If you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel and you are trying to make your videos look like Casey Neistat’s, Peter McKinnon, Linus, Marques Brownlee, or maybe PewDiePie, or any other YouTuber that you look up to you are probably asking yourself:
While using the same video editing software as your favorite YouTuber may and may be not the best idea for you, let’s do a run down of the top video editing software used by YouTubers first and then let’s talk some more about how you should pick your editor.
Which are the most used video editing software by YouTubers?
The top 3 video editors used for YouTube video editing are iMovie, Premiere Pro CC, and Final Cut Pro X.
iMovie is great for beginners, it’s easier to use but does not offer as many editing options and features as the other two.
Both Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X are very powerful video editors that established YouTubers such as Casey Neistat’s, Peter McKinnon are using.
The most used video editing software by YouTubers: iMovie
iMovie sits at the top of the list for a couple of reasons.
First, it is free and it comes with your Mac system as part of the operating system.
Second, it offers the basic options you need to cut a video and it is extremely easy to use.
While it doesn’t compare to the things the professional video editors lets you do, iMovie offers decent options.
You can play arrond different, effects and transtions. You can do basic color matching and color adjustment by using filters. You can create intros for your videos.
So it really offers pretty much all you need to get started as a YouTuber without getting to deep into video editing and focusing more on recording and creating the content for your channel.
I would go as far as looking to iMovie as a mini version of Final Cut Pro X, which is a macOS video editor as well.
So in some ways, transitioning from iMovie to Final Cut Pro X later down the road is not that difficult. Many of the buttons and options look the same.
With that being said, iMovie works great with HEIC or MOV file types. So if you are using an iPhone to record your YouTube videos you are set.
iMovie also has a pretty capable mobile version, so you can start editing on your iPhone or iPad as well. So that’s super convenient.
iMovie uses a drag and drop timeline and let’s you cut, trim, crop add subtitles super easy.
Here is a quick iMovie video tutorial to help you jump start your video editing.
The Pros of using iMovie
- it is free
- it is very easy to use
- perfect to edit iPhone videos
- has a mobile version as well
- great for learning the basics of video editing
The Cons of using iMovie
- only works on Apple systems
- offers only two video tracks
- limits your creativity as a video editor after a while
The second most used video editing software by YouTubers: Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is the second most popular video editing software used by YouTubers.
And to be frank it’s also used to edit Hollywood films. So I guess that says right off the bat a lot of things about its capabilities.
Premiere Pro definitely qualifies as a professional video editing software. There’s not much you can’t do in Premiere, so you have full control over your vlogs or YouTube videos.
There are tons of free templates for Premiere Pro that you can use, plenty of LUTs, presets, and transitions to choose from. So that’s one way of making your videos more visually appealing without too much work or too much editing experience.
Premiere Pro lets you add text titles, split screens, crop your video, add lower thirds, text pop-ups, change the coloring, and many, many more things that I could not list in here.
Moreover, you can link Premiere Pro and After Effects and have animation work you did in After Effects imported in your Premiere timeline. That is one very powerful advantage to keep in mind.
Adobe Premiere runs both on PC and MAC systems.
Opposed to iMovie, Premiere Pro CC is not free. You will need to pay a monthly fee of around 25 USD to get it through the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
Here is an in-depth tutorial on how to use Premiere Pro.
The Pros of using Premiere Pro
- very powerful, lots of options and features
- you can find lots of online tutorials on how to use it
- you can import After Effects animation
- there is a huge number of templates, presets, effects, and LUTs you can use
- you can collaborate with other YouTubers by exchanging the Premiere Pro project file
- runs both on Windows and macOS
The Cons of using Premiere Pro
- the cost can add up if you are using it for several years
- it is using a lot of hardware resources
- it is not as stable as you would expect it to be and it can cause your computer to crash or freeze.
The third most used video editing software by YouTubers: Final Cut Pro X
Lastly, but not least, Final Cut Pro X, the big brother of iMovie is the third most used video editor by YouTubers.
While it’s not as powerful and as feature-packed as Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X is a great step up if you are coming from iMovie.
This video editor will cost you 299 USD and you can buy it from Apple. It is a little bit of an investment, but at least is a one time fee and you get lifetime support and updates. As oposed to Premiere Pro for which Adobe charges a smaller, but recurring monthly fee.
Final Cut Pro X will let you work with multi-camera projects, do color correction, import presets and transitions, and a lot of really awesome stuff.
Since Final Cut is developed by Apple, they optimized it very well for macOS and the Mac hardware. So, unlike Premiere Pro, Final Cut is much efficient at using hardware resources and it will run smoother and faster. That’s a really important factor to consider, as video editing software can be very taxing on the hardware, especially when you are working with 4K or higher resolution video files.
If you are looking to get started with Final Cut Pro X here is a very nice 20-minute tutorial to help you out.
The Pros of using Final Cut Pro X
- it’s a nice and easy upgrade from iMovie
- it is packed with most of the features you will ever need as a YouTuber
- you are charged a one-time fee
- it is very stable and very well optimized for the hardware
The Cons of using Final Cut Pro X
- it only runs on macOS
What other video editors can you use as a YouTuber
Other popular options include:
- Sonny Vegas Pro
What video editor I personally recommend
I have been running a video editing agency for more than 3 years now and I have tried a number of different video editors. I have also written another article about the best YouTube video editors which you can look at.
The only piece of software we are using right now at Veedyou is Premiere Pro. So that is what I recommend for a number of reasons that I am going to list below.
Before I do though, please note that you will have to pick the right video editing software for YOU. It’s about what YOU need and what fits YOUR list of requirements.
With that out of the way, here is why I use Premiere Pro:
- I get access to a HUGE number of templates, presets, effects, and transitions
- Many of my clients and collaborators use it and exchanging project files is important for my workflow.
- You can easily import After Effects sequences in the Premiere timeline
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.