Since its release in 2011, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has divided users’ opinions over the updates. The wholesale changes to workflow, basic editing, and early compatibility issues forced many professional editors and hobbyists alike to seek a Final Cut Pro alternative.
In the years since, however, Final Cut Pro has begun to re-establish itself, thanks to many improvements, new features, and a loyal user base of happy fans. For some, there are still issues and considerations for something different remains. Perhaps the flat purchase price of Final Cut Pro is a preventative cost barrier, or the magnetic timeline doesn’t suit preferred working styles and editing habits. Maybe you plan to move away from a Mac system and need a PC compatible program.
It could be that you simply want to try something new, to freshen-up your work in a new environment. Today, we’re going to look at 12 alternatives to Final Cut Pro, covering both free and paid-for applications.
Part 1: Overview of Final Cut Pro Alternatives
|Final Cut Pro||Yes||$299|
|Avid Media Composer||Yes||$239/annual|
|Pinnacle Studio Ultimate||Yes||$113|
Part 2: Free Alternatives to FCPX
The following applications are Final Cut free alternatives. Versions are available for free, but can often be upgraded with more features via a fee or subscription model.
iMovie is Apple’s entry-level video editing tool. It comes preinstalled on every Mac and even has a free mobile iOS version available. iMovie shares many similar attributes with FCPX, including the basic workflow, interface appearance, and editing tools. Mostly, the two programs share the same DNA, and for Mac editors who don’t require advanced controls like keyframing, multiple content channels, or multicam functionality, iMovie is a reliable option.
iMovie is free with every Mac and has an identical look and feel to FCP. It’s incredibly stable due to the Native macOS integration. On the downside, the program is limited in the number of tracks and motion graphic options, and there is no multicam editing function.
- Free with every Mac.
- Comparable user interface and usability as FCPX.
- Native macOS integration for stability and performance.
- Limited number of tracks.
- No multicam editing.
- Limited motion graphic options.
- No third-party plugins available.
- Mac users who want a familiar working environment, but don’t require advanced, professional editing and compositing tools.
2. DaVinci Resolve
For a long time, DaVinci Resolve was mostly just a color grading application, with limited use for offline editors. In recent times, Blackmagic Design has sought to disrupt their post-production landscape, in much the same way they did with the camera market. As a result of that competition, DaVinci Resolve now provides full-scale end-to-end editing, that offers professional offline and online workflow features within a single application.
- Robust, free professional video editing software available before paid upgrade.
- In-depth color correction and grading tools.
- Seamless integration with Fusion and Fairlight for compositing and audio.
- Steep learning curve for users.
- Needs a top-spec system to really get the most from it.
- No third-party plugins.
- Editors that are looking to learn new skills or improve their all-round post-productions process, or those that want to specialize in color grading for movies and TV.
3. HitFilm Express
HitFilm Express might not be a name familiar to you, as it has only been around for seven years. Primarily, the big appeal of HitFilm Express is its wide array of 2D and 3D compositing features, including pre-installed special effects generators. For creatives and YouTubers alike, HitFilm offers some surprisingly advanced visual effects tools and functionalities. The 3D weather and object generation effects are long-standing favorites amongst an active and appreciative user base.
- Brilliant introduction to 2D and 3D special effects.
- Windows and Mac compatible.
- Pre-installed effects to get you started with extensive tutorials on their YouTube channel.
- Purchasing additional individual effects plugins could get expensive.
- Limited video format compatibility.
- Might become limiting and require a paid upgrade to the full version.
- No multicam function.
- Editors that want to experiment with 2D and 3D visual effects without having to create them from scratch and online entertainers who want quality special effects quickly and easily.
Lightworks has been around since the late 1980s, and in 2017, its longevity was recognized in the form of an EMMY Award win for pioneering digital nonlinear editing. Lightworks has been used on many well-known and successful Hollywood movies, including Pulp Fiction and The Wolf of Wall Street. Lightworks is quite intuitive, and for an experienced editor, finding all your usual editing tools, such as key-frame editor or stabilization, shouldn’t be too difficult.
