4K is becoming the new industry standard. All major content providers including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video are now filled with 4K content. Pretty much every camera these days can record videos in 4K. So, you nesed to start editing your videos in 4K. But there are a plethora of 4K video editors out there. Today we’ll take a look at the top 4K video editing software for Windows & Mac. We'll also briefly discuss the software & hardware requirements you should consider for editing 4K content.
Top Ten 4K Video Editing Software
Now, we’ll introduce the top ten 4K video editors we recommend. This list contains both paid & free 4K video editors. For each editor, we have presented a short description of their features, pricing, platform, pros & cons. Let’s begin.
Try This New Video Editor for 4K Video Editing: Wondershare Filmii
Wondershare Filmii is a lightweight video editor but it can edit 4K videos smoothly because it allows you to render the large 4K videos into small resolution at editing, and without affecting the final output quality.
Besides the stunning 4K video editing features, Filmii features the Auto Create feature which allows you to create videos automatically, which saves time. If you want to add customized titles, stickers, effects, and transitions, just go the Advanced Editing mode which features lots of advanced editing tools.
Platform: Mac, iOS
iMovie is simply the most convenient 4K video editor for Mac users. It comes preloaded with your Mac and can be installed on iPad and iOS devices for free. But is it sufficient?
iMovie offers one of the best editing experiences out of free 4K video editors. The UI is intuitive. Everything looks polished and clean. There is no unnecessary bloatware. You get support for 4K at 60fps . The editing features include filters, effects, transitions, timeline, text animations, color correction, and more. But advanced features like Multicam, audio mixer, GFX, etc. are missing in iMovie. When you’re done, you can export your 4K video straight to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
Click to learn more about iMovie: https://www.apple.com/imovie/
Wondershare Filmora Video Editor
Platform: Mac & Windows
Pricing: Free (watermark) or $39.99/ year
The name Filmora rhymes with simplicity. But simplicity doesn’t imply a lack of quality. Filmora is truly a professional video editor for handling 4K video footage. Features such as complex layering, green screen, scene detection, audio mixer, etc. enable Filmora to handle pretty much every video editing project.
Filmora can edit videos in 4K UHD (3840 × 2160) or DCI 4K (4096 × 2160). The advantage of using Filmora is its ability to create proxy files to load videos in lower resolution during editing. Playback quality during editing can also be reduced to up to 1/16 of original quality. These features are crucial if you’re working on a low-performance machine. The final exported video, however, will be rendered in full 4K resolution. Exporting gives you options to change the 4K resolution and adjust the video frame rate and bit rate.
Platform : Windows
Pricing : Free or paid $39.98
VSDC is a non-linear 4K video editing software. It has lots of trendy filters, special effects and is very lightweight, making it one of the best 4K video editors for low-end workstations. Some notable features include picture-in-picture, split-screen, 4K stabilization, multi-color chroma key & hardware acceleration.
VSDC has full support for 4K UHD (with H.265 support). Due to the lightweight nature of VSDC, you can import, edit, and export your 4K videos with ease even on low-end workstations. Therefore, we especially recommend VSDC if you’re on a budget and have a low config PC.
You can download this free trial version from http://www.videosoftdev.com/.
Platform : Windows (64bit)
Pricing : 30-day trial with watermark, various paid versions from $51.99 to $129.99
CyberLink PowerDirector makes professional-grade 4K editing affordable. Features include motion graphics, social media verticle video support, multi-key sampling chroma key, advanced motion tracking, and more. They also have a huge library of stock content.
PowerDirector includes format support for HEVC & VP9 10bit HDR10 & HLG, ProRes 10bit 4:2:2, XAVC 8bit 4:2:0 and MXF AVC 8bit 4:2:0 video. You can import and edit your 4K video with ease. The 4K preview feature lets you preview your video in 4K and check how it looks while you are editing. This unique feature gives PowerDirecor an advantage over other 4K video editors. A drawback is that you need a powerful PC to handle the editing process.
Download the 30-day free trial version of CyberLink PowerDirector: https://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdirector-video-editing-software/features_en_US.html
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Pricing: Free / $299
DaVinci is a non-linear video editing software that goes beyond 4K, supporting up to 8K resolution. Although the free version comes without watermarks, it doesn’t allow you to edit in 4K. Multiple users can work live on the same project. DaVinci handles large files and projects very well. The program is designed to work on large scale workstations with multiple GPUs. Stacked timelines, 2D&3D title templates, face recognition, Resolve FX, Multicam editing, etc. are some of its key features. The pricing & power of DaVinci makes it clear that it is not for everyone.
Visit the official website of Davinci Resolve: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/.
Final Cut Pro X
Pricing: Free / $299
Final Cut Pro is another video editing software from Apple. But unlike iMovie, this one is geared more towards professionals. The features include 360 Degree VR Editing, VR Headset Playback, Advanced Color Grading, HDR Video Support, Motion Graphics Templates, Third-Party Plug-Ins support, and a lot more.
Final Cut Pro can export 4K projects in UHD HEVC H.265 and HD or FHD H.264. It can handle ProRes 4K footage, 360 videos, and VR videos. The editing interface is also very professional. But a high-performance PC is required for smooth operation.
