How To: Choosing Video Editing Software

Video is big news—and big in news. In 2014, 63 percent of U.S. adults watched online video and 36 percent watched news video online. In the field of communications, it is imperative that practitioners understand how to shoot and edit video. In fact, Communications@Syracuse values the skill so much that students are introduced to it early on in their coursework.

But with so many options to choose from, how can you find the video editing software that’s right for you? Here we cover three options that our students have used for the Multimedia Storytelling class. iMovie is a beginner-level software that’s easy to learn. Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the only Windows-friendly option of the three listed here, so if you’re constrained by operating system, this might be the choice for you. If you’re a Mac aficionado, however, Final Cut Pro X is professional-level software preferred by many in the field.

Dig in to find out the specifications, cost, features and more of each of these software packages.

SoftwareiMovieFinal Cut Pro XAdobe Premiere ProCC (Creative Cloud)
$14.99, one time
$299.99, one time
$19.99, per month
Operating System
OS X 10.10.5 or later
OS X 10.10.4 or later
Windows 7 or later; OS 10.9 or later
Browse and share videos via Mail Drop, YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo; make trailers; create 4K and HD movies; easy sound and video enhancement; watch anywhere with iMovie Theater (more)
Magnetic timeline; inline precision editor; automatic sync for multiple camera angles; real-time playback performance; background processing; customizable effects; compatible with third-party FxPlug plug-ins; integrated audio editing; intuitive color grading; one-step optimized output for Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, DVD or Blu-ray (more)
Quick color corrections; broad native format support; seamless visual effects and audio editing; touch and gesture (more)
Alternate Versions
Ease of Use
Beginner level
Professional Level
Professional Level
Latest Update
Online Documentation
Video Editing Software Specifications

In addition to these three options, there is a wealth of free software available to explore. No matter which software you choose, video editing is an important skill that will serve you well in your communications career.