The Mac-exclusive Final Cut Pro X is the very definition of a prosumer video editing program. Descended from a much more expensive professional tool, it attempts to bridge the gap between consumers who want something powerful but easy and affordable, and professionals who can't bear to lose a single piece of functionality.
VideoPad Video Editor is an affordable, entry-level video editing application that's particularly powerful for creators who want to publish their videos to YouTube or Facebook. It's easy to use, and it makes the workflow of social publishing much easier than it is in some other apps. The social publishing features include, for example, the ability to easily fill out all the metadata (description, title, tags, and so on) for your YouTube video and upload it directly from the application, ready to go, without even touching YouTube's web publishing tools. Videopad has all the basic home editing features, though it doesn't have the machine learning, facial recognition, and other cutting-edge technologies you see in some more expensive programs. Speaking of the price there's a free version, but it has some critical limitations.
Hitfilm Express takes aim at indie filmmakers with great tutorials and powerful features. Its unconventional interface could turn off true amateurs who just want to make a home movie, and it has an unappealing download procedure, but it's still a great choice if you want to start making fun videos that mirror the sorts of effects and techniques you see in professional films and web series.
Nero Video Editor may not be as well known as Nero's DVD burning and copying software, but its video editing program walks the same path. It's an affordable and reliable consumer video editor with a heavy emphasis on creating videos that you will export to physical media. That means support for things like the Ultra HD standard for Blu-ray, and robust tools for building out DVD menus and functionality in addition to your standard video editing tools. In terms of features, the editing process is quite standard. Nero Video 2017 has plenty of effects and transitions, and we were pleased to find that many of them support 4K.
The best free video editing software can be surprisingly good. The choices vary widely and include include scaled-down, trial versions of professional suites, open-source alternatives with a plethora of features, and simple applications aimed at home video creators. Our top picks will be functional for many users, across many use cases.