Making professional YouTube videos is not as easy as shooting the footage and uploading them directly. There’s a lot of post-production work that needs to be taken care of, especially if you’re looking forward to start your own professional YouTube channel. Therefore, in addition to purchasing an expensive camera or a studio microphone to record high quality footage or audio, investing in a good video editing software is absolutely necessary for handling all the post-production work. With these software, you’ll be able to remove unwanted portions of the actual footage, enhance the video overall, and even add animations or transitions. So, if you’re already interested to buy a good video editing software, but you’re confused regarding which one to go for, here are the 12 best video editing software for YouTube videos.
Best Video Editing Software for Editing YouTube Videos
To make things easier for you we have divided this article into sections based on user requirement. You can click on the link below to quickly jump to the section that interests you the most.
- Best Video Editing Software for Beginners
- Best Video Editing Software for Professionals
- Best Video Editing Software for Enthusiasts
- Best Compositing Software for Visual Effects
Best Video Editing Software for Beginners
1. Adobe Premiere Elements
If you’re a novice in editing videos, then the Adobe Premiere Elements software is a good place to start with. It’s pretty much a stripped down version of the hugely popular Adobe Premiere Pro, that’s much more easier to use, but lacks plenty of advanced features that we’ve seen on its bigger brother like multicam, 3D editing, etc. Thanks to the neat and user-friendly interface, even beginners will find it easy to work with. Premiere Elements boasts features like Guided Edit that lets users apply effects across multiple clips or the entire video at once. The face detection feature is capable of bringing the faces front and center them automatically in order to make the videos more memorable.
With Premiere Elements, sharing your edited videos to YouTube and Facebook takes only a matter of seconds, so we’ve got no complaints in that regard. Premiere Elements 15 features a revamped Organizer that you can use to mix up several photos and videos in order to create a dynamic video collage, that can be easily shared with friends or on social media. Lastly, you can even turn a still photo into a pan and zoom movie by tweaking the amount of time and space the camera spends on a subject. All in all, for a one-time purchase of just under $70, Adobe manages to bring a lot of features that can add a professional touch to your videos, without requiring much skill and experience.
Supported Platforms: macOS, Windows
Supported Input Formats: H.264 (.mp4, .m4v), H.264-encoded QuickTime (.mov, .mp4, .m4v), MPEG-1 (.mpeg), MPEG-2 (.m2v, .mpg) and others.
Supported Output Formats: H.264 (.mp4), H.264-encoded QuickTime (.mov, .mp4),MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and others
2. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5
Priced similarly to Adobe’s Premiere Elements that we just discussed above, Corel offers a plethora of creative tools that content creators can choose from. The company manages to keep the software up to date, as the latest version boasts 360-degree editing prowess. VideoStudio has a simple, uncluttered, yet elegant user-interface that’s much suited to budding YouTubers who doesn’t have much experience in video editing. The software fully supports 4K Ultra HD video, so there are no complaints in this department. The motion-tracking feature that this software has to offer lets users add text, objects and even effects, that’s capable of following a moving subject.
Timeline Editing on the VideoStudio X10.5 is pretty easy, as users will be able to group clips and access soundtracks directly in their music library. That being said, Time remapping is one of the features that we enjoy using on this software, as the tools available in this department lets you freeze, slow down, and speed up the footage. Lastly, this software is also capable of convert 360 degree videos into standard videos. Well, the only gripe we have regarding the software is its rendering time, which is noticeably slower, especially when you compare it to its primary competitor, Premiere Elements. Before deciding on purchasing the VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5, you could try out the software for free, to check if it’s actually worth the money you’re paying for.
