More advanced video editors
Upgrade your movies by going beyond iMovie and cutting clips on something more professional
While iMovie is great for cutting together a holiday video, party memories or similar small projects, it doesn't take long to hit its limits and start craving something else. More precision! More effects! More transitions that you should probably never use! Titling! Green screens! Everything that you need to make home videos look their best, a great YouTube show, or anything else that involves slicing and dicing your clips.
It doesn’t even have to cost that much to jump up to professional level software. Adobe Premiere Pro CC might be expensive and only available on a pricey subscription these days (£18 a month for one app, £47 for the whole Creative Cloud suite), but Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is available for a one-off £200, and you might be surprised by how much even consumer products like Adobe Premiere Elements can do these days. There are even some totally free editors out there, such as Jahshaka. Every app we’re looking at this month also has a free demo at least, and plenty of advice online to help you get the most out of its new abilities. Almost all of them are also relatively easy to use, if, of course, not to master.
While iMovie is great for cutting together a holiday or party video, it doesn’t take long to hit its limits
We’re not going to be looking at advanced compositing and other features here, but it’s worth keeping those in mind. In particular, Premiere Pro gets on well with After Effects, which you also get in its full subscription, while Final Cut Pro X works best in combination with Motion 5 (£50) for titling, animation and more complex effects, and the other programs have their own helpers. It’s often possible to mix and match here, but tools in a suite are designed to work together and will often allow for more advanced features. Motion for instance has ‘drop zones’ in its templates, so you can import an effect into Final Cut and update it just by dragging an image into it, rather than having to open Motion and re-render every time it’s needed. It’s worth checking the options before you make your choice. Richard Cobbett