Video Editing

Oct 28, 2020

Best Video Editing Software for Beginners in 2021

If you are looking for the best video editing software for beginners for 2021, you have come to the right place!

Video is increasingly important on the internet representing more than 60% of all traffic. Using the right beginner-friendly software ensures you get it right and claim your share of that good stuff!

To help, we have collected together the best video editing tools for beginners, which will support you in getting more likes and shares for video content on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok. 

Or you can just create something that will impress your friends and family and give you creative satisfaction.

The best video editing software for beginners

So, what do we have on this list? A choice of three all-in-one video editors, including the industry-standard and the best app to edit video on your phone. 

There are special effects video editing software for beginners, such as stop-frame animation, timelapse, and placing your subject somewhere else entirely. 

Finally, social media managers will add a professional, branded touch to content and quickly introduce closed captions to watch without sound. 

There’s plenty of free video editing software on the list – to suit all budgets – freemium and paid. 

Enjoy! 

1. Apple iMovie 

Who’s it for?

  • Video editing beginners with a Mac (it’s free!)

System

  • Mac OS, iOS

Photo credit: Apple iMovie

Key Features

  • Quickly make an impressive looking and fun video with Trailer mode
  • Magic Wand tool to auto boost audio and video quality
  • Slider-based contrast, saturation, and temperature adjustments
  • 30 video and 20 audio filters
  • Speedshift
  • Backgrounds for presentations
  • Transitions
  • Interoperable with iMovie for iPad and iPhone; simply Airdrop!
  • Share button

Subscription plans or cost (for paid tools)

  • Free with a Mac

Pros

  • Excellent filters
  • Learn film production with Trailer mode
  • Quality video editor
  • Logical, easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent for the zero price tag

Cons

  • Hasn’t been recently updated
  • Transitions and Trailer formats are overfamiliar to some

Description

We simply had to start our guide to best video editing software for beginners with an old favorite. 

iMovie is a comprehensive video-editing program for beginners familiar to every Mac user – because it comes free with every Apple computer! 

Choose between Trailer mode and standard Movie modes. 

The trailer mode tells you which shot types to include, when, and how long and creates a video from the result. It’s like having a movie-making coach. 

In the classic Mac movie-making layout – also used in Final Cut Pro X – iMovie’s clips appear in a source window (once you import them from Media). You can scrub them to select and add them to one of the two video tracks. Click the plus button rather than by dragging if you find it more comfortable. 

Watch the results in a third window that Mac Pro users can control with the touch bar. The „magnetic“ timeline means clips cling together, and you never get gaps in your footage. 

With Magic Wand tool for audio and video improvements, multiple filters, and a little cousin for iPhone editing, iMovie is a high-quality piece of software which is let down against its (free) competitors because it hasn’t been revised for more than five years. 

Download the latest updates from the Apple App Store. 

2. KineMaster 

Who’s it for?

  • Video editors on the go
  • Gacha users

System 

  • Android
Photo credit: Kinemaster

Key features

  • Specifically designed for mobile devices
  • Edit multiple layers
  • Add handwriting and text annotations
  • Experiment with up to four audio tracks
  • Precisely edit at frame and subframe level

Cost or subscription 

  • Free 
  • $4.99 (£3.49)/mo 
  • $39.99 (£18.49)/year (this comes with a free 7-day trial)

Pros

  • High rating on App Store and Google Play
  • Quality animation
  • Simple to use
  • Great for making an intro
  • Free version has plenty of features

Cons

  • No Windows or Mac version
  • Watermark and no 1080 in free version
  • Users like it but report glitches and trouble exporting video after update
  • No autosave

Description

A video editor for beginners designed explicitly for mobile devices – you can shoot, edit, and post all from your phone.

You move clips from your camera roll or gallery to the editing timeline and apply effects, transitions, or filters from a media panel or clicking the clip itself.

There are color filters, cropping, rotation, opacity, and a chroma-key tool. You can find more effects in the app’s Asset Store.

The software also allows you to layer one timeline over the other, and you can use keyframes to dictate the start and end of transitions.

KineMaster gets excellent reviews from users, many of whom say it’s the best of the best. However, there are questions about the stability of an October 2020 update.

3. LumaFusion

Who’s it for?

  • iPhone and iMac users wanting to graduate from a beginner phone video editor

System 

  • iOS
Photo credit: LumaFusion

Key features

  • Rich, generously featured video editor for mobile devices
  • Layer audio, video, and photos in the same frame
  • Compatibility for 120 and 240 FPS slo-mo and time-lapse video files
  • Live audio track mixer
  • Edit on an external video display
  • Chroma-key

Cost or subscription 

  • $29.99 with in-app purchases for Storyblocks and FCPXML export

Pros

  • All-in-one editor on your iPhone
  • Great guidance and customer service to help you master the advanced capabilities
  • Most popular iOS video editor with 4.8 App Store rating
  • Strong on audio editing
  • Careful guidance and strong customer service and community

Cons

  • Rather complicated interface
  • Some users find it fiddly on an iPhone
  • No Android version

Description

So, you want to push yourself? LumaFusion is a step above and beyond a lot of the video editing you might expect to do on an iPhone or iPad. There’s not much it can’t do.

