We researched and filtered out the best video editing software for creatives who use Apple devices to build their video masterpieces.
Apple computers — MacBook and iMac — are arguably some of the best available on the market. They’re often the top choice for artistic types, designers, illustrators, and other creatives. Macs have also become a preference for professional video editors because of their price-performance ratio, retina display, and powerful RAM that’s up to the task of video editing. In fact, there’s very little room for debate that Mac computers are the number one computer choice for video editing.
What should I look for in video editing software for my Mac?
When choosing video editing software for your Mac, there are a few things to look out for, the first being price. If you’re just starting out, it’s wise to choose a more affordable option while you learn the ropes. Plus, those options are typically easy to use and just include the basics. You’re really just looking for some stepping stones, here. As you advance your skills and start to need more sophisticated video editing options, you can begin to invest more in your software and include more editing tool options in your interface.
The second most important feature to look out for is its editing tools. If you’re just starting out, begin with the basic editing tools — nothing fancy. If you’re a more advanced videographer, make sure your software has the sophisticated and advanced tools that you’re looking for. Know what kind of content you’re looking to create, and the tools you’ll need, and start from there.
The last feature you’ll want to look for is customer service, which can arguably be the most important feature of all. There is nothing worse than being stuck on hold with customer service for three hours, only to get nowhere. You’ll want to check the merchant’s customer service reputation — if it’s helpful and fast, and whether they’re knowledgeable. A big plus is if the company has the option for both online chats or call-in help. It’s nice to have options, right?
Here is a selection of our favorite video editing software for Macs.
Final Cut Pro XThis Apple-developed software is one of the good ones, just ask the pros. But it will cost you.
For video editing software on a Mac, Final Cut Pro X is one of the best choices available on the market. It runs so well on Mac computers because it was developed by none other than Apple itself. This cult-classic editing software requires a Mac with macOS 10.14.6 or later and allows users to edit with 360-degree video editing and use 2D or 3D titles. Its editing features are as smooth as butter.
Like most Apple products and features, it’s extremely user-friendly and easy to maneuver — just look at its interface. Tremendous thought went into Final Cut Pro X, such as the light gray features, which make the content you’re working on the most prominent image on the screen. Definitely not something you see with all video editing software.
Its editing tools are precise and help arrange and trim clips.
Final Cut Pro X is top-choice video editing software because of its multi-cam feature. It lets users work with 16 angles simultaneously and sync up to 64 angles. It’s also ideal for VR because of its 360-degree video editing. Another notable feature of Final Cut Pro X is its ability to eliminate background noise on audio and produce stunning videos at blazing speeds.
Adobe Premiere ProAdobe Premiere Pro is quite possibly the best video editing software on the market right now, but its yearly price is steep.
$239.88 per year
If you’re looking for the perfect video editing software, look no further than Adobe Premiere Pro. This classic favorite is a leader in the video editing software industry.
When it comes down to it, Adobe Premiere Pro has the best editing tools out there. It features customizable keyboard shortcuts, while its multi-cam editing lets users work with as many cameras as they’d like. Its trimming tools are precise and allow for easy and efficient editing.
Other features include the Slip Tool, Rolling Edit Tool, and the Ripple Edit. Its responsive interface is what most users are looking for — maximum performance. This software has split-screen capability and allows users to edit their content in real time.
Adobe Premiere Pro has top-notch color features. The Lumetri Color panel allows editors to apply simple color corrections, and with its Match Color, you can easily match your grade while retaining skin tones. Adobe Premiere Pro also lets you isolate and fine-tune colors, balance whites, and make subtle shade adjustments.
iMovieiMovie may be basic, but hey, it’s free.
