Are you looking to transform your raw footage into a work of art? Even if your budget is next to nil, you can create powerful videos by using free video editing software online.
Whether you are making videos for yourself, or sharing content on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and the like, these free programs top the built-in features on social media platforms. Let’s discuss the top 5 free video editing software picks of 2023.
The Best Of The Free Options
It’s easy to dismiss anything that’s free as an inferior or suspicious offer. However, all of the tools discussed below have immense value for those with video-making ambitions.
Granted, some editing programs have watermarks or advertisements that you’d rather not see. But after you’ve explored these free software options, you may wonder why anyone would pay hundreds of dollars for a paid service.
Versions: Free only
Available for: Mac
Believe it or not, the default video editing software that comes pre-installed with all Apple devices is still the frontrunner. They offer all kinds of filters and transitions to improve the look and flow of your video. Alongside its free catalog of audio and sound effects, its integration with iTunes gives you additional ways to score your videos.
iMovie still has limitations, but they’re offset by the software’s glitch-free flow. Sure, it would be nice to have more than two video tracks to work with, but that simplicity brings focus – especially for social media videos.
The relative ease and navigation of iMovie’s controls make it a no-brainer for beginners. Added bonus? You’ll never get prompted to upgrade to a paid service, which is more than we can say for some of these options…
Versions: Free or Paid ($12.99 per month)
Available for: Mac and Windows
Next to the straightforward layout of iMovie, HitFilm Express might appear too sophisticated. However, if you’re looking to graduate to a slightly more advanced software, this one is ideal for you. Not only does it help you craft expert-level videos, but it can boost your editing skills to a semi-professional level.
In addition to the standard editing options, HitFilm distinguishes itself by offering sleek animation tools and 3D effects. Plus, you can utilize special effects, 360-degree editing, and 4K video, which are typically restricted to paid video editing software. If the learning curve doesn’t scare you off – and you don’t mind HitFilm asking you to share a social media status update when you download it – you’re golden.
Versions: Free or Paid ($23.99 per month or $389.99 for life)
Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Lightworks has a ton of respect in the industry, given that the pro version was responsible for editing Hollywood favorites like Pulp Fiction, Moulin Rouge, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
The free version, meanwhile, is also very satisfying, although it requires some time to get familiar with. Lightworks features instant autosave, color correction, and built-in video effects, among a ton of inventive ways to trim, cut, and split your video.
You can export your videos in different formats, including MP4, AVI, and MOV, but some users may wish they could export in higher quality and more formats. Once you’ve watched their orientation video, Lightworks’ free software offers incredible value. It also leaves the tantalizing question of what they’re saving for the paid subscribers…
Versions: Free and Paid ($295.00 for life)
Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Long considered the most advanced free video editing software on the market, DaVinci Resolve provides a professional package. From 8K editing and impeccable audio post-production to dynamic zoom and motion estimation, this is as advanced as free software gets.
Despite its comprehensive set of features, the free version lacks the 3D editing and the more eye-popping visual effects of the paid version. Expect restrictions on the quality of the resolution and the output video, as well. Plus, be aware that the free version doesn’t support some high-end camera formats.
Evaluate Your Needs
As you can see, amazing video editing software is free for the taking in 2023 – but that doesn’t make the decision for you. Rather, it’s important to gauge where your skill set is and which software will compliment your goals. Are you looking to get started in video editing? Or, are you a seasoned filmmaker eager to sample new software on the cheap? Plus, are you editing a short clip for social media or a feature film?
Let these questions guide your research. Evaluating the perks and limitations of these choices will help you decide whether simple and effective (iMovie) or a professional editing software (DaVinci Resolve) is best for you.