There’s a project manager that lets you duplicate, add notes, color-tag, search and sort your projects for easy organization, 

You can browse, drag-and-drop, and import media from cloud storage, flash, network drives, and several storage sites such as Photos, GNARBOX, and WD Wireless. 

There are 6 video/audio tracks for photos, videos, audio, titles, graphics, and 6 other audio tracks for music, narration, etc.

The app also displays 4K video in real-time with no effort, even when previewing six at 1080p HD.

You can apply almost infinite effects with layers by combining chroma key, blurs, distort, styles, and color. And there are dozens of transitions.

And you can make notes and comments about clips and tag in seven different colors.

The software is particularly strong in audio, offering auto-ducking of music when dialogue comes in and the ability to change panning and level of audio via the keyframe.

The 4.8 rating in the Apple App store shows that it does almost everything brilliantly.

4. Microsoft Hyperlapse

Who’s it for?

  • Instagrammers with a sense of fun
  • Anyone wanting to speed up „progress“ footage in teaching or other videos

System 

  • Android

Key features

  • Create hyper-lapse (sped up) videos at speeds from 1x to 32x times normal.
  • Stabilization smoothness
  • Import existing video
  • Multiple HD Resolutions: Save in 720 or 1080p
  • Stabilize-only mode

Cost or subscription 

  • Free

Pros

  • No processing needed before you see the video
  • Can be used as a standalone stabilizer

Cons

  • Users note unstable on longer videos
  • Won’t save to SD card on some phones
  • No longer supported 

Description

Effectively editing videos is all about the narrative, taking the viewer from one place to another using the power of images. 

Hyperlapse video is a handy way of bringing your fans with you whether you are cycling from one campsite to another, potting a plant, or painting a cosplay helmet. 

Leave the camera rolling and then shrink it down to 30 seconds. 

It’s a very satisfying, memorable, and professional effect. 

Microsoft Hyperlapse uses image stabilization to create smooth videos impossible without expensive tripods and other equipment. 

This is the best bet from a bunch of hyperlapse software because it supports stabilize-only mode, 1080p in the paid version, and you can import and speed up existing footage. 

5. Unscreen 

Who’s it for?

  • Creatives, meme-makers, and professionals looking to replace green screen

System 

  • Web browser 

Key features

  • No more green screens/chroma-key
  • Removes video background 100% automatically and free
  • Easy upload process
  • No need to pick pixels, select colors, paint masks or move paths
  • Trusted manufacturer of remove.bg
  • High accuracy 

Cost or subscription 

  • Free up to 10 seconds‘ video with a variety of subscriptions or payment plans

Pros

  • Quick and easy process
  • High-quality output
  • Unlimited 10-second videos for registered users
  • Simple professional upgrade for longer videos

Cons

  • Watermark on the free version
  • Some glitches to be improved in the experimental technology
  • Browser only, no app

Description

Removing and replacing the background of a video used to take many hours, even for a professional. Then there was the requirement for complex and fiddly techniques like chroma-keying and green screens. 

That’s a shame because you can have a lot of fun putting your little nephew among the dinosaurs or creating a video sticking your least favorite politician in the Star Wars bar where she belongs. 

Enter Unscreen from Kaleido, which allows you to upload more or less any video or GIF via your browser and then strips out the background, so only your subject is left.

Like Kaleido’s other product, remove.bg (which achieved success for removing photo backgrounds), Unscreen’s interface is straightforward. And it will quickly improve as time goes on, just like remove.bg: it’s certainly not perfect, with extremities sometimes disappearing for a frame or two. 

Nevertheless, the app is great for creating GIFs and memes, and registered users can create unlimited 10-sec videos at normal resolution with a watermark.

Professionals have access to various subscriptions or pay as you go options, but all offer HD video that is watermark-free. Plus, it comes with easy API integration, so you can automate video editing workflows.

6. InShot

Who’s it for?

  • Sharpshooters who want to reframe or rotate footage

System 

  • iOS, Android

Key features

  • Resize your footage for your feed or stories posts
  • Trim footage
  • Speed up your clip
  • Add filters

Cost or subscription 

  • Freemium ($ 34.99-lifetime purchase) with filter store

Pros

  • Resize, flip, rotate your footage easily
  • Intuitive
  • Generous suite of features in this mobile video editing app even without payment
  • Each aspect (audio, video, filters, effects, stickers, etc) on its own layer that can be edited at any time

Cons

  • Lack of instruction manual

Description

There are countless tools to help you fix your video’s look as well as trim, filter, layer, and add soundtracks. But what if the format or framing is wrong? Not so much help out there. 

If you find yourself filming in vertical, InShot will help save blurry-side-lines-facepalm when posting online. 

