editing.

  • What paid for editing software would be best to edit videos from a Gopro 5 or 6 for youtube channel on a Toshiba windows 8.1, intel core i3-400su cpu @ 170 GHz 1.70 GHz with 6 gb ram and 64 bit x64 processor? Thanks

  • Thankyou for introducing me to the Davinci software. I downloaded it and got stuck straight in and it's amazing it's free… cheers dude!

  • I am currently using VSDC Free but I am having an issue. Whenever I cut out a part of the video I am editing, the transition from one scene to another (At the place I clipped) there seems to be some sort of lag

  • Thanks Justin – I'm currently using Mac iMovie and like many of its features. I left windows when movie maker was no long supported, along with other problems.

  • Beautifully succinct and informative. You have provided me with options though I have noticed some users saying they've been 'refused' access for some unknown reason. Thx anyway.

  • Hi Justin, I found this via one of your recent posts. Could you and or the community help me with one question? I've used Windows movie maker, and my experience is at the nursery school level. Which software (Free or Paid) for a desktop (Windows) do you feel is easiest to make basic edits, and is least likely to cause heartburn to re-edit if I realize I've made a mistake upon saving it? Thanks for your help.

  • Does any of them have the ability to add music from YouTube and speed the pace up ? I wanted to start recording for my YouTube

  • I was using imovie to edit but the macbook broke! What can I use that's similar on my windows laptop? I'm so used to it I don't want to learn a new difficult software. P.s. Can I buy imovie for windows?

  • Thank y for a grate video
    I also I advise to use viddyoze

    It is one of the best video making online platform, It’s has been one of the best experiences that we have online. We have done all the tasks and CRs within our company. We use it as a video editing software to create promotional 3D animation videos without another vendor, you don’t need to install any software. Simply if you are making business with this software you will be one of the up-voter for it 🙂

    so you get:

    A very cheap, automated and simple solution
    Increase your revenues through making professional videos
    With a few clicks y can Create outstanding studio quality animations
    So you choose a animation template from the large library as a first Step then You add your logo or your brand text for customizing your animation. and Finally you can export resulted video.
    If you want to get any attention, your videos have to be outstanding 🙂

    Over 80,000 People Use Viddyoze

    Viddyoze 3.0 Revealed! and it will be the future of video

    you can visit the web site here:

    Viddyozoe 3.0 personal

  • Great information. I like to crete videos mostly of our kayaking adventures with GOPRO but I use Corel VideoStudio 2018. It works pretty good for me but I was wondering what you thought of it and why you thought it was not worthy of the under $200 group. I would consider switching but barely have time to edit video like I would like much less trying many new programs at the same time. 🙂 Thanks for your video.

  • Just downloaded the VSDC video editor, will let you know later…Thank you for the recommendations Justin, your vids are always informative, and being a beginner, I need all the help I can get…
    Also, I use an iphone 6+, a WolfBlitz tripod/selfie stick combo that's awesome, and some Godefa clip on lenses…what is the best way to store pics and videos to free up space on the phone?
    Thx again,

  • Plz guide me,i am absolutely beginer but quick learner and experienced professional(telecom engineer) devinchee vsd or fast express

  • Justin:
    Great video. I am a beginner and have a question. DaVinci is a great product, as are many "editors." My question follows, how does one create the raw video from an external device (e.g. webcam or video camera) on a PC running Windows? The editors are great to "edit" clips, but what is good (current) software to create the raw video and audio. My plan is to use a webcam with an audio interface/condenser microphone. Please advise.

  • I use Cyberlink Power Director because it is easy to learn and has all the tools needed and it is fairly user friendly. I have Adobe Premiere Pro, but the learning curve is so hard that after many tries I just gave up on it. Since the Chroma key (Ultra tool) in Adobe Premiere Pro in aggressive mode is so much better than Power Director, then I use Premiere Pro to do green screen and just import into Power Director to finalize project.

  • I like Movie Maker because of ease. I use VSDC Pro (only $20) to do things I can't do with MM. Now, I'm checking out DaVinci Resolve 15, which is free, which is amazing.

  • Why isn't Grass Valley Edius mentioned in the higher end category? I've been using Edius for over 10 years and like it, but should I move to DaVinci?

  • Thanks for the info. I tried to get the free Davinci Resolve but I can't see a free version on the BlackMagicDesign site. Boohoo.

  • Give me some proof that you didn’t just make this channel having no idea how to edit or make videos because it seems like that

  • Which one would be the best for the "tasty style videos"… or simple overhead videos that provide a quick tutorial.
    As well something that would be compatible with instantgram?

  • Just dowloaded Davinci Resolve 16 and it kept crashing so I had to delete it. I'll try VSDC Next to see if I can work with it without it crashing.

  • You do know windows video editor has a new look and location in windows it's now part of photo editing software in Windows with the newest update from Microsoft system update it has been reworked and has some new features but isn't separate from photo software not yet available as a stand alone software? You make slideshow and video footage it does not seem to have webcam capture or screen capture yet and this is slightly poor from Windows but it may change in the next upgrade?
    You didn't mention Videopad which you can get free from Windows store why?

  • I'm currently using openshot, and I'm watching this vid to switch to another software. It is too laggy and it lacks a bunch of features. I do not recomend

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