It used to be that video was something only professionals needed to deal with. With the rise of YouTube and other more social video platforms, video is no longer only the realm of the pros. Video is just another medium for expression and communication these days.
With video being such a big part of people’s lives, it makes sense that you’d want a good video editor. If you use a Mac, you have plenty of options available. That said, some options are better than others, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best video editors for Mac.
If you’re new to video editing, one of the best editors to start with is Apple iMovie. This software is free, for starters, but it also combines ease of use with a fairly advanced feature set. You’re not going to edit a feature film with this, but if you’re just looking to put a quick video on YouTube, iMovie should have you covered.
This is a great option if you shoot your video on an iPhone, as the editor is available for iOS as well. You can even start editing a video on your iPhone or iPad and finish on your Mac. iMovie handles 4K footage as well, so you don’t have to worry about limited resolution support.
2. Final Cut Pro X
If iMovie seems too limited to you, Apple has another option. Final Cut Pro X is a step up in almost every way. Final Cut Pro is easier to use than some other video editors, but it’s powerful enough that it is frequently used by professionals as well. This software has everything you need to organize, cut, and finish videos.
Final Cut Pro X isn’t free, but it’s not nearly as pricey as some other professional video editing software. While some comparable software can costs thousands of dollars, Final Cut Pro X will only cost you $299.
3. Adobe Premiere Pro
Another popular option, Adobe Premiere Pro will be a familiar tool to video professionals. Unlike Final Cut Pro X, which uses its own style of interface, the layout of Premiere Pro is more similar to other video editors. If you’re familiar with editing video, this is nice, but it can be more daunting than some other options on this list for beginners.
Still, Adobe Premiere Pro has become an industry standard for a good reason, and you’ll find plenty of tools and tutorials built for Premiere. Unlike Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro isn’t available for purchase. Instead, it’s available as part of a subscription. You can subscribe to just Premiere Pro for $20.99 per month, or you can get the entire Adobe Creative Cloud CC suite for $52.99 per month.
4. DaVinci Resolve
If you’re looking for a free option but think iMovie may be too limited, DaVinci Resolve may be perfect for you. You can use this app free of charge, even for editing 4K footage, but it comes from a Hollywood background, so you know it has plenty of power. DaVinci started life as a color-grading tool, so if you want to work with color, this is a good option.
Recent versions of DaVinci Resolve take a cue from the tape-based editing systems of old to make cutting video simpler. With the new “Source Tape,” DaVinci Resolve assembles your footage into a single virtual tape that makes finding the perfect footage quick and easy.
There are many more video editors available for Mac, but if you’re not sure where to start, one of the four options above should be right for you. If you’re on a budget, start with one of the free options. If you find you’re outgrowing the feature set or just want to try something else, that’s when you can try one of the paid options.
If you’re running another operating system, both Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve work on Windows as well, and there are plenty of other options. If you’re on Linux, you have some nice options as well. For an idea of what’s available, take a look at our list of the best video-editing software for Linux