With our digital culture and constant social media presence, learning how to personally and professionally edit videos is a great skill to have...
Whether you’re looking into it as a hobby, a career, or starting up your own YouTube channel, we’ll be covering the basics you need to start.
You don't need to have expensive camera gear or a PC/laptop to get started with making high-quality videos.
In fact, you can get away with your smartphone (iPhones, Androids, it doesn't matter) and a relatively old PC or Laptop...
And once you get into the groove of things, then you can upgrade.
So enough talk, let's get started!
The quickest advice I can give you on how to get into video editing is to just start.
Just start producing content, throw it up in a free video editor and edit away. What you want to be doing at this stage is learning video editing skills. Those skills will then translate into higher-quality videos over time.
Through all the Facebook and YouTube videos you've watched in your lifetime, you should have a general gist of the kind of video you want to shoot and edit...
Use your creative mind to plan and execute these types of videos.
Whenever you're stuck, YouTube is a great resource to help you get started.
It is definitely easier said than done, so if that's the case, read on for some tips on what you need to think about when editing videos...
Video editing is a rather broad concept, and it’s essential first to establish what kind of videos you’ll be putting together.
If you are simply looking to edit a video of your recent family vacation, you will most likely not need to get the top-of-the-range editing software.
Since your video will most likely be a straightforward edit, it typically won’t be too demanding on your computer or laptop either, so you could get away with not having the most powerful computer setup.
However, if you’re entering the world of professional video editing, you will have to be methodical in your approach.
A few top considerations for how to get into video editing are the following:
If you need different videos shot in various locations, you will want to sit and plan your pre-production phase.
Create an outline with the footage you will need to shoot and determine where to film.
A pro tip is always to keep the camera rolling for longer than you think since it’s always better to have a surplus of footage to work with instead of realizing that you don’t have enough footage during the editing phase.
If you seek simple video editing features from your software that allows you to simply drag and drop your footage - you can look at options like iMovie.
However, suppose you plan to go professional as a video editor. In that case, you’ll probably want to look at more premium options such as Final Cut Pro (for MacOS) or Adobe Premiere Pro (for Windows).
Professional video editors will tell you that you need to have a sound “filing system” for your editing process.
Create a folder for footage that you plan to use for an upcoming video edit, a folder with archived edits, and a folder with footage that you might not want to use for this particular edit that you can archive.
When you’re uploading various files and stuck knee-deep in an edit, you’ll be grateful for your organized system.
It all depends on what type of video editing you have in mind.
Establishing the effects, you think you will want to add an easy way to determine whether your computer should work for your video edit.
Once you start exploring the different video editing software available, you’ll realize that video editing happens in layers.
Each effect you add to your video requires more performance from your computer or laptop.
As for which hardware is best for video editing between Windows or Mac: both could work.
It might seem obvious, but the most crucial aspect of video editing is the know-how to actually edit the videos to the level you want.
Choosing a video editing software that’s easy for you to learn, within your budget, and works with the camera and computer you have available.
The market might seem overwhelming to someone just starting.
So, what does all of it mean?
You definitely don’t want to waste money on a big expensive program if you aren’t 100% committed to pursuing video editing.
Thankfully, there are plenty of less expensive, simple to use, and good, quality editors out there to get you started and begin learning.
My recommendation is to start with the best free versions available, then upgrade to paid versions if you need a program that has more features you can use.
You have most likely heard of Adobe Premiere Pro, but maybe not Adobe Premiere Elements.
In a nutshell, Adobe Premiere Elements is a stripped-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro, which means it's generally considered one of the best for beginners just getting into video editing.
It’s compatible with Windows, MacOS, and PC, so you can use it with whatever system you currently own.
It comes with a 30-day free trial, which lets you get to know it and practice before making any purchase.
Although this is a more simplistic video editing software, Adobe has a professional version, so Elements can be used as a learning space for moving up with skills.
