If you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel in 2022 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 maybe not be the best idea for you, let’s do a rundown 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?
Nothing has really changed since last year when we first published this, so the list is the same in 2022. 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, 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 let you do, iMovie offers decent options.
You can play around with different, effects and transitions. 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 too 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 lets you cut, trim, crop add subtitles super easily.
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 here.
Moreover, you can link Premiere Pro and After Effects and have animation work you did in After Effects imported into your Premiere timeline. That is one very powerful advantage to keep in mind.
Adobe Premiere runs both on PC and MAC systems.
As 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.
Another cool thing about Premiere Pro which I have been making use of recently is the XML timeline export which allows you to transfer your Premiere timeline to a Final Cut Pro user. So that’s pretty useful when you’re working with someone who doesn’t edit in Premiere.
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 opposed 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 do a lot of really awesome stuff.
Since Final Cut is developed by Apple, they optimized it very well for macOS and 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
Last but not least: Vegas Pro
Vegas Pro is one of my favorite video editing software for the simple fact that it is the first I ever used.
It is the program that I used to learn how to edit videos. I think it’s easier to work your way around it than Premiere Pro. So from this point of view, it works great if you are just starting out.
You can do some amazing-looking edits with it, but it is not as packed with features, options, and 3rd party plugins as Premiere Pro.
Nevertheless, it will keep you busy for a long time and you won’t want to switch to another software unless you’re really hardcore into editing.
I still do most of my edits and I actually use Premiere Pro when I need to edit a green screen video or insert After Effects compositions in there.
Vegas Pro can edit green-screen shots too, but it doesn’t do such a good job at it. You really need to tweak the hell out of it in order to get decent-looking masking.
This piece of software costs around $280 as I’m writing this, so it’s not that cheap.
What other video editors can you use as a YouTuber
Other popular options include:
What video editor I personally recommend
I have been running a video editing agency for more than 5 years now and I have tried a number of different video editors.
The only piece of software we are using right now at Veedyou is Premiere Pro and After Effects. So that is what I recommend for a number of reasons that I am going to list below.
We had one team member using Sony Vegas Pro for a while which was kind of restrictive when we had to exchange project files or just collaborate, but other than that everyone else is using the Adobe Creative Cloud.
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.