GoPro Editing Software: 13 Best Options for Windows and Mac

GoPro Editing Software, GoPro Studio, Product Reviews

Trying to sort out GoPro editing software? You're in the right place!

gopro editing software

In this post, you'll learn about your options for great GoPro editing software. I'll cover both free and premium programs – for both Windows and Mac. The list includes the best options for editing your GoPro video – according to user ratings and sales volume.

And while these all come well-rated, some just don't work for me. I cover it all in this post.

Update (July 5, 2016): I just published a new post detailing the best free GoPro editing software options.


GoPro Editing Software: Winners and Losers

Before we get into all the details, here are the programs that you should check out:

  1. GoPro Studio (Free) Best Free GoPro Software Here's why: GoPro Studio was made for their footage. It comes with some great presets and it's easy to combine clips, speed up / slow down footage, and render for a variety of platforms (including YouTube, Vimeo, UHD 4K  or custom). It's free and has decent tutorials.
  2. Magix Movie Edit Pro ($70) Best Consumer GoPro Software Here's why: For just seventy bucks, you get 1000+ templates, 32 editing tracks, and motion tracking. I haven't tested this yet, but it comes highly recommended and has a solid feature set. Check out our tutorial about creating video with Movie Edit Pro.
  3. Adobe Premiere Pro ($20/month) Best Premium GoPro Software Here's why: If you are going to make your living with video editing, you should choose Premiere Pro by Adobe. This is the best, cross-platform (Mac and Windows) premium video editor.

While most of the programs on the list are great, a few of the options might be better to avoid.

  • Animoto: Disappointing upload limit. While I was initially excited about this app, when I realized their 400MB upload limit, I quickly fell out of love. While many of your video clips will be less than 1 minute 47 seconds, how will you edit all your 2 minute+ clips? Not with Animoto.
  • Windows Movie Maker: Has begun it's slow death. This is a solid free option – but because it is no longer supported in Windows 10, you can do better. If you're going to learn a new piece of software, choose one that will be around for a while.

7 GoPro Video Editing Apps

Before we get into the full set of programs, there are also a few mobile apps for editing GoPro video. Many of these integrate with the full programs below.

  1. Splice (iOS) Recently acquired by GoPro.
  2. Replay Video Editor (iOS) Also recently acquired by GoPro. Update April 14, 2016: Replay has been relaunched as GoPro Quik on Android devices.
  3. Corel Pinnacle Studio Pro (iOS)
  4. Magix Movie Edit (Windows and Android)
  5. iMovie (iOS)
  6. CyberLink PowerDirector (Android)
  7. Adobe Premiere Clip (iOS and Android)

13 GoPro Editing Software Options

Okay, with the editing apps out of the way, let's get started! Here are the GoPro editing software options that I'll cover in this post.

  1. GoPro Studio (Free) Windows and Mac Get your free copy here.
  2. iMovie for Mac (Free) Mac OS Get your free copy here.
  3. Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 ($69.99) Windows with Android App Learn more here.
  4. Cyberlink PowerDirector Ultra 15 ($85-100) Windows Learn more here.
  5. Corel Video Studio Ultimate X9 ($100) Windows Learn more here.
  6. Corel Pinnacle Studio ($59.99) Windows with iOS App Learn more here.
  7. Sony Movie Studio Platinum ($79.95) Windows Learn more here.
  8. Sony Catalyst ($399.99) Mac OS and Windows Learn more here.
  9. Adobe Premiere Elements 15 ($90) Windows and Mac Learn more here.
  10. Adobe Premiere Pro ($19.99 / month) Mac OS and Windows Learn more here.
  11. Final Cut Pro ($399.99) Mac OS X Learn more here.
  12. Animoto (Free trial, Online subscription $8-34/month, Apps start at $5) Online video editor with iOS  / Android apps and Lightroom plugin Learn more here.
  13. Windows Movie Maker (Free) Windows This program is no longer supported by Windows 10. Get your free copy here.

