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Why Professional Video Editing Software?

Editing is one of the most important steps in the video production process. Whether you're creating a feature film, a TV show or a simple YouTube video, the editing station is where you build what your audience will see, hear and experience. While consumer-level video editing software will suffice for small projects, if you're working on something that has a large audience, a big budget, or many complex elements, you need the power and precision offered by professional movie maker software.

The best professional video editor applications for PC let you organize a wide variety of media types, including video, audio and images, into bins and folders where you can easily find them when you need to place them on the timeline. They also offer superior enhancement options in the form of visual effects and tools, such as precision trimming, color correction, masking and key framing, that go far beyond what is possible in consumer-level applications.

How It Works

Even though they're more powerful programs, professional movie editing software applications possess all the functions their consumer-level counterparts have and follow a similar workflow.

You start by importing all the media you want in your project into the program. When you're working with this level of software, it's highly likely that your source material will come from several sources. The best movie editing software can import video and sound from high-powered movie cameras and audio equipment. Even video shot on lower-cost devices such as DSLRs, or even smartphones, work in these applications. With rare exceptions, if you can capture video, images or sound with a device, you’ll be able to use it with professional movie maker software.

Once your entire media is imported into the program, you'll need to organize it for easy access when you begin the editing phase. If you're creating a complex project, this task is usually time-consuming. The best video editing software makes this process as easy as possible by providing media-analyzing tools. These features help you review and categorize your project elements more effectively.

The editing module of professional movie editing software is where the magic really happens. Each of the eight products on our lineup have all the tools industry professionals use to produce the content that you watch in the theater and on your TV, computer, and mobile device. The toolsets found in these programs are so deep that it takes years of training and hands-on experience to master them. But if videography is your passion, you would be well served to invest the time learning these tools so you can produce the best possible results.

When you're done crafting your film or video, it's time to create the finished product. The best video editing software allows you to export your video from directly within the program. However, many of the products we reviewed come with sister applications such as Adobe’s Media Encoder or Apple’s Compressor. These programs give you more control over the finer aspects of your finished video like resolution, frame rate, bit rate, codec and more. These programs even allow you to configure your audio for surround sound systems that give your projects a more immersive experience.

What We Looked For, What We Found

Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. The software companies in our lineup had no input or influence over our evaluation methodology, nor were the methodologies provided to them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. The results of our evaluation were not provided to them in advance of publication.

Simply put, the top editing applications make your job easy and provide the tools you need to make a flawless final cut. We evaluated the best top video editing software based on the criteria below.

When you reach this level of sophistication in the video editing world, you'll find that most applications have very similar tools and feature sets. Indeed, you can import the same footage into any of the products in our review and achieve more or less the same results.

What differentiates one professional video editing application from another, however, is how well all the tools come together. This means that aspects of the software, such as user interfaces, workflow and usability, become extremely important in making your decision about which product to buy.

With each of the eight professional video software on our side-by-side comparison chart, our video editing experts evaluated the interface and workflows of each one. They determined the skill level required to operate each program: basic, intermediate and advanced. They also assessed their workflows to determine which programs are the most accessible, intuitive, and useful for the novice and veteran user alike.

If you are new to movie editing, you'll probably want to use a basic program like Magix Video Pro or Lightworks. Users who have experience with consumer-level video editing software should have enough skill to operate intermediate programs like Adobe Premiere Pro CC or Apple’s Final Cut Pro X.

More advanced programs like Avid Media Composer and HitFilm require special hardware and superior editing ability to operate the application properly. Users should honestly evaluate their editing prowess before purchasing one of these video editing applications.

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