Best Video Editor for YouTube (2020 Guide)

Often my general advice when starting a youtube channel or any other social medium is to “just start”. However, I do feel that some research can be more beneficial and efficient in the long term. Everyone that is using one piece of software or tool really frequently will tell you that they are just used to it and can’t see themself switching to something else. This is why choosing your video editor for youtube videos is pretty important, not only because you will spend a great amount of time in it but also because it can really enhance your workflow.

Video editors allow anyone to edit professional-looking YouTube videos, but which software works best? Here’s what you should know to find the best video editor for YouTube.

What to Look for When Choosing Your Video Editing Software

Pay attention to the following details to narrow your options:

Ease of Use

Some editors are designed for those with no editing experience. The interfaces are simple, allowing anyone to instantly start splicing video clips together. However, basic editors tend to lack advanced features such as the ability to add effects or tweak the colors.

Video Sources

Free or basic video editors may not support every video format or source. The cheaper editors may only accept MP4 or AVI files while advanced editors accept RAW video and screen captures. You should also consider the video output formats. Some of the basic video editors can only output up to 1080p video at 30 frames per second (fps) in MP4 or AVI formats while others offer 4K and 8K video editing.

Features and Tools

Adobe Premiere Pro and other high-end video editors are packed with editing tools and features, from color correction to frame cropping and special effects. However, having a wide variety of tools can be overwhelming. If you simply want to cut and splice video clips together and add an audio track, you do not need the most sophisticated video editor. Many options provide basic video editing at low prices.

Technical Requirements

When comparing video editor software, look at the technical requirements. Editing videos requires a lot of RAM, especially when compiling the project into a video file. If you have an older computer or a budget laptop, you may not be able to efficiently run the top video editors.

Budget

Setting a budget helps shorten your list of video editors. The most basic video editors are often free or inexpensive but you should expect to pay more to receive more features and tools. Professional software can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is widely considered the best video editor for YouTube. The software comes packed with features for advanced editing. It is used by everyone from independent filmmakers to popular YouTubers, including PewDiePie and Jake Paul.

The versatility of Adobe Premiere Pro is aimed at professionals. It offers multi-camera editing, advanced color correction, multiple sequence support, and an advanced audio editor. Along with Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere is also one of the few options that support 4K, 8K, and VR video editing. As with Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro allows you to edit 360-degree footage and add 2D or 3D titles.

Adobe Premiere Pro also supports a wide range of video formats and compression methods. Adobe claims that it can support virtually any camera, format, and platform. Compiling footage from different sources is also easy, thanks to automatic video reframing. Adobe Premiere Pro can automatically crop and sync video clips of varying formats and resolutions.

One of the greatest features of Adobe Premiere Pro is its compatibility with other Adobe products. The workflow integrates seamlessly with Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Story, and more.

The variety of tools and options also leads to potential drawbacks. Beginners may be overwhelmed by this software, especially compared to the streamlined interface found in Magix Vegas Pro 18. While the interface is overwhelming at first, it provides an intuitive way to edit videos. You can playback video and navigate menus without leaving your timeline.

Another potential issue with Premiere is the price. You need to pay for a subscription, which is billed annually at $19.99 per month. However, if you want to use additional Adobe Creative products, you can save money by bundling packages.

Before jumping into the complex menus found in Premiere, amateurs may enjoy experimenting with Premiere Rush, which is a basic video editor that comes with Adobe Premiere Pro. It works on any device, including iOS and Android devices, but is a stripped-down editor.

Adobe Premiere Pro is not the most user-friendly software for novices. However, if you are interested in learning how to produce broadcast-quality high-def video, Adobe Premiere Pro is the industry standard.

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Pros

Is the most comprehensive video editing solution
Is used by some of the most popular YouTubers
Supports 4K, 8K, and VR video editing
Is compatible with other Adobe products, including After Effects

Cons

It requires a subscription
Beginners may be overwhelmed by features

Final Cut Pro X

If you have a Mac, you have heard of Final Cut. It was originally released in 2011 and quickly became a rival to Adobe Premiere. The latest Final Cut Pro X is a subscription-free video editor used to edit popular YouTube videos for Dude Perfect and iJustine.

