Best free video editors
Free editing software for making your own amazing videos
1 Lightworks www.lwks.com
Lightworks is an incredible tool that’s published free with the noble aim of making professional quality video editing software available to everyone.
Lightworks is far more than a simple application for combining video clips and applying filters; it’s been used to produce Hollywood movies including The King’s Speech and Road to Perdition.
As you would expect for such a powerful video editor, you won’t be able to master it overnight, but that’s certainly not something you could hold against it.
Lightworks is described as the professional video editor for everyone, and we reckon that’s a fair summary. Despite its power, it will run well on fairly modest hardware, and it handles video capture and advanced editing with aplomb.
If you’ve tried other free video editors you’ll probably find that the interface is a little different to anything you’re used to, but you can arrange the various controls and windows to create something that suits your way of working.
2 DaVinci Resolve http://bit.ly/2DBZtgn
DaVinci Resolve is a free version of a premium video editing suite, but is so feature-packed you probably won’t miss the few tools it lacks.
DaVinci Resolve is a professional-grade video editor, with intuitive interfaces for editing, colour correction, audio mastering and exporting. There’s the usual multi-track timeline for arranging video and audio clips, plus context-sensitive trimming, as well as a vast collection of filters and effects.
Colour correction is one of DaVinci Resolve’s standout features, whether you want to adjust a whole video or just a selected part. There’s HDR support, and you can work on Raw files directly from your camera.
A few of the filters are exclusive to the premium DaVinci Resolve Studio, and there’s a maximum export resolution of 3,840x2,160, but those are the only limitations. It’s overkill if you just want to trim a video, but for bigger projects DaVinci Resolve is hard to beat.
3 HitFilm Express https://hitfilm.com/express
HitFilm Express is another video editor that promises pro-level features for free – and it delivers.
The basic editor is very impressive, with advanced cutting tools, a great set of audio and video filters, layers and masking, compositing options, and chroma keying for creating green screen effects, where you can super- impose your subject on exotic backgrounds – just like they do in real Hollywood movies.
Additional tools are available for a fee, starting at £8.85 for a pack featuring colour-correction, exposure adjustment and split screen masking, as well as various creative filters.
The downside of all this power is that HitFilm Express is much more demanding than either Lightworks or Shotcut, which is the main reason it’s dropped to third place. Make sure you check the technical requirements before downloading it to avoid disappointment.
4 Shotcut https://shotcut.org
Shotcut is another professional-feeling free video editor that requires a little patience if you are to achieve the results it is so capable of delivering.
The slightly unusual interface can be put down to the fact that Shotcut started life as a Linux application, and little has changed in its conversion to Windows, although it remains one of our favourite free video editors.
To start with, the interface may seem a little stark. You will need to not only load a video, but also choose which editing mode you would like to work in and which tools you’d like to use.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Shotcut has a steep learning curve. It’s possible to achieve some impressive results by applying one of its many filters to your video, but the real rewards will be reaped by those willing to invest the time and energy into fully getting to grips with it.
Like Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve is used for TV and post-production.
Lightworks is powerful, free and works well on even modest hardware.
HitFilm Express is a very powerful free and expandable video editor.
Shortcut enables you to layer filters and effects on top of one another.