Video Content Creators - general question

For those who create and post videos. Obviously there are many options and opinions on video editors.
For those who actually edit videos, what editors are you using or which ones do you find most useful?

I don’t plan on posting to YouTube myself per sey, but I do have the need to edit videos. I’m torn on which fork in the road in want to take, and with a number of knowledgeable people here, I thought I would ask to see what is popular among this community.

Thanks in advance.

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For editing, until recently have been mostly using Premiere. Seen many folks use Davinci, and Mac Users have something they like to? OBS Studio is great for capturing and compositing content that you can then minimally edit later on.

For me, editing lots of content is frustratingly time consuming. Ended up creating tools/website to make things easier to edit, and view.


I barely do anything but splice and change speeds so I need only like “MS Paint” level functionality. I use Hit Film Express because it is free and it came up in my google search. It works well enough.

If I were investing more time or money I would do more research but I haven’t gotten to that point. It looks like a reasonably full featured editor.

The only annoyance is that it doesn’t natively decode HEVC videos that my phone generates, so I have a separate converter to preprocess them.

Edit: looks like hit film express is no longer a thing and regular hit film has a free plan. It has been a while. Maybe HEVC is supported.


I am learning davinci since windows movie maker went away and it is very capable once my friend google helped me figure out some of the easy stuff.


I have tried a bunch over the years so I might have learned a thing or two along the way. I will say Divinchi is great, free, and has everything you need. Cutting and splicing is easy as it gets and more complicated things are available when you want them. Other tools always seemed to lack something, right when I learned enough to want/need it.

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For some time now, my videos have been edited and rendered right on the same iPhone 11 Pro Max that the content was first recorded on. The app I use to do that is the paid version of Splice. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not on a paid subscription with Splice. There was a season, early on, when one could get their paid version for an affordable one-time buy, and I did. So glad. Now it seems that’s no longer available. I despise software subscriptions. I hate them like the plague.


Advantages of editing and rendering on my iPhone include:

  • Don’t have to transfer the footage somewhere else to start editing
  • Rendering is astoundingly fast compared to my (then older) laptop (mid-2015 15" MacBook Pro). Rendering on the newer phone took only a fraction of the time as on computer. I now have a newer, faster laptop (2021 16" MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip set). I hope to start moving some editing to computer now for reasons listed below.
  • Splice app is pretty nice. Editing ability is remarkably capable, easy to understand, has built in support for the “Live” aspect of photos taken on iPhone (which are actually short video clips that even include sound) has free access to a large library of free background music that is royalty-free and allow for use on YouTube etc, with no concern over copyright issues.


Disadvantages of editing and rendering on my iPhone include:

  • Tiring to hold the phone for long seasons of editing.
  • Tiny screen compared to laptop.
  • Not as desirable as my editor of choice, Vegas Pro on laptop.
  • Can seem tedious to keep having to “share” (AirDrop) assets from my laptop over to my phone to include.

My editor of choice, Vegas Pro (on laptop), is like an “old, familiar friend” but there is are considerable issues. My licensed copy of Vegas Pro was quite old. Vegas has always been, and still is, Windows only. For a long time now my access to Windows has been in VMs (virtual machines), and for the longest while, both the Mac and the Windows VMs were Intel-based architecture. Since my recent laptop switch to an M1 Max chipset, which is an ARM based architecture, my access to Windows has shifted to an ARM-based Windows 11 VM. This allows “virtualization” instead of “emulation” so it’s supposed to be better performance. I have found that I can still use older (Intel-based) Windows VMs, but only through emulation, which causes a detriment to performance. These issues affect video editing and rendering considerably.

I have considered licensing a new copy of Vegas for my new ARM-based Windows 11 virtual machine, but I think it’s made for Intel versions of Windows, and the ARM based Windows allows it to run only by resorting to emulation. So, I don’t think the performance will be there.

I have installed various different Mac-based video editing apps, including DaVinci Resolve 17, among others. DaVinci Resolve is obviously overly capable, and IMHO, overly complex. Trying to switch to it and learn it has been harder than my successful effort to master Fusion 360 after being a die-hard user of SketchUp and SketchUp Pro.

In my dream of a perfect editing setup, I would have Vegas Pro built as a native Mac app, optimized for ARM chip, and be a one-time purchase, not a subscription. My goal to find an acceptable alternative to that has not yet been fruitful.

So, editing on my phone continues.

