Best Cheap Video Editing Software For Mac

Posted By admin On 16/02/22

Chances are, there are hundreds of videos languishing on your smartphone, DSLR or compact camera. Instead of letting it collect dust, why not polish it up to share with family and friends? That's where a good video editing program comes in.

  1. Free Editing Software For Mac
  2. Best Editing Software For Mac
  3. Best Cheap Video Editing Software Without Watermark
  4. Best Budget Video Editing Software For Mac
  5. Best Video Editing Software For Macbook Air

Among the paid software, only one — Adobe Premiere Elements 2019— is truly cross-platform, and it emerged as our top pick. Despite its lack of emerging popular technologies, like 360-degree video handling and multicam editing features, it's the easiest video editor to learn and use, and offers plenty of advanced functions, such as guided edits and a revised home screen.

CyberLink PowerDirector 16 is the best video editing software for Windows, featuring a dazzling array of tricks and treats; plus, it's great for editing 360-degree videos, too.
Ed. note: PowerDirector 17 is now available; stay tuned for our review.

  1. If the potential cost of video-editing software is holding you back, then have no fear. We've gathered together a list of the best free or cheap apps you can use on your Mac.
  2. HyperEngine-AV is a free video editing software for Mac used to capture, edit, organize process, and export video, audio, and text to create DVD quality movies and slide shows. It comes with twelve studio-quality effects from Arboretum's Hyperprism suite of audio processors.
  3. Whether it’s for a video team, a hopeful future in the movie industry as the next Hans Zimmer, a career in music production and editing, or just for creating some sick ringtones for your phone, an audio editing software is going to be at the very heart of your setup; and that’s where the problem really lies — choosing a good audio editing software, or a DAW can be quite a daunting task, what with the variety of software available out there.

Best Video Editing Software for iPhone Every new iPhone comes with the iMovie app preinstalled. This is a great option for most Apple users because it complements the software's desktop version very well.

Apple’s iMovie, which competes only with cross-platform free apps and Adobe Elements, is the obvious choice for the best Mac video editing software, thanks to its outstanding output, themes and trailers, macOS integration, and features that encourage good moviemaking skills.

For the best free software, HitFilm Express gets the nod for its abundant cinematic capabilities and stylish interface. If you often share your videos on YouTube and other social media platforms, the free, cross-platform VideoPad is your best option.

EditingBest Overall

Adobe Premiere Elements 2019

Adobe Premiere Elements continues its long reign as the overall best consumer video-editing app, with new automated features and simplified workflows for quick video editing.

Best for Windows

CyberLink PowerDirector 16

PowerDirector 16 makes it easy to edit 360-degree videos, but there are a lot of other great features in this program, too.

Best for Mac

Apple iMovie 10.1.8

iMovie gives Mac users an easy way to get started creating high-quality movies from videos shot on all kinds of devices.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Reasons to Buy
Supports new HEVC and HEIF file formats for images and videos
New home screen provides continuous access to all functions and apps
Auto-generated slideshows and photo/video collages make social media sharing quick and easy
Intriguing new guided edits
Reasons to Avoid
Some aspects of automated video trimming seem counterintuitive
No support for HEVC and HEIF file formats on Windows
No support for 360-degree video
No support for multicam editing

When it comes to user-friendliness, sophisticated features and ways to output your video, nothing beats the cross-platform Adobe Premiere Elements. For 2019, Adobe streamlined the Quick Edits interface, making it all the more easy for novices to jump in. The company's AI now creates collages and slideshows automatically, and can also trim the fat off your videos.

Read our full Adobe Premiere Elements review.

Best for Windows

CyberLink PowerDirector 16

Reasons to Buy
Advanced editing control over 360-degree footage
Professional color matching, toning and effects
Reasons to Avoid
Needed to reinstall the app following a Windows 10 update
Certain color lookup tables are not compatible with the program
Motion-tracking techniques felt a bit awkward at the outset

CyberLink PowerDirector offers a dazzling array of fun, advanced video editing features wrapped in a stunning, easy-to-use package. For this version, Cyberlink has beefed up its 360-degree capabilities, making it far easier to edit 360 videos.