- Industry-standard software.
- Includes multicam editing.
- Windows, Linux and Mac versions available.
- More advanced export formats only available with upgrade.
- No third-party plug-in support for free version.
- Editors that want to sample a lesser-known but widely used program at the highest end of the industry.
Started as a project in 2002, Kdenlive is an open-source editing program for Windows and Linux. Designed for semi-professional use, the availability for anyone to modify their own version of the software might appeal to some, but that also comes with potential complications. If you’re unfamiliar with coding or manual software installations, then traditional packages may prove less hassle. Kdenlive has all of the basic editing tools you would expect from an application, but many are still in beta testing, which can cause a few crashes.
- Stable performance for Linux users, others may find the application a little buggy.
- Customizable source codes allow you to change the applications to your needs.
- Can be complex to install manually.
- Potentially unreliable updates.
- Limited support resources.
- Linux users who want to be part of a broader open-source project community. Especially those who may want to develop custom versions or run a program with the potential to fully exploit their PC hardware.
OpenShot is another open-source editing platform, designed to be easy, approachable and user-friendly. The community of developers supporting the project are actively improving performance and adding new features. For a free piece of software, there is a surprising amount of functionality, including keyframing, 3D title animation, re-timing effects, and unlimited timeline tracks.
- Available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
- Always free to use and redevelop.
- Multiple language support and a dedicated support community.
- User-interface is not as professional-looking.
- Limited effects, no video stabilization.
- Potentially buggy in performance.
- Entry-level editors who want to learn the basics of video editing with free software, or editors who want to develop their own editing application.
Next up in the open-source category is Shotcut, which has the distinction of having roots in the independent video and media development community. Designed to be a straightforward editing tool, Shotcut lacks some of the pre-built templates and transition effects you may be used to in other applications. Instead, it relies on keyframing for animation and track-stacking for multicam editing, along with other workarounds.
- Available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
- Integration with multiple open-source initiatives
- Dedicated support and development community
- Less intuitive than other platforms
- Lacks pre-installed templates and themes
- Users report stability issues.
- Methodical editors who like a hands-on approach to work, and want to strip away the flashier elements often found in other editing software.
As far as free, open-source software options go, Blender is unique in the market. While it offers video editing functionality with splicing, masking, color grading, and audio mixing, that’s only part of the story. The real power of Blender is a full-scale 3D modeling and animation suite. So while the editing tools might be basic, there are infinite possibilities to explore in other areas of film production. Blender is a complicated bit of kit, and even experienced animators may have trouble navigating the tools and workflow.
- Free and open-source.
- Versions for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
- Comes as part of an extensive 3D animation creation suite.
- Video editing is more of an add-on than full focus.
- Potentially overwhelming and intimidating primary functions.
- Lack professional features of other dedicated editing software.
- VFX designers, artists, modelers, and animators who want to run basic video edits alongside their 3D creative endeavors.
Part 3: Paid Alternatives to FCPX
If you have a budget for buying an alternative to FCP X, there are plenty of different options for how you can spend it on a suitable replacement.
9. Premiere Pro
As an absolute industry standard, Adobe Premiere Pro has been the long-running rival for Final Cut Pro. Always keeping at the cutting edge of technology, Premiere is already the choice for professional editors across the globe. Premiere has all of the basic editing tools, advanced color grading tools, and a huge number of third party plugins to add any extras you feel the program is missing. If you find your need to use or collaborate with Adobe After Effects increasing, switching to Premiere would be a sensible option.
- Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.
- Extensive array of third-party plugins, templates, and presets.
- Updated annually with new features.
- Monthly subscription fee can be cost prohibitive.
- Learning curve if switching from FCPX.