Update (April 12, 2016): GoProFanatics member 4wd recommends Davinci Resolve (free and paid) as an advanced editor.

Update (April 1, 2016): GoProFanatics member fishycomics added Blender Editor as another software option for editing GoPro footage.

The options in this list are dominated by a few companies. Apple, Adobe, Corel, and Sony all have two programs each. In addition to the above video-focused options. you can also edit video with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Here's what I'm using: I use GoPro Studio almost every day. Before that, I used Sony Movie Studio for many years (and still use it occasionally). I have used Adobe Premiere Pro and found it to be too complex for my needs. I also use Camtasia occasionally.

Note: I have not tested the majority of the programs in this list. Over the coming months, I plan to review some of my favorite options (Magix, Cyberlink, and Corel). I'll be publishing detailed reviews of each of these.

gopro video editing software


1) GoPro Studio (Free) Windows and Mac

gopro studio editing softwareThis is solid video editing software – especially for being free.

It does take a little getting used to – but once you have it, it's super easy to output great video edits.

They offer a set of edit templates (also free) to accelerate your own edits. Just drag and drop your own clips into the template and then export (render) the video.

  • Video formats handled: H.264 mp4 and .mov. Supports GoPro, Canon, Nikon (and other constant frame rate) video footage. This means you can use GoPro Studio to output footage from your other cameras.
  • Video resolution handled: From the super basic WVGA up to the huge 4K video. Also edits the immersive 3D videos that you can shoot with the Dual Hero System.
  • Motion tracking: No
  • Additional features: Fisheye adjustment (removal), auto import your GoPro media, and update your GoPro camera firmware. GoPro just released (March 3, 2016) the new, free GoPro App for Desktop. This integrates with GoPro Studio and is great for fast edits, extracting a photo from your video clip and organizing your thousands of photos and videos.
  • Where to get it: GoPro.com
  • Price: Free

2) iMovie for Mac (Free) iOS

imovie gopro editing softwareThis is great software for Mac users.

In addition to footage captured with the iPhone and iPad, it also edits 4K video from GoPro, and lots of cameras like GoPro (including DJI, Sony, Panasonic and Leica).

Similar to GoPro Studio's templates, iMovie provides 15 movie themes that include titles and transitions. This will speed up your editing process and give it a professional (or playful) feel.

  • Video formats handled: AVCHD / MPEG-4
  • Video resolution handled: Up to 4K.
  • Motion tracking: Not automatically. Here is a way to manually keyframe your video.
  • Additional features: The ability to begin editing on your iPhone (iMovie for iOS) and complete the edit on your Mac is pretty nice.
  • Where to get it: Apple.com
  • Price: Free

3) Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 ($70) Windows w/ Android Appmagix gopro editing software

This is a dynamic piece of software. Its feature list reads more like a premium program – than one that costs just $70.

It comes with 1000+ templates (effects, menus, and sounds) for fast, professional videos. They have a great set of short, video tutorials.

It has 32 multimedia tracks. This is significant when compared to GoPro Studio's 5 tracks (1 video, 2 text, and 2 audio). I can't image a video edit that will require more than 32 tracks.

Although I don't own this program, I will soon. It is simple to use, feature-rich, and just $70. Watch for a full review in the coming months.

  • Video formats handled: In addition to GoPro's MP4 format, it also handles (DV-)AVI, HEVC/H.265, M(2)TS/AVCHD, MJPEG, MKV, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MXV, VOB, WMV(HD)
  • Video resolution handled: Up to 4K / Ultra HD
  • Motion tracking: Their object tracking allows text titles to be pinned to moving objects, and pixelate license plates and people's faces (for privacy).
  • Additional features: 1000+ templates, additional app on Android and Windows tablets.
  • Where to buy: Magix.com
  • Price: USD$69.99 (Available via instant download) 

Get your copy of Magix Movie Edit Pro


4) Cyberlink PowerDirector Ultra 15 Windows

Although I've never heard of CyberLink, I like the looks of this software.

