Best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro in 2022

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Video editing
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Finding the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro opens up a wealth of post-production video editors that bring the same Hollywood-grade polish to your films that you’ll find in Adobe’s feature-rich software. 

As an industry-standard tool, it's one of the best video editing software tools on the market. Adobe Premiere Pro packs all the tools and features professionals demand. It even offers seamless integration with Adobe After Effects for total control in post. 

That advanced toolset can make it difficult to identify which Premiere Pro alternative is best for you. But it’s not a tool for everyone. Some users are turned off by the subscription-only pricing, while others dislike the complex interface that threatens to overwhelm video editing beginners. It may have been known to crash once or twice, even on the best video editing computers

Whether you just need a simple video editor for quick trims or a workhorse program for bigger projects, there are plenty of free, subscription-free, and budget-friendly software that deliver pro results without a Creative Cloud subscription or the steep learning curve. 

To help you bring your projects to life, we’ve tested, reviewed, and rated the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro. 

For more post-production tools, we've also tried out the best free video editing software and the best video editing apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad

Today's best video editor

Adobe Premiere Pro CC (opens in new tab)

Adobe Premiere Pro is our top pick for best video editing software.

The powerful editing suite for professionals offers industry-standard features and tools wrapped in an easy interface. If you're going pro, it's best-in-class. 

Explore the video editor in our 5-star Premiere Pro review (opens in new tab).

The best Adobe Premiere Pro alternatives for video editing

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Asymmetric transitioning in DaVinci Resolve

(Image credit: Blackmagic Design)
Best free Premiere Pro alternative for pros

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Linux

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple post-production workspaces in one app
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Best color tools available
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Standard version is free

Reasons to avoid

-
Steep learning curve

DaVinci Resolve (opens in new tab) started out as a color grading app but has since evolved into a fully comprehensive post-production suite that’s fast becoming an industry favorite. 

In our hands-on review, we said "DaVinci Resolve is a tough app to beat. It’s incredibly powerful, it’s updated regularly, and to top it all, it’s free. It puts a lot of competing software to shame. The only downside is so much power leads to a complex interface." 

The tool has separate workspaces for editing, color, audio, and visual effects, each with in-depth features allowing a deep level of control, making it a clear alternative to Premiere Pro. 

Rather than editing in one program and sending the project to a separate VFX software or audio editing app, the whole post-production process is contained in one app. With multi-user online collaboration, various team members can work on their aspects of a project simultaneously.

The standard version, which has all the main features, is completely free. A premium version - DaVinci Resolve Studio - is available and includes features such as a neural engine, stereoscopic 3D tools, and advanced HDR grading. It costs a one-off fee of $295/£270.

Resolve is one of the most in-depth video editing programs available, so it is targeted at professionals rather than newcomers. This does mean it may be too complex for some, but does prove its worth as the best free alternative to Premiere Pro.

Read our full DaVinci Resolve review 


Screenshot of subtitles in video editing software CyberLink PowerDirector

(Image credit: Future)
Best Premiere Pro alternative for prosumers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile editing features
+
Regular updates
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Good value subscription

Reasons to avoid

-
Color tools lacking

CyberLink PowerDirector (opens in new tab) is aimed at a prosumer market: it’s neither for complete novices nor full-time professional editors, but is a solid Premiere Pro alternative for those in between. 

The PowerDirector interface is attractive and efficient, and once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find that it has a wide array of features. 

Additions in recent updates include custom masking, precise keyframing tools, and a library of customizable animated sketches, which are an easy way to add color and energy to a video. 

That said, it does lack in a few areas; the color-grading tools are a bit rudimentary compared to Adobe’s video editor (not to mention many Premiere Pro competitors).

There are several versions: PowerDirector Essentials is free but basic. PowerDirector Ultra includes most features, and PowerDirector Ultimate adds a few advanced tools. 

For those that appreciate Premiere Pro’s easy subscription set-up, PowerDirector 365 is the subscription version, packed with all the video editing features for a monthly or annual cost.

Read our full CyberLink PowerDirector review


Screenshot of Final Cut Pro applying effects

(Image credit: Apple)
Best video editing alternative for Macs

Specifications

Operating system: Mac

Reasons to buy

+
Efficient interface 
+
Powerful editing features

Reasons to avoid

-
Mac only

The Mac-only Final Cut Pro (opens in new tab) video editing and compositing package crammed with features. It’s currently at version 10.6, which includes a slew of minor tweaks and improvements, making this the sturdiest and most stable version of the video editing app yet.  