- Editors who want to control every stage of post-production, or who want to collaborate with other creative professionals across a wide range of art-based projects.
- $20.99 per month (annual plan)
- $31.49 month-by-month
10. Avid Media Composer
As an industry-standard platform, Avid has been used for decades in film and television production. Such widespread professional use has often made it feel an area of editing reserved for insiders at the top of their game. The application can be difficult for new users to get to grips with, but there are some super cool tools included, such as 360 degree editing and the Negative Cut List generator, a must if you are shooting with actual film.
- Full range of professional tools.
- Cloud-based remote projects.
- Steep learning curve for new users.
- Overly complex processes.
- Interface needs modernizing.
- Editors who want to work on long-form content such as TV shows, movies, and documentaries. If you want Hollywood to come knocking, be prepared to know this application.
- $239.00 per year
- $34.99 per month
11. VEGAS Pro
Fewer editing programs have as dedicated a following as VEGAS Pro. Formerly released by Sony, it has since been acquired by Magix, a German developer who specializes in creative media software. The latest version of VEGAS Pro is designed to be the fastest non-linear editor available, making workflows and process quicker. The application is fine for editing your videos, but the powerful audio editing console means you don’t need to leave the program for advanced sound mix.
- Full range of comprehensive tools and features.
- New developers keen to push the product and innovate.
- Potentially confusing pricing and suite options.
- Takes a while to get to grips with for new users.
- Vegas Pro is best for experienced editors who are looking to upgrade to industry spec software. Project wise, this application is best suited to long-form narrative projects over short promotional or events based videos.
12. HitFilm Pro
The paid-for expansion of HitFilm features the same interface and workflow operations as the free versions. The most significant difference is the broader selection of motion graphics and visual effects. The application does still lack some of the editing tools you might want, and it is not really suitable for longer video creation. HitFilm is fast, and cutting together a basic video is a breeze.
- Great for adding 3D animation and visual effects.
- Supports chroma key/green screen compositing.
- Might lack reliable, professional features.
- No native multicam support.
HitFilm Pro is perfect for VFX enthusiasts, or people wanting to take their first steps into compositing. The platform is built with creative filmmakers in mind, rather than videographers.
13. Premiere Rush
Adobe’s pitch for the mobile editing market comes in the form of Premiere Rush, which has been designed for use on phones and tablets. There’s also a computer-based option; all versions connect to the cloud platform to make sharing projects across devices easy. While not fully-laden with features, it works as a simple to use standalone editor for social media projects and in-the-moment videos. The application limits you to three tracks: titles, video, and audio, so advanced compositions would be challenging. Check out this article for tips on how Premiere Rush can work alongside Pro.
- Easy to use on all mobile devices.
- iOS and Android versions.
- Great companion to Premiere Pro.
- Won’t replace a day-to-day editor for professionals.
- Limited features due to mobile emphasis.
- Hobbyists who want to edit on-the-go and professionals who want a reliable, mobile app in a pinch.
- $9.99 per month
14. Pinnacle Studio
Software maker Corel offers a paid-for alternative to their free video editor, VideoStudio Ultimate. Complete with all the pro-level features you’d hope for, it also has an impressive library of over 2000 titles, effects, and templates. New updated and enhanced features in Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 23 also include 360 video capability, color grading keyframes, and support for exporting Alpha channels.
- Windows and Mac versions.
- Stable and reliable.
- Huge pre-installed effects library.
- Decent hardware specs required to make the most of it.
- Not widely used, so collaboration might be restricted.
- Pinnacle Studio is an option for any editor at any stage, as it is intuitive and straightforward to use. It is best for free VideoStudio users who want an upgrade of features and capabilities.
WeVideo stands unique in this list of Final Cut Pro alternatives by being a 100% cloud-based platform. Accessed via a mobile app or web browser, WeVideo makes working across multiple devices easy. The emphasis is very much of quick edits for social media use, without compromising on features like chroma key and motion graphics templates. The Professional and Business subscriptions allow access to over one million pieces of stock media files—including images, video, and music—meaning you don’t even need to use your own footage to get creative in WeVideo.
