Choosing a Video Editing Program

Post-Production B

One of the most frequently asked questions from people who are starting to produce videos is “Which editing software should I use?”

Some people swear by Sony Vegas, others will fight to the death trying to sell you on Adobe Premiere and you’ll also have the Final Cut Pro and Avid fans.

Before we start arguing about which one is the best piece of software, I’ll start by saying that ALL of these tools will allow you to edit your videos professionally. They all have slightly different ways to do it, but at the end of the day, you can have a professional-looking edit coming out of any of these editing programs.

Having said that, there’s a few things to consider when deciding on an editing platform :


Editing programs have become cheaper in the last few years, but there’s still a reasonable gap between the cheapest and the most expensive programs.  For example, you can get Final Cut X for $299 US while AVID Media composer will run you $999 US.

Plug-in compatibility

Editing programs are great by themselves, but getting plug-ins is like adding extra whipped cream on that Venti Caramel Frappuccino.

There are many types of plug-ins, but the most popular are the colour-correcting kind. For example, there’s Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant, which is compatible with Premiere, FCPX, Vegas and Avid, and there are the awesome Crumblepop products which are only available for Final Cut X.

Mac or Windows?

Your editing software decision might have to be based on your operating system because you won’t be able to run Final Cut X on your Windows computer and you won’t be able to run Sony Vegas 12 on your Mac OS.

You could run these programs using Virtual machines, Boot Camp or with your custom-built Hackintosh, but the performance and reliability of the software might not be the best.

Make sure you don’t spend all your money on your editing program, because you’ll most likely need some cash to get some plug-ins or a music & sound effects library.

So there you go, a few things to think about before committing to a editing program.

Check out these links to the most popular editing programs:

Adobe Premiere

Sony Vegas

Final Cut Pro X

Avid Media Composer


Which edit program do you like?  Tweet us @viso.

Francisco is a videographer, motion graphics designer and editor for BroadbandTV. Read him at @birdothebird.


Partner Q&A

Here’s the first runner-up entry to our latest VISO contest where we asked: “What’s the most unexpected thing to happen to you while making a video?”  Beau C. wrote in with his real-life story involving the cops, a flying nun, and nunchucks:

“Have you ever had real guns pointed at you, and there being a very high chance that you were about to get shot? There they were: Three officers with their guns locked and loaded, aimed at my torso while screaming, “GET ON YOUR KNEES. GET ON YOUR KNEES.”

I was just finishing a solo video project called “The Fighting Nun” (it’s exactly what it sounds like). Evidently the filming location I had chosen was not remote enough, and someone driving on a distant road had a pair of binoculars. They must have felt it appropriate to call 911 on a fellow dancing and twirling nunchucks in front of a camera on the desert outskirts of Spokane Washington.

I remember it as if it was yesterday; as I knelt in the dust and laced my hands behind my head, one of the three officers cautiously advanced while asking three questions: “Sir, were you previously dressed as a nun?” “Yes officer, I was,” suddenly remembering I had not taken my makeup off. He continued, “Do you have any weapons?” “Yes officer, I do,” nodding my head in the direction of my metal war chest, which was chock full of virtually every martial art weapon one could imagine. Additionally I had included a spray-painted Air Soft gun that curiously resembled a 50 cal. Desert Eagle.

My mind raced, “The next question is going to make this situation better. Surely I can’t go three for three.” The officer then asked, “Do you have a gun or anything that resembles a gun?” The nail in the coffin. I swallowed hard, “Well, yes sir, I–I actually do.”

As I knelt there handcuffed, I proceeded to patiently explain my video, why I was wearing lipstick and tabby (Ninja) boots, and why I had a supply of 4 different pairs of nunchucks (to which one officer, after lightening up, quietly said, “Oh, nun-chucks… ha.”).

They turned out to be fairly nice people, swapping YouTube video stories of their own, and asking how they can access the video when I was finished editing it. The conversation ended with a warning to film my future videos in a “more private location,” I was allowed to leave.

However the worst part that afternoon was not staring down the barrels of three chambered guns, but having to explain to my boss why I was late for the first time ever to my afternoon shift. To this day he doesn’t believe me.

-Beau Chevassus / The Fighting Nun

Bonus – You may see the squad cars pulling away at the end of the video here.”