A content manager in an IT company. Interested in video and photo editing. Like corgis, books and music.
Making your own videos may sound challenging, especially when you see all the amazing clips all over the internet, and you are just a beginner with a load of raw footage. Don’t worry, you will get there too. Every famous blogger started out just like you and me, so don’t get discouraged.
What you need is a good video editor, and today we’re gonna talk about free video editing software. This is the best option for beginners, as you can try out different services without a huge investment. When I first decided to have a go at film editing, I was overwhelmed with the abundance of options. Well, now we have even more options, but they are no longer aimed strictly at professionals. You can easily find an editor that works for your level of experience.
Here’s a list of the top options that, with time, can make a pro out of a newbie. What is the best? That depends on your needs. You are more than welcome to try them out and decide for yourself. Let’s get down to business.
Let’s kick off our list with Lumen5. It is quite popular with marketers as it has a selection of templates for promotional videos. Its main feature is the AI-powered technology that turns your script into a ready-made slideshow. You’ll only need to tweak a few details here and there, and overall it does a pretty decent job of turning text into visuals.
Lumen5 carefully takes you through the video editing process step by step. First, you choose how you want to get started: insert a link with text, upload your script, use your media or a template. Then, you can choose a video format – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or other aspect ratio presets. In the next step, you can select a pre-made theme or create your own brand preset with appropriate colors and fonts. Finally, the AI puts together the first slideshow draft that you can adjust as you like. It takes just a couple of minutes to render the video, and then you can download the results in MP4 or upload directly to Facebook.
- AI turns scripts into videos
- Lots of customization tools
- Huge library of stock media
- Limited export options
With the free Lumen5 account, you can create three videos per month and save them only at 720p resolution. Plus your videos will have a watermark.
Paid plans start at $29 per month and expand your capabilities. For instance, you can add your own watermark, invite team members, use custom colors, and more.
Next on our list is Fastreel. At first glance, this movie editor may seem too simple. However, it has a lot of useful tools and the potential to become even better. In the free editing mode, you can upload images and videos, insert transitions, and overlay music. If you need something more complex, you can go on and explore the tools Fastreel offers. You can compress, cut, crop, merge, mute, reverse, and rotate videos – all the essential capabilities. Plus, there are some interesting options like stop-motion, split-screen, adding text, looping, and more.
Another thing you can do with Fastreel is create a video from a template. You can pick and modify any pre-made clip – there are many options to choose from: intros, outros, wedding cards, birthday greetings, tutorials, and more. Each template has a set of slides that fit the chosen theme. You can arrange them as you like, choose background music, and add titles using the fancy built-in fonts. After rendering, your video will be stored in the cloud for 24 hours, so you can download it later if you wish. You can also share the video on YouTube and Facebook, so uploading the results online will take no time.
- Lots of basic as well as more advanced tools
- Support for cloud storage
- YouTube and Facebook sharing
- Movie editing tools can only be used separately
All Fastreel tools are free, but the program adds a watermark to your videos, and you can only save files at 480p resolution.
You can purchase a Single Premium plan ($5.95 per video) or Unlimited Premium ($19.95 per month) to save videos in 1080p and without a watermark.
Magisto is one of the most popular tools for video creation. One really handy aspect is that you don’t need to set up a new account – you can log in via Google instead. This gives you an opportunity to use files from Google Photos and not be restricted to only one computer.
After you’ve uploaded your media files, you can set the tone for your video by choosing one of the suggested styles. They vary in colors, themes, and moods, so you’re sure to find one that fits your project. Then it’s time to select background audio from the existing collection or upload your own track. And this is when the magic happens. The AI analyzes your footage and puts it all together in an elegant way. If you’re not quite satisfied with the result, you can continue editing the video manually: change the color palette and style, choose another aspect ratio and layout, overlay your company logo, and more.
- Professional-looking styles and templates
- Integration with Google and Facebook
- AI-powered video software
- No video-enhancing tools
With a free account, you can create short clips, but you don’t have access to advanced creation and distribution features.
With a paid plan (Premium – $9.99 per month, Professional – $19.99 per month, Business – $69.99 per month), you can unlock ten-minute-long videos, iStock content, professional editing styles, and more.
And last but not least, ClipChamp. It is a full-featured video creator that enables you to do lots of things. It supports Google and Facebook accounts, so there’s no trouble in logging in. The service has both basic and advanced tools, so you can make the perfect movie in no time. On the downside, it is only available for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge and doesn’t work in other browsers.
In terms of tools, ClipChamp gives you more freedom, as you can create a video from scratch and not be restricted to a template. You can move your files around the handy working space, arrange them on multiple tracks, add titles, effects, logos, and transitions. Another great thing about ClipCham is built-in content: audio effects, music, backgrounds, popular GIFs, and a lot more. As for export, you can save the project to your computer or instantly upload it to YouTube.
- Both basic and advanced tools
- No watermark in the output video
- A handy GIF-maker
- Available only for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge
With the free ClipChamp plan, you can only save your video at 480p resolution and use the default compression settings.
Upgrading to Creator ($9 per month), Business ($19 per month), or Business Platinum ($39 per month) enables you to work with Full HD footage, apply custom logos, and use the picture-in-picture effect.
What is the easiest video editing software for beginners?
All of the options above are very easy to use and give you excellent results regardless of your experience. Lumen5, Fastreel, Magisto, and ClipChamp are arguably the best free video editing software products you can find online. They require no download, and even free plans provide you with just enough tools to create a movie or a slideshow. Let me know if you’ve used any of them and share your experience in the comments below.
© 2020 Victoria Greywing
Kalpana Iyer from India on September 30, 2020:
Interesting! I need to check these video editors. Thanks for sharing.