- Works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, iSO, and Android.
- Cloud-based for easy sharing and collaboration.
- Access to stock library.
- Simple editor that is deliberately lacking in advanced tools.
- Not good for long-form, intricate editing.
- Editors that are looking for an entirely cloud-based editing solution, or who want a fast and simple way to create content for social media.
What is the best alternative to Final Cut Pro? ›
- Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Wondershare Filmora.
- DaVinci Resolve.
- Windows Movie Maker.
- VEGAS Pro.
- Media Composer.
Other interesting free alternatives to Final Cut Pro X are Shotcut, DaVinci Resolve, OpenShot and Avidemux. Final Cut Pro X alternatives are mainly Video Editors but may also be Motion Graphics Software or VFX Software.Can you use Motion without Final Cut Pro? ›
Because just about all their templates are made in Motion, they are editable in Motion and can be rendered in Motion, even without Final Cut Pro. Yes, there are After Effects templates out there too. But these are great and built to be edited.Is Filmora the same as Final Cut Pro? ›
Filmora is a good video editor with many of the capabilities of Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. However, it was the more user-friendly of the three to people who have no experience in video editing.Is Final Cut Pro free forever? ›
Your free Final Cut Pro trial will expire 90 days after you open the app for the first time.How much does Final Cut Pro cost? ›
Pricing Details(Provided by Vendor): Final Cut Pro is available at $364.49.Is Final Cut Pro paid or free? ›
Try Final Cut Pro free for 90 days.
Get a free trial of the latest version of Final Cut Pro for your Mac.
While both programs offer the basic tools you'd expect, DaVinci Resolve handles color grading significantly better than Final Cut Pro. If your work will require frequent use of color grading and other color correction tools or plug-ins, DaVinci Resolve should be your top choice.Does Mac come with free editing software? ›
iMovie is easy to use, and it's free. Just click to download and install on your Mac or iOS device.Is Final Cut Pro better than iMovie? ›
Final Cut Pro does not make any changes with the files on a hard drive. It is a nonlinear editing program, that is why it will not make permanent changes to the media. In contrast, iMovie works with video files that are on the hard drive. It means that all the changes are applied to the video files.
Does Final Cut have motion tracking? ›
As it analyzes motion in your project, Final Cut Pro records the data, which you can then apply to any other item (such as a clip, title, image, or effect shape mask) in your project, effectively creating a motion track.Is motion array for Final Cut Pro? ›
Motion Array is a website that has hundreds of Final Cut Pro templates and plugins available. The range of plugins includes pretty much everything you might want, including transitions, effects, titles, and more.Is Final Cut Pro good for motion graphics? ›
Final Cut Pro can handle various tasks, such as motion graphics, video editing and sound design.What video editor do most people use? ›
- Adobe Premiere Pro. The best video editing software for professional editors. ...
- CyberLink PowerDirector 365. ...
- Adobe Premiere Elements. ...
- DaVinci Resolve Studio 18. ...
- Pinnacle Studio. ...
- Final Cut Pro. ...
- Adobe Premiere Rush. ...
- Corel VideoStudio Ultimate.
- InShot. Why influencers like it: It's easy to use and lets users add custom text captions. ...
- Clips. Why influencers like it: It's free and features immersive camera effects. ...
- VideoShow. ...
- A Color Story. ...
- Animoto. ...
- Canva Free Online Video Editor. ...