Supported Platforms: Windows
Supported Input Formats: AVCHD, DV, HDV, AVI, MPEG-1/-2/-4,
DVR-MS, M4V, WebM, 3GP, WMV, DVD titles, MOV (H.264), MKV, XAVC, MXF**, HEVC (H.265)
Supported Output Formats: AVCHD, DV, HDV, AVI, MPEG-1/-2/-4, UIS, UISX, M2T, WebM, 3GP, HEVC (H.265), WMV
If you currently own a Mac, then you’re in luck as you’ll be able to access and enjoy Apple’s iMovie software for free. With iMovie, you can edit 4K footage without breaking a sweat. What makes this editing software special is because of how well it’s integrated with the hardware. The clean and minimalistic user interface is sure to please the beginners who wants to get the job easily done. iMovie manages to impress us with a feature called Trailers that provides you with a template in order to organize and present your videos. Well, if you’re not concerned about that, just seamlessly drag and drop the clips around in the timeline. In addition to being able to create a soundtrack using built-in music and sound effects, users will be able to choose songs from their iTunes library, GarageBand and even their own narration.
Although iMovie does not boast some of the advanced features that both Premiere Elements and VideoStudio brings to the table, you’ll be able to do the basic stuff like adding titles, transitions, 3D globes and even travel maps to your videos. iMovie even lets you create picture-in-picture, side-by-side and green screen effects which is pretty useful to say the least. The software even has a one-click enhance option that lets you instantly enhance the overall look and sound of the video at the tap of a button. Lastly, users will be able to upload their edited videos directly to YouTube at a maximum resolution of up to 4K, in a breeze. Overall, we think Apple has managed to pack every basic feature that they probably could for a free video editing software.
Supported Platforms: macOS
Supported Input Formats: DV, HDV, AVCHD, Apple Intermediate Codec, Apple Animation Codec, Motion JPEG/A, iFrame, h.264, some, but not all, varieties of MP4, MOV.
Supported Output Formats: H.264, HDV, Apple Pixlet Video, Apple VC H.263, MPEG, and HDV among others
4. Wondershare Filmora9
When it comes to offering a simplified video editing experience, “Wondershare Filmora9” is second to none. The software comes with a host of presets such as filters, transitions, and overlays to let you craft your videos without getting stuck into complexities or having to go through a steep learning curve. With the easy-to-use tools, you can comfortably cut, crop, merge or rotate videos. Not to mention, it also provides 4K editing support allowing you to edit and export 4K videos, which could be a big deal if you want to produce high-quality videos that can get the most out compatible devices like 4K smart TVs.
As a person who always likes to have the luxury of a ton of sound effects, Filmora9 has looked quite good to me in terms of music and sound effects. Thanks to so many cool sound effects, creating a unique ambiance that can go nicely with movies becomes a tad straightforward. Moreover, the video editor has also got a solid collection of Hollywood-style effects that can be great for giving a cinematic touch to the videos. As for pricing, Filmora9 is available for free with basic tools that allow you to take the software for a test drive before opting for the premium variant that comes at $49.99.
Supported Platforms: macOS, Windows
Supported Input Formats: MKV, MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, MPEG, GIF, etc.
Supported Output Formats: WMV, MP4, AVI, MOV, F4V, MKV, TS, 3GP, MPEG-2, WEBM, GIF and MP3
Price: Free, $49.99 for the premium version
Best Video Editing Software for Professionals
1. Final Cut Pro X
Developed by Apple, the Final Cut Pro X is one of the most popular prosumer-grade video editing software that content creators love to use. Some of the most popular YouTubers and filmmakers out there prefer using Final Cut Pro, for all their post-production work and that includes us as well. We use Final Cut Pro X to edit all our videos for our YouTube channel. Multi-cam editing, XML importing and external monitor support are some of the features that you normally expect from an advanced video editing software, and Apple’s Final Cut Pro manages to deliver that. It features the Magnetic Timeline 2 with color coding and flexible lanes that’s significantly fast and easy to use. Users will be able to make use of Clip Connections to add B-roll, sound effects and music to the timeline. The software is capable of handling multicamera projects with automatic syncing based on audio waveforms, and it even has support for up to 64 camera angles.
As far as performance is concerned, only a very few software can even come close to matching the rendering speed that Final Cut Pro has to offer, as the software takes full advantage of 64-bit and multi-core processing. Apart from this, background processing and rendering is one of Final Cut’s most-loved features, as you don’t have to keep on waiting for a long time, just for the rendering to get completed. The software can easy handle your audio problems like hum and background noise. Although the software is more suited to professionals, the clean and spacious user interface makes sure that beginners are able to learn all the ins and outs of the software in just a short duration. Final Cut Pro X doesn’t come for cheap, and it can be currently purchased from Apple for approximately 300 bucks.