Get more details about Final Cut Pro X from https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Platform: Windows, Mac
Pricing: 14-day trial with watermark, minimum $20.99/month
Adobe Premiere Pro CC is a familiar name in the video editing industry and widely used by professionals. It has been used extensively in creating feature films. The latest version of the Premiere Pro is also a part of the creative cloud. This enables an unparalleled level of collaboration and versatility. We wouldn’t go into the editing features of Premiere Pro simply because it has pretty much everything you can ask for.
But does Premiere Pro CC have support for 4K? Of course, it does. Not just 4K, it supports up to 8K video editing. If you have a 4K footage whether it be from a smartphone, GoPro or any other, Premiere Pro will most likely support it. This program has been used to create numerous tv shows & cinemas. So when it comes to editing your 4K content, this is one of the best options out there.
Get more details about Premiere Pro CC from https://www.adobe.com/hk_en/products/premiere.html.
Sony Vegas Pro
Pricing : 30-day trial with watermark, minimum $19.99/month
Sony Vegas Pro is another non-linear video editor in our list. It is one of the few editors out there that has acquired popularity among professionals and amateurs alike. The developers boast about the programs flexible AI-driven interface. Features include planar motion tracking, nested timelines, denoise filter, unified color grading, sound forge pro 14, etc.
Sony Vegas Pro comes with native 4K support. There is support for HEVC/H.265, AVC/H.264, XAVC / XAVC-S on both export and import. The program is a bit power-hungry though. Therefore, if you have a low config system, consider trying the trial version before you buy it.
Know more detaisl about Vegas from https://www.vegascreativesoftware.com/us/vegas-pro/.
AVID Media Composer
Platform: Mac & Windows
Pricing: 30-day Free trial, minimum $23.99/month
Avid Media Composer is a top-notch professional-grade video editing software. The complex UI & feature set makes it a poor choice for beginners. There are numerous hardware interface devices available from Avid that work with Media Composer to give you an unparalleled level of professional editing experience. This makes Avid a great option for production companies. Features include Multicam editing, frame flex, bulk edit, stereoscopic 3D, snap to edit, real-time collaboration, etc.
Media Composer has instant ProRes and RED support without transcoding. It also supports XAVC, XF, PCX, DNxHD, DNx444, AVCI, and more. Project resolutions begin from SD up to 16K with custom resolution support. The bottom line is, 4K support is not an issue for Avid Media Composer.
Visit https://www.avid.com/media-composer to know more details of AVID Media Composer
Platform: Mac, Linux & Windows
Pricing: Free or Minimum $24.99/month
Lightworks is a professional video editor with an intricate UI. You must have editing experience or learn to utilize its large library of effects & functions. It does, however, have some neat drag and drop techniques, and the developers are striving towards a more consumer-friendly UI. Lightworks is especially useful for editing special effects projects thanks to the built-in support of Boris FX, Boris Graffiti Pro, Blend modes, color LUTs. Some advanced features include Blackmagic Fusion, Fusion compositor, Multicam editing, console, mark and park, advanced trimming, LOG, VFX, routing, mattes, masks, etc. Lightworks has earned a reputation in the film industry. It was the preferred video editor for numerous Hollywood films.
In terms of importing 4K videos, you can import ProRes, IMX 30, 40, 50, AVCHD 4K & RED R3D without any transcoding. You can export 4K resolution videos in any format using the paid version. But the free version is limited to exporting certain 4K formats only.
Visit https://www.lwks.com/ to download Lightworks for free.
4K Editing: What Should You Consider?
Before you start editing in 4K, there are a few things you should consider. Which format will you be working with? Do you have the necessary hardware? Which editing software will you use? Will you work online or Offline? Below, we’ll answer these questions so that you can make sure you have all the right ingredients for your 4K project.
Hardware: We have listed the minimum hardware required for online & offline 4K editing projects.
|Components||Offline （Minimum）||Online （Minimum）|
|CPU||Ryzen 3 3200G or Intel Core i7 2.3GHz quad core||Intel Xeon 2GHz six-core or Athlon™ 3000G|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M,No GPU required for Ryzen alternative||NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, No GPU required for Athlon alternative|
|Storage||SSD is recommended||SSD is recommended|
|AUDIO||External audio card (if required)||External audio card (if required)|
|Monitor||4K monitor with good color reproduction and port compatibility.||4K monitor with good color reproduction and port compatibility.|
When buying a CPU, Ryzen might be the better choice for a budget workstation due to extra CPU threads & built-in GPU at lower prices. GPU is more important than CPU for video editing. Before buying a GPU, however, check whether it is compatible with your 4K video editing software. When it comes to RAM, some programs require more RAM than others. AMD CPUs also benefit highly from higher RAM speeds. External AUDIO Cards aren’t usually necessary if you have a good motherboard. But if you have noise issues, consider buying an external AUDIO Card. Lastly, which motherboard should you buy? You need one that is compatible with the CPU, has enough slots for all your components, and can deliver sufficient data speeds to all the components.
Formats & Software: Formats vary widely from camera to camera. You will not have any issues with footage from a GoPro or a smartphone. But files from RED cameras, Blackmagic Ursa Mini, or Sony NEX-FS700 are quite large, requiring more storage and rendering power. Also, before you commit to a 4K video editor, make sure it supports your project codec & file type.