The Best Video Editing Software of 2021: The Top 7 Picks
Video editing is complicated, and this difficult job requires complex tools. In every video creator or editor’s life comes a point where iMovie just won’t cut it anymore.
Still, choosing a new editing software means committing a considerable amount of time and money.
The basics of the software should be easy to learn. At the same time, it will need to incorporate high-powered editing tools. Some of those, too, will take time to get comfortable with.
This means that truly mastering a new software can take years. You really want to make the right decision the first time around. After all, there are a lot of options out there. Each of them has its own pros and cons.
As video editors, we’re well aware of just what you should be looking for in video editing software. We’re going to discuss the top video editing programs and what separates them from the rest.
1 - Adobe Premiere Pro
- The industry standard
- Useful automated tools
- Comes with Adobe Creative Cloud
Our favorite video editing software here at Tasty Edits is Adobe Premiere Pro. For one thing, it’s the most common pro editing software across the industry: YouTube creators use it just as much as professional video studios.
But most importantly: It’s the best for producing amazing videos.
In Premiere Pro, the workflow area is sleek and adaptive. The design allows you to polish your work without ever leaving the timeline. Also, it’s simple to jump in and out of different parts of your video.
Premiere Pro can edit videos in 8K, so it can handle whatever footage you bring to the table. It also utilizes Adobe’s AI tool – Adobe Sensei – to automate parts of the process, speeding up tedious work.
One huge advantage of using any Adobe product is that it integrates seamlessly with the Adobe Creative Cloud. For video editors, the most useful will be After Effects. The software allows you to create high-quality motion graphics. Premiere Rush – for mobile – is technically a different app, but integrates perfectly with Premiere Pro.
Premiere Pro, like all Creative Cloud products, requires a monthly subscription. As a high-end program, it doesn’t come cheap. But, if you’re serious about video editing, you’ll quickly become better and faster with it. This allows you to earn back the investment.
The subscription also means you always get the newest updates. You’ll never be stuck using an outdated version.
There’s another, final plus to Adobe Premiere Pro. It works both on Windows and Macs – which can’t be said for most video software.
2 - Final Cut Pro
- User-friendly interface
- Great for Mac users
Though still a fantastic option, Apple’s Final Cut Pro is half a step below Premiere Pro. First, Final Cut Pro is Mac-exclusive. Second, it doesn’t integrate into a full creative suite like Adobe’s.
It does, however, leverage the Apple ecosystem. This provides easy access to photo and music libraries, even if they aren’t stored locally. Additionally, the software can take full advantage of Apple’s hardware capabilities.
Final Cut Pro has Apple’s trademark simple interface. It’s full of intuitive and easy-to-navigate screens combined with high-powered editing tools. User favorites include the Magnetic Timeline, grouping tools, and a range of effect options.
Another plus of working with Final Cut is that it’s a one-time purchase. While the price tag is hefty, you won’t pay a subscription fee.
Altogether, Final Cut Pro is a really high-quality video editing platform. For users that like to try out all the options, Apple offers a 90-day free trial.
3 - Cyberlink PowerDirector
- Powerful and versatile tools
- Steep learning curve
Cyberlink PowerDirector is a professional-quality video editing software. It’s suitable for anyone serious about making beautiful videos. PowerDirector isn’t for the faint of heart, though. It trades in the ease-of-use of the top two programs for a vast set of useful tools.
In fact, this program includes a heavy-duty 100-track timeline, meaning that you can add up to 100 different video and audio files in a single project. Though few creators will find this necessary, it’s nice not to be limited by the tools you use.
PowerDirector includes some fantastic automatic stabilization and video correction tools. Trimming is trickier to get right than in the top two options. It has a useful 1:1 aspect ratio editing feature. This makes it perfect for social media videos, especially Instagram.
Good news for Mac users: Previously Windows-only, Cyberlink released a Mac version of PowerDirector in late 2020. Now, the tool is worth considering for anybody with the right system.
4 - Corel Video Studio Ultimate
- Easy to learn
- Limited tools for professionals
- Expensive for limited scope
Corel is a household name in the video editing industry, and their Video Studio Ultimate is a big reason why. Its intuitive interface and ease-of-use make it an excellent choice for editors who aren’t quite ready to shell out for the high-end products.
Despite the relatively low price point ($99), Video Studio Ultimate has a few stand-out features. The software is 4K-capable, has multi-cam support, and includes advanced lens-correction tools. The wide variety of graphics are easy to integrate into your videos.
This may not be the best option if you’re producing professional-quality videos. But, if you aren’t entirely committed to video editing yet, it’s a great tool to master. Note that Video Studio Ultimate is Windows-only.
5 - Adobe Premiere Elements
- Easy to use
- Not as powerful as Premiere Pro
Another great option inside the Adobe ecosystem is Premiere Elements. This slimmed-down version of Premiere Pro will serve experienced enthusiasts well. Professional video editors, though, won’t find it powerful enough.
A main plus of this lower-end software is the ease-of-use. Like Premiere Pro, Elements gives you access to AI-based editing. This makes simple jump cut editing of your videos easy. Plus, it’s full of other tools designed to speed up your workflow.
Premiere Elements is a great choice before you’re ready to splash out for a high-end option. To produce content that’ll pull in huge audiences, though, you’ll soon need something more powerful.
6 - DaVinci Resolve
- Free version available
- Multiplatform – available on Mac, PC, and Linux
- All-in-one tool for post-production
- Steep learning curve
DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design is a top-notch video editing solution that’s widely used by both professional editors and amateurs. It prides itself on being an all-round tool for video post-production, including editing, color correction, visual effects, motion graphics and audio post-production.
The best bit? A free version is available for instant download (formerly known as DaVinci Resolve Lite). Unlike with other platforms, this is not a free trial which only produces watermarked clips. Instead, DaVinci Resolve’s free version puts professional-grade video editing tools at your disposal, from key framing and compositing to multi-cam editing and color correction. For beginners starting out with serious video editing, this is a great start.
For professionals, DaVinci Resolve Studio offers even more advanced options, including collaboration tools, noise removal, and a neural engine AI. At a one-time $295 (including all future updates), pricing is on par with tools such as Final Cut Pro, and cheaper in the long run than subscription-based software options.
7 - Apple iMovie
- Free for Mac users
- Easy to use
- Lacking in tools for professionals
Honestly, if this list were longer, then iMovie would still be at the bottom. It’s really a few tiers below the other entries. Still, iMovie is the most popular editing software for new creators. So, we wanted to discuss it briefly.
The interface is somewhat similar to Final Cut Pro. This gives you a good starting point if you hope to move on to Apple’s professional option later. Of course, it doesn’t have the same tools and capabilities by far.
In its latest version, iMovie is even capable of 4K editing. That said, the software won’t suffice for anyone looking to earn a real income creating videos. Importantly, it doesn’t have multi-cam or motion-tracking features. Today, these are essential to ensure your videos are on par with the competition.
What is the best video editing software?
If you’re asking us at Tasty Edits, there is really only one answer to this — Adobe Premiere Pro. Bundled with Creative Cloud, it’s the most powerful tool available. With Premiere Pro, you will never find yourself limited by your software.
For us, Final Cut Pro comes in a close second. Frankly, if you are serious about creating video content that will captivate audiences, those are the only two options.
Learning to use a new video editing software can be daunting. Especially if you don’t actually plan to become a professional video editor.
If you prefer creating videos more than editing them, then your best option is to hire a professional.
Want to dive deeper into the editing process and continue to edit your own work? Try to learn from someone experienced in the type of editing you need. This way, you can learn to put out the fantastic videos you envision much faster.