Apple Macs have always been an incredible tool for creative projects, their portability and streamlined interface have ensured that the production of home video, movies and music is a real treat. Advances in connectivity and streaming have made sharing your projects even easier than before, but sometimes it can be tricky to know where to start.
There are a multitude of different options available today for the budding filmmaker, whether you’re a hardened professional looking to make your magnum opus, or a new beginner just looking to get vlogging. Either way, to create something smooth you’ll need some software.
If you fancy yourself as the next Stanley Kubrick, or even the next YouTube sensation, check out this list of the best video editing software available today!
Apple iMovie is the home video editing software that comes bundled in with every Mac, but unlike with most pre-installed software, iMovie has helped to set the bar for video editing for at least the last decade.
iMovie’s wonderfully simplistic style is probably the biggest selling point that puts ahead of the pack, with drag and drop controls and easily applied after-effects it’s a truly intuitive system. Also, as with many Apple products, the interoperability is something to behold, it’s never been easier to share your projects across different iOS devices with iMovie’s theatre mode.
iMovie does have its problems however, for a start it’s not the most complex software on the market and a seasoned veteran might find it lacking in some departments. There are plenty of PC based video editing programmes that can far outpace iMovie also available, but with that said, if you want simplicity and convenience you can’t do much better than iMovie.
Apple iMovie is available for £15 on the iOS app store.
Adobe Premiere Elements
Adobe Premiere Elements is an excellent middle ground and a strong starting point for anyone looking to getting in to creating and editing videos. Adobe’s video editing software has long been the market leader, largely in part due to its versatility when producing videos for a range of different purposes and standards.
Premier Elements is another piece of software in which simplicity is the name of the game, at least at a skin deep level. The programme comes with an exceptionally high number of editing tools designed for both simple creations and complex edits, enabling users to go as shallow or as deep as they need to during their edits.
However, if you’re looking for crystal clear picture or 3D rendering you might need something a bit more complex as the programme does not support 4K or 3D. Premier elements may also take some getting used to it at first, as the interface is not quite as intuitive as some of the alternatives, but given a few hours of experimentation you’ll be exporting your projects in no time
Adobe Premiere Elements is available from £69.00.
If you have the budget, the next top-of-the-range option might be for you
Apple Final Cut Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro has been a hallmark of video editing for some time now, but the latest edition has transformed the software into a truly professional piece of kit. Final Cut had fallen behind in the video editing space for a while, not really offering anything new or different, but X 10.3 has introduced some much needed tweaks.
Final Cut Pro now comes with a greatly refined editing functionality, new touch bar support, and a REC 2020 to ensure high quality delivery is fully supported. These new features combined with a few additional time savers might not seem like much, but they’ve been enough to truly breathe new life into the ageing programme.
Final Cut Pro marks a big step in a bold new direction for professional video editing software on Mac but there are a few points that could still be improved. Currently there is still no way to manage collaborative edits for multiple users, something that could prove a hindrance for larger projects and the ‘fully customisable’ workspace is also unfortunately not quite as customisable as you would hope.
Apple Final Cut Pro is available from £229.99, or free for existing users.
Filmora is one of a number of video editing programmes that established themselves as a viable alternative to iMovie. Chinese company Wondershare, created Filmora to capture that market, and it seems to have worked.
Filmora is another painless user interface designed to be accessible to anyone right out of the proverbial box. Simply drag and drop and cut and chop your videos until you get the desired effect, ideal for home movies to share with the family.
This software does have its share of problems however, the price may not seem like much but when you consider the amount of feature you’re getting, it’s not a terribly enticing deal. Filmora is perfect for absolute beginners but unfortunately things don’t get much more complex once you’ve gotten to grips with it.
If you’re feeling curious however, you it might prove fruitful to try the free companion app first.
Filmora is available from $59.99 for a lifetime license, or $39.99 for a yearly license.
Avid Media Composer
Avid Media Composer is one of the older video editing programmes out there, dating back to 1989, and for a long time it was considered one of the only true choices for anyone contemplating professional video editing. Of course, as time has gone on, the market has become increasingly more saturated the Adobes and Apples of the world have taken the lions share. However, that doesn’t mean you should consider Media Compose a write off, it’s consistent updates over the years mean that this old dog still has one serious bite.
It has to be said that this is the absolute top end of video editing software and certainly not for anyone looking to experiment, the price will definitely see to that. Media composer goes well beyond video editing and into movie production, films that have been produced using Avid include Mad Max: Fury Road, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Gravity, all Oscar winning flicks.
Of course, this is absolutely not for everyone, if home movies are more your flavour then you could probably spend the two thousand pounds elsewhere. However, if you have the technical know-how, and you think you can hold your own against George Miller, Wes Anderson, and Alfonso Cuarón then look no further.
Avid Media Composer is available from £1,900