With the rise of video-based social media giants like YouTube and TikTok in recent years, video editing has become increasingly popular. Everyone wants to be an influencer and create the next viral video, but it all comes down to having the right tools.
While Windows has long been the preferred platform for editors, Mac is quickly gaining traction among creative professionals such as video editors and photographers. More students and enthusiasts have started to embrace Mac computers as more affordable models such as the Macbook Air, iMac, and Mac mini have hit the market.
Have you just received your new Mac and are itching to get started on that school project, TikTok video, or YouTube video? Continue reading to see our recommendations for the best video editors for Mac OS.
Best Video Editing Software for Macs
1. Adobe Premiere Pro
If you want to make professional-looking videos, Adobe Premiere Pro is the programme to use. Professionals use this programme to create content for mainstream media, and it is an industry standard.
The extensive feature set and professional-level quality justify the hefty price tag. Everything you'll need to cut a TV show or feature film will be included. With support for VR 180 and effects, you can create an immersive video. Plus, for an additional fee, Adobe Stock gives you access to high-definition and 4K video assets in the programme.
Adobe Premiere Pro will be a little too advanced for a beginner. Please keep this in mind if you've never edited before. It could take hours to get started.
Premiere Pro is a powerful video editor for professionals who make movies, short films, and other projects. It's also a viable option for hobbyists who want to gain experience with a video editor that's used in professional settings. If you're not quite ready to take your editing to the next level, you might want to look at the next option.
Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing programme that is constantly evolving as Adobe releases updates. Rather than purchasing a single copy of the software, you pay a monthly fee for as long as you use it.
Another advantage is that the software isn't Mac-only, so you can use it on multiple computers with different operating systems if necessary.
With that subscription, you'll have access to Premiere Pro, which can be used to edit any type of video, including 8K. You'll be able to work with audio tracks, add graphics, control light and colour, and put together any video you can think of. Premiere Pro is a great option for integrating different workflows if you use Adobe's other software, such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
2. Apple iMovie
On Mac devices, iMovie is a video editing programme that comes pre-installed. It comes with a number of editing tools to help you create a professional-looking video. iMovie also stands out because it includes premium audio-editing features that aren't available in a lot of other free programmes.
iMovie excels at basic video editing. It comes with all of the tools you'll need to edit video and audio. Create stunning videos and trailers in the style of Hollywood. Trim clips, add seamless transitions, and fade audio to add photos and videos to projects.
iMovie falls short when it comes to advanced features. There are some effects such as chroma key, picture-in-picture, and split-screen, but that's about it. Final Cut Pro is the recipient of Apple's most impressive features.
If you just want to start editing videos on your Mac, or even on your iPhone or iPad, Apple iMovie is the easiest way to go. This is Apple's free video editing software, which works on both Mac OS and iOS platforms, allowing you to edit videos from anywhere.
Apple iMovie will have approachable tools for hobbyist and amateur filmmakers to help you easily take your footage and edit a video with a clear flow. Without much effort, you'll be able to combine multiple video files, layer different video and audio tracks, and add title screens to your video. Video filters and special effects, such as picture-in-picture, are also included.
Apple iMovie's latest version keeps up with the latest video trends by supporting 4K video editing. So, in iMovie, you can turn all of that 4K video you shot on your iPhone into a movie. If you've never worked with video editing software before, this is a good place to start before moving on to more advanced software.
3. Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro X is the best programme for advanced video editors who work on a Mac. This programme has a number of useful features and a simple, intuitive interface that will allow you to create Hollywood-quality videos right from your computer.
You will have unlimited access to all of its features if you pay the one-time fee of $300. The new Object Tracker, for example, uses machine learning to detect faces and objects and then matches their movements to titles and effects. Adjusting focus from videos captured in Cinematic mode on an iPhone 13 is a feature unique to Apple-made video editors.
If you have a new Mac, Final Cut Pro may be a better choice than Adobe Premiere Pro because it takes advantage of the new M1 chips. However, if you don't, you won't be able to benefit from it, so the upfront cost might not be worth it.
Final Cut Pro is well worth your consideration if you want a video editing software that you can use even if you don't have much experience (and you plan on growing as a video editor while using it). It may take a few tutorial videos to really get yourself ready to start doing much, but once you get your feet wet, you can do basic editing and gradually learn more advanced techniques.
