Best Video Editing Software Of 2018
It can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape that is video editing software. Last year saw a smorgasbord of products and updates hit the market that no doubt left a lot of peeps scratching their heads.
If you’re one of these said peeps, well you can just stop right there. Because we’ve just finished scoured the interwebs doing your homework for you.
Here’s what we got.
Adobe Premiere Pro - $19.99/Month
Anyone who knows us here at Motion Array knows that we looooove Premiere Pro. And really, when you think about it, what’s not to love? It offers all the features you could want in a professional NLE (Non-linear editing system), is available across Windows and Mac, works like a dream with Adobe’s collection of supporting applications (After Effects, Illustrator, and co.), and, thanks to the 2017 launch of Adobe Team Projects, Premiere Pro is now the best of the bunch when it comes to collaboration.
Add to that Premiere Pro’s new Multiple Open Projects feature which allows you to cut, copy and drag sequences from one open project and plonk it straight into another open project, and you have yourself a pretty accommodations piece of software.
But is it right for you? That depends. If you collaborate or see yourself collaborating with other editors or motion graphics artists in the future then yes, yes, a thousand times yes—Adobe Premiere Pro is the perfect solution for your needs.
DaVinci Resolve - Free and DaVinci Resolve Studio - $299
Wait, what!? DaVinci Resolve? I thought that was just for professional color grading?
Nope! As early as 2015 DaVinci Resolve started turning heads and making people realize that it could contend with the ‘big boys’ for general editing work. A few benefits that have been particularly noteworthy are blazing fast rendering times, a simple learning curve, and even VR editing capabilities to boot! Whether you're on Mac, Windows, or even Linux, a general consensus seems to be that it's competence as a general editor is on par with it's competition in addition to still having world class coloring capabilities.
While the $299 Studio version might be a tough pill to swallow in one payment, their free version is still incredibly powerful and can take your project from start to finish for $0. It’s easy to see why so many people are making a jump to Resolve, and we don’t see this trend slowing down at all in 2018!
Final Cut Pro X - $299.99
Virtually right on par with Premiere Pro is its Apple-produced counterpart, Final Cut Pro X. Within weeks of Premiere Pro’s 2018 release, FCP served up its very own update which, needless to say, was packed with many of the same bells and whistles recently adopted by its rival—I’m talking 360 degree VR video editing, new color tools, support for HDR, the list goes on.
In fact, these two pieces of software are so similar—in everything from features, to skills level, to price point—that it makes trying to decide between the two of them really, well, kind of annoying.
Let’s just say that if you work solo or are regularly under the pump with deadlines, FCP may be the way to go. Compared to Premiere Pro, FCP delivers way faster rendering times and is more reliable when working with high-resolution platforms like 4K.
Hit Film Express - Free and Hit Film Pro - $299
If you’re looking for an NLE with a little a more X-factor, then new kid on the block Hit Film might just be the thing for you.
Like all of its editing software counterparts, Hit Film Express and Pro provides professional video editing tools with 2D and 3D compositing and supports a decent enough range of video formats.
But where it differs? Well, for one thing, it delivers big on the visual effects and included in the mix are all your iconic faves: lightsabers, Iron Man’s heads-up display, stormtrooper cloning.
On top of that, Hit Film also provides outputs for Instagram and YouTube, making it a great option for all yee social media influencers out there.
If you’re not entirely sold, don’t worry. You can always give Hit Film’s free Express version a whirl. It comes with over 180 of visual effects for you to play around with and a ton of free video tutorials that will guide you in how to use them.
The only downsides: Hit Film’s unconventional user interface may be a bit off-putting for anyone who’s used to working with the more traditional Premiere Pro and FCPs of the world.
Sony Catalyst Production Suite - $199.95/yr
With Sony’s Catalyst Production Suite we actually get a combo of two separate applications: Catalyst Prepare, a pre-production tool that allows you to backup video and create rough-cut storyboards on-the-go, and Catalyst Edit, an easy-to-use NLE modeled closely on Sony’s slightly more advanced VEGAS Pro.
Catalyst ticks a lot of the boxes. It’s available on both Windows and Mac, supports 4K and HD video, and offers up a decent range of cutting tools, effects, and titles. However, it’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its super clean, super intuitive interface that will help even the most sluggish of editors pick up the pace.
Put simply, Catalyst is a prosumers dream, packing in all the features one could need to get a project done. Consummate professionals, on the other hand, may find it a tad limiting and will probably be better served splashing out the extra $100 for Sony VEGAS Pro.
Avid Media Composer - $49.99/month
For the steep price, you’d expect this editing software to be one of the best in the biz. And, well, that’s basically what it is. Over the past decade, a slew of big-name Hollywood movies have relied on Avid to get silver screen-ready, from The Martian to Beauty And The Beast to Wonder Women.
So, how does it differ from all the other professional NLEs out there? The answer to that is in the detail. Avid Media Composer has a ton of refined features like Audio Slip and pre and post-clip playback which facilitate insanely accurate audio syncing and color correction. Media Composer also comes packed with an array of features to help clean up the sloppy work of your production chums, allowing you to stabilize shaky footage, reframe shots, and retroactively add in dialogue.
Surprisingly, this industry name software isn’t entirely off-limits to us average Joes (at least anymore). Avid also offers Media Composer First, a free version of its creme de la creme powerhouse. Naturally, it doesn't come with the all the jazzed up features one would find in Media Composer. But it does give you a taste of what you could get if you, hypothetically-speaking, had an extra fifty bucks to spare each month.
We hope this list has been helpful to you. If you're looking for more articles on video editing, we've always got more right here. We've also got loads of Premiere Pro and After Effects tutorials if you want to get better using Adobe CC software!