Adobe Premiere is a cool video editing software with all its interesting features. However, this subscription-based tool is also quite expensive, especially for individuals and small businesses. But why do you worry when there are so many other video editing tools available out there.
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In this post, I’m sharing video editing tools that can be the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere. These tools offer most features you need for creating and editing videos. Not convinced enough? Take a look at the following list and decide for yourself.
The first and best alternative in my list is Apple’s Final Cut Pro X – a fast, feature-filled, non-linear video editor with an intuitive and streamlined interface. It works on several formats, organizes media using metadata, and offers superb performance.
This video editor brings Magnetic Timeline 2, supports Touch Bar for automatic color coding and for creating 3D titles, making 360-degree edits and adjusting clip sequences.
Final Cut Pro X handles 4K video files like any other resolution and offers fast rendering and multi stream playback for quicker editing. And it offers an easy media handling panel and optimizes exports for Blu-ray, DVD, podcasts, QuickTime and YouTube.
- Offers a powerful yet usable interface with new and improved functionalities that are almost comparable to the interface of Adobe Premiere.
- A collaborative workflow with access to media from shared libraries using Adobe Anywhere, while it’s only available for enterprise users of Creative Cloud.
- Supports MacOS only while Premiere works on both Windows and MacOS.
- Reduces user’s control and automates the task when clips auto-snap on one place in the timeline, which expert users may find restrictive.
Price: Free for 30-day trial and $299.99 for pro version.
Platforms supported: MacOS X 10.11.4 or later.
As a primary Windows user, I find the interface of Vegas Pro smooth and intuitive with a flexible layout to edit videos but it’s not as simple as that of Final Cut Pro X. It’s perfect for you if you wish to create stunning videos without a high-end computer.
Just like Final Cut Pro X, Vegas Pro supports working on HD-enabled ProRes codec videos to produce high-quality results. And the tool avails impressive title templates along with animation schemes and smart zoom and upscaling features for easy editing.
- Offers built-in support for 3D video manipulation that’s almost as good as Premiere.
- Allows automation of tasks using its scripting technology, and these scripts helps you to create a simple and straightforward workflow for greater productivity.
- Only powerful video editor that allows running multiple instances simultaneously for working on various projects at a time, thus improving multitasking.
- Supports Windows only while Adobe Premiere also works on MacOS.
- Quite expensive for a basic video editing software as you can use Adobe Premiere Pro for 25-30 months in the same price.
- Few tools like motion tracking are not available and its multi-cam editing feature is weak and slow as compared to Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.
Price: Free for trial version and $599.00 for full version.
Platforms supported: Windows 7 and above.
Lightworks is one of my favorites because of its cross-platform availability that helps me work on my videos on different systems. It has a customizable and intuitive interface, which is used by professional filmmakers to edit large-scale feature films like Pulp Fiction.
You will find Lightworks to have a decentralized canvas of free-floating windows, which lets you customize the interface along with the keyboard controls. And like others, it supports multi-cam editing with “Auto Cam” and more useful features.
Lightworks also supports macros to automate tasks and speed up editing. You can create macros and then use them to automate a set of tasks in multiple projects. It’s fast at rendering videos as well as importing or exporting them, and supports exporting to web formats for sharing or uploading to networks like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
- Offers enhanced VFX with enhanced effects that customizes transitions with many preset animations and supports independent media layers.
- Allows project sharing for groups or teams with true real-time collaboration and access control for the users [like Final Cut Pro X].
- Supports dedicated hardware console and keyboard for professional video editing.
- Free version limits resolution for export formats including formats for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo.
- Advanced features are not available in the free version like project sharing, timeline rendering, etc. and are available only in its professional version.
Price: Free with limited features and £14.99/mo or £249.99 for pro version.
Platforms supported: Windows, MacOS and Linux.
A free cross-platform video editor, DaVinci Resolve impressed me with its responsive interface, responsive playback engine and advanced color correction tools. It’s capable of handling large files including 4K footages and exports to web formats for YouTube and more.
Its latest release brings awesome features including Fairlight audio tools for working with 3D audio formats and supports real-time mixing, routing, bussing and much more. And the new collaboration toolkit supports multiple people working on a single project simultaneously and avails multi-user features like chat, bin locking, timeline comparison and more.
Like others, Resolve supports multi-cam editing and offers all basic editing tools like transitions, speed effects, facial recognition and many more. I also noticed fast import and export with this tool, especially for high-res web formats. Moreover, its projects can be migrated to other video editing suites like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere.
- Avails powerful Fairlight Studio for working with audio streams like a professional, which can handle up to 1000 audio tracks without affecting performance.
- Offers superb multi-user collaboration so that video editors, colorists and audio mixers can work together on different parts/tasks of a single project.
- Supports dedicated, creative hardware control panels for absolute professionals.
- Limits multi-cam editing to 16 sources but Adobe Premiere supports unlimited.
- Requires high-performance computers with high-end graphics to work efficiently.
Price: Free limited version and $299 for Studio version.
Platforms supported: Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Last but not the least, I present to you Kdenlive, an open-source video editor that does not cost a dime. It has a simple, customizable and theme-able interface, which is not as good as its costly competitors but it does get the job done for newbies and professionals.
Its performance is somewhat comparable to its competitors, for example, its latest three-point editing speeds up inserting clips on the timeline. The latest version of Kdenlive supports effect rendering and pre-rendering in the timeline, creating videos with numerous effects and transitions, and also features fast, real-time playback like DaVinci Resolve.
The free tool avails almost all the must-have features for a video editor such as multi-track video editing, support for numerous audio/video formats, audio and video scopes, timeline and much more. However, I found the interface to be sluggish as compared to the above editors and I personally think that a better interface will improve productivity of Kdenlive users.
- It’s the only open-source video editor in this “top 5 alternatives” list.
- Supports proxy editing the videos, which makes use of low-res copies to allow fast editing on any computer, and then renders those editing to its original copy.
- Doesn’t offer team collaboration features as provided by few others, which is especially crucial if you’re a small or medium business with a team.
- Being an open source product, you can’t expect innovative features or advanced tools from Kdenlive as readily as available from its premium competitors.
Platform supported: Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Which will I pick? DaVinci Resolve if I’m looking for a free but powerful alternative to Adobe Premiere. And I’ll choose Final Cut Pro X or Lightworks Pro (per the platform) if I’m looking for a superb video editor for doing big, professional video projects.
DaVinci Resolve is also the right choice if I’m an heavy-duty video or audio professional. And for creating or editing simple or basic videos, I can also work on the freely available Kdenlive. It is also beneficial for businesses who wish to create their own video editors.
Can I offer an advice? Please do check out the trial or free version of these before going for a pro version. It will ensure you’re buying the right product per your requirements.
What’s your favorite choice among above video editors? Do you use any other video editor? Don’t be shy and tell me via the comments below, please.
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