Side note: there was an ARM based version of Windows 10. However, only with ARM based Windows 11 has Micro$oft announced something astounding: official support for virtual machine installations of (only) the ARM based Windows 11!

I also had vegas pro on windows and it was great. easy/intuitive to use and very powerful…

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Thanks for the input folks, some good stuff here.

So, in full disclosure, I also am dragging my feet on anything subscription based.

My fork in the road, was leaning more towards switching to a Mac, using Final Cut Pro (although I still need to try it for my needs before I purchase). I’ve tried to use iMovie, and although I find it worthy, it seems to lack the ability of changing compression levels, and right now my files are smaller coming off a windows machine, than the Apple. Of course, I’m caulking this up to user knowledge (or lack there of), and want to visit my local Apple Store, being my Google foo isn’t helping.

Through other channels (work), I’ve been point toward DaVinci as well, so I feel the numbers mean I need to look deeper there as well. Vegas is one I’ve not run across before, and need to investigate there as well.

Again, thanks for the feedback! I truly appreciate it.

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I bought Final Cut Pro a few years (decades?) ago, just to do one project and there’s a reason it’s quite ubiquitous even in pro studios!

I’ve also (again in the past) used iMovie and even KeyNote to produce stop motion and mixed media presentations.

I’m not happy with editing on phones, though many do - and FWIW I’m pretty sure about to pull the trigger on PET AV Studio (for mixed media presentations) which just takes the photos/ iMovie/keynote thing up a notch

Stuck as I already am in the Adobe monthly theft cycle, I am loathe to add any more to those bills!!

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A long time ago(15-17 years maybe) I used Pinnacle studio, and while it is not free, it is still relatively cheap, and was at least as user friendly as iMovie and Premiere, etc. (Have no idea how they stack up nowadays)

If you are looking free, it’s pretty hard to beat Davinci Resolve. It has a ton of features, but basic stuff is not too bad to learn. There is a tutorial you can go through including stock video files, and it teaches you a lot of basic editing.

There may be a newer version out there, but this is the guide that walks you through downloading lesson files and editing a commercial from some stock video to teach you all the basics


Premiere is my goto but that’s only because I have access at work. I also loathe subscription based applications. However they do have a Photoshop and Premiere Elements bundle for under ~$150 that might be a viable option for you. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but it works. I believe it is a nonlinear editor but not 100% so you’ll have to double-check.

I also had a license of Pinnacle back in the day and that was pretty good for the price.

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I am just a beginner at video editing, but I use OpenShot Video Editor. OpenShot Video Editor | Free, Open, and Award-Winning Video Editor for Linux, Mac, and Windows!
I sometimes use Adobe Photoshop CS6 to cut short pieces out of a longer video.


I like seeing good open source stuff. I had not heard of this one before. Will check it out.

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I was a professional video editor for a long time, living through the transition from tape based to nonlinear editing. Hell, I even wrote some SMPTE list parsing code. You can learn how to use any of the software packages proficiently given enough experience. Premier, DaVinci, Lightworks, etc - all have pros and cons.
Esthetics are an entirely different thing. Lots of videos I see on line are incredibly bad from an editing perspective. To me, that’s more important than the tool you use.
A true craftsman could carve the Venus de Milo with a screwdriver.


I use VSDC. Tons of features if you pay for a year subs. Worth every penny IMO. Lots of help/tutorials online too.

This is intriguing to me. I fall into one of the hack and slash categories of terrible aesthetics, in an attempt to be factual and useful over trying to be pretty, but there is nothing wrong with both. Where would one start on the journey to “think” beauty and making things less painful to watch?


My guess is that the answer is along the lines of “watch all the things, and pay attention to which ones ‘look good’ to you, and watch them again to see what they have in common”. Another thing (and what keeps my from doing any videos) is actually writing scripts for the entire video, preferably with storyboards, or at least scene descriptions. You really have to know what you want before you hit record.

I’m much more of a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy, so I could never be a decent content creator. At least, not in the maker space. Maybe in the gaming space (let’s play can be off the cuff), but not in any way that is trying to disseminate information effectively.

failing to plan is planning to fail?

I find a lot of good information without needing to be comforted or awed by it. While an appeal to the senses is nice, it is in my case impractical… so I don’t do it much.

I use Premiere.

At one time I was psychotic and tried using Blender as a video editor. It “worked”.

If you run Linux and want to really be sadistic, you can try using Cinelerra. It works really well, but the last time I used it, you still had to compile it… and that deptree-hell that that caused is the reason I can hold my liquor so well now.

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