Jun 28, 2020 This is Apple’s free video editing software, and it runs on both Mac OS and iOS platforms, so you can do you video editing just about wherever you go. For hobbyist and amateur filmmakers, Apple iMovie will have approachable tools to help you easily take your footage and edit a video.
The Mac is hugely popular among creative professionals, so it’s no great surprise that there are lots of video editing tools available for it. Whether you just want to add titles, transitions and a soundtrack, or you want to add Hollywood-style effects and access to professional color correction there’s a Mac application that will do the job.
The really great news is that many of these programs are free. You might expect that free video editing software would have fewer features or produce less professional results than expensive software, but many of the free tools featured here are more than good enough to produce professional-looking movies. The only downside is that they tend to have a steep learning curve and they don’t walk you through the process of editing. However, there are plenty of video on YouTube to help you get started. Here are the best free and paid-for video editing applications for the Mac.
Best free video editing software for Mac
Apple’s consumer focused video editing tool used to only be free if you bought a new Mac. But now everyone can download it free from the Mac App Store. It’s a brilliantly easy to use application. One of its best features are the movie trailer themes that allow you to create amazing cinema-style trailers in a few minutes.
If you want to create your own movies, there are tons of effects, transitions, sound effects and title styles to help you. And it’s easy to import your own audio tracks and photos and add them to your production. If you’re looking for a free video editor for Mac, iMovie could be the only tool you’ll ever need.
2. DaVinci Resolve
If iMovie isn’t for you, give DaVinci Resolve a try. It’s the free version of DaVinci Resolve Studio, but being free doesn’t mean there aren’t many features. It’s loaded with professional tools like some of the best color correction and image stabilization there is. In the free version, you can work at frame rates up to 60fps and export your movie in SD, HD and Ultra HD.
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It has a full digital audio workstation for sound editing, meaning you won’t have to leave the app to get the audio just the way you want it. It’s available on the Mac App Store, but if you want the full features of the free version, download it from the Blackmagic website.
Simple Video Editing Software For Mac
While DaVinci Resolve gives away lots of its high end features in the free version, the same can’t be said of Lightworks. There’s still plenty here though, including: effects, multicam editing, titling, and a timeline with multiple layers.
There’s also access to royalty-free video and audio content for you to include in your projects. However, output in the free version is restricted to 1080p on Vimeo and 720p on YouTube. And there are no detailed export options for H.264 or MP4. Also, if you want to use the free version for more than seven days, you’ll have to register.
OpenShot is an open source video editor with a user interface that’s much simpler than most. That doesn’t mean it’s short of features, though. It has templates for creating titles, effects, the ability to remove the background from your video, and slow motion and time effects. You can also create 3D animated titles and effects, there’s support for unlimited tracks, and for more than 70 languages. The interface isn’t the slickest you’ll ever use, and there have been question marks over its reliability in the past, but it’s definitely worth trying if you want a free video editor for the Mac.
5. Video Editor MovieMator
Video Editor MovieMator allows you to trim, split, move, and merge clips from a variety of different sources. It handles every consumer file format you’re likely to need and can import directly from your iPhone or GoPro. There are lots of built-in effects and transitions, and, of course, you can add titles too.
The interface is simple enough for most people to get to grips with quickly and the real-time preview makes it easy to see exactly how your video is coming along. There is a significant limitation on the free version of the app — exports are listed to videos that are up to five minutes long. Also, there is only one transition and a handful of effects in the free version.
Best paid-for video editors for Mac
1. Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro has come a long way since it was overhauled a few years ago and lost several features that caused lots of criticism to be directed at Apple. The fact that it’s designed by Apple means that it takes full advantage of hardware on the Mac, particularly the Mac Pro and iMac Pro. It pushes their multi-core CPU and GPUs to the maximum.