It can edit up to 100 media tracks simultaneously. And it has a powerful MultiCam Designer feature that allows switching between 4 simultaneous camera shots. Footage can be synced by audio, timecode or time taken.

PowerDirector is a 7-Time Editors' choice and rated 4.5 out of 5 by PCMag.com.

“PowerDirector continues to outflank the competition, with top rendering speed, a massive set of video editing tools, the latest file-standard support, and a wealth of new features in its latest update.” – PCMag, USA, 9/2015

  • powerdirector14 gopro edit softwareVideo formats handled:
    • H.265/HEVC
    • MOD
    • MVC (MTS)
    • MOV
    • Side-by-Side Video
    • MOV (H.264)
    • Top-under Video
    • MPEG-1
    • Dual-Stream AVI
    • MPEG-2
    • FLV (H.264)
    • MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
    • MKV (multiple audio streams)
    • MP4 (XAVC S)
    • 3GPP2
    • TOD
    • AVCHD (M2T, MTS)
    • VOB
    • AVI
    • VRO
    • DAT
    • WMV
    • DivX*
    • WMV-HD
    • DV-AVI
    • WTV in H.264/MPEG2 (multiple video and audio streams)
    • DVR-MS
    • DSLR video clip in H.264 format with LPCM/AAC/ Dolby Digital audio
  • Video resolution handled: Up to 4K
  • Motion tracking: Yes. I haven't used it, but the tutorial video makes it look very easy.
  • Additional features: With 30 animated theme templates, you only need to drag-and-drop your footage to create great videos.

Watch on Youtube

Where to buy PowerDirector Ultra: CyberLink | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


5) Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X9 Windows

It's been more than 10 years since I used a Corel product – but this video editor has caught my attention.

This version comes with multi-camera editor editing up to six different cameras in one project. The less expensive Pro version will edit footage from up to four cameras in the same project.

There are presets for beginners (FastFlick and Instant Projects) and advanced settings (stabilization, motion effects, and color correction). Edit up to 21 video tracks and 8 audio tracks in each project.

  • corel videostudio gopro editingVideo formats handled: XAVC, HEVC (H.265), MP4-AVC/H.264, MKV, and MOV.
  • Video resolution handled: Up to 4K
  • Motion tracking: Yes. You can track up to four points at a time in your video. Easily obscure logos, faces or license plates, or add moving text and graphics.
  • Additional features: Create time lapse, stop motion and screen capture video as well.

Corel makes another video editing program called Roxio Studio. While it can edit footage, this is primarily for DVD authoring.


6) Corel Pinnacle Studio 20 Windows

This is a popular choice. Corel also makes a supporting premium app for iOS (Basic $3.99 and Professional $17.99).

The desktop version comes in three levels (Standard, Plus, and Ultimate). The details in this profile are based on the entry level version. Some advanced features (4K editing, motion tracking, effects) are only available in either Plus or Ultimate versions.

The basic version comes with 1500+ transitions, titles, templates and 2D/3D effects.

The entry-level Standard version appears to be too stripped down to compete against some of the other options included in this list.

  • pinnacle studio editing softwareVideo formats handled: [Import] MVC, AVCHD, DV, HDV, AVI, MPEG-1/-2/-4, DivX, Flash, 3GP (MPEG-4, H.263), WMV, QuickTime (DV, MJPEG, MPEG-4, H.264), DivX Plus MKV. [Export] AVCHD, DVD, Apple, Sony, Nintendo, Xbox, DV, HDV, AVI, DivX, WMV, MPEG-1/-2/-4, Flash, 3GP, WAV, MP2, MP3, MP4, QuickTime, H.264, DivX Plus MKV, JPEG, TIF, TGA, BMP, Dolby Digital 2-channel
  • Video resolution handled: 1080 HD Video. For 4K Ultra HD, you'll need to buy the more robust Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate.
  • Motion tracking: Not available in the Standard version. Both Plus and Ultimate versions offer this feature.
  • Additional features: All versions offer multi-camera editing [Standard (2), Plus (4), and Ultimate (4)]. The standard version comes with a 6-track editing timeline and lots of presets great for beginners.

