Top Video Studio Apps & Software

Every vlogger knows the importance of quality and production value that is gained by using the best software. It’s what separates you from millions of others uploading to YouTube and other platforms every single day. That’s why, after I built my own video studio, I wanted to make sure I had the right apps and software to help me put that studio to good use.

What are the top video studio apps and software for vlogging? The top apps and software range in style, price, genre, and uploading needs. Here are some top options to consider:

Free Video Studio SoftwarePaid Video Studio Software
iMovie
Shotcut
Blender
HitFilm Express
Final Cut Pro
Pinnacle
Filmora
Adobe Premiere Elements
Avid Media Composer

YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day. Why not put your best foot forward by making your content shine by using proper apps and software? Learning the differences between them, while also understanding your brand and needs will help you find your best option.

Understanding Your Video Needs

Before really diving into all the different software and app options available, it is important to make sure you also understand your channel and brand needs, along with your editing abilities.

One software that is top-rated by other users may not be your cup of tea. It is a specific user-experience that you’ll be after, so you may need some trial and error to fully decide.

Free vs. Paid Video Studio Software

Once you dive into different software or apps, you will see the contrast between them in how robust their features are. Typically the free ones will tend to be a bit more user-friendly and easy to use because they don’t offer the same amount of features.

However, that’s not always a golden rule since the interface of these apps is really key to making it a positive experience for the user. When considering ease, it all depends on what you need from the app.

If your videos are straight-forward and do not require a lot of post-production, you really don’t need overly robust features. Make it easier on yourself and uncover the main functions you will need on a daily basis.

You can always opt to upgrade down the road to a more powerful option if it becomes needed. Some software such as Adobe Premiere Pro will also offer options that are month to month or an annual agreement.

If you want to test something out, it is worth paying a little more on the monthly fee for a month or two so you can learn the system and make sure it fits your needs.

If you are in need of more major edits in post-production, a paid option would probably be the way to go. Think about some of the items below, and if you need them. If so, more advanced software will be best.

  • Multiple coverage options that need to be considered for the final cut
  • Special effects
  • Multiple title cards or credits
  • Color correction
  • ADR or sound manipulation
  • High-resolution support (4K)
  • If you run multiple channels or need to be working on multiple projects

Free Options for Beginners or Light Users

Once you look at your needs and decide how much you’re willing to spend (or not spend at all), you can begin the process of selecting the best option.

iMovie

Apple made iMovie extremely user-friendly and accessible. A big perk to iMovie is being able to use it on your phone for more basic edits. As a PC user for a laptop, but an iPhone user for my phone, I can still use iMovie.

Although working off your phone won’t be ideal for longer productions, it is very handy if you need to be editing something that is pretty basic or on the go. iMovie also exists for iPhones and iPads to make editing on the go easier.

Key Features:

  • Video trimming
  • Split screen
  • Pre-made transition library
  • 4k resolution

Shotcut

As a fully open source program, this is a free service that, once downloaded, does not require you to do any upgrades. It has a lot of helpful tutorial videos and can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It can be a little tricky for some users at first, as the interface is a bit finicky, but overall will be a smooth ride.

Key Features:

  • 4k resolution support
  • Native timeline editing
  • Timesaver for larger files, because they do not need to be imported

Blender

Similar to Shotcut, Blender is open source and entirely free. Its original purpose was as a 3D animation suite, but now it also comes with a handy video editor. For a free option, it allows some more complex tasks like video masking.

Having an array of additional features does make this software a bit longer to learn and master as far as free options go. But if you need something a bit stronger and still want to stay on the free side of things, this could be your option.

Key Features:

  • Audio mixing, scrubbing, and syncing
  • Up to 32 slots of adding video
  • Speed control, adjustment layers, transitions, and filters
  • Live preview, chroma vectorscope, and histogram displays

HitFilm Express

HitFilm is a more professional-feeling software that can be found for free, so learning to use it  may also be a bit more of a learning curve. It includes over 180 special effects, which is a big perk for the free options.

There are options to purchase additional add-ons, but all functions are free and available for use for free.

Key Features:

  • Advanced cutting tools
  • Audio and video filters
  • 3D video support
  • Compositing tools
  • Keying for green screen

Paid Options for Advanced Users or Higher Production Value

If you’re looking for more than the options listed above, and need further features and capabilities, you will most likely be looking at a paid software.

Final Cut Pro

As one of the most well-known software available, it sits on the top of many lists for good reason. For having as many features as it does, it still finds a way to be fairly user-friendly if you are not a professional editor.

The storage space you have on your computer will be a factor to consider, as Final Cut Pro takes up a lot of RAM. Being such a powerful program comes with a lot of space that gets eaten up, so be sure you have enough; otherwise, it may cause some severe lagging.

The layout is clear and precise, while the features are rich and offer a wide range of customization.

Pinnacle

Pinnacle is a top choice for many vloggers that is specifically available for Windows. It’s more unique feature being its creation with a 64-bit architecture. It makes it run extremely smooth and efficient for the variety it offers, including for 4k and other high-resolution videos.

The complexities of this software won’t be the easiest to master, but it remains a top choice for its specificity towards features that are important to vloggers like shared templates, multi-camera editing, split-screen, and an array of graphics options.

Filmora

Vloggers get a lot of value from Filmora’s tools. With a free trial to learn more about its functions, it is a great option to test out. A key feature that Filmora is known for is their ample abilities for text and graphics.

They have easy to use social import, solid audio mixing features, and GIF support that all aid the needs of a vlogger looking for an all-in-one software that can handle anything from basic edits up to complex ones.

Adobe Premiere Pro

With an excellent interface, high-powered tools, and many resources to help you learn as you go, this is a top pick among many. It can handle all sizes of projects and remains an easier option to use than similar software in its class.

Adobe Premiere Pro is what I use personally for my vlog editing.

Their updates are automatically installed annually for you, and they continue to get better and better. The workspace is task-oriented and allows you to work on multiple projects at the same time for timely uploading if you are running multiple channels.

Time to Get Vlogging

Any of these programs will be a safe bet to cover all of your editing needs when creating a successful vlog. Think about your overall needs for your projects, your budget, and what features are most important to you. Understanding all of those items will lead you to your best solution.

Dan Sanchez, MBA

Dan Sanchez is a marketing director, co-host of the B2B Growth show, and blogger. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and BS in Marketing Management from Western Governors University. Learn more about Dan »

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