Features like the Magnetic Timeline 2 and Enhanced Timeline Index may be beyond the needs of most of us, but if you edit videos for a living, you’ll appreciate them. Support for up to 64 camera angles with automatic audio syncing is another feature that makes video professionals lives much easier. And of course, it supports the formats you would expect of a serious video editor including ProRes, RED, and XAVC, as well as H.264 from digital SLR cameras. When it comes to Mac video editing, Final Cut Pro X has all the bases covered.
2. Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Like all of Adobe’s professional products, Premiere Pro is only available as a subscription package and subscribing for a year will cost you almost as much as buying Final Cut Pro X outright. However, if you prefer your video organisation tools and especially the timeline to look and work like a traditional non-linear video editor, you may prefer Premiere Pro over Final Cut’s Magnetic Timeline.
In other respects, Premiere Pro is very similar to its Apple rival, offering a full range of audio editing and color correction tools, as well as effects, support for multiple formats (including Apple’s ProRes) and all the output options you’re likely to need.
One area where Mac users will notice a difference is in rendering performance, particularly on a high-end Mac like a Mac Pro or iMac Pro. Adobe’s application is designed for Mac and PC and so optimized or for the Mac’s multi-core CPU and GPU the way that Final Cut Pro is.
3. Adobe Premiere Elements 2018
The simplest way to describe Premiere Elements is that it is to Premiere Pro what iMovie is to Final Cut Pro. But Elements and iMovie are two very different apps. For a start, while iMovie is free, Elements costs $100. The other main difference is that Elements is set up to automate much of the process of creating your movie masterpieces. So, for example, Quick mode takes the clips and other media you’ve imported and throws them together on the timeline, you can then re-order them, trim them and add transitions and other effects. Even here, however, the emphasis is on letting Elements do the hard work for you. So, press the Fix button and it will apply image stabilization and other ‘fixes.’ If you want to be more involved, a guided mode prompts you with onscreen tips. Of course, if you’d rather work completely manually, you can. Elements doesn’t make it as easy to import media as iMovie does, and you’ll have to download much of its additional content, like music scores, individually.
FIlmora allows you to import clips from your Mac’s hard drive, a camera, and even from social media accounts. It has a somewhat quirky interface, that may take some getting used to if you’ve used other video editors. But it has plenty to commend it including lots of effects, titling options, and audio controls. It’s neatest feature could be the lighting preset options that allows you to emulate the look of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, or House of Cards at the click of a button.
How to make space for video on your Mac
Working with video editing software means you need lots of free space on your Mac’s main drive — video clips use several gigabytes of space for every hour of content, and that’s before you export the final version. You should also make sure your Mac is running at its optimal speed, you’ll need every ounce of power to render video.
One quick and easy way to both improve your Mac’s performance and clear space on its hard drive is to use CleanMyMac X. CleanMyMac identifies “junk” files that sit on your Mac’s drive, taking up space and slowing it down. It makes removing the files very easy and could claw back tens of gigabytes of space. You can download it free here.
The best video editing software for Mac is, ultimately, the one that does what you need to do in a way that you enjoy working. There’s lots of Mac video editing software, and much of it is free. Take time, try out as many applications as you can and choose the best one for you.
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Why do you need a free video editing software
As with any good video in order to get it right it’ll need some edits. Editing your videos shouldn’t be that expensive either as there are some good, free, safe and easy to use video editing software in the internet.
Video editing has been made easy by tools that are readily available online. However, not all programs do what they're supposed to. A lot of such freeware packages are harmful and contain spyware/adware. Nevertheless, there’re a lot that are quite professional and there are even some that come without watermarks.
As there are so many on the market, we’ve put together a selection of 7 of the best free video editing software on the internet.
7 free and easy to use video editing software
Some of the software listed below are all recommended for either both Windows and Mac.
Openshot is a great free video editing software for beginners who wants to edit YouTube videos. It has a very easy drag and drop facility that is much like that of iMovie and it’s excellent for making special occasion films.
- The software is available for PC running Windows 10, 8 and 7. It’s also compatible with Linux and Mac platforms.
- It caters for both the novice user and the more experienced one.
- The program’s advanced timeline allows for panning, scrolling, zooming, snapping and easy drag and drop.
