You’re going to be a movie star! ROAM’s list of favorite video editing apps includes a variety of options – beginner and expert, free and low cost, Apple and Android, desktop and mobile – so you can create movies and slideshows of your favorite vacation adventures.
By Liliia deCos
You head out on a fabulous trip. You take hundreds – even thousands! – of photos and videos of your experiences. You come home and never see them again.
Sound familiar? It does to me!
Most of the time, I take too many pictures and don’t know exactly what to do with them. Out of the hundreds of great shots my husband and I take, maybe 20 will find their way to Instagram or Facebook – but others are doomed to be buried in the “photo graveyard” of memory cards and cloud storage.
Well we have a cure for this ailment – and it’s not hydrochloroquine 😉 What if instead of burying your precious moments, you could compile the best pictures and videos from your trips into memorable and fun slide show videos?
Well you can! And we bet you have some extra time on your hands to get that done. Even better? You don’t have the skills of a professional video editor or a pile of money to spend on software. I created the video below on Quik for free in just minutes!
I’ve compiled a list of 15 video editing apps for ROAM readers to check out. I’ve tried them all and include a bit of info with each one that’ll hopefully let you know which app is right for your situation.
For example, I broke out the list by desktop versions and mobile apps because personally, I work on my laptop when I create longer videos and when I use footage from our DSLR camera. I tend to use mobile apps to be sure I don’t “waste” amazing shots I snapped on my phone.
Keep in mind that there are dozens of video applications on the market, for both mobile and desktop users. It is a matter of trying and figuring out what works best for you. I hope this list will get you started and help your family relive your family adventures! (But if video ain’t your thing, check out our other ideas for preserving your vacation memories.)
And if you come up with a masterpiece, email us at email@example.com so we can share it with our readers!
Best Desktop Video Editors
Price: Free with an option to upgrade to paid Premium version
Available: Windows, Mac, Linux
Pros: Very powerful video editor with an extensive library of video tutorials for beginners
Cons: 4K video is supported only in the premium version. Can be too advanced for beginners
Lightworks is one of the most powerful video editors on this list. It has a huge variety of useful features such as high precision video trimming, multicam support, export 720 for YouTube, and a wide video range of video formats. The free version should be more than enough for most users but for those who are looking for even wider array of features, there is an option to upgrade to the Premium version.
Price: Free with option to upgrade to a Pro version
Pros: Non-linear video editor with a vast array of powerful features and more than 200 free tutorial videos
Cons: Windows only and technical support is not free
VSDC is one of the best free video editors for Windows. Note that this video editor is “non-linear,” meaning it allows you to combine video files and pictures in any sequence. You’ll be able to create layers, place several objects into a scene, overlap them, blend fragments and even make them half-transparent if your vision requires that 😉 The non-linear editing also allows picture-in-picture, side-by-side and split-screen shots, double exposure and green-screen removal. If these tricks don’t impress your friends, nothing will!
Pros: Easy to learn
Cons: Advanced users may find it very limited
If you are a Mac user and you have never edited a video, go no further than this native Mac application. I used iMovie for many years before I started to consider moving up to something more advanced. iMovie is very intuitive and super easy to learn. Also, for basic videos, it has plenty of features such as pre-made transitions, video trimming, audio editing, split screen, 4K resolution and more.
Pros: Easy to learn
Cons: Might be too basic for some intermediate users
VideoPad is a great editing software for beginners. It is perfect for anyone who just wants to start playing with video editing, as it is simple to use. It offers basic features such as a library of pre-made transitions, the ability to export movies in multiple resolutions, 3D video editing, an option to reduce camera shaking, and a sound effects library. VideoPad allows you directly export to YouTube and other social platforms, as well.
Available: Browser-based app
Pros: Free app with a solid array of features, an extensive library of royalty-free soundtracks and photos, and the ability to export videos without any watermarks.
Cons: Lots of ads and it takes some time to get used to the interface.
