Mastering video editing is crucial and all depends on how much time and resources you’re willing to spend here. Options are plenty, let’s go through some of my favourites.
When I’m on the road, I sometimes like to edit videos on my phone – either for social media or if the project isn’t too complicated (just trimming shots and adding music). Sometimes, I come back from a trip and have a tight schedule so I find it hard to have loads of photos and videos I have to edit so it’s great to finish those while still out. I have an iPhone so to achieve that, I use iMovie. It is perfect for simple projects and I can send the edit to my MacBook later and finish it in either iMovie again or even Final Cut, which is incredible! When I do very long trips and cannot carry the laptop with me and need to produce daily quality content, I use LumaFusion, which costs about €30. Otherwise, I think that computer software is a much better bang for your buck if you want to invest in editing.
For Android, I can recommend YouCut, which is a great free video editing software capable of simple editing on the road and exporting full HD without a watermark.
Let’s start with a free program called Shotcut. Shotcut is a minimalist open-source video editor, which has very limited features but is easy to get a grip on if you’re just learning the ropes. I would say it is a great way to start. The layout of the software is similar to more professional programs but you won’t be overwhelmed by features from the get-go.
For Mac users, there is iMovie for free and it is great for basic editing. You can also import the project from your iPhone app to continue working from the computer. If you have a Mac computer and just want to try basic video editing, this is a great app to go for.
GoPro has Quik, easy-to-use editing software for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. If you own a GoPro, download this software no matter whether you chose another one alongside it. It’ll get you the most out of your little camera and it is not limited to GoPro cameras, though, as you can upload any videos into it and edit them together.
If you don’t feel like installing any software, there is also the Online Movie Maker which works on any computer as it runs through your browser. The features are very limited but you won’t have to install anything to create the video. It is also loaded with commercials but if you don’t mind that, it is good enough for some simple edits.
For a long time, before I finally decided to put in the necessary hours to learn how to use a pro editing software, I enjoyed a program called Movavi. It costs a little over €50 a year. I liked it because it is very easy to use but it can still deliver amazing results if you don’t need to add big effects to your video.
When it comes to more professional video editing, there are basically three big names right now. They are Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut and Blackmagic Davinci Resolve. Premiere Pro is what I use. It is probably the most advanced, offering the most features overall, but also comes at the highest price. Premiere works as a subscription-based software, which costs about €18 a month whereas Final Cut and Davinci Resolve both come at a one-time payment of about €250 so they are way cheaper in the long run. Davinci also has a free version, which is already packed with features.
Music is the secret ingredient of videos. To put a video on the internet, you need to be careful to have a licence for the music you are using. Don’t worry, there are simple ways to make this happen. Some of the programs I mentioned here have their own small library of music you can use but chances are you will get bored of that limited selection very soon. The easiest way to get royalty-free music is through the YouTube Library. Someone already took time and put loads of free music there – you can access it from your YouTube account and download and use any songs there. Another source of some free music is Bensound, there are some free songs and others as a one-off purchase.
Then there are many subscription-based libraries with a ton of music. Most of the music is professionally made and you can find a good song for any video type. There are many options when it comes to licences and pricing (if you are not getting paid to make the video, you mostly need just the basic licence) so I will just mention a few here. Artlist is where all the subscription-based music thing started so they have a big library. I use Soundstripe or Epidemic Sounds to choose the music I like. There is also a fun app to make your own music (in a way) called Filmstro.
Now that I gave you a general overview of what are my favourite editing tools, I will try to make it easier for you to get a hang of this by creating three different recommendation bundles. Hobby, Enthusiast and Pro.
This means that you like to take photos and videos on your trips but they usually end up somewhere on your hard drives and you never take the time to get back to them. So, the best way here is to start your edits on the phone. If you use a GoPro or DJI Osmo Action or your phone to take the shots, get YouCut if you are on Android or iMovie on iPhone. It is by far the quickest and most accessible way of editing a video.
If you are willing to spend some time getting to know the software and want to be able to make advanced editing, I think Shotcut is a great way to go for free as it offers some of the advanced features. Or if you are willing to invest a little, Movavi should be your choice. And if you really feel like jumping into it, consider even Blackmagic Davinci Resolve.
So you really want to get into it. You found the information here pretty understandable and have it all sorted out. If you want to fully delve into video editing, I would suggest starting with the Blackmagic Davinci Resolve. Right now, it is the best free editing software on the market. It used to be a colour-grading software only, used by professionals, but recently they added editing as well as effects, which makes it a beast for both beginners and pros.
The free version is very complete and offers most of the important features. If you are willing to spend some money, you can either purchase the Davinci Resolve Pro or go for the one-time payment for Final Cut if you are on Mac. They both cost the same and are equally equipped to create a masterpiece video.
As you can see, there are – like with anything these days – tons of options. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference and what works best for you. There are budget restrictions but there is no limit when it comes to creating a basic video to show your friends. The most important thing is to start. Many of the editing software options are pretty similar so once you master one, it is not that hard to understand the other. So, get any of the apps mentioned above and start creating your first epic video!