The Best Video Editing Software Under $100

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.

Our Top Picks

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  • Pretty helpful. I do use Premiere Pro for my projects, but when it comes to recommend an editing software to my novice friends I'm completely lost.
  • Here tutorial on how to make videos for free and how I make my videos.
    Feel free to leave any questions and i will do my best to answer them.
  • I have always used Premiere Pro until recently. I am looking for a budget editor to replace it. Never really liked Elements, but I don't really wanna relearn a new package either.
  • But this year Cyberlink gave toughest time to Adobe , John knoll needs to heed over things newly ... plus Sony Movie Studio got unexpectedly good price as compared to Pinnacle .. Well, Either be Adobe or Pinnacle .. User should be happy and satisfied.
  • Don't understand the criticism directed against sony vegas movie studio. I find it extremely intuitive and effective. Put your video track and audio track on the time line. Simply have video overlay track above main video track to add photos/video just blend how much with opacity control. Great piece of software.