Ed. Note: CyberLink PowerDirector 17 is now available, and features such improvements as better green-screen editing, nested video editing, and multi-cam editing. PowerDirector 17 Ultra is $99, while PowerDirector Ultimate, which includes 360-degree video editing, is $129.

Best for Mac

Apple iMovie 10.1.8

Reasons to Buy
Professional-looking themes and trailers
Theater feature shares movies to all Apple devices
Reasons to Avoid
Lacks multicam, motion tracking and 360-degree features

Apple iMovie is the ultimate Mac video app for novice filmmakers, combining professional trailers and themes,abundant special effects and an easy-to-learn interface. Version 10.1 added 4K editing and sharing, as well as extended handling to video shot at 1080p and 60 fps. Recent updates tweaked the interface and added Touch Bar support for the latest MacBooks.
Update (June 2019): iMovie is now on version 10.1.12. Recent updates have disabled sharing videos to iMovie Theater and Facebook; you have to save your movies to iCloud Photos to watch them on other devices including Apple TV.

Read our full Apple iMove review.

Best Free Video Editor

HitFilm Express 9

Reasons to Buy
Reusable templates
Reasons to Avoid
Publishing features are not intuitive

For version 12, the free HitFilm Express has a redesigned, more intuitive interface and plenty of powerful features. While meant for prosumers—there is a bit of a learning curve—beginners shouldn't have too much trouble creating YouTube projects.

Read our full Hitfilm Express review.

Best for Beginners

Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2018

Reasons to Buy
Split-screen video facilitates elaborate video collages
Broad 3D-text support
Reasons to Avoid
Certain advanced features got really dense

Corel VideoStudio, an outstanding editing package for beginners on the Windows platform, is a powerful but easy-to-learn app for anyone who wants to make simple videos quickly without fussing around with complex controls. Its spare but inviting interface offers 360-degree video editing, enhanced lens-correction tools, and 3D text editing.

Read our full Corel VideoStudio review.

Best for YouTube

VideoPad

Reasons to Buy
Supports 360-degree camera editing and output
Best budget video editing software for mac
Reasons to Avoid
Lacks some advanced features like multi-cam editing and motion tracking
Certain features time out of the free non-commercial program
Difficult to tell whether you have downloaded the free or trial version, especially in Windows.
VideoPad Home Edition
VideoPad Masters Edition

VideoPad is a comprehensive cross-platform software package for the YouTube social media crowd. While this app lacks the flashy, whiz-bang appeal of some commercial apps, it’s still a rock-solid choice for simple video editing. From the main menu, you can choose which social network you want to upload to. The app offers a number of YouTube choices ranging from 480p to 4K, as well as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and Google Drive, and is free for non-commercial use.

Read our full VideoPad review.

Best for advanced enthusiasts

DaVinci Resolve 15

Reasons to Buy
Free with no limits or watermarks
Exquisitely deep app for color grading, compositing and audio production
Reasons to Avoid
A powerful computer is needed for high-end graphics functions
No direct export to social media
DaVinci Resolve 15

A powerful pro-level app, cross platform you’ll want to use a system with discrete graphics to get the most out of this editor. The latest version of DaVinci incorporates Fusion, previously a stand-alone application, which brings with it four high-end video-production modules for editing, color correction, audio production, and video effects and motion graphics. This video editor is quite powerful, but has a bit of a learning curve. If its 256-page manual doesn't intimidate you, high-level enthusiasts will find a lot of tools at their disposal.

Read our full DaVinci Resolve review.

How We Tested

We tested more than a dozen programs — paid and free — on consumer Mac and Windows laptops for more than 100 hours, to see which are the best for editing, as well as sharing your videos with friends and family.

We evaluated all of the software based on functionality, ease of use, performance, sharing options and new features in the latest versions. We also judged the packages based on real-life uses for a number of categories, including best overall, best free app, best for beginners, best for YouTube maestros, best for Mac users and best for Windows platforms.

Free or Fee?

There’s no reason for the occasional video jockey to fork over any cash, as there are plenty of free apps available for both Windows and Mac. But while the deciding factors for free and paid software may appear to be based on cold hard cash, that’s not the whole story.

People who are looking for a more powerful editor with a variety of built-in resources, responsive technical support and more would be better off dropping some cash on a video editing program.