Supported Platforms: macOS
Supported Input Formats: H.264, Apple Animation codec, Apple ProRes (all versions), AVHCD, DVCAM, DVCPRO, and more
Supported Output Formats: Apple Pro-res, H.264, HDV, MPEG, and HDV among others
2. Adobe Premiere Pro
This video editor is considered as the primary rival to Apple’s Final Cut Pro and it’s a significant upgrade if you’re coming from a beginner-level software like the Premiere Elements 15. Well, as the name suggest, the software targets the prosumers who want access to advanced tools for their post-production work. Just like the Final Cut Pro, Adobe’s top-of-the-line video editing software is used by filmmakers and popular YouTubers alike. The user interface is neat and uncluttered which is to be expected from a top-notch video editing software. Premiere offers the four edit types namely Ripple, Roll, Slide and Slip that can be easily accessed from the left of the timeline. Similar to Adobe’s Photoshop, Premiere Pro boasts layer support, in order to make adjustments. There’s a feature called Warp Stabilize that does a great job at smoothing out a shaky video.
In terms of performance, the Premiere Pro is no slouch, as the rendering speeds are quite impressive if you have a system with capable hardware. However, since it lacks the background rendering capabilities of Final Cut Pro, you’ll have to wait a lot until the process is finished. That being said, you can fasten up the whole process by making use of GPU acceleration, especially if you have high-end graphics card. It can also take advantage of 64-bit processors having multiple core count, so there are no complaints in this regard. In comparison to Final Cut Pro that’s limited only to 64 camera angles, Premiere Pro theoretically offers unlimited angles to work with, but practically, there’s a limit that depends on your computer’s hardware. Lastly, unlike Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, where you have to just make a one-time purchase, Premiere Pro can only be availed by subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud which costs $19.99/month, if billed annually or $29.99/month, if billed monthly.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Supported Input Formats: MP4, MPEG, MPE, MPG (MPEG-1, MPEG-2), M2V (DVD-compliant MPEG-2), MTS (avchd), MOV, FLV, AVI
Supported Output Formats: H.264: AAC, 3GP, MP4, M4V, HEVC (H.265), MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, among others
Price: $19.99/month (Billed annually)
3. Vegas Pro 15
On YouTube, your video’s audio quality matters as much as the video quality. If your audio is not good, nobody is going to watch your video doesn’t matter how good your visuals are. That’s why Sony Vegas Pro has always been one of my favorite video editing software in the market because of it brings enhanced audio editing features. While other editing software like Final Cut and Premiere Pro provide some control over audio editing, Vegas Pro brings a full-fledged audio editor. It allows you to edit high-res multi-track audio to match with your video quality.
The Vegas Pro 15 also brings a ton of new video editing features including support for high-end graphics cards, a totally flexible workflow environment, powerful new tools and other minor improvements to make your editing journey as smooth as possible. That said, the software comes in three different versions which makes it a little hard to choose the one for you. However, at least all of them require a one time payment as there is no subscription-based pricing here.
Supported Platforms: Windows
Supported Input Formats: DV, HDV, AVCHD, NXCAM, MOV, MP4, WMV, MPEG-1/2/4, H.264/AVC, and more.
Supported Output Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, AVCHD Disc, (DV-)AVI, MJPEG, MXF, MOV, WMV, XAVC, XAVC S, MPEG-1/2/4, H.264/AV, and more
Price: ($399 to $799)
4. DaVinci Resolve 16
What puts “DaVinci Resolve 16” at the forefront of video-editing for pros is the combination of 8K editing, visual effects, audio post-production, and color correction. So, if your need demands your video editor to be efficient in all these pivotal parameters, this one could well be the right answer. Another area where Resolve 16 has an edge over many other rivals is the highly intuitive UI that can enable you to switch between effects, colors, audio, and editing seamlessly which can play a decisive role in amping up your productivity. Plus, the adjustment clips make it more convenient to apply effects and grades to clips on the timeline.