This distinctly minimalist interface gives users the ability to crop, rotate, flip their videos, and then splice them together as if nothing had happened. That’s what puts it among the best video editing software for beginners.

You can have InShot output the video in a range of standardized formats for social media (Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.), or you can make the selection yourself. Great framing can make all the difference when trying to draw the viewer’s eye to the action. 

And InShot does pretty much everything else you would expect from a video editor but is particularly strong in helping you add your voice to a video, interspersing video and photos, and adding filters. 

7. Magisto

Who’s it for?

  • Busy brand-managers, beginner video editors wanting a quick emotional response 

System 

  • iOS, Android

Key features

  • Automatically choose and optimize best footage in a three-step process
  • Edit and caption the result with video editing techniques including stabilization, object detection, filters, and effects. 

Cost or subscription 

  • Freemium ($ 34.99-lifetime purchase) with filter store

Pros

  • Just press the button to create a variety of emotionally impactful videos and other content
  • Customize the results with edits, text and stickers

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Watermark on the free version

Description

It’s not always about the story. Sometimes you just need to create a plausible video for marketing purposes in a short time. Perhaps there’s a lot of footage – or many videos and photos. But, whatever, you would be happy with something that made your viewers feel good and stayed on-brand. 

In that situation, why not give Magisto a whirl? The app automatically creates videos from raw material (as well as slideshows and collages) in just three steps. 

  1.  Select photos and videos from your gallery or roll
  2.  Pick a theme that fits your videos‘ look and feel, such as Celebrate, Love, Memories, or Trailer
  3.  Choose music from the Magisto commercially-licensed song library

It’s not random: it selects the best bits, applies video editing techniques including stabilization, object detection, filters, and effects. 

The app will then rustle up your content with its clever AI in just a few minutes.

You have more control over the result than some competitors. You can crop, splice, merge, reorder, and you can add text and stickers to the clips. 

The only downside is the price, which starts at $5/mo after a seven-day free trial. But, if Magisto works for you, think of the time you will save. 

8. Over

Who’s it for?

  • Professional Instagrammers and marketers after a polished product

System 

  • iOS, Android

Key features

  • Customize video with brand colors, logo, and font
  • Video templates
  • Motion graphics on your existing footage
  • Ready-to-post stock footage

Cost or subscription 

  • Over Pro – $14.99/mo or $99.99/year
  • Over Teams – $59.99/mo

Pros

  • Easy to create professional-looking videos with templates, graphics and overlays
  • Great for corporations looking to stay on-brand
  • Quick alternative to more complex video editing programs

Cons

  • Lack of customer service for the cost
  • Some users upset at buy-out by GoDaddy
  • Teams version expensive for freelancers 

Description

Over is really for marketing professionals (or social media experts) who want to make a strong design impression by adding text and logos. It’s the definition of post-production or „post“ – the work you do after you have chosen the footage, worked out the order and duration of clips, sorted out the transitions, and fixed the colors.

At this point, this beginner-friendly video editing software makes it easy to customize with brand colors, logo, and other embellishments using a corporate font and other brand graphics.

Whizzy effects include motion graphics, overlays, and thousands of professionally designed and fully customizable templates. You can do all this without having any design noise at all!

There’s also the option to knock up Facebook banners and create logos. Naturally, Instagram stories are part of the deal.

Unusually, Over Teams also gives you the option of collaborating with colleagues so you can get feedback right from the app.

9. Clipomatic 

Who’s it for?

  • Users who want to communicate with more people

System 

  • iOS
Photo credit: Clipomatic

Key features

  • Turn everything you say into live captions
  • Choice of lozenges
  • Filters
  • Supports 40 languages
  • Tap your caption to change the text

Cost or subscription 

  • $4.99

Pros

  • Easy to use and edit
  • Click to send videos to Facebook or Instagram
  • Filters to make your video stand out

Cons

  • Videos limited to 60 seconds
  • Can only record new videos not upload pre-existing ones
  • Not available on Android (Kaptioned is a good alternative)

Description

The tide of video doesn’t let up! First, Instagram went all IGTV, then videos began to dominate Twitter, and our recent time indoors has been dominated by Tik Tok.

But videos has a dirty little secret: 80-90% are watched with the sound off! That makes closed-captioning and subtitling your creations important, mainly if using them to generate buzz among customers.

Clipomatic replaces the fiddly typing-based, keyframe process with a voiceover method: it simply records your words as the video is rolling. In other words, you will need to talk directly to the camera for it to work.

The app transcribes 40 languages, and you can choose between lozenge-shaped or across-the-screen captions. AI-transcribed speech isn’t perfect, so Clipomatic makes it easy to edit text by tapping on it.

Users only wish it would caption pre-recorded video and for longer than ten minutes.

Still, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown are fans citing the app’s ability to improve deaf users‘ inclusivity.

These are our picks of the best video editing software for beginners. Have we missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments. 

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