With smartphone cameras becoming better every day, the gear you use to make videos is becoming less important. Video editing apps used to cost an arm and a leg, but not anymore. Today, there are many free apps out there that you can use to create professional quality videos. Here are the best free video editing apps for Windows.
Davinci Resolve: For the Power User
Davinci Resolve is a professional grade video editor by Black Magic Design. It’s the free version of Davinci Resolve Studio, which is an industry standard VFX, color grading, and audio editing suite. It’s the go-to product if you’re interested in powerful, professional-level video editing, with features like timeline-based editing, keyframes, advanced media management, plugin support and more.
Because of its professional focus, DaVinci Resolve is not the easiest software to use for beginners. If you decide to use DaVinci, you should be prepared for a steep learning curve. There’s a lot there.
It might not be the best choice if you just need to clean up and share a few home videos, but it’s a great tool if you want to take your videos just a step further. The free version has most of the same features as the paid version, with the exception of a few premium filters and a maximum export resolution of 3840×2160.
Hitfilm Express: Great for Editing and Exploring VFX
Hitfilm Express is an entirely free video editing and composition tool designed for professional video. Although primarily used for VFX and video compositions, it does include plenty of basic editing features. It’s a great choice if you want to start exploring the world of visual effects.
The interface of Hitfilm Express is simpler than Davinci, but there’s still a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never edited videos before.
Hitfilm Express is available for Windows and Mac computers, and supports 64-bit versions of Windows 8 and above. Hitfilm is also more demanding than some of the other editors we’re covering here, so you’ll need a decently-powered computer to ensure a smooth performance (check out the specs here).
The free editor includes a lot of functionality, and you can expand it by purchasing additional, more advanced tools.
Shotcut: A Powerful, Open-Source Choice
Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor available for Windows, Mac, and Linux based computers. For free software, it has plenty of professional editing features—like 4K video support, network stream playback, color grading, and more.
Shotcut supports almost all the popular video formats, so no matter which video source you use, you’ll be able to edit and export it to the format of your choice.
Shotcut supports Windows 7 and above and is available for both 32 and 64-bit systems.
Lightworks: Powerful and Customizable
Lightworks is another free video editor for Windows. It’s laid out a bit differently than other video editors, but it customizable enough that you can pretty much make it look and work however you want. It’s also powerful—enough that it’s been used by professional editors on a number of Hollywood movies (Wolf of Wall Street, The King’s Speech, Bruce Almighty, to name a few). Despite being made for professional use, Lightworks is also suitable for basic video editing.
It’s available in a free version or a Pro, subscription-based version. The free version does suffer some limitations. While the basic editing tools are present, and all import formats are supported, the free version can only export web compatible video (MPEG4/H.264) capped at 720p, with an option to upload directly to YouTube. You also won’t have access to advanced features like timeline rendering and FX plugins.
If you can live with those limitations, though, it’s a pretty good choice as a basic video editor.
VideoPad Video Editor: Great for Basic Home Use And More
VideoPad Video Editor is a free video editor that is designed especially for home users. It has a simple interface and plenty of effects available. For power users, VideoPad also has audio mixing, chroma key support, color correction, video speed controls, and many more features to play with. It also supports importing and exporting most common video formats.
Those are all the best free video editing apps available for Windows. The app that will work best for you will depend on your experience and your video editing skills. If in doubt, you can download them all and try them one by one to find out which one you like the best. After all, they are free.
Image Credit: recklessstudios/Shutterstock
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