Movie Maker Online is an free online video editor. This means that if you don’t have a powerful computer you still can create great videos from your trips! Online video editors are usually very simple but Movie Maker Online is an exception. Unlike other browser-based tools, it offers proper timeline-based editing with titles and effects, plus a huge library of royalty free music and stock images. In exchange, users must view advertisements – it is a trade off you may or may not be willing to make.
Best Mobile Video Editing Apps
Available: iPhone, iPad and Android
Pros: Built-in slow motion editor, ability to add multiple music files to the video and other fun features
Cons: 5 minute video limit, watermark on your video, and many ads unless you pay for the premium version
Download: Google Play
VivaVideo is a fun and very intuitive application that allows you to create a short video on your smartphone within minutes. Importing your own photos and videos from the gallery, you can trim and merge the slides very easily. The app has several free built-in themes, a vast library of songs (on top of your own play list!) and other fun features like stickers, filters, effects and texts to caption your video
I usually use this app to capture best moments of a fun and eventful day. For example, sightseeing in Barcelona for a whole day will result in hundreds of pictures on my phone. Creating a short, two-minute video is a great way to “remember” one day in particular and to share it with friends and family on YouTube or other social media channels. See example below.
Available: iOS and Android
Pros: Free with no watermarks on videos, a super intuitive interface, and great autoediting features to create short fun videos
Cons: Some users may want more editing control
Download: Google Play
If you have a GoPro camera but for some reason don’t like the GoPro editing app, consider Quik, probably one of the easiest editors to create short videos from both GoPro and smartphone footage. You can zoom, trim, rotate photos and videos from your gallery, albums, Google Photos, Dropbox or GoPro Plus. There are 23 themes and a bunch of filters, transitions and graphics. An AI editor analyzes your videos to select great moments. It detects faces and colors to frame each photo perfectly and also syncs footage to the beat of your soundtrack – and there’s a great selection of songs to pair with your video. Another plus? Every week Quik creates ready-to-watch videos made from photos and video on your phone. That’s really awesome! See example below.
Pros: The most professional video-editing app for iOS that delivering anything a filmmaker needs
Cons: Not free; doesn’t sync between devices; only for iOS
Download: App Store
LumaFusion is aimed at more of an expert, mobile video editor user and really delivers everything an almost-professional developer could want. You can start as a novice and build up to expert-level videos in a single app. Only downside is that you’ll pay $29.99 for this privilege – not a lot but if you’re just starting out editing video, you might want to mess around with a few free options before jumping up to LumaFusion. The good thing is that it will be waiting for you when you’re ready 😉
Price: Free version available; Pro Edition is $4.99 monthly or $39.99 annually
Pros: Feature-reach editor, supports 4K, exports directly to YouTube, intuitive interface
Cons: Free version adds watermarks
Download: Google Play
Android users shouldn’t get upset because they can’t get LumaFusion – they’ve got FREE access to Kinemaster, a full-featured video editor. I have been using this app for several years and I simply love it! Despite the fact that the app has all the features a professional editor would ever need, the interface is quite intuitive and easy to use.You can even time audio clips to certain frames which is not a common feature on free mobile editors. See example below.
Pros: Free, simple AND powerful, many soundtracks and editing features, and the ability to produce 1080p videos without watermarks
Cons: Only available for iOS users currently
Download: App Store
Another amazing application for editing short videos on you phone from the GoPro company. If Quik is considered to be the fastest and easiest way to edit videos, then Splice promises to deliver desktop editing software power to your phone or tablet. On Splice you can edit your GoPro videos as well as you video and photos from your phone. You can trim clips, add filters, chose from several transitions and add customizable text overlays and titles slides. Splice has an extensive library of royalty-free soundtracks and sound effects, and enables voice-over as well. The only downside is that you must have an iPhone to use it.