The inclusion of GPU acceleration not only helps you get your work done faster but also offers more technical monitoring options. Thanks to the multi-user collaboration feature, you can team up with your entire group of editors, VFX artists, assistants, sound designers, and colorists to work on a project with the desired sync.
One of my favorite features of Resolve 16 is the ability to work with all the major post-production software packages. Therefore, you have the liberty to use AAF, XML, and even EDLs to move your projects between many other well-known video editors like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Avid Media Composer (starting $23.99). Everything considered, it’s one of the top video-editors for YouTube, which pros would love to have.
Supported Platforms: macOS, Windows, and Linux
Supported Input Formats: AVI, MP4, QuickTime, DNxHD, and XAVC XML, EDL, AAF, DCP, MXF, CinemaDNG, AAC, AIFF, WAVE, RAW, OpenEXR, TIFF, DPX, R3D, JPEG, JPEG 2000, etc.
Supported Output Formats: MP4, AVI, MOV, H.264, FCPx XML, Avid AAF, and more.
Best Video Editing Software for Enthusiasts
1. Cyberlink PowerDirector 16 Ultimate
After gaining some experience on video editing, you might want to move away from the beginner-level, in order to access a certain set of advanced tools for your professional work. Well, the Cyberlink PowerDirector 16 Ultimate is one such software that can help you widen your horizons with its unique set of features. In terms of performance, this software easily manages to outshine most of the competition as the rendering speed is top-notch. It’s capable of Multi-cam editing and has support for 3D and 4K footage, so there are no doubts regarding the software’s potential. The user-interface is sleek and clean, in order to make it easy for the users to understand.
Although Corel VideoStudio lets you edit 360-degree footage, the PowerDirector manages to take this feature to the next level by letting the users import 360-degree footage or start a whole new 360-degree project, and then add transitions and effects using the variety of tools that this software has to offer. If you have an action camera that shoots in super-wide angle, PowerDirector has a dedicated Action Camera Center that provides camera profile corrections for vignette and fisheye. It even helps in reducing camera shake which is a major plus. Similar to several other video editing software that’s available today, you’ll be able to upload the final footage directly to YouTube. That being said, for an asking price of under 70 bucks, we think the PowerDirector 16 offers more value to the intermediate user, compared to the Premiere Elements and Corel VideoStudio.
Supported Platforms: Windows
Supported Input Formats: H.265/HEVC, MVC (MTS), MP4 (XAVC S), FLV (H.264), MPEG-4 AVC, and more.
Supported Output Formats: H.264 AVC, WMV, H.265 HEVC, XAVC S, and more.
Price: (Starts at $99.99)
2. Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate
If you didn’t know earlier, both Pinnacle Studio and VideoStudio software are developed by Coral. Consider this to be the more feature-packed variant of the VideoStudio that primarily targets beginners. If you’re used to VideoStudio, and you want to access more advanced set of features, we’re pretty certain that you’ll enjoy using Pinnacle Studio. Although the user-interface is not the sleekest of the bunch, Pinnacle Studio shines where it matters the most, as it’s jam-packed with effects and has native 64-bit operation. Motion tracking with mosaic blur, 360 degree video editing, split screen video, stop motion animation, etc. are just some of the features that this software manage to offer.
The Pinnacle Studio 21 boasts over 1500 effects, titles and transitions that users can choose from. If you want to make tutorial videos of this editing software, there’s a Live Screen Capture option that lets you capture the screen, system audio and voiceover at the same time, and later on import it to the timeline in order to edit and enhance it. Users will also be able to combine up to 6 cameras in the Multi-camera editor, which is nothing short of impressive to say the least. Pinnacle Studio’s Audio Ducking feature will make sure that foreground and background sound are always well-balanced, so there are no complaints in this regard. Although it’s slightly more expensive than the PowerDirector 15, we think this software is worth every penny that you’re paying for, especially if you’re upgrading from Corel’s VideoStudio.
Supported Platforms: Windows
Supported Input Formats: AVCHD; DivX; MKV; MPEG-1, 2, and 4, QuickTime, WMV, XAVC S and others.
