Prologue: This topic idea came from nowhere not knowhere. If it came from nowhere then how did I come about writing this topic in the first place? Nowhere is a place in everyone’s head. When you are not thinking about anything and your mind runs through the void. That’s what nowhere is like. Ask any writer. A moment when your mind goes blank – not thinking about anything and then suddenly the idea pops up!
Video editors are thee most essential software you will need if you plan on YouTubing for a long time. The level of work in editing will depend on the type of niche you are concentrating on.
For example, creating animated videos, infographics, explainer videos not only requires hard work but also a good video editor.
I have highlighted these aspects in my previous blogs: more the quality, more the video editing. It is that simple. Only you can define how much work you require to make quality videos. The journey can be rewarding along the way as you learn and discover various aspects of video editing. Now you don’t need to get the top-notch video editors in the market.
All video editors the free and the paid ones have more or less the same features and have similar interfaces. Your challenge will be to learn and discover how some features work like they do while some features are non-existent in free versions.
Options exist in various forms from free and open-source to paid.
My post will help you narrow down as close as possible to the right software that you will need.
Choosing the right video editor:
Define your work. Let me give you my example: I make gaming videos. When I started I used Kinemaster because it was close to the video editor resembling the PC software. It still does and future updates have made it even better. It is so good that I upgraded to the paid version.
If I had a PC, I would look for something free, something like free and open source. My video editing requirements does not entail much work. I was looking for something basic, some features like merging videos, making a decent intro, panning and zooming without pixelating, title effects, lower 3rds, chroma-key, etc.
Gauge your requirements accordingly.
Checking out paid video editors:
Adobe Premiere, though industry standard, is unaffordable and an overkill. I don’t have any plans for freelancing into video editing not now nor in the distant future.
Sony Vegas pro did cross my mind initially. I could afford a non-subscription based software. Just buy it and you own it for life. Trust me when I say this: despite the market providing ample provisions for choosing the right software, it is always better to check it out.
Meaning, download the demo version or better still check with your friends who have this software. After you have checked it out and are satisfied with the features then, perhaps, you can narrow down your choices.
Alternatively, you can also check dedicated video editing tutorials to get an idea of the software’s capacity strictly based on your requirements. At the end of the day, it’s your money and your investment should yield good returns.
Don’t be hasty in making this decision. That is because once you buy the software mistakenly thinking as the right one for you, you will not only feel discouraged but also feel demotivated and demoralised, albeit temporarily. That is why you need to properly plan.
Let me encourage you to maintain a personal diary where you can make notes and refer it in the future.
I do have a personal diary, but I prefer making mental and online notes instead.
If the most expensive video editor fulfils all your requirements then you are most welcome to buy it as long as you can afford it. Remember, top-notch software can be very demanding on hardware resources. It is important to align your software requirements based on the hardware configurations you would be investing in.
Before getting into video editing, you must have a powerful PC. the specs will be similar to that of a gaming rig.
No matter what configuration you choose, it is pertinent that you future proof your hardware to render 4K resolution videos as well. You may not develop the need right now, but you are bound to realise the importance down the line.
My video editing-cum-gaming rig!:
Why do I edit videos on my smartphone rather than the PC? Simple, my PC is not powerful enough to accommodate a video editor.
I had plans of upgrading my current rig to the mid-range rig middle of the year – that’s about this time. Let’s face it, 2020 is not a favourable year to upgrade.
With the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic hampering the plans of most people, most of my plans have taken a back seat.
It is equally important to understand the commitment involved in YouTubing. I always say this, no matter how easy your niche is – YouTubing is not for everyone. So, don’t jump into uncharted waters if you don’t have a plan of where you are heading, take the plunge only if you know how to swim!
Run-down of some video editors in the market.
Adobe Premiere Pro:
When I was hunting for video editors by checking them out on YouTube, I found out that Adobe Premiere Pro is by far the best one out there. But the drawback is the subscription-based model makes it an overkill for simple video editing based applications. It comes with a free trial so you can test it’s potential before opting for it.
Adobe Premiere Pro is a software what I call as an industrial-grade because small and large studios alike use it due to its industrial-grade features. I would strongly recommend checking out the features. Usually, most video editing software has a laundry list of the features mentioned on their website. So, if the paid version is what you are looking for I would strongly suggest you start from here.
I have never used it, but I have checked its features. I have also seen on YouTube what Premiere Pro can accomplish.
Drawbacks: With what I understand, access to Adobe stock footage is optional. If you can manage to source footage from elsewhere on the web then subscribing to this is optional. If you decide to go for it, then you will have to pay an additional subscription price.
My opinion: Best for extensive industry-level editing. Film studios and production houses use it extensively. Many films have also used it. I don’t prefer a subscription-based pricing model that isn’t cost-effective.
Kinemaster offers me around 1600 INR (discounted price) that is about 21 USD for a year. The actual price is around 2300 INR that’s around 30 USD. 1600 INR/year is a steal!
Conclusion: if you are heavily into video editing that requires extensive work and if you can afford it then Adobe Premiere Pro by far is the best option according to me.
Adobe Premiere Pro is the only video editing software I checked out extensively. Sony Vegas Pro is another option you can check out.
Free Video Editing software:
Options are aplenty. Most free and open-source software work similarly, however, I find it hard to make a selective comparison between them.
My first choice is Shot Cut Pro. Feature-wise it can give head-to-head competition with the paid versions out there. I have come across this software extensively online and I am much in awe of its features. Of course, don’t compare it with Adobe Premiere Pro.
Conclusion: If your work is more than just basic, I would recommend this. Again, I have not yet used it much. Please check out some YouTube videos that give a comprehensive breakdown of its features.
Other options are OpenShot, Avidemux and VSDC. For a comprehensive list, you check out a post from Oberlo.in.
I have used all of the three above to a little extent. For basic editing, the top three are your best choices by far. You could also check reviews of the above software online to get a better idea and how do they compare against each other.
What you should know about “Free” software:
The general habit what people like you and me have is to Google search “Free video editing software” in the search bar.
Google then throws its search results describing the corresponding links to software as free. What you should understand is even though these software quotes as “free” it is not “free” in the real sense of the term.
For example, Filmora is available on the mobile and PC version. It is NOT free. They have an active blog that is helpful and most of the time any video editing, audio editing search results will take you to their website. I would suggest you visit the blog as they have links to other “free” software out there.
Some trick what these so-called self-professed “free” software deliberately do not mention is the watermark that will be embedded in all your videos unless you buy the pro version. Some even do not mention the presence of these watermarks. You will realise it only after you have rendered it. You will mostly encounter this in Android apps.
If these unheard of video editing apps are capable enough to fulfill your requirements then, by all means, buy them.
No matter what video editing app you choose, make sure it is worth your time, requirement, energy and investment.
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