Adobe Premiere Rush
Price: Free for three video exports and 2GB of cloud storage, then you can subscribe to Premiere Rush CC plan ($9.99/ month)
Available: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS
Pros: Cross-platform integration, support for 4K videos, and a multi-track editor
Cons: Free version only lasts for a limited amount of videos and it doesn’t seem as powerful as professional software
Adobe Premiere Rush is the next step towards professional editing software. While with Adobe Premiere Pro there is a considerable learning curve (frankly, it can be quite intimidating at the beginning), Adobe Premiere Rush is designed for people who want to be more in control when editing their videos but don’t want to spend hours and hours on how-to tutorials. Think of the difference between Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Premiere Rush like the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom – its got all the best tools in a much more user-friendly package. The app offers four video and three audio tracks for editing. You can add music from your own library or use one of the free soundtracks. It delivers a quite intuitive and friendly interface considering that it is a midrange professional video editing software.
Price: Free with in-app updates
Available: Android, iOS, Windows
Pros: Vertical video editing, slow motion editing, chroma key editable green and blue screen backgrounds.
Cons: Free version has a watermark and doesn’t allow 4K export.
PowerDirector is another great video editing application that is available for both Android and iOS. The easy and intuitive interface lets you create professional looking video in a matter of minutes. The app offers a good selection of effects, the ability to choose background music and voiceovers, as well as all the usual transitions and cropping tools. You can export your videos straight to Youtube, Instagram or Facebook for free in 720p or if you purchase an in-app upgrade, you can export in Full HD 1080 or 4K.
Price: Free with ability to upgrade
Available: Android, iOS
Pros: Fast, easy and fun. Also you can share your content in the app (similar to Instagram)
Cons: You have to pay to download your video. Sharing to Facebook and Instagram is free but you can share only as a post, not as a story (as of April 2020) Limited control over the editing process.
If you are the type of person who shares a lot of content on social media, have a look at this app. Magisto uses AI to select the best part of the footage, so the app pretty much does the editing job for you. You select the content from you library, select the theme and music, and voila! The video is made and is ready to be shared. It is a cool app to use for fun short videos at the end of an eventful day.
Price: Free with an opportunity to subscribe to GoPro Plus
Available: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS
Pros: Multi-track editor, exports directly to YouTube, 20+themes to chose from
Cons: Older app so only on older GoPros; Minimal control and cannot edit templates
If you have an older model GoPro, this is.the app that comes with the phone. The good news is that it is easy to use! GoPro helps you automatically import your footage and create great videos within seconds. There are 20+themes, time lapse sequences and the possibility to go frame-by-frame to find the ideal high-quality still make it possible to take care of your videos quick and easy. What I love the most about this app is that GoPro allows me to view photos and videos right on my phone before I offload them.
This is not a typical video editing application but I still decided to include it on our list. The app tracks all your activities such as hikes, runs, bikes or any adventure outside and then it creates a really cool 3D activities stories that you can share with your friends. As an avid hiker, this app has become one of my favorites!
Liliia deCos – April 2020
Originally from Ukraine and now based in Spain, Liliia has traveled literally across the world with her husband Jose and their two young daughters. Follow their intrepid walkabouts at bring_baby_abroad and see Liliia’s amazing photos on Instagram at bring_baby_abroad or on ROAM where she won Best Family Photo of 2019.
© ROAM Family Travel 2020 – All rights reserved
5 to-dos for today!
Cool outings from Pike's Place to the Gas Works
Biking, breweries, boats & beaches just east of SF
A day-by-day recap of one family's Alpine trek
Tall ships, lobster rolls, white whales & craft beer
Everything from the unusual to the majestic to the serene.
So incredible they'll forget to complain.
Big Bend & Terlingua with "Thelma & Louise"
Doin' the local thing and keepin' it "weird"
Non-stop outdoor action in the "Family Truckster"
Images and stories to celebrate the best of travel's worst year
It's not just for billionaires anymore.
The French dad behind stunning photos & videos
There's still time to book a much-needed break
Saddle up for a trail ride near San Francisco
Images from a gray and gloriously simple getaway
A winter extravaganza starring millions of geese, cranes and more!
Getaway to a vintage California beach village in "Far West" Marin
10 days of action, with grizzlies, ATVs, salmon, and whales
From N’Orleans to Memphis and from Atlanta to Birmingham, a must-do journey