With video continuously rising in popularity in multiple creative and commercial fields –marketing and advertising, social media, communication, entertainment, you name it–, comes an ever-increasing community of creatives avidly interested in producing video content and all it implies, including video editing.
The expansion of video format mixed with affordable resources like stock footage and video editing software means not only seasoned filmmakers and video producers are in the game now: enthusiastic hobbyists, multiple hat-wearing marketers, and DIY-minded business owners are giving it a go as well. This wide range of users logically have different needs and not all of them will find them in the same tools. While Adobe is arguably one of the kings of video editing with their star Premiere Pro and After Effects applications, there are many reasons for you to need or at least consider an alternative option for editing your footage. All the more when you're using content from the best stock footage sites combined with native material. For you, the team at Footage Secrets has gotten hands down to work to bring you this list of the best Adobe alternatives for video editing, that will make it much easier for you to find the one that ticks all your boxes.
Why Would Anyone Need an Adobe Alternative?
Nobody can deny Adobe has some of the most complete software tools for image manipulation, and that includes video editing apps. Premiere Pro and After Effects are both very robust solutions that can handle each and every aspect of professional video editing. That’s the main reason they’re chosen by mainstream professionals creating some of the latest worldwide blockbusters as well as beginner artists putting together their first portfolio projects, and many in between. However, the main counterpoint in Adobe’s editors is their cost and pricing structure. As it’s part of their cloud-based service (Adobe Creative Cloud), it is under a subscription model. You can opt for just one app, like Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects, ranging from $31,49 monthly to $239,88 yearly. Or you can get the full plan with access to all Creative Cloud applications for $79,49 per month or $599,88 per year. While reasonable and certainly packed with benefits —Adobe Stock’s footage collection is accessible directly from Creative Cloud apps, for example– these subscriptions aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and for some, they’re just out of budget especially if they’re embarking on long-term projects or are looking for a permanent, go-to editing tool. Another turndown for creatives is that their software requires powerful hardware resources, and also a certain degree of incompatibility and glitches have been reported from MacOS users. This leads to a large crowd of folks needing to edit video professionally and looking for an alternative to Adobe that is as efficient but not so costly and fully compatible with their devices. And that’s why we’re here.
Discover the new Creative Cloud Express - 2021.12.13Adobe has now launched Creative Cloud Express, a user-friendly, multimedia design tool that is both an upgrade and a replacement for Adobe Spark Post. Soon, it will also integrate the functions of Adobe Spark Video, with tools for quick, easy, and powerful video editing that are perfect for non-professionals. Don't miss it!
Without further ado, here is our list of alternative video editing tools that can perform just as well as the Adobe apps. Read through and find your match! (Pssst… need help with your editing skills? Then don't miss our cool guide to edit film like a pro!) https://youtu.be/0q8y7Qla-yc
HitFilm Express & HitFilm Pro – A First-Class VFX Editing Tool
Platforms: Windows – Mac
Price: Free with paid add-ons – Premium version for $299 (includes one year of free updates and support)
Useful for beginners and experts
Strong VFX editing capacity
Complex interface – requires time to learn how to use it
Pro version requires a considerable investment
Developed by FXHome, HitFilm is a well-rounded, streamlined video editor that is side-by-side comparable to Adobe tools.What makes it a perfect alternative? For one, it serves all editing needs, from basic cut and stitching to full-blown visual effects. In fact, VFX is where HitFilm thrives, with software capable of the most complex and mainstream-like editing including 3D animations and beyond. It also comes with very powerful features to manipulate audio, something not all video editors include. And here comes the best: HitFilm Express is totally free! While it comes with add-ons and special features you must pay to use, the software itself is free of charge, free of ads, and still a professional-grade editing tool. If you want full power, HitFilm Pro 13 is the ultimate premium version of the software. It has the benefit of being a one-time purchase and –unlike Adobe apps– doesn’t require a subscription. One thing to consider, though, is that being such a first-class product its interface is relatively complex and it’s a learning curve to get its maximum value. However, they provide extensive tutorials to walk you through it all.
DaVinci Resolve 16 – The Ultimate Color Correction Tool for Video
Platforms: Windows – Mac – Linux
Price: Free – $299 for Studio version (Beta)
It’s an all-in-one video editor
Has unique and very advanced features
It simplifies editing tasks for time-saving
The interface is complicated and requires learning your way around it
The most powerful features are locked in the paid, pro version
DaVinci Resolve 16 is the latest version of BlackMagicDesign’s video editor. It’s most remarkable feature is its famous, advanced colour correction tool. But this robust software is equipped to handle your video projects from beginning to end, as it takes care not only of editing but also of post-production including audio and VFX. So it goes without saying it’s a very cool alternative to Adobe. What makes it stand out? It comes with a cool multi-user collaborating function that allows various team members to work on different aspects of the project all at once. And adds AI, in the form of Neural Engine, to power some of the most advanced features. You’ll be pleased to learn there is a free version of DaVinci Resolve available, and while it’s limited as one could expect, it is still very complete and useful if you’re trying to edit your videos without spending in software. But for taking full advantage of this solution you need the pro, DaVinci Resolve Studio. Currently in Beta, its price is very reasonable and it’s a one-time purchase with no further payments needed.You gotta keep in mind this tool is complex and its interface isn’t the friendliest around. But once you get around it you’ll notice some of its key functions are actually much simpler to use than in other editors.
