The best video editors for macOS when iMovie doesn’t cut it

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Apple’s main video editing program on macOS is iMovie. It is enough for most people, but it does not satisfy professional and more advanced editors. Here are the best iMovie alternatives.

Here are other video editing programs that offer more to creators than iMovie currently doesn’t.

Final Cut Pro

Purchased by Apple in 1998 and becoming part of Final Cut Studios in 2006, Final Cut Pro was aimed at more professional creators and independent film and television producers. The application covered all aspects of offline and online video editing.

In 2011, Apple made the controversial decision to redesign Final Cut Pro from the ground up and give the application a more “app-like” experience.

Final Cut Pro allows creators to delve into more professional and customizable features that iMovie doesn’t. It opens the door for more fluid edits.

Many people who use the software enjoy the simplicity the application provides when they start. Although not seen as “entry-level” software, many see how the user-friendly navigation of the software was inspired by iMovie.

When you start with Final Cut Pro, the application allows editors to create, work on, and save projects directly and exclusively to an external hard drive. This does not slow down your computer or take up storage space on your device.

Final Cut Pro allows for real-time multi-cam editing of up to 16 audio and video channels. iMovie allows up to two videos.

Customization is vastly improved in Final Cut Pro over iMovie, giving creators more templates to choose from for title animations (you can choose from the included ones or purchase additional ones), keyframing (which allows creators to set animations to be performed at certain times (example: zoom in and out of a subject in a certain part of the movie)) and full color correction and gradation tools through color curlers and color wheels.

Creators are also able to customize the aspect ratio and frame rate of their projects.

Final Cut Pro is priced at $299, with no app alternative for iOS or iPadOS. The purchase covers all future updates and allows the software to be installed on up to five devices at the same time.

Adobe Premiere Pro

When Adobe Premiere Pro was introduced to the public in 1991, it was the standard for professional video editing for newscasts and feature films. Since then, it has been updated to give editors more functionality through the program with new and improved features.

One area where Premiere Pro beats out iMovie would be in its area of ​​compatibility with which operating systems can run it. Premiere Pro can be run on Windows and macOS, while iMovie only runs on Apple’s operating systems.

While the idea of ​​software being presented as “more professional” might give the illusion that it’s difficult to navigate, Premiere Pro does the opposite. Although the learning curve from the beginning can be a lot, the application provides a versatile experience by providing a useful experience for both beginners and advanced creators.

Adobe Stocks allows editors to add visual and audio components to their projects without having to leave the program to find them.

Continuity among other Adobe programs is another area Premiere Pro shines. The editing software connects with Illustrator and Photoshop to allow creators to create graphics in one program and seamlessly export them to another.

Adobe Typekit also allows creators to use the Essentials Graphics panel, which allows them to customize and create unique title graphics. Typekit allows you to choose from thousands of different fonts to use for text in your project.

For audio features, Premiere Pro offers a lot of options to choose from. Essential Sound Panel can be seen as very useful for creators, as the program corrects audio errors, adjusts volume and adds special effects to sound bites when appropriate.

Visual and color effects are strong points of the video editing software. You can use color grading and edit colors directly in apps such as lighting, contrast, and hues, and adjust an area. Creators can also use the wide range of options provided by the visual effects library to add cinematic filter presets to multiple areas, such as transitions and green screen typing.

You can subscribe to Adobe Premiere Pro for $20.99 per month. There are currently no other payment plan options available.

DaVinci Resolve

Like other professional editing software, DaVinci Resolve offers the same level of customization within its application. DaVinci offers an intuitive graphical interface, but offers an easy way to create professional projects.

Released in 2004, DaVinci offers an abundance of features that allow creators to produce high-quality media and movies. Featured features from the application would be their automatic color correction, noise reduction, audio restoration and visual effects. With these features, it allows creators to produce high-definition video output.

The simplified interface that DaVinci offers makes it easy for creators to access the features they want most. Various connections to external devices make it easier for editors to transfer files between devices.

While DaVinci can primarily be used as video editing software, it can also allow the creator to edit images on the platform. The software offers adjustable parameters, image stabilization tools, color inversion, timeline editing, and a tradition and effects library.

Multiple people can work together on a project in real time through DaVinci. This is a feature that iMovie currently lacks.

As with Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci can run on multiple operating systems. The program can run on macOS, Windows and Linux.

There are two versions of DaVinci Resolve: DaVinci Resolve 18 (free version) and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18 (paid version). Studio 18 includes additional features such as stereoscopic 3D tools, higher resolution content export, facial refinement, additional Resolve FX filters, Fairlight FX audio plugins, and advanced HDR grading and HDR scopes.

DaVinci Resolve can be downloaded for free, while DaVinci Resolve Studio can be purchased online for $295.

The verdict with iMovie

iMovie is good video editing software for people who want to edit short films, vlogs or compile a group of different videos together with simple edits and transitions. It is also very clearly aimed at the “average Joe” and not the professional.

While the free price tag is hard to beat and what you get for it isn’t shabby, the editing style limitations may push creators towards more advanced video editing software.

iMovie comes pre-installed on Macs and can be downloaded from the App Store for iPhone and iPad owners.


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