Buy now!


7) Sony Movie Studio Platinum ($79.95) Windows

VMSTUD Plat HD 11 Sony Creative Software Inc.This consumer level software has a number of user-friendly features. For example, with Direct upload you can upload your video to YouTube or Facebook directly from the application.

The instant Color Match feature will make two different scenes appear as though they were shot on the same day, at the same time, and with the same filter.

The basic (Platinum) version comes with 10 audio and 10 video tracks – perfect for 99% of all video edits. It also comes equipped with 350+ video effects and 200+ video transitions.

I've been using Sony Movie Studio for many years and it is super powerful. The basic version is a great upgrade from GoPro Studio. As you need more function, you can easily upgrade within the Sony line. There are three more editions (Suite, Vegas Pro Edit, and Vegas Pro) each with increasing power and features.

  • Video formats handled: AAC, AA3, AIFF, AVI, BMP, CDA, FLAC, GIF, JPEG, MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MVC, OGG, OMA, PCA, PNG, QuickTime®, SND, SFA, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, WMV, XAVC S.
  • Video resolution handled: Up to 4K.
  • Motion tracking: Yes.
  • Additional features: Color match, image stabilization, easy slideshow creation and color correction all help create solid videos – in less time.
  • Where to buy: Sony Creative
  • Price: USD$79.95

8) Sony Catalyst Production Suite ($399.95) Mac OS X and Windows

Sony Creative Software Inc.Catalyst focuses on fast production of 4K, RAW and HD video. Set-up specifically for action camera footage (including GoPro, Sony, Canon, etc). It is touch and gesture enabled and works on both Mac OS and Windows.

Catalyst Production Suite includes both Prepare and Edit modules. It also comes with a free trial.

This is powerful, flexible software with a price to match.

  • Video formats handled: Sony RAW 4K, Sony RAW 2K, XAVC Long, XAVC Intra, XAVC S, XDCAM 422, XDCAM SR (SStP), DNxHD, ProRes (OS X), AVC H.264/MPEG-4, AVCHD, HDV, DV, XDCAM MPEG IMX, JPEG, PNG, WAV, and MP3.
  • Video resolution handled: 4K
  • Motion tracking: Not noted.
  • Additional features: Get Catalyst Browse (the clip-management too) for free. This is a great way to give it a try and see if you like the navigation and feel the software.
  • Where to buy: Sony Creative
  • Price: USD$399.95

9) Adobe Premiere Elements 15 Windows and Mac

This is a stripped-down, basic version of Adobe Premiere Pro (see #10 below). While I'm a huge fan of Photoshop, Bridge, and Illustrator – I don't care for Adobe's video editing tools. A few years ago I reviewed Premiere Pro (I still have CS6 version installed) and found it overwhelmingly complicated.

It's not that they don't make a good product. Their quality is solid. I just feel that with all the intuitive video editing software available, I'm not eager to invest the time to learn the complicated menu structure. I'll be reviewing this in the coming months and my opinion may change.

Adobe is good at organizing media. Premiere Elements allows you to order, label, find and view your videos and photos.

  • Video formats handled: In addition to GoPro's MP4 format, it also handles Adobe Flash (.swf), AVI Movie (.avi), AVCHD (.m2ts, .mts, .m2t), DV Stream (.dv), MPEG Movie (.mpeg, .vob, .mod, .ac3, .mpe, .mpg, .mpd, .m2v, .mpa, .mp2, .m2a, .mpv, .m2p, .m2t, .m1v, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .aac, 3gp, .avc, .264), QuickTime Movie (.mov, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m4a, .m4v), TOD (.tod), Windows Media (.wmv, .asf).
  • Video resolution handled: Up to 4K.
  • Motion tracking: Not noted.
  • Additional features: Animated titles, powerful color correction, image stabilization, and easy speed-up / slow-down video controls.

