Although free video editing software has improved markedly in recent years, paid software still offers the best overall solution in 2018. There is such a plethora of programs on the market available for PC with differing feature sets and price points, it may be hard to know where to begin. At Regal Computers, we like to help our customers find the best paid video editing software available today, which is why we have put together a list of the best paid video editing software for PC in 2018.
Probably the most recognized name on this list, Adobe Premier Pro continues to offer one of the best video editing software packages in the world. To start with, Premier Pro comes with Adobe Media Encoder allowing users to convert between a laundry list of file types. With this also comes a file manager, support for 4K (and higher) video, and 360 VR support. Premier Pro also offers unlimited multi-cam angles, allowing users to select clips and choose a synching method from the right-click menus. Clips can even be synchronized based on their audio, a huge help with shots that have no time codes. Another bonus with Premier Pro is its top notch organizational tools including storing and collaborating online with the Creative Cloud. However, all of these great features come at a premium in the form of a subscription fee. The $20.99 per month annually increases to $31.49 if users want to use the program on a month to month basis. Additionally, the program sometimes requires integration with After Effects, which is a separate payment of $20.99 per month. However, considering the depth and flexibility of the program, Adobe Premier Pro is still one of the best paid programs on the market in 2018.
Camtasia is widely regarded as the best screen recording tool available today. From personal experience, I can tell you that free screen recorders come nowhere close in terms of usability and features when compared to Camtasia. Offering screen recording at a true 30 frames per second, Camtasia is an ideal software for people who create tutorials and record Powerpoint presentations, with or without narration added via microphone. Moreover, the software comes with great out the box resources such as helpful video and PDF tutorials, allowing users to learn the program quickly. While it is mainly known as a screen recording software, Camtasia now offers a complete suite of features comparable with any modern paid software including animations, callouts, text scrolling, unlimited tracks and the ability to drag working tracks to a different part of the workspace if your timeline gets busy. However, there are some questionable features lacking such as no support for live recording from a DV camera and only being able to import single video and audio tracks from a .mov file. Overall, Camtasia might justify its $199 price tag with its screen capture features alone. If you still unsure about dropping the cash, you can test the product yourself with a free 30-day trial.
Sony Vegas Pro offers perhaps the largest package of support and features of the software on this list. The list includes powerful third party software such as Boris FX BCC Match Move Unit, 3D Objects Unit, Tilter Pro 3 and Key and Blend Unit, allowing a peerless set of post-production editing tools and techniques. Furthermore, Vegas Pro offers an expandable edit mode with detailed timeline and supports 4K video (including intelligent upscaling). While the UI is a bit complex, offering utility over attractiveness, the program is thankfully easy to learn and offers a vast library of effects and solid image stabilization. Perhaps the biggest drawback for Vegas Pro is its price tag. It does not really offer anything above and beyond its competition at this price point. However, if you are willing to make the significant monetary investment and take time to learn how to use it properly, Vegas Pro can be used to create highly polished projects ranging from YouTube videos to feature films.
The last entry on this list, Power Director 16 Ultimate is our pick for the best paid video editing software of 2018. While it does not have the name recognition of Sony Vegas Pro or Adobe Premier Pro, it equals or surpasses these more well-known programs in terms of features, speed, and support. Perhaps the best thing about Power Director is its speedy interface, which offers encoding with NVidia hardware acceleration. Although the number of options available when all features are enabled can seem like too much, the interface offers the traditional source and preview split panels on top with timeline along the entire bottom length of the screen. Users can apply effects, drag transitions between clips, and add audio without switching to timeline view. The box of tools offered by Power Director is robust, making it a breeze to fix lighting and color, stabilize video, and trim down to the individual frame. Moreover, the loads of effects, motion tracking, multicam editing, 4K, 3D, and 360-degree VR support, and screen recording make Power Director a complete package. It not only does everything, but does everything well, and at a price point that truly makes it a bargain.
If you are still using free video editing software in 2018, it may be time to upgrade to a paid program. With such a vast array of options available to suit a wide range of budgets, there has never been a better time to make the investment of a paid software. While Camtasia, Sony Vegas Pro, and Adobe Premier Pro are comprehensive tools offering robust feature sets and support, Cyberlink Power Director 16 Ultimate does the same for about half the price. At Regal Computers, we aim to offer customers the best performance possible at a tremendous value. Power Director 16 Ultimate does the same, which is why it is our pick for the best paid video editing software for PC of 2018.