This is a powerful and versatile video editing app, with a well-designed, no-fuss interface that makes editing intuitive without compromising features. Its magnetic timeline makes it easy to insert shots within a sequence without other clips losing relative position, and the assembly process feels slick. 

Other impressive features include 360° video, HDR, and advanced color grading tools.

On top of all that, new features add a few welcome cherries on top. These include the ability to fully control footage shot on an iPhone 13 in Cinematic Mode, an incredibly easy to use Motion Tracker, and a nifty AI that allows you to apply an effect onto a specific part of an image.

The app is a great Premiere Pro alternative on Mac, running natively whether your computer is powered by Intel or Apple silicon. 

It’s incredibly good value for money, and after a lull in its upgrade cycle, it appears to have picked up the pace recently. Most definitely worth a look if you’re interested in an affordable, sturdy and versatile video editing tool that rivals Adobe’s own. 

Compare how the software stacks up against Adobe's video editor in Adobe Premiere Pro vs Apple Final Cut Pro.

Read our full Final Cut Pro review 


Screenshot of video editing software Pinnacle Studio 25

(Image credit: Future)
Best alternative to Premiere Pro for mid-level editors

Specifications

Operating system: Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Accessible but powerful editing
+
Great new features
+
Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Windows only
-
Not as in-depth as Premiere Pro

Pinnacle Studio (opens in new tab) once had a reputation for poor performance and limited functionality. Thankfully, recent updates have significantly improved the video editor. 

Think of it as the grown-up version of Corel VideoStudio (it’s from the same developer). Expect a few similarities between the two, as Pinnacle builds on the more simplified Corel alternative.

That said, it’s still less in-depth than the likes of Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. But it is still a versatile editing program. The interface is intuitive, and besides the performance issues being fixed, many useful new features have been added. 

These include a title designer with an impressive level of control over animated text, keyframing controls that enable you to adjust clips and effects over time, and face-tracking masks. This lets you adjust the lighting or effects on a face, even when the subject is moving.

You’ll find three versions available for a one-time purchase: Standard, Studio Plus, and Studio Ultimate. It’s worth paying the extra for Ultimate if you’re likely to use the additional features, which include masking and 4K editing.

Read our full Pinnacle Studio review


Screenshot of Lightworks video editor

(Image credit: Future)
Best free alternative for beginners

Reasons to buy

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Free
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Regular updates bring powerful features
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Built-in VFX workspace
+
Multi-platform

Reasons to avoid

-
Pro tools locked behind paywall
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Can't export to 1080p and above

Lightworks (opens in new tab) is a video editor with a bit of a pedigree. Go to their website, and you’ll see how proud they are of the numerous professional feature films that have been cut with it. But this is with the Pro version. 

The Free option offers you the same interface, but has a more limited selection of tools. Still, don’t let that dissuade you: most of the pro features really are destined for professional users, and if you’re an amateur, enthusiast, or just starting out, you’ll have a great time learning the ropes with it. Everything is pretty intuitive, and the new contextual help windows guide you through your first steps effectively.

The only major downside to the free version is an inability to export your finished product beyond 720p. We’d understand if 4K was deemed a pro feature, but 1080p is a baffling decision. 

Find out how one of the best free video editing software tools compares to its free rival in Adobe Premiere Pro vs Lightworks.

Read our full Lightworks review


HitFilm's new interface

(Image credit: FXHome)
Best Adobe Premiere Pro alternative for beginners and experts

Reasons to buy

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Professional video editing tools for free
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Easy to use and welcoming to beginners
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Great tutorial videos

Reasons to avoid

-
More powerful features watermarked or hidden behind paywall
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High system requirements

Formerly known as HitFilm Express, HitFilm (opens in new tab) is one of the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro for beginners and experts alike. 

In use, it’s an undemanding video editor app - and it’s packed with tutorials that help newcomers learn the basics of video editing. 

The software is a bit of an all-rounder - an all-in-one program that even comes equipped with basic VFX software for adding visual effects to your footage. At the free end, these are unlikely to satisfy pros familiar with premium special effects programs like Adobe After Effects. But their addition is welcome. 

