Anybody can be a movie maker these days. All it takes is a decent smartphone and a little creative spark; it's never been easier to capture high quality video footage. Fortunately, excellent video editing software is equally easy to get hold of in 2019.
To make sure you pick out the right programme, we've rounded up a selection of the best video editors that make cutting, editing and perfecting really simple. And the software we've picked out won't break the bank, either. In fact, you can click through to page two of this guide for our list of the best free video editing software if you're not ready to commit to a paid option just yet.
With the right piece of video editing software, you can turn long, frustrating hours sat in front of your computer into a pain-free task with coherent movies, dynamic short films and sharable videos as a result.
The video editors we've recommended in this buying guide are jam-packed full of features to turn your footage into celluloid gold. Whether you're using one of the world's best laptops for video editing or another device, we've picked the best options to suit you. You'll find the best video editing software for Windows PCs, Mac and Android devices.
There are brilliant choices for beginners and experienced video editors alike, so read on to discover the best video editing software for your needs. On this page, we outline paid options, so if you're just looking for free options rather than paid-for choices, skip to page 2, which outlines our pick of free video editing software.
01. Adobe Premiere Pro CC
The best video editing software for Windows
Platform: Windows and Mac | Key features: Multi-cam editing, 3D editing | Video tracks: Unlimited | Free trial: Yes | Best for: Professionals and enthusiasts
Frankly put, going for Adobe Premiere Pro CC is a bit of a no-brainer. You get an all-singing all-dancing video editor from one of the hugest names in the business that's used by multitudes of industry professionals without paying stupid sums.
And it's easy to see why it's so popular for Windows 10 users – it can handle an uncapped amount of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source you can think of: files, tapes, cameras of all standards, and even VR. The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it's hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that really make your video stand out from the crowd.
02. Final Cut Pro X
The best video editor you can get for your Mac
Platform: Mac | Key features: Muti-cam editing, intelligent colour balancing | Video tracks: Unlimited | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Professionals and enthusiasts
What Adobe Premiere Pro is to Windows PCs, Final Cut Pro X is to Mac users. It's the best video editing software for Mac. And, as you would suspect with Apple software, the must-have editor is consummately easy to use and comes packed with enough features to warrant the admittedly high price tag. We like the grouping tools, effect options and the simplistic way you can add and edit audio. If you're already entwined in Apple's ecosystem, you'll appreciate how Final Cut cleverly coordinates with your Photos or iTunes collections.
03. Adobe Premiere Elements 2019
Great all-round video editor to suit most users
Platform: Windows and Mac | Key features: Video stabilisation, face detection, automatic motion tracking | Video tracks: Unlimited | Free trial: Yes | Best for: Professionals and enthusiasts
Adobe is an instantly recognisable name to most, and its Premiere Elements programme is a great choice for both beginners and experienced editors. It isn't as complex as the more heavyweight Premiere Pro video editor (listed at number one above), which is best suited to full-time video editing professionals. But Adobe Premiere Elements is packed with excellent features, such as face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks. And it's friendly to use, too.
Whether you're an editing newbie or a pro, automated functions – such as motion tracking and smart toning – will make your life a lot easier. And the same can be said of the video stabilisation option and simplicity of editing. Premiere Elements comes with all the video effects you’d expect in a consumer video editor: transitions, chroma-keying, opacity and so on. The media library is also intelligently organised, with smart searches making it easy to find finished and draft files.
Best video editing software for Android
Platform: Android, iOS | Key features: Instant preview, smart effects | Free trial: No | Best for: Beginners and lightweight professional use
If you think that trying to edit video on your smartphone or tablet is a pointless exercise, KineMaster will make you think again. Available for Android devices, iPhones and iPads, we've highlighted this option as the best video editing software for Android because it goes way above and beyond what you'd expect from a mobile app.
It packs the ability to edit multiple layers, add handwriting and text annotations, experiment with up to four audio tracks and precisely edit at a frame and sub-frame level.
We could go on with a looooong list of features, but at this price it won't hurt the wallet just to download the video editing app and give it a try.
05. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2019
Best video editing software for beginners
Platform: Windows | Key features: Real-time effects, colour correction | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Beginners
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate offers a great way into video editing for novices. It's brilliantly easy to get going with straight away, thanks to its interface, but you won't find it wanting for features.
There's multi-cam editing, 4K video support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library and loads of effects, to name but a few. Not bad at all for the price.
The more you use VideoStudio Ultimate, the more you'll notice and make use of its little features and flourishes. It's a great option for beginners, and still a pretty good option for more experienced video editors, too.
06. CyberLink PowerDirector 17 Ultra
Video editing software for experienced filmmakers
Platform: Windows | Key features: Multi-cam editing, 360-degree video, motion tracking (and loads more) | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Enthusiasts
This one isn't for the faint of heart. CyberLink PowerDirector is a serious bit of software for serious video editors: this is excellent video editing software that delivers professional and high-quality features, without a Hollywood budget.
Get cracking on the 100-track timeline and you'll soon find yourself making the most of multitudes of stabilisation and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking and surprisingly easy trimming.
There's 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. And if you're finding it all a bit of a struggle, then there are plenty of video tutorials to help to get you sorted.
Download CyberLink PowerDirector 17
07. Pinnacle Studio 22
Easy-to-use video editor if you're starting out
Platform: Windows | Key features: Multi-camera capture and editing, color controls, stop motion animation | Free trial: 30-day (money back guarantee) | Best for: Beginners
Going for Pinnacle Studio 22 is well worth considering if you've never edited video before and want to delve in for the first time. The pricing is below the average of those above and you can always bail out if you find within the first 30 days that it's just not for you.
But honestly, we'd be surprised if you need to. For in the region of $60/£60, you get more than 1,500 effects, titles, and templates, 6-track HD video editing, handy colouring tools, a dedicated stop motion feature, time remapping and much more. And most features are an absolute doddle to use. So it feels like a genuine step up from free options, without splashing stupid money.
Of course it doesn't have the full suite of features that some others in this list offer, that's not what Studio 22 is all about. And if you try and like the Pinnacle interface and tools, you can always upgrade to one of the company's more comprehensive packages.
Next page: The best free video editing software