Now, DJI drones, GoPro sports cameras, DSLR camcorders from Sony, Panasonic, etc, as well as high-end smartphones like iPhone X have made the 4K recording available. However, 4K editing is still hamstrung by the large file size and highly-compressed formats commonly used to store UHD data. Professional video editors, usually power-hungry suites per se, require computer configurations for smooth operation. So, the question is, are there any 4K video editors friendly to common computers? Sure.
|Price||Operating system||Installation size||Export to 4K||Export to HEVC||Ease of use||Best for|
|VideoProc||$29.95||Windows, macOS||46.6MB||Yes||Yes||Easy||Quick editing|
|iMovie||Free||macOS, iOS||2.3GB||Yes||No||Easy||Mac beginners|
|Final Cut Pro X||$299.99||macOS||2.8GB||Yes||Yes||Hard||Mac professionals|
|Adobe Premiere Pro||$239.88/yr||Windows, macOS||1.0/1.2GB||Yes||Yes||Hard||Prosumers|
|Vegas Pro||$599||Windows||1.5GB||Yes||Yes||Hard||Special effects|
|DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio||$299||Linux, macOS, Windows||920MB||Yes||No||Intermediate||Large files|
|Corel VideoStudio Ultimate||$79.99||Windows||1.3GB||Yes||Yes||Intermediate||Fledgling editors|
|Lightworks Pro||$437.99||Linux, macOS, Windows||200MB||Yes||No||Intermediate||Trimming|
|Shortcut||Free||Linux, macOS, Windows||260MB||Yes||Yes||Easy||Home editing|
|VSDC Video Editor||$19.99||Windows||46.5MB||Yes||Yes||Intermediate||Newbies|
VideoProc is designed especially for 4K HEVC/H264 and higher-quality videos. It has a full set of features to crop, split, cut, merge, rotate 4K videos, add watermarks, effects, subtitles, deshake, denoise, create MKV/GIF, fix lens distortion etc. It accepts and exports videos in 4K resolution, with an advanced compression algorithm to reduce 4K/8K video size without visible quality loss. Plus, 420+ output formats and extensive ready-made profiles help the output projects go to any devices and platforms.
The video processing tool has a special focus on 4K videos at different fps & settings recorded by GoPro, DJI drones, iPhone, DSLR cameras, and other popular devices. It provides top performance editing 4k videos via the Level-3 Hardware Acceleration tech. This is unique on the market that can apply full GPU acceleration from Intel, Nvidia and AMD via out editing tasks. Namely, it has a 47x real-time faster speed, that's 5x faster than most other tools.
1. Superfast speed editing 4K UHD videos.
2. Both import and output 4K resolution.
3. Ability to reduce 4K exports.
4. 4-in-1 combo of an editor, a media (video/dvd/audio) converter, a downloader, and a recorder.
5. Perfect balance between easiness and functionalities.
1. It's a linear-editing tool.
The requirements of different 4K editors on computer hardware vary greatly. For example, you will need:
16GB of RAM: Good for editing 1080p – 4K 8bit Projects, with minor usage of background programs.
32GB of RAM: Good for any type of editing with heavy use of background hogs, such as editing large images in Photoshop.
64GB or more: Recommended for editing 8K footage in 10bit or more and the RAM-hogging programs such as After Effects or Cinema 4D.
If you have high computer configuration, you simply select the renowned editor like Premiere Pro for any 4K or HD videos. But for slow and old computers, advanced editors make things times slower. VideoProc is also suitable for regular computers as it relies less on CPU and RAM. You don't need to close all programs down. Instead, it allows extra juice for other activities running at the same time.
iMovie is the default video editor for Mac, available for free since macOS 10. Versions after 10.1 have added support for the 4K resolution and HD at 60fps. Users can import, freely edit videos in 4K 3840 x 2160, 1080P 60fps and share content in 4K quality. This free 4K video editing software has enough features like subtitles, timeline, filters, background, color correction, stabilization, etc. for novices to make a decent video with their UHD/HD footages. Users can share the project right to YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook right away.
However, iMovie is not good at dealing with large files, and you need to be careful when applying advanced editing. For example, the app may crash and the audio and video may go out of sync after you apply drop all the audio into the timeline, or slow down the clip.
1. Extremely easy to use.
2. The effects, backgrounds, and titles are top-notch among free editors.
3. Well optimized on Mac computers.
1. Output video can be large in size, no option to compress 4K output videos.
2. Very limited output choices.
Final Cut Pro X is the prosumer-level editor app from Apple. FCPX has a similar interface to that of iMovie but has a far larger selection of effects, filters, transitions, and other tools. It has almost everything a professional editor may have. Compared to Abode Premiere Pro, FCPX has a better interface and faster rendering time.
With the support for UHD, the 4K video editor is capable of editing 4K ProRes footage, HD, and 360 videos at any resolutions from various VR headsets and cameras, and will also export projects to 4K HEVC H.265 and HD/FHD H.264. The installation of FCPX requires enough local storage on Mac (older or newer): minimum 4GB of RAM, OpenCL-capable video processor, and 4GB free disk space.
