5 Best 4K Video Editing Software in 2022 [Windows & Mac]
If you're not shooting videos in 4K, you should be. Almost all new cameras and phones are capable of shooting it and it’s become the standard for all TVs and screens. Beyond providing a cleaner and crisper image, it provides more leeway when zeroing in on a close-up and can help you avoid jump cuts while editing. Stabilizing, creating effects, stretching and repositioning video is easier because of the thousands of pixels you are working with. Keep in mind 8K and 16K are around the corner, so shooting in 4K will ensure that you maintain the highest-possible image quality for your precious memories. Plus, storing 4K video files has never been cheaper.
When it comes to 4K video editing software, there are a lot of choices out there. It’s important to pick the right one because working with 4K footage can really slow down your computer and could take hours if you use the wrong software. You’ll also want an editor with the tools to let you fully take advantage of your clips.
We have compiled the top 5 for your consideration. But when editors want best-in-class software, they go with CyberLink PowerDirector.
PowerDirector sits at the top of this list because it’s the market leader in hardware acceleration, CPU optimization and rendering speeds. Meaning you speed less time waiting on importing and exporting, and more time creating.
If you're new to editing, don’t worry, it allows anyone to cut together family videos or make Hollywood-like effects with no editing experience. Download Cyberlink PowerDirector and discover the fun you can have when editing 4K videos.
Best 4K Video-Editing Software
CyberLink PowerDirector serves as a bridge between professional and amateur filmmaking. It comes with an intuitive layout and powerful features that help make your wildest ideas come to life. Even if you don't have experience with video editing, you'll have no problem because PowerDirector has almost no learning curve.
PowerDirector imports and exports 4K video files in a snap. The hardware acceleration ensures that all functions happen as efficiently as possible. The robust software allows you to start editing within seconds instead of waiting around for files to load.
The hardware acceleration also makes editing huge files manageable. PowerDirector offers fast rendering and CPU optimization so that you can produce high-quality videos in less time. You'll have no more buffering as your video-editing program tries to render 4K files. When working with 4K footage you are going to want the software PCMag named the fastest rendering software.
PowerDirector's 4K support extends to its preview function. You can play back a section of a clip—or everything in your timeline—in the highest resolution. You can enjoy professional-looking previews without rendering slowing it down.
The award-winning video editing software comes with all the basic editing tools you’ll ever need plus a bevy of advanced features to fully take advantage of 4K footage. Add customizable motion graphic titles, or create Hollywood level visual effects with chroma key and the video mask designer. Add some style to your 4K videos with drag-and-drop transitions and video effects. Create double exposure videos with blending modes.
Need some music or some video footage to help finish off a project. PowerDirector includes a wealth of free assets. You can download and add stock photos, videos, and audio through CyberLink's extensive royalty-free library provided by ShutterStock. You won’t have to worry about finding the right background music for your next video because you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Worried about storage space for your videos? CyberLink has free cloud storage for 4K videos. That way, you can shoot and edit 4K videos without sacrificing resolution due to storage demands.
Windows and Mac users can download CyberLink PowerDirector for free, too. Editors pay less than $6 per month for this top-tier 4K video-editing software, making it an ideal choice on any budget. Try PowerDirector now!Best 4K Features
- Easy 4K import/export
- Fast rendering
- CPU optimization
- 4K preview
- Cloud storage for 4K videos
2. Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro X is the latest tool for editing 4K videos from Apple. It stands out as a premium option among professional filmmakers with its solid suite of tools and navigable interface. The software supports full 4K resolution, allowing editors to create the highest-quality videos possible.
The non-linear editor allows you to cut, edit, and crop 4K video files without changing the original file. Final Cut Pro X features a magnetic timeline that snaps clips into place, eliminating unwanted gaps in your footage. When you finish editing, you can upload the final product directly to YouTube, Facebook, or another social media platform.
The video-editing software supports various types of files, including H.265 codec, so 4K footage doesn't take up as much space. You can also leverage this efficiency when editing 360-degree videos.
Final Cut Pro X has some shortcomings however. While it comes with a range of audio and video editing tools, it's not as dynamic as some of the other offerings on this list. It’s also not as intuitive and user-friendly as a program like PowerDirector. Plus, you can only purchase the software upfront since Apple doesn't have a monthly option.Pros:
- Support for HDR and 360-degree footage
- Fast output rendering
- Steep price tag
- Not as feature-rich as other software
- Subpar sound editing
3. Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Adobe Premiere Pro CC has made a name for itself as a high-end video-editing program. It's part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and works in tandem with other applications on the platform. That means you can transfer files from Premiere to After Effects or Lightroom without changing the file type.
Video editors value Premiere Pro CC for its efficient workflow and seamless integrations. The software handles 4K videos with ease, whether you're rendering clips or exporting videos to social media. Adobe has also made recent improvements to its tracking and masking capabilities.