However, there are a couple of downsides. For one thing, the impressive feature list isn’t growing as fast as it used to - or rather, more features are being locked behind HitFilm Pro and Creator subscription packages. And the free version isn’t shy about nudging you towards the upgrade option. 

On the other hand, by upgrading, professionals and veteran editors will find a video editor that’s even more powerful, and more capable of replicating the results of Adobe Premiere Pro. 

You can upgrade via a subscription plan or picking up a perpetual license, which gives you access to 12 months’ worth of updates (the software remains yours thereafter, with renewal discounts available). 

Whether you opt for the free version or upgrade, HitFilm offers a powerful, professional, multi-platform experience for beginners and professionals alike. Just make sure your computer can handle this intensive Premiere Pro alternative.

Read our full HitFilm review


Screenshot of Adobe Premiere Elements video editing software

(Image credit: Future)
Best Premiere Pro alternative from Adobe

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, Mac

Reasons to buy

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One-off purchase
+
Stable and Easy to use
+
Lots of handy tools

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated interface
-
Can be confusing

Premiere Elements (opens in new tab) is Adobe’s very own Premiere Pro alternative for consumer-level video editors. It's a bit like comparing Apple iMovie to Final Cut Pro in that sense. So, when it comes to the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro, you can't go far wrong staying in the same stable. 

Premiere Elements designed to make building an edit as easy as possible for anyone with little knowledge of this craft, and it does a very good job of easing beginners into the art. 

You have multiple different interfaces, depending on your skills, with a good number of step-by-step tutorials aimed at introducing you to new concepts, and more complex techniques.

The new features for 2022 primarily focus on social media, and creating content destined to be shared online, all of which are welcome and useful, and some are even fun to use.

There’s no subscription service for this software: you buy it outright from the get-go, and only pay for upgrades if you feel the new features are useful to you. A definite strong mark in the software’s favor. 

The full program costs $100, with upgrades from older versions costing $80. A free 30-day trial is available for you to check all the features out for yourself.

Read our full Adobe Premiere Elements review


Corel VideoStudio Ultimate screenshot

(Image credit: Future)
Best budget alternative to Premiere Pro

Specifications

Operating system: Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to learn
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Too basic for pros
-
Dated interface
-
Windows only

Corel VideoStudio (opens in new tab) comes in two versions: VideoStudio Pro is ideal for standard editing while VideoStudio Ultimate packs in more premium effects. With a one-off purchase of $79.99/£69.99 and $99.99/£89.99 respectively, both are significantly more affordable than Adobe's editor. And with no ongoing subscription, it's one of the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro.

Using the video editing app is much simpler, chiefly because it lacks many of Premiere’s in-depth options for fine-tuning clips and effects - although Ultimate boasts the wider feature-set. 

That said, Corel VideoStudio is relatively easy to learn. Once you’ve mastered the basics, it does have useful features, such as 360° and multicam editing. In recent updates, the color tools have been significantly improved, too. 

There are a few odd issues with the interface: the layout can feel a little clunky and dated, and the way that layers work is upside-down compared to most other software, which might be confusing to editors used to working with other video editing software.

Read our full Corel VideoStudio review


Screenshot of video editing software Filmora

(Image credit: Future)
Best basic alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, Mac

Reasons to buy

+
Large toolset for editors
+
Ideal for beginners
+
Available across multiple platforms

Reasons to avoid

-
Interface and experience can be frustrating
-
No effects preview

Filmora (opens in new tab) is a video editing software package aimed at the novice, making it one of the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro for quick editing, but with enough power to satisfy others as well. 

Not only can you work with your own clips, but you also have access to three royalty-free libraries for stock photos and stock videos straight from the interface.

Editing is a breeze (although it can be hard to differentiate between your clips in the timeline). You’ve got a wealth of additional tools, from simple filters, interesting transitions, and advanced titles.

Speaking of advanced, there are also a bunch of more complex additions, such as color correction, chroma keying, image stabilization, and motion tracking.

You can try most of these features for free, and as of this writing, this package will set you back $50 or $80, depending if you choose to go for the yearly subscription or the perpetual license. Businesses can get different licenses, but only on Windows computers.