However, there’s a third option: You can download software such as VideoPad or HitFilm (which offer all of the basics) for free, and then purchase additional features à la carte as your experience and needs grow.

Speed

Performance results are important, but they’re not critical components of software evaluations, because depending on your hardware setup, your mileage will vary. By comparison, ease of use, interface and features carry more weight than export clock speed. Nonetheless, as a single measure among many, speed testing provides valuable comparative information.

As several of the programs on this page have been updated with newer versions since their initial review, we are currently in the process of re-testing them. At the same time, we are upgrading our testing platforms, from laptops with integrated graphics to those with discrete GPUs. This will better reflect the improvement in performance from apps that can take advantage of discrete graphics cards. Stay tuned for the results.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Overall:Adobe Premiere Pro at Amazon, “the cross-platform, uber-popular timeline-based video editor that’s long set the standard for video editing software.”
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall:Nero Platinum 2018 at Amazon, “centralizes your media so you can organize, manage and play all your files in one place.”
  • Best Value:Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate at Best Buy, “offers a host of post effects that put this thing way out of its price class.”
  • Best for Macs:Apple Final Cut Pro at Apple, “treads the line between a consumer product and one for professionals who need powerful editing tools.”
  • Best for Windows:Movavi Video Editor 14 Personal Edition at Amazon, “makes it fun and easy to create wonderful videos even for beginners.”
  • Best for YouTube:Corel VideoStudio Pro X10 at Amazon, “with over 1,500 customizable effects, transitions, and titles, there’s something for everyone.”
  • Best for Vloggers:Sony Movie Studio 13 at Amazon, “can directly upload to Facebook or other social media for fast sharing.”
  • Best for Smartphones:Adobe Premiere Clip at iTunes, “perfect for creatives whose videos are bound for social media channels like YouTube and Instagram.”
  • Best for Beginners:Corel VideoStudio at Amazon, “includes storyboard mode, which helps users draft the exact vision they have in mind.”
  • Runner-Up, Best for Beginners:Magix Movie Edit Pro at Jet, “runs on most modern Windows machines, up through Windows 10.”
  • Best for Professionals:Vegas Pro 15 at Amazon, “with an intuitive set of controls that takes the best of Final Cut, Premiere and others and merges them into one.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Adobe Premiere Pro

The granddaddy of video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro is the cross-platform, uber-popular timeline based video editor that’s long set the standard for video editing software. Capable of tackling nearly any type of video format, Adobe’s software is ready to produce video for any type of professional production, including film, television and the Web. Premiere Pro offers enough horsepower to handle 360-degree virtual reality video to 8K footage all in native format. It can even import and export footage from competitive software such as Final Cut Pro.

While most professional-grade software can handle multi-cam editing, Premiere Pro goes one step beyond, handling as many sources as necessary with as many angles as required. The inclusion of the bundled Lumetri Color Panel allows advanced color adjustments to be handled with ease. Additionally, Adobe’s integration with After Effects and Photoshop adds even more reason for professional grade editors to choose Premiere Pro.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Nero Platinum 2018

Even if you’re an amateur you can feel like a professional filmmaker with Nero Platinum 2018 video editing software. If you're looking for a program that goes beyond just video, Nero Platinum 2018 could be the multi-tasking master in your arsenal. This multi-faceted program allows you to create, edit, burn, convert, organize, stream and play back all kinds of media, including videos, photos and music. This version includes 18 new movie design templates, 18 new disc menu templates and 12 design templates that are made to complement vertically-formatted video from your smartphone. In addition to its great editing features and 4K quality, Nero Platinum 18 also centralizes your media, so you can organize, manage and play all your files in one place.

Best Value: Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate

Free Editing Software For Mac

Corel’s Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate gives you everything you’ll get with the standard copy of Pinnacle Studio 21, plus a host of upgraded features. It does everything the lower version will do: giving you seamless editing interface, the ability to work in full HD, as well as a great set of features for laying out a perfect story with video. But, it will also offer you a host of post effects that put this thing way out of its price class.

For starters, they’ve added in some crazy seamless morph transitions to help you blend together all the parts of your visual story. They’ve thrown in a pretty unique paintbrush filter effect that will work in tandem with already-shot video, letting you transform raw, live footage into living animations. Not only does Studio 21 Ultimate offer support for uploading 360-degree video but they’ve included a surprisingly intuitive set of trim, edit and control features for 360 video that will let you ensure your viewer gets the exact immersive experience you want.