After spending more than a thousand dollars on a Mac computer, it’s pretty nice to see what it comes with free video editing software that has pretty good reviews, even from professional videographers.
iMovie is free to download on Mac computers, iPads and iPhones. Its interface is relatively easy to use and elegant and has all the basic features aspiring videographers might need. This video editing software is ideal for beginners who are just starting out and learning the ropes, and definitely aren’t wanting to spend their pretty pennies just yet. It has a small selection of transitions, backgrounds, and basic trimming and editing. Nonetheless, its transitions and end product are still professional-level quality. A unique feature is you can start work on your movie on your Mac and then continue to edit it on your iPad, allowing you to work from basically anywhere, whenever.
Wondershare Filmora 9Filmora is easy to use, trendy, well-reviewed, and will help you with powerful storytelling.
$79.99 for lifetime access to Filmora X or $54.99 per year for upgrades as they are released
Filmora 9 is for the creative thinkers who are seeking to tell powerful stories through video. It’s ideal for both professional and amateur videographers, but mostly ideal for beginners. It features some quality transitional effects that are sure to make users swoon, and split screen capability, which is an iconic feature to have on hand. Like all great video editing software choices, Filmora has 4K resolution editing support; audio equalization; color grading presets; video stabilization; and GIF support. You don’t see that every day.
Like most software companies, Filmora has a free trial option, so you can try before you buy. It also offers training for beginners, as well as film stock when you buy the lifetime package, which is the one we’re talking about here.
DaVinci Resolve 17DaVinci Resolve has tons of features, but will probably take a while to learn how to use the software efficiently. This program is best for people who already know how to edit videos.
The free version of DaVinci Resolve may be one of the most full-bodied free video editors for Mac that you can find. Without paying a cent, you’ll have access to 60fps, up to 4K video, advanced color grading tools, audio post-production and tons more. The number of features even in the free version might seem overwhelming to beginners, so this program is best suited for folks who already have some video editing knowledge under their belt.
If you’re looking for a program to use in a more professional context, you can grab DaVinci Resolve Studio for $295 for lifetime access. The Studio version will let you work up to 120fps, and with up to 32K resolution. You’ll also get access to additional FX filters, Fairlight audio plugins, and advanced HDR grading, and HDR scopes among other state-of-the-art features.
LightworksIf you want to make professional-quality video with a simple, straightforward interface, Lightworks does the job. The free version lacks export options, but the paid versions solves that problem.
24.99 per month, $174.99 per year, $437.99 lifetime, or get the lower export quality version for free
Lightworks is probably best known for the Hollywood movies that were edited with the software, like Pulp Fiction, Mamma Mia!, and The Departed, but with a relatively easy-to-learn interface, this program isn’t only for pros. The workspace is intuitive without having to use complicated shortcuts, and makes the editing process pretty straightforward.
The free version will get you started with audio and video cutting and editing, over 100 included FX, and the ability to import from any format, but if you’re using it a lot, you’ll soon find out that the export options on the free program are extremely limited. The free version only supports exporting to 720p and only to a web-compatible MPEG4 file, so you’ll have to pay for the monthly, yearly, or unlimited plans to access the higher export resolutions and formats. The yearly subscription is cheaper than Adobe Premiere’s yearly cost, but you won’t get the multi-cam editing, GPU accelerated rendering, or multi-frame rate editor that Premiere supports.
CamtasiaWith the screen recording function, Camtasia makes creating and editing explainers, how-to videos, and demos a breeze.
If you’re a beginner looking for software that will help you screen record and edit in one, Camtasia probably has everything you need. This software would be great for folks who want to shoot high-quality computer tutorials and explainer videos where showing viewers what to do on a screen is a must. It would also be a good choice for recording webinar meetings or discussions to that need to be edited. The interface is extremely easy to use, so you can use this software without frustration and with no prior editing experience.
If you’re looking to make more complicated video projects than YouTube tutorials, you’ll run into instances where FX and plugins you want aren’t available in the software. Features like advanced video color modification and extended audio mixing aren’t available, so you won’t be able to make full-length high quality movies. It’s also a bit pricey, at $249.99 for the license, but they do offer a 30 day free trial so you can see if you like the software before you buy. Overall, if you’re a beginner looking to make web explainers and tutorials, Camtasia has all your basics covered.