While Final Cut Pro is a professional video editing programme, it is simple enough for amateur videographers to use. It's also a little less expensive than some of the other serious professional video editing software.
It has a lot of useful features as a professional software that will help you realise your vision.
Final Cut Pro X includes not only the timeline features required for easy editing, but also the future of video and pro features. 360-degree video, graphics, and effects are all supported. You can easily switch between multiple angles and edit video from multi-cam recording setups. You can also make HDR content. That's just the iceberg's tip.
Apple offers a free 90-day trial so you can see if this is something you'd be interested in before committing.
4. PowerDirector 365
PowerDirector is a high-end video editing programme with features that are simple to use for beginners, advanced editors, and everyone in between. It comes with a set of professional tools that won't break the bank but can help you turn your videos into Hollywood-quality productions.
Adding video overlays, titles, and transitions is simple thanks to a traditional timeline interface with a streamlined design. You can also edit in square and vertical aspect ratios, which are ideal for social media clips. If you're a beginner, drag-and-drop effects and motion graphics are great, but all of these features are customizable, making them ideal for experienced editors.
PowerDirector 365 will give you the most bang for your buck when compared to the other editors on this list. With its simple interface, you'll be able to get started right away, rather than spending hours learning how to use other less intuitive programmes.
5. DaVinci Resolve
For a free programme, DaVinci Resolve has incredible high-end features that go above and beyond simple editing tools. The program's detailed colour correction, for example, allows you to quickly adjust skin tones and eye colour, and its audio production is of professional quality.
It includes new image processing, HDR grading tools, and an AI-based magic mask for the latest wide gamut HDR. 2,000 tracks are also supported by an audio engine for immersive 3D audio workflows. A node-based visual effects workflow is also included, as well as hundreds of 2D and 3D tools. It's everything you'll ever need to get your post-production studio up and running.
The learning curve for DaVinci Resolve is steep. It's so complicated that you can't just sit down and start making videos without any prior experience with video editing. Even advanced users may find it difficult at first. However, you can learn it through a training programme or by watching hours of tutorials.
DaVinci Resolve 17 is a great option if you're ready to start editing all types of videos and exporting the final product in a high-quality, 8K format without spending a dime. While there is a paid Studio version, you'll only need it if you plan to collaborate with others or want access to some of the software's more advanced tools and effects.
Over 100 new features and 200 improvements were included in the DaVinci Resolve 17 update. New HDR grading tools, redesigned primary controls, and an AI-based magic mask are all available on the colour page. Fairlight adds 2,000 tracks to the mouse and keyboard edit selection tools, allowing you to work faster. A metadata slate view with bin dividers, zoomed waveforms for audio trimming, smart reframing, and a unified inspector are among the features available to editors. Fusion compositions can now be used on the edit and cut pages as an effect, title, or transition.
DaVinci Resolve 17 will provide you with a wealth of features for organising your footage, finding what you need, and editing it all together. After that, you can output in almost any format you want, whether you want the highest quality or something that can be uploaded to YouTube quickly.
If you're looking for serious video editing software, DaVinci Resolve 17 is a good choice. It's just a bonus that the free version is so powerful because it allows you to try it out for yourself and see if it's something you'll actually use.
6. Hitfilm Express
Hitfilm Express is a good option if you're looking for high-quality, professional software that won't break the bank. The majority of its features are free, but it does take some time to get used to.
It has carved out a niche for itself in the world of video editing. It's neither entirely professional nor entirely consumer; it's best for intermediate editors with a strong interest in visual effects. It is the most user-friendly editor for creating 3D effects available. This is exactly how the software is marketed and designed.
Both the Video Copilot and Red Giant plugins are available. It's the only After Effects alternative that supports both of these features. Hitfilm Express is a great option if you want to become a visual effects artist but aren't ready to dive into Adobe After Effects.
7. Adobe Premiere Elements
Adobe's basic video editing software is Premiere Elements. The interface is simple to navigate and contains all of the necessary features for users who are new to video editing or who want to edit videos for fun.
The AI tools in the programme will guide you through some of the video editing steps. With Guided Edits, you can make quick fixes or add effects, transitions, and animations. Create social media slideshows and video collages.
Adobe Premiere Elements is the most basic of the paid software on this list, with little room for advancement. It does, however, have Smart Tags, facial recognition, and other features that make it ideal for home movies.