Finally, rounding out their set of flagship additions, they give you the ability to include a motion-tracked image-blurring filter over the top of any element on the screen, meaning you can protect the identity of someone’s face, their license plate or anything else you’d prefer not to be in your final product.

Best Editing Software For Mac

Best for Macs: Apple Final Cut Pro

Apple’s Final Cut Pro X software falls into what we call the “prosumer” category because it treads the line between a product for consumers who want to up their video-editing game and one for professionals who need powerful editing tools. It lacks a traditional timeline-track interface, which is enough to scare some users off, but the software is intuitive and powerful nonetheless. It has great organizational tools like libraries, ratings, tagging, auto analysis for faces and scenes, and automatic color coding for track-specific clips, useful keyboard short-cuts and drag-and-drop media importing give Adobe’s Premiere Elements a run for its money. Unfortunately, you can't directly open projects from Final Cut Pro 7 or earlier, but there are many third-party plug-ins that will help you out there.​

Best for Windows: Movavi Video Editor 14 Personal Edition

Best Cheap Video Editing Software Without Watermark

With Movavi Video Editor, it’s fun and easy to create wonderful videos even for beginners. Simply drop your media files onto the timeline and use the Windows-friendly editing tools to customize. Like most video editors, the Movavi Video Editor allows you to make basic changes to your clips by trimming, cutting and rotating them to any angle. With this software, however, you can also become your own movie producer by using multiple filters, transitions, titles, stickers and special effects. Show multiple videos on one screen with the picture-in-picture tool or freeze the video at any frame for added emphasis. Make video cards to send to family and friends or preserve vacation memories in a format people will actually want to watch. Automatically improve video quality with Magic Enhance, or manually adjust color parameters like brightness, contrast and saturation for better viewability. Movavi Video Editor even helps you minimize annoying motion distortion with the stabilization tool.

Best for YouTube: Corel VideoStudio Pro X10

When it comes to video editing for YouTube, almost every app does it well, but Corel VideoStudio Pro X10 does it better. With nearly every feature and tool that you need at your disposal (including transitions, effects, titles, templates and more), Pro X10 offers an outstanding array of production level value.

Support for 360-degree VR, 4K, Ultra HD and 3D media help round out the export opportunities available with Pro X10 and, while they may not all be supported by YouTube now, it’s good to know you have the capability for when they are. The user interface isn’t for beginners, but within a short amount of time, you’ll be a master at capturing, editing and sharing.

Added features such as time remapping for including slow motion, high-speed effects or freeze action are complemented by easily grouping or ungrouping clips on a timeline to edit in bulk or one at a time. With over 1,500 customizable effects, transitions and titles, there’s something for everyone. Even as the video itself is the focus, custom fitting your project with a soundtrack is handled well with custom-fit audio allowing your movies to both look and sound good.

Best for Vloggers: Sony Movie Studio 13

Sony Movie Studio 13 was made with the digital filmmaker in mind – once you’ve edited your video to your satisfaction, you can directly upload it to Facebook or other social media for fast sharing. Create video in beautiful 4K (ultra HD) XAVCS, or AVCHD to give your vlogs a high-production, professional feel. Movie Studio 13 Platinum is touch-enabled, too, so you can create and edit movies even faster using your PC’s touchscreen. With large, easy-to-use buttons, fewer menus and the popular Simple Edit Mode, Sony Movie Studio 13 makes video editing fast and easy, so you can keep up with the Internet’s viral pace. The software also comes with ACID Music Studio 10 and Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 to take your online media up a notch.

Best for Smartphones: Adobe Premiere Clip

Premiere Clip is your iOS/Android connection to Adobe’s most powerful editing programs: Premiere Pro and Premiere Elements. It’s part of the Creative Cloud ecosystem, which means you’ll need an Adobe ID to access it, but both the app and an account are free for all.

Premiere Clip is perfect for creatives whose videos are bound for social media channels like YouTube and Instagram. You can easily import video clips from places like your phone, Lightroom, Creative Cloud and Dropbox, and then use the app’s Freeform editor to trim or split clips, adjust exposure and highlights, add audio and more. And, of course, you can add filters, which is a given in today’s social media sphere.

