To the casual observer, you might think that editing software like Final Cut or Adobe are your only options to learn editing. Certainly they are the most popular for very good reasons, reasons that we will get into at some point.
We will also mention some editing software that cost nothing out of your own pocket, so all budgets will be represented here!
Best Premium Photo Editing Software – Affinity Photo
Most of you reading this list have probably only heard of Affinity in passing. Or, some of you just don’t want to pay the $50 – $200 price tag that it comes with. However, you’re sleeping on the most intuitive and best photo editing software out there.
What really sets this editing software apart is the ability to render and edit RAW images from any camera. Most times, you cannot use your RAW images in photo editing which makes this software a diamond in the rough.
Additionally, Affinity has several options for all kinds of editors. Do you use a drawing tablet as a commission artist? Affinity has that covered. Need some guides and tools to help you figure out the dense software options? They have several books available for purchase. Working on CGI art? Yup, they got that too.
For all of my photography work, I use Affinity Photo with occasional usages of Adobe Lightroom. Cannot recommend it enough.
Best Cheap/Subscription Photo Editing Software – Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop
Possibly the most well known photo editing software on the face of the planet, Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop is amazing. Lightroom is more simplistic and easy to use, basically just giving saturation, light wheels and balancing edits.
It’s mostly useful for touching up edits after being used in Photoshop. Photoshop is easily just as intuitive as Affinity in terms of the vast amount of options that you have for editing your photos. Additionally, Adobe has done nothing but improve the software over the years.
If there was one thing that Adobe Software does need to improve on, it would be the ease of use. Not to say that it’s impossible to learn, just that while other things are more user friendly, Adobe is a haystack of trial and error.
Best Alternative Photo Editing Software – Pixelmator
Want the easier to use interface of programs like Affinity but don’t need all of the robust options? Then this is the photo editing software that you should be looking at.
Mostly popular among amateur photographers and bloggers, Pixelmator is extremely easy to get the hang of. Just sitting down, running the basics tutorial will get you to a place where you understand most of the software.
Seriously, when we say that photo editing and color correction has never been easier, we mean it. Everything is at your fingertips with this software, and for $39.99 it’s a solid investment for your editing skills.
Best Free Video Editing Software – BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve
There are two different versions of DaVinci; Resolve and Studio. Studio is where you would go if you have several professional plugins and a need for heavy duty color correcting. Worth mentioning however, Studio comes at the price tag of $299. Whoa now, you might be thinking, why so steep?
Simply put, DaVinci Studio is unrivaled in it’s GPU acceleration, color correction tools, intuitive plug-ins and render speeds. It’s highly recommended by Filmmakers both amateur and professional. And BlackMagic has made their name in premium cinema gear, so it correlates.
Moving on though, Resolve is an incredible bang for the buck when it comes to video editing. It’s insanely easy to pick up, learn and intuitive to the point of being buttery smooth. Insanely customizable with several plug in options for additional software and built in render software. You don’t need to export to mediaencoder like Adobe. Plus, it’s free for Resolve Edition.
Best Alternative Video Editing Software – Final Cut Pro
Yes, this software is on the list like everyone else’s for very good reason. Ironically enough, it actually has a lot in common with DaVinci in terms of how it operates, how it looks and how the tools are built in. Smooth as hell to operate, easy and intuitive controls and tons of options.
What we love the most about Final Cut is how it renders footage in the background as you edit. Whereas with software like Adobe and DaVinci (to a point) you have to wait to encode and render footage. Final Cut does all of that while you’re editing, so when it comes time to render it takes about 5 minutes.
Only thing we’re not huge fans of when it comes to Final Cut is just how limiting it is in color correction. Most filmmakers will tell you to edit in Final Cut or Adobe, then export to DaVinci for color correction. Honestly, that’s a good way to approach it, and in our opinion, Final Cut does editing very well.
Best Video Editing Software For In-Depth Users – Adobe Premier
Only reason we chose to mention Adobe last in this list is quite simple, it is a hassle to learn and insanely in depth. Especially in comparison to it’s competition, with the exception of AVID, Adobe is just a deep lake of options.
Trying to learn the basics with Adobe is difficult, much less learn all of the shortcuts and various ways of editing graphics. But, that is also Adobe Premier’s greatest strength. It has a level of control and customization that no one else can really achieve. Only two other editing software companies come close; Vegas Pro and AVID.
Honestly, if you want true manual control of EVERYTHING we recommend AVID or Vegas. However, if you just want full control but still a level of automation options, Premier is the undisputed king of the hill.
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