Adobe Premiere Elements 2022 is nearly identical to its name. It's a pared-down version of the Premiere Pro application. This limits its capabilities, and new features aren't always added, but it serves as an accessible video editing software for those who are just getting started. You can also pay for the software once and be done without having to subscribe to it.
Premiere Elements 2022 is an excellent choice if you're an amateur just getting started with video editing, and especially if you don't plan on going pro. While Premiere Elements has plenty of tools for combining multiple videos, images, and audio files into a single finished video, it also has some tools to help you make a better video if you're not an experienced editor. Furthermore, the software is compatible with both Mac and PC.
Premier Elements 2022 organises the files you'll need for your video and walks you through the editing process from start to finish. It will also allow you to add some fun minor effects to your video to spice it up. It also supports 4K video, in keeping with the times. It uses Adobe Sensei AI technology to reframe your subject automatically, keeping the most important action in focus.
We all love to share our videos on social media, and Premiere Elements now makes it simple to edit and export your videos in social-friendly vertical or square formats without sacrificing quality. You can also use non-horizontal video-specific motion titles, mattes, and backgrounds.
Shotcut is a powerful free video editing programme that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Once you've gotten past the steep learning curve, you'll find Shotcut has a lot to offer. And, because it's free software, you can try it out and see if you like it before spending any money.
Shotcut is a multi-format editing programme like any other, and the workspace can be easily rearranged to suit your editing needs. Shotcut accepts a wide range of input and output file types, including 4K video. Shotcut also allows you to edit audio, colour, and lighting effects.
Despite the fact that Shotcut isn't the easiest software to pick up and start editing videos with, the fact that it's free means that a lot of people are using it and creating incredibly helpful tutorial videos or guides on how to use it. Shotcut is also the best option for portability, as it can run directly from an external storage drive.
Lightworks combines the features of a free and a paid editing programme. It has a lower learning curve than Shotcut, but some of the features you'll want, such as the ability to export your final product in more video formats and higher resolutions, are only available in the paid Lightworks Pro version.
Whether you need the free or paid versions is a decision you'll have to make later, as both will allow you to import a variety of file formats, easily edit multiple files, manage your audio, add titles, and tweak your visuals.
The free version of Lightworks is a good choice for anyone who isn't concerned with video resolution because it can still produce web-ready 720p videos. However, if you like how Lightworks works and want to stick with it as your video editor of choice, you can upgrade to the Pro version and start producing high-quality video. Plus, because Lightworks is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, you'll be able to use it even if you stop using a Mac in the future.
Camtasia is especially useful if you want to create videos with footage captured from your computer screen. This is due to the fact that it combines a screen recorder and a video editor into one package.
You can record the screen and audio of your computer or even your iOS device with Camtasia. This feature will come in handy if you're putting together tutorial videos. Additionally, you can overlay webcam footage on top of the screen-captured video.
Camtasia also includes multi-track timeline editing, transitions, animations, audio and video effects, and annotation tools in addition to screen capture. You can also include a PowerPoint if you want to make a video presentation. Whether you're a teacher, a business professional, or simply trying to get some tutorials on YouTube, Camtasia has the tools you need to capture and edit the video you need. A free trial will allow you to see if the software's tools and features are right for you.
What to Look for in a Best Video Editing Software for Macs?
File compatibility – Check to see if a new programme is compatible with the type of video you'll be shooting before you buy it. Some programmes do not support 4K video, while others do, and still others will support both 3D and 4K. Take into account both the input and output formats you'll require.
Free vs. paid – A free software programme is probably your best bet if you're a beginner just getting your feet wet in the world of video editing. If you have more complex requirements, you'll almost certainly have to pay to gain access to the features you require. Most software programmes, on the other hand, come with free trials that allow you to try them out before you buy them.
Extra features – While most video editing programmes can handle the basics, such as merging clips, adding transitions, and laying down audio, it's the extra features that will elevate your video from novice to expert. Multi-track timelines, filters, special effects, and other useful features can be found.
What are the best apps to edit videos on my iPhone/iPad?
2. What is the best video editing software for beginners?
Several of the programmes listed above are appropriate for newcomers. PowerDirector, iMovie, and Adobe Premiere Elements, for example, all have simple, easy-to-navigate platforms, and many of their editing techniques are covered in tutorials.
Here are our top five recommendations.
Movavi Video Editor
Adobe Premiere Elements