As with Adobe Premiere Pro, you can edit almost any type of video, including 8K video or 3D content. It also comes with a comprehensive set of tools and editing features, such as advanced color grading and the ability to edit RAW files.

The timeline and interface are a little cleaner compared to Premiere Pro, which amateurs may prefer. Final Cut Pro X allows you to move and trim clips easily and bundle video or audio clips into individual packages. The software also comes with advanced organizing and asset management tools, including the ability to tag clips with metadata.

Final Cut Pro X and Magix Vegas Pro 18 have comparable interfaces but Apple’s product stands out for providing a robust selection of editing tools, including multi-cam editing. Final Cut Pro X offers one of the best solutions for editing multiple camera angles. The software can automatically sync up to 64 different angles. As you move clips around in the timeline, the angles remain synced even when the clips have different sizes, frame rates, or formats.

While Final Cut Pro gives you access to many editing tools, Adobe Premiere Pro still has a wider selection. If you want extra features, you need to add third-party plugins. There are dozens of high-quality plugins for adding transitions, effects, filters, and captions.

Unlike Adobe, Apple does not require a subscription. It costs about $300, making it one of the most affordable professional-quality video editors. The drawback is that most plugins are not free. Expanding your toolset with Final Cut Pro X can dramatically increase the total cost.

Unfortunately, Final Cut Pro X is not available for everyone. Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro are available on Windows or Apple computers and laptops. Final Cut Pro is an Apple product and only available for macOS devices.

Pros

Offers clean, easy-to-use interface and timeline
Supports 4K, 8K, and VR editing
Automatically syncs up to 64 camera angles
Includes a wide range of editing tools
Comes at a relatively affordable price compared to other editors

Cons

It is only available on macOS devices
The variety of options can be confusing for beginners

MAGIX Vegas Pro

MAGIX Vegas Pro aims to provide a well-rounded video editing solution for both beginners and experienced filmmakers. It simplifies many common tasks using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and supports a wide range of open-source plugins.

Vegas Pro started life as an audio editor developed by Sonic Foundry in 1999. Video editing was eventually added along with a long list of features over the years. Sony produced Vegas Pro from 2007 to 2014 before MAGIX took over.

MAGIX Vegas Pro 18 includes many improvements over earlier versions. The latest Vegas Pro uses AI to automatically improve color correction or apply preset filters, such as giving every clip a Picasso-style filter.

Vegas Pro 18 offers an extensive selection of editing tools, making it a comparable option to Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. The main difference is the timeline. Vegas Pro 18 has one of the simplest interfaces for beginners who want to dive into professional video editing.

Hidden behind the streamlined interface are advanced tools including motion tracking, video stabilization, and nested timelines. Options such as the denoise filter and flicker control filter also help improve the overall quality and clarity of your YouTube videos.

Another area where Vegas Pro has the other options beat is the audio editing features. Vegas Pro includes multichannel audio editing using Sound Forge Pro 14 software, which is included in the package. Special effects capabilities are provided by individual plugins. This includes style transfer, colorization, lens flares, and transitions. With the ActionVFX Action Pack, users can also add drag and drop VFX video clips into their scenes. You can add realistic explosions, clouds, fire, and smoke to any video.

The problem is that some of the most advanced plugins are only available for specific versions of Magix Vegas Pro 18. The company offers four products and only Vegas Pro 18 Suite includes access to everything.

The “Suite” edition costs a little over $600 while the most basic version costs $319. For the same monthly price as Adobe Premiere Pro, users can choose to access Vegas Pro with a paid subscription. However, the subscription option still lacks access to some of the plugins.

Pros

It includes a variety of useful editing tools
AI technology automates various editing tasks
The available plugins allow you to easily add special effects
There are multiple pricing options and packages

 

Cons

Only the most expensive version includes all plugins
Most of the pricing options are relatively expensive

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Sjoerd
Working in the creative industry on projects such as marketing campaigns, videos, design, and development I have come across a lot of tactics and tools. With Codename Creative I hope to share my insights and develop further in being a creative professional.