With its modest system requirements, Filmora is one of the best alternatives to Premiere Pro for low-end PCs.

Read our full Filmora review


Nero Video's easy to use interface

(Image credit: Nero)
Best for beginners on a budget

Specifications

Operating system: Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Great for beginners and intermediates
+
Fair FX library 
+
Switch between Express and Advanced editing timeline

Reasons to avoid

-
Too basic for professionals

Nero Video (opens in new tab) is a fair alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro. Really, it’s video editing software best for beginners or casual editors and small businesses who need fast editing tools to produce decent-quality content. Its undemanding minimum requirements make it a good substitute for those in need of a video editor for low-end PCs. 

In terms of feature-set, tool-kits, and every extra that makes Adobe’s software for editing videos the industry standard, Nero Video can’t quite match it. But what the program excels at is making the video editing process incredibly simple for just about everyone. This is as accessible as editing videos gets - and it's got plenty of essential FX, including chroma-keying, to help bring your movies to life.

During our time with the program, we found Nero Video “the definition of ‘quick and easy’. Drag-drop-cut-done.” 

However, we noted that the tool offers little to advanced and professional editors, while newcomers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists are often better served with free editing software like HitFilm Express. 

Still, the editing experience is effortless, the  value is good - it’s a budget one-time buy/perpetual license deal - and, as you’d expect from Nero, you can still burn your movies to disc.

Read our full Nero Video review 


How to choose the best Adobe Premiere Pro alternative for you

Choosing which Premiere Pro alternative is best for you begins with identifying what you like (or dislike) about Adobe’s video editor. 

Premiere Pro’s interface is simple, intuitive, and easy to use. It houses an extensive toolset. It’s paid for through subscription. This is a good baseline for making your comparison. 

Previous experience and intended use counts. DaVinci Resolve is an excellent alternative because, like Premiere Pro, it’s an advanced post-production tool for professional editors. But Corel VideoStudio is the better alternative for beginners, because it unlocks the same core editing functions. 

Price in the price when making your decision. Creative Cloud All Apps subscription is good when you use a lot of Adobe apps, and some other software offer similar easy payment plans. If that doesn’t suit your budget and on-going needs, or if you’d prefer to pay for your software outright (or get it for free), look for perpetual or lifetime licenses, There may be some trade-offs here, particularly in the features department - either they lack Premiere Pro’s depth, like Pinnacle, or they’re more complex, like Resolve. 

Like all creative software, it’s important to pick the app that works for you. It’s not about following an arbitrary checklist. It’s about finding the video editor that helps you innovate the art. All the best Premiere Pro alternatives offer free trials. See which one fits your flow. 

How we test the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro

When we test the best Premiere Pro alternatives, we’re looking for similarities and differences, where the alternative improves on Adobe’s video editor, and where it underdelivers. 

A good user experience is critical. Adobe’s interface is easy to grasp at all skill levels - it’s one of the reasons why it remains a popular tool for creatives in the film and TV industry. The best alternatives, even those with steep learning curves, should be accessible, and make sense in operation. 

We also explore integrations and additional tools. Premiere Pro plays brilliantly with creative apps like Adobe After Effects, and we want to see other video editors work well with that sort of VFX software. It's even better when those tools come built into the editor, like Lightworks's admittedly basic visual effects or DaVinci Resolve's Fusion - one of the best After Effects alternatives for professionals.

We review how well these video editors meet the needs of the intended audience. Video editors are not all alike, mirroring Premiere Pro in different areas. Small businesses will delight in crafting professional-looking visual assets with tools like CyberLink PowerDirector and Pinnacle Studio. They may not need Premiere Pro’s in-depth tools. Unlike professional editors, requiring access to the sort of powerful features found in Final Cut Pro and Resolve.

Performance is important, since video editing and rendering is intensive. It can be a strain on computers, even for Premiere Pro alternatives for low-end PCs, which often lack the ‘powerhouse’ stylings of other editing suites. After working the laptop fan for hours, is the footage usable or does it stutter from start to finish? Users want to see that the juice was worth the squeeze. 

See how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.  

Kieron Moore is a freelance writer based in Manchester, England. He contributes to Future sites including TechRadar and Creative Bloq, focusing on subjects including creative software, video editing, and streaming services. This work draws on his experience as an independent filmmaker and an independent TV watcher.