10) Adobe Premiere Pro ($19.99 / month) Mac OS and Windows

premiere pro gopro editingThis is the full, pro version of Adobe Premiere Elements.

It can do all you want – and about 100x more. While the depth of features makes it powerful – it's also what makes it a poor choice for most content creators.

Ready to make a Hollywood blockbuster? Many major motion pictures (including Avatar, Hail Caesar!, and The Social Network) were all cut on Adobe Premiere.

Unless you have many days (to learn the basics) or many weeks (to become proficient) this isn't the best choice for the average GoPro user. While this is amazing software, it is best suited for the super complex production – or someone with lots of free time on their hands.

  • Video formats handled: Everything.
  • Video resolution handled: Everything the GoPro camera can produce – and then some.
  • Motion tracking: Yes
  • Additional features: The list is long. See all the features here.
  • Where to buy: Adobe
  • Price: USD$19.99 / month, subscription.

11) Final Cut Pro ($399.99) Mac OS Xfinalcutpro gopro editing

This Mac-only software will output some incredible edits.

While I have yet to test this program, I expect it to be similar to Adobe Premiere Pro: both powerful and complicated.

More than 40 major motion pictures have been cut on Final Cut Pro including John Carter, Focus, and X-Men Origins.

Unless video editing is your living, there are probably better options.

  • Video formats handled: Everything. I couldn't find an excluded format.
  • Video resolution handled: Everything GoPro does and more.
  • Motion tracking: Yes
  • Additional Features: Color grading, masks, 3D titles, and custom effect presets.
  • Where to buy: Apple.com
  • Price: USD$399.99

12) Animoto (Free trial, subscription range $8-34/month) Online video editor with iOS  / Android apps and Lightroom plugin

animoto gopro editingThis is the only web-based video editor in the list. Their combination web-based editor and iOS/Android apps make this an attractive choice.

Because it is web-based, you don't download any software. Just log in and start using.

This subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) program is great for a few reasons. You don't have to worry about the cost of upgrading (time and money) when the new version comes out. And you get to use their computing power to render your videos.

Generally speaking, a SaaS video editor should be much more stable (and fast) than software installed on an older home computer.

Something I discovered inside of their help section is that they limit video uploads to just 400MB. While this sounds like a lot, it doesn't take long to reach 400MB. For example, the Hero4 Black shooting 1080p at 30fps generates 3.75MB of data per second (3.75MBps or 30Mbps). On a side note, here's the difference between MBps and Mbps and here's a megabyte / megabit converter. Also, here's a chart that shows the GoPro video sizes (Mbps) by video resolution and frame rate. That means that you'll reach your Animoto limit in 107 seconds (or 1 minute 47 seconds) of average video. Switch to 4K resolution and you'll reach your limit in just 53 seconds.

  • Video formats handled: MP4, AVI, MOV, QT, 3GP, M4V, MPG, MPEG, MP4V, H264, WMV, MPG4, MOVIE, M4U, FLV, DV, MKV, MJPEG, OGV, MTS, and MVI. Video clip uploads are limited to 400MB.
  • Video resolution handled: Resolutions vary. 720p (personal plan), 1080p (professional and business plans).
  • Motion tracking: Not noted.
  • Additional features: I like the web-based editing with the option for iOS and Android apps. Just watch the upload limit to make sure you'll be able to edit all your footage.
  • Where to buy: Animoto.com
  • Price: Varies from $8 to $34 per month, when purchased on an annual plan. The mobile apps are less and start at $5. Their web-based editor comes with a free 14-day trial to get started.