1. Extraordinarily powerful.
2. 4K, HDR and 360-degree video.
1. Expensive and complicated.
2. High requirements on hardware.
Adobe Premiere Pro is the hands-down first choice of many. This editor is a mainstay for Hollywood makers to create movies with stunning cinematic effects. You can trim clips, add transition & effects, adjust color, edit audio, add subtitles, apply multi-camera angle editing and more. Adobe Premiere Pro CC is among the best 4K UHD video editors that a professional user may want for 4K (higher), 360 VR and HDR videos, as they are more likely to use high-end computers and servers.
Like other professional editors, Adobe Premiere Pro CC is both complicated and very taxing on your computer. For example, users on GoPro and DJI forums usually complain that editing 4K footages in Adobe Premiere Pro is choppy and lagging. Specifically, Adobe PR requires at least 8GB of RAM and 8GB of hard disk space. If you're running on an earlier Mac, consider upgrading your hardware first.
1. An industry-standard editor.
2. Flexible and powerful.
1. Expensive and complicated.
2. High requirements on hardware.
3. Extra apps like After Effects required for some features.
Vegas Pro is a big rival of the famous video editing software now in markets such as such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. It comes with all features a professional editor needs to create movies, TV shows, music videos, etc. Sony Vegas Pro is more competitive for its ability to apply amazing elements, visual special effects, 3D titling & compositing. The editor also supports input/output 4K and HEVC, ProRes, AVC, etc. More importantly, Vegas Pro takes advantage of hardware acceleration technologies like Intel Quick Sync Video to edit and render faster.
1. Large effects and transition package.
2. A wide range of export formats.
3. Intel QSV support.
1. The price is too high for non-professionals.
2. Complicated to begin with.
DaVinci Resolve 15, "the fastest growing nonlinear video editor in the industry", is a free video editor that has features on par with professional programs like 3D compositing, 3D text tools, keying, painting, Color package, etc. To edit 4K videos, users need to upgrade to DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio for $299. It supports 4K and higher at up to 120fps. The program is very good at dealing with large and heavy files, enabling hundreds of timelines and clips open instantly by taking advantage of Apple Metal, multiple GPUs and CUDA acceleration.
1. Free 4K editing app version with no watermark.
2. Support extensive input/output formats.
3. Flexible settings to reduce time when editing large projects.
1. A powerful computer is required.
2. Some features are difficult to use like adding VFX.
Corel is a not-to-be-missed option when it comes to 4K video editing software as it supports high-end technologies like 4K, 3D, 360 degree VR, Stop Motion etc. The 4K video editor provides a full set of tools to capture, edit and share videos. First, you can easily import videos or record right away; then edit, stabilize, split, modify, trim, fix, etc. and then directly upload projects to Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo or export to other formats. Overall, it's a very easy editor for beginner to intermediated users.
1. Powerful support for 4K, stop motion, 3d.
2. Bunch of export options.
3. Wide selection of bundled effects.
1. The speed can be slow sometimes.
Lightworks also has a free version which imports the same wide range of formats as the Pro version like ProRes, RED R3D, and AVCHD 4K, but export to YouTube and Vimeo only. To export edited videos in 4K resolution using any formats, you need to get the paid version. The 4K video editor free version allows multi-cam editing, over 100 presets, a set of transitions and effects, and fast trimming features. Claimed by the site, Lightworks is used to produce some famous Hollywood movies like The Wolf of Wall Street.
1. There is a free version enough for home editing.
2. Ultra-precise trimming feature.
3. Excellent speed for 4K video editing.
1. Mastering the program is intimidating.
2. The free version is very limited in export formats and resolutions (720P).
Shortcut is a free video editor that supports 4K resolutions. The free 4k editing program has many features beneath the plain interface such as cutting, splitting, merging and trimming, effects, titles, and text. There are also advanced features like 3D text, color correction, overlay, and more. You will need to spend a little time figuring them out. The editor supports various formats like H.264, MP4 and the 4K format HEVC for 4K output.
1. A wide range of supported formats.
2. Powerful features for a free editor.
1. Lack of support tutorials.
2. Lack of profiles for YouTube or social media.
VSDC also has a free and a pro version at $19.99, both claimed to support 4K. The free VSDC has many features not available in other free 4k uhd editors like 4K stabilization, picture-in-picture mode etc. The paid version has some benefits like more media types, hardware acceleration, more advanced settings, etc. This makes the pro version faster when exporting and editing 4K videos.
1. A wide range of import and output video formats, including H.265.
2. Good for home users.
1. Slow speed editing 4K videos.
2. Some complain that it's not FREE.
Hi, I'm Reuben Zaback and I've been an award-winning editor of Digiarty for four years. Writer by day and reader by night, I share programs reviews & tutorials, multimedia solutions, latest tech trends, devices tips, etc. I geek out over Apple products, sports cameras, drones, gadgets and always look to learn something new. My spare time is dominated by sports rehab and part-time study.
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