There are many different types of video editing software, but the most popular programs are Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Avid Media Composer. Video editing software is the answer to all your video editing needs.How much is the full version of Filmora? ›
How much does Filmora cost? Filmora costs $7.99 per month for individual users and $155.88 per year for businesses with one user. These include all Filmora features and free tech support. Moreover, Filmora has special Educational offerings where students can save up to 28%.Is Filmora Pro worth? ›
Filmora is a really affordable yet professional video editing software. It has a lot of features that can only be found in much more expensive editing software. The UI is really intuitive and easy to grasp. I've had little knowledge of video editing beforehand, but Filmora has made it really easy for me to learn it.Is Filmora good for professional video editing? ›
Good Software for the Price
On the overall Filmora is excellent. It's fairly fast, easy to learn, and offers enough advanced features to keep you content for a years. With each video I make I usually find a new tool or a new way to use the tools I'm already familiar with. It's a bargain.
Final Cut Pro costs $299.99. For that one-time payment you get a professional video editing program and a lifetime of upgrades.
Is Final Cut Pro a lifetime license? ›
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a perpetual license which does not expire.Do you need to buy Final Cut Pro every year? ›
The great thing about Final Cut Pro X is that it's a one-time purchase. Unlike competing apps like Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer, which both charge monthly or yearly subscription fees, Final Cut Pro X can be purchased for a one-time fee of $299.How long is Final Cut Pro free trial? ›
The trial is fully functional with no restrictions for 90 days. Explore FCPX's magnetic timeline and innovative editing tools including advanced multicam editing.Is Final Cut Pro Easy for beginners? ›
Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing app stands in stark contrast to other professional video programs. It is especially easy to use if you are new to video editing.Do professionals use DaVinci Resolve? ›
DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Pro are considered the industry standard for video editing software. These NLEs are commonly used by content creators, video marketers, filmmakers, wedding videographers, and hobbyists.How much does DaVinci Resolve cost? ›
How much does DaVinci Studio cost? DaVinci Resolve Studio costs a flat fee of $295 and provides users with a lifetime of updates. Compared to the subscription service of something like Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve provides excellent value to content creators.What is better than DaVinci Resolve? ›
There is no doubt that PowerDirector video editing software is better than DaVinci Resolve. It has many features that DaVinci Resolve does not offer in the free version. DaVinci Resolve premium that offers all features is costly, and the learning curve is also steep.What is the easiest video editor to use? ›
- PowerDirector - Best Overall.
- Corel VideoStudio Ultimate - Best for Face Effects.
- VideoProc Vlogger - Best for Speed Adjustments.
- iMovie - Best for Instant Movies.
- OpenShot - Best Open-Source Video Editor.
- VideoPad - Best for Social Media.
iMovie is easy to use, and it's free. Just click to download and install on your Mac or iOS device.What editing software should I use on Mac? ›
- PowerDirector 365 - Best Overall.
- VideoPad - Best Export Options.
- WeVideo - Best for Video Tutorials.
- Final Cut Pro - Best for Apple Loyalists.
- Shotcut - Best Format Support.
- Movavi Video Editor - Best for Quick Edits.
- Apple iMovie - Best for Beginners on a Budget.
Is iMovie good enough for editing? ›
In general, iMovie is an excellent program, very easy to use, very fast but very effective, it works very well with the entire Apple ecosystem, it has the right and necessary tools, and it is very fun to use. iMovie would be the program I would recommend to start editing videos if you have a Mac.What does Final Cut do that iMovie doesn t? ›
Final Cut offers a lot more in terms of advanced editing. With Final Cut, most of the advanced tools in the iMovie are just regular tools. Additionally, you have access to keyframes with Final Cut Pro. This allows for more accurate editing and higher levels of detail.Can you record directly into Final Cut? ›
You can record video directly into Final Cut Pro using your computer's built-in camera or an external camera.Does Final Cut have presets? ›
The preset's adjustments are applied to the selection. After the preset has been applied, you can modify its settings using the Color inspector. For more information about adding clip effects, see Add video effects in Final Cut Pro.How do I install motion templates in Final Cut Pro? ›
- Go to Applications and right-click on your Final Cut Pro icon.