13) Windows Movie Maker 2012 (Free) Windows

movie maker gopro softwareWhile this has been popular since its release in 2000, this is a program on its way out. You can still download it, but it is no longer supported by Windows 10. The program is still fully functional inside of Windows 10.

Microsoft recommends using an alternative program – because this program will eventually be phased out.

This isn't a bad option – but I recommend against it. With lots of other options (including two for free) it's better to go with a program that will continue to be supported.

  • Video formats handled: WMV/ASF, MPG (MPEG-1), AVI (DV-AVI), WMA, WAV, MP3, MP4/3GP, FLV and MOV, and AAC.
  • Video resolution handled: Not noted.
  • Motion tracking: Not noted.
  • Additional features: Exports to H.264 MP4 format
  • Where to get it: Microsoft.com
  • Price: Free

Summary of the Entry Level Premium Software

 


Your Turn

There you have it. The best options for GoPro editing software. Check out my 3 favorite GoPro editing software options: free, consumer, and premium.

Have I missed one? What's your question about editing GoPro videos? Please share it below!

Facebooktwitterpinterestyoutube

Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is co-editor of ClickLikeThis: GoPro tutorial blog. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of GringosAbroad (Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with ClickLikeThis.

8 comments… add one
  • Luke Sep 23, 2016, 10:14 pm

    I would recommend avoiding GoPro Studio at all costs! It has a nasty program issue with their autosave. It can crash the project you are working on randomly (5 minutes of effort, or what happened to me after 4 hours, then later 16 hours of effort), and will completely wipe both the backup file and original file to 0kb. The only .gcs files you can find on your entire computer your project doing a *.gcs search are 0kb, crashed files.

    Reading the GoProStudio Forums it does not appear GoPro cares. I have a 1 month old version, and you would think if the GoPro tech’s recommend turning autosave off because of this issue that they would provide a short tutorial stating, “Turn Autosave off and Manual save your project.” And if you read the forums the GoPro tech’s also recommend saving across two or more different files because their software is so unstable. That is a completely unacceptable business practice, especially with a known serious software concern… oh, and it is great they do not tell you about it too. 20-hours of wasted time later, in my case, I know now that GPS is crappy unstable software, that has some cool functions to play with, until it crashes and you lose it all.

    • Bryan Haines Sep 28, 2016, 9:32 am

      Agreed – they should be able to make a more stable piece of software. I’ve suffered the same crashes as you have. And it’s not just about the lost time – the creative loss is even more disappointing.

      Maybe they’ll fix GoPro Studio now that they’ve released the Hero5 camera and Karma drone. We’ll see…

  • George Oct 7, 2016, 4:33 pm

    Bryan,
    I can confirm crashing issues with GoPro Studio as well.
    You have mentioned Davinci Resolve. Have you tested the free version? I experimented a little and it is very impressive software with many features comparable to Premiere Pro.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 18, 2016, 4:25 pm

      I haven’t tested it yet – but it’s on my list. I’m planning on giving Magix a test this month. They just acquired Sony Vegas – a program that I’ve used for many years. We’ll be publishing reviews shortly.

  • Elyen Oct 26, 2016, 12:08 am

    The easiest GoPro Video Editor, I recommand Gilisoft Video Editor

  • jessendeen Nov 3, 2016, 6:48 am

    To efficiently convert MP4 to PowerDirector supported MPEG-2 we recommend you to use iDealshare VideoGO, it can convert MP4 in any codec and any resolution to PowerDirector supported MPEG-2.

  • Jake Mar 10, 2017, 11:29 pm

    Has anyone tried Filmora https://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editor/ who could compare it to the other suggestions above?
    I’m researching options for my brother and it looked very nice and affordable at $20 a year but it also seems to missing completely from many roundups which has made me slightly suspicious.

Leave a Comment

444 Shares
Pin350
Share77
Tweet6
Reddit6
Share5