Best for Beginners: Corel VideoStudio

Corel’s Windows-only VideoStudio offers an equally robust set of features comparative to Adobe or CyberLink’s product line. Right off the bat, it’s easy to see why VideoStudio is a great option: It offers support for 4K, 360-degree VR, multi-cam editing, as well as a large library of royalty-free music. Beginners will quickly learn to appreciate features such as 'checkmarks,' which can either let you know which clips you’ve already used or can apply effects to all the clips currently in your timeline at once. Additionally, voice detection helps you match subtitles to speech in your video clips.

Purchasing the full version of VideoStudio Ultimate X10 adds a whole extra set of options that beginners will quickly love, including multi-monitor support, easier title creation, and even stop-motion animation. Corel supports almost every output format imaginable, so it's ideal for sharing socially or for hosting online for the world to see. Another highlight for beginners is the inclusion of storyboard mode, which will help draft the exact vision they have in mind for a finished product without wasting hours and days on edits that may never see the light of day.

Runner-Up, Best for Beginners: Magix Movie Edit Pro

Magix is a bit of a sleeper as far as movie editors go, and honestly it does fall short in some of the higher level features that you’ll find in the big dogs like Final Cut and Adobe Premiere. But let’s start with the basics of what makes it great for a beginner, and that’s the fact that, well, it handles the basics really well. First off, it’ll run on most modern Windows machines, up through Windows 10, which is great for beginners because those people most likely won’t have the budget or desire to shell out for a Mac. So it’s software that will work out of the box for your affordable Windows machine. According to their website, the software has been going strong for 15 years, delivering upwards of 93 percent customer satisfaction on its iterations.

It starts with its simplest feature: a storyboard mode that allows you to lay out your narrative on a simpler, at-a-glance screen. That way if you don’t want to drill down to the details, you don’t have to get bogged down with all kinds of extra proprietary controls. But if you do want to drill down to a more detailed approach, you can do so with its Details mode that allows you to mix in 200 multimedia tracks, giving you seemingly endless possibilities for your project.

There are tons of in-program effects such as transitions, titles, credits, captions and even included audio scores, meaning you won’t get held up at any step of your editing process. There are panning and shift capabilities, high-quality post-processing zoom, as well as a plethora of color filtering plugins to give you the look you’ll need, even if the raw footage isn’t quite there. You’ll have the ability to export your movies in up to 4K resolution, and the software even supports 360-degree video projects. It’s a great powerhouse for beginners.

Best for Professionals: Vegas Pro 15

Best Budget Video Editing Software For Mac

If you want something that is aimed more at the professional from a marketing standpoint, it couldn’t hurt to look into the Vegas Pro line. On its 15th iteration, Vegas has introduced a ton of new features, from hardware acceleration harnessing Intel QSV to a picture-in-picture OFX plug-in, all the way to a super intuitive new instant freeze frame option for referencing shots without stopping workflow. If you opt for the premium, upgraded package (which won’t run cheap), you’ll even get an exhaustive package of NewBlueFX fIlters to color your projects like a true Hollywood flick. What’s interesting about Vegas, and what we think gets overlooked, is they’ve attempted to give you an intuitive set of controls that takes the best of Final Cut, Premiere and others and merges them into one. Sure, it might not have the streamlined, Adobe CS-friendliness of Premiere, nor is it even compatible with Macs, but that’s OK. The workflow in this might just give certain users who can’t quite jive with the other guys a place to truly shine.

What to Look for in Video Editing Software

Best Video Editing Software For Macbook Air

Platform - If you’re looking for a new video editing software package, you’ll want to look into whether if it is available for your platform before continuing to dig into it any further. If you have a Windows PC or a Mac, check the software manufacturer's website to see if a version is available for your device.

Experience - Are you brand new to video editing or a seasoned professional? Some video editing software packages can feel extremely intimidating with an endless number of settings and dials. If you are new to the game, consider picking out a started solution from companies like Corel and Nero.

Price - Professional video editing software packages and cause hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If you are looking to edit videos of your family events, you most likely won’t need the features in the professional suites. If you’re keeping it simple, don’t spend over $100 on your software of choice.