Once you have graduated from Adobe Premiere Elements, you can move on to the full suite; Adobe Premiere Pro.
Premiere Pro is considered one of the top editing software options on the market, with a wide variety of features to make your videos look high-quality and professional.
I've personally dabbled around Premiere Pro, and I will tell you now that there is a big learning curve (but that's just like learning any skill).
But once you get over that learning curve, your ability to produce high-quality content will be like no other.
If you already have a Mac, try out the free editing software with which it comes.
iMovie is simple, to say the least, but it has the basics available to you.
It’s a learning process, and if you’re just testing the waters of video editing, it’s a great way to learn.
It’s also available on iPhone so that you can collaborate between a mobile and computer format.
There are many choices, and ultimately the decision is yours to make.
Here are some other software options to research:
Right up there with software, having a computer that can handle long hours of editing and rendering is key to any video editor.
If your computer can’t handle the process, it doesn’t matter how nice your editing software is.
There isn’t as much competition here as you think.
It’s really up to you and which editing software you intend to use and what works best for you.
PCs are easier to modify on your own, so adding additional storage, graphic cards, and RAM is generally more doable.
Both work well for video editing, as long as their internal processors are strong enough to handle it.
It’s genuinely up to your budget and preference.
If you're a vlogger looking to find a laptop to suit your needs, you can check out the best laptops for vloggers guide that we had written previously.
The overall speed of your PC/Laptop will help make the video editing process smoother and more manageable.
There are a few aspects you’ll want to focus on if you’re planning on buying or upgrading your Laptop/PC for editing purposes.
The most critical component of your computer or laptop is your CPU.
The faster your CPU is, the quicker all of your programs will load, and the smoother, less laggy your video editing software will run.
If you are still using an older laptop or computer, you will find that some programs tend to load up much slower and can be laggy.
That is mainly due to your CPU being old and not handling all the programs you're running well.
Your CPU will also heavily affect your rendering times, so it's best to get a CPU with a minimum of 4 cores and 8 threads.
Recommended specs would be 6 cores and 12 threads; this will make running programs seamless.
If you don’t already, ensure you’ve got at least 8GB of RAM on the computer, you’re using.
8GB is the bare minimum, and anything below that you may start to struggle with, especially if you are creating medium to large-sized videos.
The more RAM you have, the better. The golden standard would be 16GB which gives you plenty of room to play around without your PC or laptop lagging.
Your graphics card will not matter as much as your CPU or RAM, but this is dependent on the program you use.
If you are an avid user of Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, then you will want to get a decent GPU to go alongside your computer or laptop.
Adobe Premiere Pro specifically uses NVIDIA's encoders to speed up your rendering.
So, in this case, rendering will be mainly using your GPU's resources.
DaVinci Resolve is extremely GPU-heavy, and thus having a low-end graphics card means your computer may struggle.
As for the rest of the video editing software, they are primarily CPU-intensive, so if that's the case, you can save money when it comes to searching for a GPU.
The last thing you will want to focus on finding the right parts is your storage.
SSDs (Solid State Drives) have breakneck speeds and will help with the software's loading times.
It will also help with the playback of raw video files if you place your files on your SSD.
The downside to SSD's is that they are on the more expensive side, but that's where HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) come in.
Whereas SSDs focus on speed rather than storage, HDDs focus on storage rather than speed.
If you're looking for storage space, buying a 4TB HDD will be cheaper than buying a 4TB SSD.
When you snatch up storage for your PC or laptop, it would be in your best interest to get both so that you can do the following:
Whether you are a beginner or hoping to go professional as a video editor, we hope these tips on how to get into video editing will help you in your decision-making.
You don’t need the best computer/laptop or the priciest software to create impressive videos.
What's more important is to just get started.
Your 100th video will be way better than your 1st video, and your 250th video will be better than your 100th video.
You will learn what to do as you grow your skillset, and when you start to get better, only then should you upgrade your setup.
Comment down below if you love to edit videos, and let us know what software you use!