Whether you want to stitch together your iPhone videos to show them off to your friends, or you're an aspiring YouTube star, the right video editing software can make all the difference. The latest programs make it easy to import your clips, trim the fat and make them look their best with compelling effects and tools. From there, you can easily share your mini masterpiece via your favorite social networks.
While features and ease of use are important with video editing software, so is performance. A faster engine can save you serious time during the editing process. We tested the industry's leading video editing programs to see which ones are most worthy of your time and money.
How We Evaluated
We evaluated each video editing program based on several factors. First, we looked at how easy it was to reach key controls, such as correcting color, adding transitions and creating titles. We also tested how effective automatic correction tools worked; Adobe's Auto Smart Tone and CyberLink's Content-Aware editing are good examples. When it was available, we also applied a shake stabilizer to shaky footage, to see if the program improved the look of our clip.
Video Rendering Performance
To gauge the rendering performance of each program, we created a 2-and-a-half-minute project consisting of four 1080p clips at 60 frames per second. After adding transitions (the same one across programs, when available) and a title screen, we exported the final package to MPEG-4 at 720p and timed how long it took each program to complete the task.
We conducted our tests on the same Lenovo Z40 laptop with a dual-core 1.7-GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 5400-rpm hard drive, an Nvidia GeForce GT820M GPU and the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1.
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