- Select "Show Package Contents"
- Then navigate to: Applications/Final Cut Pro/Contents/PlugIns/MediaProviders/MotionEffect.fxp/Contents/Resources/Templates/(either Titles or Generators folder)
You do not need to include a watermark in the preview video. Video watermarks are generated automatically by our system. Audio is not allowed in motion graphics previews or in the clips themselves.Does motion array have a free trial? ›
To find which assets are free, go to Motion Array marketplace and select the "Free assets" checkbox. The free plan also includes access to the shifter plugin, 1GB of review and upload storage and 1 month free trial of both the Video Review tool and Portfolio Site Builder.Can you edit videos on motion array? ›
Motion Array is an unlimited creative asset membership-based website. It's important to note that while Motion Array is not an online video editing platform - we are a Marketplace that provides members with 100,000's of assets that you can use to make your video better!What software is good for motion graphics? ›
- Photoshop. An elementary tool for all motion artists and graphic designers in the designing industry is editing software and possesses capabilities far beyond. ...
- Illustrator. ...
- After Effects. ...
- Cinema 4D. ...
- Red Giant software. ...
- Mocha AE.
Video editing helps weave tales. The process involves using songs, dialogues, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance storytelling. On the other hand, Motion graphics utilizes processes like 3D motion graphics and computer animations in tandem or alone to create compelling videos.
What graphics card do I need for Final Cut Pro? ›
Apple states FCP needs a GPU with at least 256 VRAM (video RAM on the GPU card) with 512MB recommended. I will say that is actually too low for professional work and your GPU should have at least 1GB VRAM, if not 2GB. All Macs on the market meet the minimum resolution requirements, which is 1280x768.Is DaVinci better than Final Cut Pro? ›
While both programs offer the basic tools you'd expect, DaVinci Resolve handles color grading significantly better than Final Cut Pro. If your work will require frequent use of color grading and other color correction tools or plug-ins, DaVinci Resolve should be your top choice.Is PowerDirector better than Final Cut Pro? ›
When assessing the two solutions, reviewers found PowerDirector easier to use and administer. However, reviewers felt that Final Cut Pro X was easier to do business with overall. Finally, reviewers felt that the products are equally easy to set up.Is Final Cut Pro the best editing app? ›
Final Cut Pro is probably the best option if you're working on a Mac. Compared to iMovie, Apple's consumer-level video editing software, Final Cut Pro has much more professional features and capabilities.Is Final Cut Pro a lifetime purchase? ›
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a perpetual license which does not expire.Is DaVinci Resolve actually free? ›
Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve has a paid Studio version and a free version, all available for Mac, Windows, or Linux. A common question we are asked is what you get with the Studio version and if it's worth the investment. The free version is robust on its own and may be enough for many users.Which software is best for video editing? ›
- Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Final Cut Pro X.
- Adobe After Effects.
- Movavi Video Editor. Mac OS X 10.10.5 or later, Windows 7/8/10/11. ...
- Adobe® Premiere® Pro. Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina or later, Windows 10 version 2004 or newer. ...
- Magix Video Pro X. Windows 8/10 or later (64-bit only) ...
- EDIUS PRO. ...
- Autodesk Smoke. ...
- Avid Media Composer. ...
- Final Cut Pro. ...
- Hitfilm Pro.
With iMovie, create professional‑looking videos without an editing degree. Easily add photos and videos to projects, trim clips with your finger, add seamless transitions, and fade audio like a pro. You can also import and edit ProRes video 2 and add Apple ProRAW images to your movies and trailers.What is the number 1 best video editing app? ›
- Adobe Premiere Rush.
Which is the No 1 editing app? ›
PicsArt. PicsArt is one of the most popular photo editor apps on Android, and for a good reason. The app offers a wide range of crop tools, background removal options, and the ability to add text and multiple image layers, similar to more advanced programs such as Photoshop.