Final Cut Pro X – The Go-To Video Editor for Apple Lovers
Price: Free trial (30 days only) – $299 for full access
Full compatibility with macOS devices – not so demanding hardware specs
Multiple integrations for added functionality
It’s for Mac only
Interface works better on bigger, iMac screens
If you’re a Mac user, by far the best alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro is Final Cut Pro X. Why? Because it’s developed by Apple themselves to not only cater to their users’ particular needs (and who knows Apple lovers better than Apple), but also to work oily and sleekly on macOS devices. Its full compatibility adds to their professional editing features to give you everything you need to edit video on your Mac. A great advantage in this tool is that, despite being professional-grade, it’s relatively user-friendly and doesn’t take too long to get your way around its features, providing an easy transition for Apple iMovie users that are ready for the big leagues in video editing, as well as anyone who’s not as experienced in using pro-level software. Final Cut Pro X handles everything in video editing, even supports 3D files. And has various plugins and integrations available to ensure you can get your projects done. As a negative, it’s worth noting that the beautifully designed UX works better in bigger screens like those of the latest iMacs. However, you can still use the software and get most of its powerful features working with more modest Apple devices. Currently, you can start out by trying Final Cut Pro X for free for one month, but the full, unrestricted access to this editor is under a one-time fee. Considering its utility, it’s a very reasonable price.
Vegas Pro 17 – A Video Editing Alternative for Windows
Price: Free trial – $199 to $399
Complete audio editing functionality
Extra integrations available
It’s not quite a professional tool
Now under the Magix developing team, Vegas Pro 17 is a non-linear video editor that, while only available for Windows users, is very complete and features some very advanced functions like a full-blown audio editing tool (something Adobe Premiere Pro users may miss). Its latest version adds very interesting and useful functionality like nested timelines to work on simultaneously or independently, professional colour grading, VFX and more. One very cool thing about this software is its interface is customizable and you can both arrange it to have your most-used features at hand, and save layers for continued use. While the audio editing capabilities and further integrations available make it a well-rounded solution for most creatives, in certain aspects it can be said that Vegas Pro isn’t quite a pro-level product. Despite that, it’s certainly capable of handling video editing for most of your needs. They offer a free trial, but if you want to work with this software long term you’ll need to buy it. If you own a previous version, you can access the upgrade, discounted price. If not, you need to pay full price but it’s a very industry-standard one and a one-time payment.
LightWorks – The Open Source Alternative in Video Editing
Platforms: Windows – Mac – Linux
Price: Free version – From $24,99 to $437,99
Reputable software with 25 years of history
Free and very complete
Supportive community with a big, active forum
The free version doesn’t export in a professional-level definition
The user interface requires learning
LightWorks is an open-source video editing software launched over 25 years ago –almost as old as Adobe Premiere–. As a result, it has a very loyal and active user base, and it is currently a very capable editing tool with impressive performance. This is a non-linear editor and is equipped with features to handle professional projects at top speed, including VFX functionality. Some cool perks? They developed a USB keyboard to work with their editor, that you can buy separately. And they have a very big community forum that is lively and full of resources. One thing worth mentioning is that LightWorks’ interface is not similar to those of other comparable editing software. So if you come from one of them, it will take you a while to get accustomed to its disposition and features. You will love to know this open-source tool has a very efficient free version that can do it all… except for exporting in anything over 720p. Their paid models are much more competitive for the professional user, and you have options for monthly and annual subscriptions, as well as a one-time purchase.
iStock Video Editor – The User-Friendly Tool for Non-Video Editors
Price: Free – You only pay for the stock videos/stock images you use
Super easy to use
Video projects are limited to 5 min in length
It performs basic editing, lacks in advanced features
The iStock Video Editor is, as you guessed, a video editing tool offered by iStock, on its website, that lets you create quick, simple, yet beautiful videos. And the best is that you don't need to have advanced editing skills, nor commit time to learn to use the tool, because it's very easy and intuitive. The Editor comes with professionally-designed templates for things like social media platforms, YouTube, marketing, and more. You may include music tracks from a selection provided, for free, as well as your choice of iStock's stock videos and stock images (which you must pay for, at the standard price). You can also upload your own content, of course, and come up with very creative and unique projects, up to 5 mins in length. The project can then be downloaded in several formats, and adjusted to different sizes –like for social media–, as well as re-downloaded whenever you want. It's a great alternative for those who need simple videos and don't want to spend money or time in learning how to use complex tools.
Edit Your Videos Away with Our Great Alternatives to Adobe Software
As you see, there are no excuses not to get yourself hands down to work with creating and editing awesome, professional-quality videos. Even if you don’t like or can’t quite work with the famous Adobe editing apps –be it due to budget restrictions or personal preferences–, there are plenty of options to get the work done! Have a look around and explore the Adobe alternatives we presented you, we’re sure you’ll find one you’re comfortable with. Happy editing!
I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus in providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry.
I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography, like the PixelRockstar WordPress Plugin. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight.
I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.
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