In order to determine the best free video editing software for PC in 2017, a few things must be considered. It must be easy to use, fast, and full of useful features. While Adobe Premier Pro has been the software leader in the paid category for many years, lesser known programs have been gaining steam recently. In fact, there are some completely free applications out there that can compete with the likes of paid professional software. Here are the three best free programs available in 2017.
Hitfilm 4 Express is a non-linear editor developed by FX Home. It boasts a robust, but friendly user interface along with many other features including 2D and 3D effects compositing, over 180 visual effects, and free video tutorials & training. Hitfilm 4 Express also allows easy exporting to .mp4. While Hitfilm 4 Express supports many special effect addons, not all are available for free. The paid addons can be bought through the software similar to in-app purchases on a mobile application. Also, the program asks that you share the software on one of your social media pages, such as Facebook, after downloading. This can be rather annoying to some people (like myself), but it may not be to others. One other drawback to the program is poor file format support. This means that files may need to be converted to a compatible format before being imported.
DaVinci Resolve 12.5 by Black Magic Design is a non-linear professional editor with the most advanced color correction tools available today. This program has only recently been released as a free download, previously only available for a hefty price. Its overall feel is very similar to that of Adobe Premier. Experienced Premier users will be right at home navigating and working in DaVinci Resolve 12.5. Another notable benefit is flawless audio/video syncing. Multi camera production is a breeze with this program. Moreover, DaVinci Resolve 12.5 is completely scalable and resolution independent so it can be used on set, in a small studio, or integrated into the largest Hollywood production pipeline. While DaVinci Resolve 12.5 is quite robust, it does have some limitations. Firstly, the program only exports files in the .mov format. Also, special effect support is much more limited than Hitfilm 4 Express.
VSDC Free Video Editor is a non-linear software that has perhaps the most robust file format support I have ever seen. This goes for importing/exporting of a plethora of video formats and also audio formats. It also offers support for 2K and 4K ultra Hi-def editing. Additionally, webcam and screen capture features are included in the program, making it a very well-rounded, all in one package. Video and audio effects are on par with Hitfilm 4 Express. However, what this program does well in terms of versatility, it lacks in design. VSDC Free Video Editor has the most complicated interface of the software in this article. The learning curve is definitely much steeper than other programs. Professional support is available through the official website for a reasonable $14.99 per year. Also, crashes while exporting is not uncommon.
Freemake Video Converter is not a video editor like the other programs above. However, it is a complimentary video converter used by over 90 million people that serves to publish content in a variety of ways. Freemake Video Converter supports many video hosting websites, such as YouTube, and a variety of video formats. It also allows for the rescaling of films so that they are suitable for a specified device and can be published directly to supported website and/or burned to DVD or Blu-ray. However, while the program is free, it does come with some annoying install settings that include bloatware and browser settings changes. Be sure to use a custom installation method to avoid unwanted software and browser search bar.
While there may not yet be the perfect free video editing software suite in 2017, many programs are coming very close to competing with the big dogs like Adobe Premier Pro. Indeed, many of these free programs offer features that are just as good as or better than leading paid programs. However, as expected with most free software, some features and user interface design are lacking in many respects. Nevertheless, all of these programs are available for free. Therefore, the risk in trying one or all of them is minimal. If you are looking for a suitable free video editing program in 2017, look no further than Hitfilm 4 Express, DaVinci Resolve 12.5, or VSDC Free Video Editor.