Unless you have some video-editing skills under your belt, you should consider a less-advanced video-editing software. Premiere Pro CC has a challenging learning curve, making it ideal for professional editors but not for amateurs. Adobe also charges a high monthly fee for the Adobe Creative Cloud.Pros:
- VR video and audio editing options
- Support for multiple file formats
- Mandatory monthly fee
- High system requirements
- Challenging learning curve
4. Pinnacle Studio
Pinnacle Studio slots just below the professional-grade video editing software on this list. It features a dynamic range of tools, such as 360-degree VR support, multicam editing, and masking tools. Pinnacle Studio can even handle fast 4K rendering and imports.
Pinnacle Studio has a flexible and straightforward interface that you can tailor to your preferences and needs. It has Project Bins that let you organize your 4K video files, photos, and sound effects. If you have the Standard version, the software supports up to six tracks at once. The Plus level supports 24 tracks, while the Ultimate option has no limit.
If you want adequate 4K video-editing support, you'll have to spring for the Ultimate version. Additionally, you can only use Pinnacle Studio if you have a Windows computer.Pros:
- Lots of editing effects (overlays, etc.)
- Relatively inexpensive
- Lacks intuitive interface
- Not available to Mac users
- Limited motion-tracking capabilities
5. Vegas Pro
Magix Vegas Pro serves as an intermediate 4K video editor. It has native 4K video support, enabling users to edit up to 4096 x 4096. Editors can leverage various plugins and extras to ensure that the final footage has the proper look and feel.
The video-editing program has a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to make changes with a single click. Thanks to its vast array of tools and special effects, you can stay in complete control from start to finish.
Vegas Pro can export 4K video quickly, but the application lacks its competitors' processing speed. It takes a while to render and preview 4K clips in Vegas Pro, which adds time to the editing process. If you really don’t want to waste time waiting for your computer to process 4K footage PowerDirector would be a better choice.Pros:
- Intuitive workflow
- Reliable (minimal crashes, lags, or glitches)
- Not available to Mac users
- Slow 4K rendering
- Weak motion-tracking capabilities
|Supported Platforms||Windows, Mac||Mac OS||Windows, Mac||Windows||Windows|
|Free Video, Photo, and Music Stock||Yes||-||-||-||-|
|System Requirements||Intel Core™ i-series or AMD Phenom® II and above
4 GB required (6 GB or above recommended)
|8 GB recommended for 4K editing
1 GB of VRAM recommended for 4K editing
|Intel® 6th Gen or newer CPU
32 GB for 4K media
|Intel Core i7 4th generation
8+ GB highly recommended for 4K
|For 4K, 7th Generation Intel Core i7
32 GB recommended for 4K
Every 4K video editing software has distinct strengths and weaknesses. Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X cater to professional video editors, so the software comes with daunting learning curves. Meanwhile, Pinnacle Studio and Vegas Pro offer more affordable and accessible alternatives but are only available to Windows users and don’t have as much power..
Not only is PowerDirector the best 4K editor, it is also the easiest video editor for beginners. The streamlined interface and robust processing give it more than enough strength to handle 4K video imports, exports, edits, and rendering. It also has a wide range of effects, free storage and royalty-free assets for subscribers.
Take your 4K video editing to the next level with PowerDirector. This video editing program has everything that Windows and Mac users need to create stunning films or short family videos. Download it for free today and start making your first masterpiece.
4K Video Editing FAQ
1. What is a 4K video editor?
Software or app capable of cutting, modifying, generating, or manipulating a video or movie file that has approximately a 4,000 pixel width. This can range from 3840 × 2160, which is the dominant 4K standard, to the movie projection standard which uses 4096 × 2160.
2. What is the best 4K video editing app for mobile?
3. How much does a 4K video editor cost?
Prices can vary quite a bit. We have included the comparison chart with prices so you can quickly evaluate each software from our list against each other. Yes, there are free options, but they are usually clunky and don’t provide the best results. Or they have an incredibly high learning curve and are specifically for professionals like DaVinci Resolve.
4. What features should I look for in a 4K video editor?
The top ten features you should look out for are:
- Fast rendering
- CPU and hardware optimization
- Titles and motion graphics
- Color correction
- Audio tools
- Transition effects
- Composing tools
- Video speeed controls
- Motion tracking
- AI-powered tools
5. Is there a free 4K video editor?
Yes, there are free 4k video editors. In fact, PowerDirector Essential is the free version of PowerDirector which you can download and use at no cost. It does lack some export controls and creative assets available in the paid version.
However, most free video editors are free for a reason. They are either clunky and don’t provide the best results or they have an incredibly high learning curve.
6. What is the best camera to record 4K videos?
This totally depends on your budget. We have a great article where we breakdown the best vlogging cameras based on price range. Most of these would be a great option for shooting 4k videos.