- The package comes with a whole trove of 3D animated subtitles, you can create titles or choose some from the hose of templates it has.
- The software is a full open source system.
- It doesn’t have a very comprehensive help section.
If you’re looking for a professional video editing system then Lightworks is one of the best on the internet. This software is jammed full of useful utilities and features that more meet the needs of any user. It comes with a $25 per month Pro Version but the free version is more than adequate for most people’s editing needs.
- Video trimming to the highest precision standard.
- It supports almost all video formats and allows for 720p video export to Youtube.
- It comes with all the standard and advanced video features.
- It’s one of the top packages for all kinds of video editing.
- The software is supported on Windows, Linux and Mac operating system platforms.
- The video support in 4K for YouTube is only an option in the paid Pro version of the software.
- It’s not user-friendly for a beginner.
As with most iProducts they’re relatively easy to use and come with just enough utilities and features. It’s a really great package in which anyone with a Mac can learn the basics of video editing. iMovie has easy to use drag and drop features, it’s very intuitive but there is only so much you can do with this software.
- It’s one of the best program packages for Mac users to learn how to edit a video.
- Its features are very easy to use.
- 4k/60fps Video Recording with the Sony IMX377 Image Sensor capturing high-quality video in full High Definition (HD) and 12MP still images.
- Available only on Mac.
- The software has limited features.
- Slow / sluggish rendering time.
Windows Movie Maker
Movie Maker is a hand free app that comes with Windows. It’s a very easy to use and simple piece of software that allows a person to add various background music, effects, titles and transitions to their videos. It has come a long way since it was first released.
- It’s a system application that comes standard with Windows 7, 8.
- Easy to use timeline for adding clips.
- Has all the basic functions like slow motion, speed-up, trimming, video playback preview, etc.
- Enables the user to edit and capture feed direct for the PC camera.
- Excellent for beginners wanting to learn how to do some video editing before going into a more complicated application.
- Only available on the Windows 7 and 8 platform.
- Limited functionality and features.
- Windows 10 no longer supports Movie Maker. For the OS you have to get Movie Moments from the store.
- People experienced in video editing will be limited with this application.
VSDC Video Editor
VSDC is one of the best apps. However, the problem with this application is that it’s only available for Windows users. It’s also quite expensive to get support on a problem because the free version doesn’t come with free support. The will charge you a monthly cost of $9.99 or a yearly one of $14.99. If you choose to buy the Pro version for $19.99 the support is free, and it unlocks a host of great functions.
- The software is available only on the Windows Operating System Platform.
- Although VSDC free version comes with some power packed features, it does lack in quite a bit of powerful features and functionality.
- VSDC comes standard with audio editing and correction of color.
- The software is really easy to use.
- Most of the features are available only in the Pro version.
- Support of the product is free only for a paid Pro member or if you pay for a month / a year.
If you’re looking for a software to learn how to edit, then this option is for you. It’s very easy to use and it has some great basic features and tasks. Avidemux is powerful in its simplicity and gives the novice user a great place to build the video editing knowledge.
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- Simple video editing applications for beginners.
- The software hasn’t got a lot of technical jargon, you don’t really even need to read the manual or help documents.
- Few basic editing functions like filtering, encoding and easy cutting features.
- It’s really limited in its functionality and features.
- The app is not designed for anything other than the simplest video editing.
VideoPad is one of those small applications that end up being hugely surprising. It’s like a super version of Movie Maker.
- For use with most Windows Operating system platforms.
- Simple and has great features that are helpful for a beginner user.
- It has a lot of powerful editing tools that even more experienced user will find it good for video editing.
- The software is compatible for video uploads to media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
- It supports various video file formats giving a wider editing choice.
- The editor is completely free for people who are using it for non-commercial use.
- Handy drag and drop features for quick easy timeline video creations which is good for making special occasion film montages.
- It comes loaded with special video effects, features and filters.
- The software has several different transition setting.
- It doesn’t have as many special features and effects as some of its competitors.