Professional Video Editing Software Review

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Why Buy Professional Video Editing Software?

Editing is one of the most important steps in the video production process. Whether you’re creating a feature film, a TV show or a simple YouTube video, the editing station is where you build what your audience will see, hear and experience. While consumer-level video editing software will suffice for small projects, if you’re working on something that has a large audience, a big budget or many complex elements, you need the power and precision offered by professional video editing software.

The best professional video editing applications enable you to organize a wide variety of media types, including video, audio, images and more into bins and folders where you can easily find them when you need to place them on the timeline. They also offer superior enhancement options in the form of visual effects and tools such as precision trimming, color correction, masking and key framing that go far beyond what is possible in consumer-level applications.

We rated and ranked the best professional video editing software available. At the end of our evaluation, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer earned the top spots on our side-by-side comparison chart. We’ve also written informative articles about professional video editing programs to help you decide which product is right for you and your project.

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Professional Video Editing Software: What to Look For

The top editing applications make your job easy and provide the tools you need to make a flawless final cut. We evaluated the best professional video editing software based on the criteria below.

Design
When you get to this level of sophistication in the video editing world, you’ll find that most applications have very similar tools and feature sets. Indeed, you can take the same footage into any of the products in our review and achieve more or less the same results. What makes one professional video editing application different from another is how well all the tools come together. This means that aspects of the software such as user interfaces, workflow and usability become extremely important in making your decision about which product to buy.

Editing Tools
It is sometimes said that there is no such thing as “professional” software – only professional users. There is a degree of truth in that; a skilled editor can utilize any editing program to its fullest potential. However, what separates these applications from those on the consumer level is the power, precision and control you have over tools such as the timeline, chroma key, color grading, stereoscopic editing and much more. These are the tools that transform simple footage into movies fit for a mass audience and the silver screen.

Media Management
Projects that require professional video editing software often have massive amounts of footage, sound recordings and images to sort through as well as a wealth of disparate media types to deal with. The best applications can import, render and play back a wide variety of file formats. They also enable you to organize project elements intuitively.

Export & Production
When you’re done crafting your project, you need to get it off your editing station and out into the world. There are more and more ways to get your creation before the eyes of an audience, and the best professional video editors come equipped with comprehensive export options. This includes the ability to create deliverables fit for everything from a 50-foot screen to a YouTube window, and even disc authoring features for Blu-ray and DVD.

Professional video editing software enables you to transform your raw video footage into something special. It’s what allows you to tell your story in a way that is highly honed, polished and, most importantly, entertaining.

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Software » Multimedia » Professional Video Editing Software Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Premiere Pro Final Cut Pro Media Composer Sony Vegas Pro Magix Video Pro Edius Pro Lightworks HitFilm
Premiere Pro Final Cut Pro Media Composer Sony Vegas Pro Magix Video Pro Edius Pro Lightworks HitFilm
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Ratings
10.00
9.78
8.85
8.53
8.35
8.32
8.25
7.50
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
8.13
7.50
7.50
10.00
8.13
8.75
7.50
9.38
8.13
8.75
7.50
10.00
7.50
8.13
7.50
9.38
7.50
9.38
7.50
9.38
6.25
5.00
 
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Design
Interface & Workflow Excellent Excellent Good Fair Fair Good Fair Good
Skill Level Required Intermediate Intermediate Advanced Basic Basic Intermediate Basic Advanced
64-Bit Architecture
GPU Acceleration
 
Cloud Functionality
 
  
  
Editing Tools
Enhanced Timeline
Precision Trimming
Sequence Nesting
Effects & Transitions
Color Correction
Keyframing Tools
Title Designer
Masking
Chroma Key
Video Stabilizer
 
Stereoscopic Editing
 
Subtitle Creation
 
  
Media Management
Number of Importable Video Codecs 15 15 12 13 17 11 11 11
Dynamic Media Folders or Bins
Comprehensive Camera Compatibility
 
Multicam Support
 
Automatic Content Analyzer
      
Automatic Audio & Video Sync
  
   
Export and Production
Number of Video Codecs Supported 14 11 10 14 9 11 16 3
Number of Audio Codecs Supported 4 6 2 9 2 2 4 1
4K Support
Export for Other Applications
DVD & Blu-ray Authoring
  
 
Export to Web
 
 
Export to Mobile Devices
  
   
Operating Systems
Windows 8, 7   8, 7 8, 7 8, 7 8, 7 8, 7 8, 7, Vista
OS X 10.6 or Later 10.9 or Later 10.7 Later     10.7 or Later 10.7 or Later
Size of Installed Application (Gigabytes) 4 2.4 3.07 .5 2 6 .2 .3
Minimum Ram (Gigabytes) 4 2 4 4 2 1 2 4
Recommended Ram (Gigabytes) 8 4 6 8 4 4 3 8