The Best Video Editing Software of 2023: Our Top 7 Picks
Video editing is a complicated job, and you need both skill and powerful tools to do it well. If you’re working on more than casual clips, you soon hit the point where iMovie just doesn’t cut it anymore.
That’s when you start looking for the best video editing software. There are plenty of options out there… which doesn’t really make taking your pick easier.
After all, choosing a new editing software usually means laying out serious money. And that’s not all: you’re also committing a lot of time to actually get fast and productive using it.
Ideally, 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.
As video editors ourselves, 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 simply the pro editing software across the industry. YouTube creators use it just as much as professional video editing companies.
But most importantly: We think it’s just 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 can throw at it. You’ll also get to utilize Adobe’s AI tool – Adobe Sensei – to automate parts of the process, speeding up tedious work.
A big 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, which lets you create high-quality motion graphics. The mobile Premiere Rush is technically a separate 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 earn back the investment.
The subscription does mean 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 on both Windows and Mac – which can’t be said for most video software.
2 - Final Cut Pro
- User-friendly interface
- Great for Mac users
Though also 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 Apple’s ecosystem. Among other things, this means you can easily access photo and music libraries, even if they aren’t stored locally. Additionally, the software lets you take full advantage of Apple’s hardware capabilities. This has become a little more important now that the company makes its own chips.
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 big 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.
All things taken together, Final Cut Pro is a really high-quality video editing platform. If you’re the kind of user who likes trying out all the options, Apple offers a generous 90-day free trial.
3 - Cyberlink PowerDirector
- Powerful, 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 truly vast set of useful tools.
In fact, you’ll get to use 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.
Cyberlink offers both a lifetime purchase – with a small discount for version upgrades – and a subscription. The latter also gives you access to Shutterstock and iStock for royalty-free footage and photos.
4 - Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
- Easy to learn
- Limited tools for professionals
- Expensive for limited scope
Corel is a household name in the video editing industry, and VideoStudio 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), VideoStudio 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.
Corel also recently added an Instant Templates feature. This makes it easier and faster for you to produce videos in a consistent style. This is pretty useful for creating videos for a whole series or a channel.
This may not be the best option if you’re looking to produce truly professional-quality videos. But, if you aren’t entirely committed to video editing yet, it’s a great intermediate tool to master. Note that VideoStudio 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 stepping stone before you decide on a high-end option. To produce beautiful 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? There’s a free version – and not the kind that slaps watermarks on your clips. Instead, it puts professional-grade video editing tools at your disposal, from key framing and compositing to multi-cam editing and color correction. For beginners in serious video editing, this is a great start.
For professionals, the paid 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 comparable to tools like Final Cut Pro, and cheaper in the long run than subscription-based software options.
Blackmagic also makes a range of pretty good YouTuber cameras, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema series. DaVinci Resolve Studio is included if you buy one. Naturally, the software is particularly well suited to footage from these cameras.
7 - Apple iMovie
- Free for Mac users
- Easy to use
- Minimal tools
Honestly, if this list were longer, then iMovie would still be at the bottom. It’s really a few tiers below the other entries.
Why, then, do we still want to talk about it here?
Well, that’s because iMovie is the most popular editing software among new creators. That’s likely because it’s free, super-simple, and there’s no commitment. Other than your time, that is.
The interface is somewhat similar to Final Cut Pro. This gives you a decent starting point if you’re hoping to move on to Apple’s professional option later. Of course, it doesn’t have anywhere near the same tools and capabilities.
In its latest version, iMovie is even capable of 4K editing. That said, don’t expect to make a real income creating videos with it. Importantly, it has no 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 pros here 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. For casual use, most of the other tools on this list are plenty good enough.
If you prefer creating videos over 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.