Creating video is more than just juxtaposing clips and sound together on a timeline. It is story telling at its most elegant, complex and stylish. Telling your story with precision, power and prestige requires the tools and features found in professional video editing software. All the skills you've learned cutting your teeth in consumer-grade applications have prepared you to dive head first into the professional realm.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Apple Final Cut Pro X and Sony Vegas Pro 11 all require an investment in both time and money. Realizing the full potential of these applications demands hours of patience, practice and passion. Features such as key framing, rotoscoping and the chroma key give you the ability to take your videos to a level that is simply unachievable with consumer-level editing software.
In addition to our reviews of the above-motioned products, we've also created articles about professional video editing software that show you exactly what's possible with these powerful applications. If you are looking for simpler applications for smaller projects, check out our video editing software site.
The programmers that built these applications are not just software engineers; they are also professional editors themselves. They bring experience and expertise to each application. Therefore, there is very little they've left out.
We rated and ranked the best professional video editing software in the following categories:
Professional video editing software goes far beyond timelines, effects and transitions. The best moviemaker programs provide advanced tools such as mutlicam support, animation tools, color correction and more. These tools allow you to not only arrange audio and video clips in the right order, they enhance the work you've done with the camera.
You may have already become familiar with many of the tools from your time in the consumer-level editing programs. You'll be pleased to find that they work on the same principals and offer a wider range of control and more power than their consumer counterparts.
Capture & Playback
The best video editors are compatible with footage from high-end cameras and sound equipment. The movie editing software you choose should give you the ability to capture content found in anything from an iPhone to a DSLR or a RED camera.
A better playback image means you can choose high quality shots. High quality rendering gives you a crisper view of the video you are editing. Additionally, the introduction of features such as background rendering and enhanced media organization greatly reduce the downtime associated with video editing.
Export & Production
Export options are critical to any project. How you intend your audience to view your video weighs heavily in the choices you make about export options, such as resolution, aspect ratio and file format. For example, if you are exporting a feature film onto a DVD, you want the highest resolution possible for HD viewing. If you're making a video for the web, you probably want a smaller file format such as an MP4 for quick uploading to services such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Ease of Use
A professional video editor goes through years of training to learn how to use these applications to their full potential. For them, using all these applications and their features seems to come naturally. However, for amateurs and self-taught editors, they are quite daunting. Each of the products on our lineup has a consumer-grade counterpart that follows the same principals as its older sibling. Professional video editing software should be at least somewhat accessible to those who have a basic understanding of video editing.
Help & Support
Graduating from consumer-level applications to professional video editing software should be as painless as possible. To this end, the manufacturers create in-depth tutorials and offer classes on how to use these programs as well as on best practices for creating projects that keep an audience's attention. These tutorials are in addition to well-established support avenues such as phone, email and FAQs.
Making the leap from video enthusiast to professional video producer takes passion, stamina and willingness to learn. Professional video editing software provides wonderful creative opportunities to anyone who is equal to the task.
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|Adobe Premiere Pro||Final Cut Pro||Sony Vegas Pro||Magix Video Pro|
|Transitions & Effects||100%||100%||75%||65%|
|Slow / Fast Motion Effects||100%||100%||80%||80%|
|Titles & Scrolling Credits||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Trim / Fade Audio|
|Change Aspect Ratio (16:9 or 4:3)|
|Number of Video Tracks||Unlimited||99||Unlimited||99|
|Number of Audio Tracks||Unlimited||99||Unlimited||99|
|Capture & Playback|
|Import HD Video|
|Import SD Video|
|Capture from Analog|
|Capture from HDV/MiniDV/DVD|
|Set Capture Size Limit|
|Set Capture Time Limit|
|Drag and Drop|
|Capture from AVCHD|
|Capture from XD Cam|
|Export & Production|
|DVD & Blu-ray Authoring|
|iPod, PSP Video Files|
|Super Video CD (SVCD)|
|Windows Media (WMV, AVI, ASF)|
|Upload to Web|
|Export to XML|
|Help & Support|
|RAM||4 GB||2 GB||2 GB||1 GB|
|Hard Drive Space||10 GB||2.4 GB||500 MB||1 GB|