Supported Output Formats: MP4, MOV, AVI, and others.
Price: (Starts at $59.95)
Best Compositing Software for Visual Effects
1. Adobe After Effects
Being available of nearly 24 years, Adobe After Effects has been leading the market as far as compositing software are taken into consideration, as it’s the most sought-after software for handling visual effects. Whether it’s a YouTube video, or Television show or movie, chances are, After Effects was used to enhance the visuals.In fact, we use Adobe After Effects to make the cool transitions and animations you see in our videos.
The software features what’s known as Cinema 4D composition renderer, which lets the users create 3D objects swiftly with enhanced control and precision. As most of you might know already, color correction is the one of the departments where After Effects truly shines. With the latest update, you can say Adobe has improved upon this with the addition of Lumetri Scopes panel. Adobe has taken this feature straight from Premiere Pro and implemented in After Effects, which gives you all the details regarding the saturation, luminance and chrominance through vectroscopes.
In the recent updates, it looks like Adobe has also worked on improving After Effects’ stabilization tools. The software currently follows a technique that crops and rotates the footage on-the-fly, in a move to eliminate the bumps in the video. After Effects can also make use of GPU acceleration to speed-up certain effects and render faster. As far as overall performance is concerned, it’s quite impressive, especially if you have capable hardware. That being said, if you’re new to After Effects, there’s a deep learning curve that you have to go through, as the software is a bit complicated to use, and you might have to gain additional knowledge on the software. Similar to Premiere Pro, After Effects can be availed by subscribing to the Adobe Creative Cloud, by either paying $19.99/month, if billed annually or $29.99/month, if billed monthly.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Supported Input Formats: MPEG, MP4, M4V, M4A, MOV, AVI, WAV and others.
Supported Output Formats: MOV, OMF, AVI, 3GP, 3G2, AMC, and more.
Price: ($19.99/month – billed annually)
2. HitFilm Pro
Last on the list, we’ve got a powerful VFX software developed by FXHomeg4 that’s capable of handling your professional post-production work. Although it might not be as advanced as After Effects, HitFilm Pro has a lot to offer. The software offers a variety of options like Editing, compositing, VFX and animation tools that content creators can take full advantage of. In addition to this, the HitFilm Pro also includes a suite of 150 plug-ins that can be used for other non-linear editing software. The latest version of HitFilm Pro has improved a lot in terms of 3D rendering, and has even managed to surpass the likes of After Effects in terms of features. The software has a plethora of visual effects and presets that users can choose from.
HitFilm Pro is bundled with Ignite Pro, a plug-in that manages to bring HitFilm’s VFX prowess to any other professional video editor like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Vegas Pro, etc. In terms of audio, HitFilm features an audio mixer with peak metering, pan and per-channel volume adjustments. Boris FX Title Studio is a welcome addition in the latest version of HitFilm Pro, as it lets you edit title and animate logos in addition to a variety of presets for animation and visual effects. HitFilm Pro can be currently purchased for a price of over 300 bucks, but if you think that’s too expensive, you can make use of the trimmed down HitFilm Express which can be downloaded for free.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Supported Input Formats: MP4, H.264, AVCHD AVI, M2T, M2TS, MTS, MXF (DVCPro HD), DV, HDV, WMV, Apple Pro Res
Supported Output Formats: MP4, H.264, MOV, Apple ProRes, AVC, and more
Best Video Editing Software to Use for YouTube Videos
If you’re currently looking forward to start your own professional YouTube channel, it’s high time you realize that post-production is equally important as purchasing a high-end camera. In order to completely enhance the video that you record and make the content much more engaging to your subscribers, we highly recommend you to invest in a good video editor. Well, we’re glad that we could list out some great video editing software for making pro-grade YouTube videos for your channel.
If you’re a beginner with no experience in this field, we suggest you to get the affordable Premiere Elements or VideoStudio. But if you already have ample knowledge in the editing department, you should go with the likes of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. So, now that you have a clear idea of all the available software out there, which one are you planning to buy? Do let us know in the comments section down below.