Skip to main content

VideoPad review

VideoPad is an easy-to-use video editor, with a lower requirement for system specs.

VideoPad review
(Image: © NCH)

Our Verdict

VideoPad is a strong contender in the video editing world with its simple interface and ability to open almost any type of video file. If you’re just starting out, give its free version a try.

For

  • HEVC/360-degree support
  • iPad app
  • Big update coming soon...

Against

  • ...because it looks dated
  • No in-app audio editor

VideoPad is an easy to use, non-linear video editing application that, despite being slightly lacking in the advanced tools offered by its competitors, makes up for it by being quick and easy to use, as well as offering a useful iPad version. Free for non-commercial use, and reasonably priced if you do need to pay for it, it’s also one of the few editors to support 360-degree footage. This is why it earns a spot on our guide to the best video editing software.

While the Home edition offers only two audio tracks and doesn’t accept plug-ins, upgrading to the Master’s edition removes the track limitation and opens up the plug-in extensibility. You can pay once for a lifetime license, or subscribe on a monthly basis.

Once you’ve settled on a version, you can install it to discover a familiar timeline-based video editing app. There’s a preview window at the top right, your media bin is at the top left, and the timeline takes up the whole width of the interface, along the bottom. So far, so similar to other apps.

Videopad review: Ease of use

When you first open the VideoPad application you may be a little surprised. It has an interface reminiscent of Microsoft Office apps, and if you’re running on a 4K screen it looks pixellated and low-res. Happily, we understand that the application will be getting a full update and redesign in 'late summer' 2020, which should fix a lot of these issues. We’ll update this review when the new version becomes available.

The familiarity of the interface can work in VideoPad’s favor. It’s unintimidating, even friendly, and unlike some applications it clearly labels its tools and features. There’s the ability to capture your own screen, or from a webcam, which combined make the creation of software tutorial videos simple. 

VideoPad review

(Image credit: NCH)

With support for HEVC and 360-degree video, VideoPad should appeal to those making movies with iPhones as well as extreme sports fanatics and VR trailblazers. With its relatively low system requirements (at least for the current version) of just a 1.5GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM, VideoPad uses minimal resources on modern systems and should be perfect for running on laptops and Windows tablets in the field. You definitely don't need one of the best home computers to run it, and that's a big plus.

Proper audio editing unfortunately isn’t a part of Videopad. While you have the ability to fade, mix and adjust the volume of a video clip’s audio, if you want to go further you’ll need an external mixer or editor, such as MixPad and WavePad made by the same developer. There’s PhotoPad for still images too. Note that the free version of the app cannot export video as an MP4 file - the most popular video format on the web. It’s a built-in limitation designed to push you toward an upgrade, but annoying all the same. It doesn’t insist on putting a watermark on your footage when it exports it, however, which is a mark in its favor.

Videopad review: Speed

As it has low system requirements, VideoPad runs quickly on modern hardware. There are also features within the app to help speed up your workflow, such as the way it can sort your video footage and still images into bins, making sure you don’t try to use a still on the timeline when you meant to drag in a video clip. The timeline accepts both, enabling Ken Burns-type effects where the camera pans across a still.

There’s also voice recognition for subtitles, which while not 100% accurate does a decent job as long as your audio is clear. A little tweaking afterwards may be necessary, but it’s faster than typing them all out by hand. 

(Image credit: NCH)

Thanks to the simplicity of its interface you can pick it up as you go along, and once you’ve got used to editing in VideoPad you can become extremely fluent, opening and closing windows and knowing precisely where everything is. This could work against you in future if you graduate to a different application, as they’re all very different, but using VideoPad to learn the basics will get you started in editing quickly.

Videopad review: Value

What you get with VideoPad is an app that will import just about any format that you care to mention, and which will run on just about any computer. It’s got a decent level of functionality too, with the ability to place logos on your video, add backgrounds to greenscreened footage, effects, transitions, and animation. There’s no multicam support, and even the audio editor is in a separate app, so if those matter to you you might want to look elsewhere at things like Adobe Premiere Elements.

If, however, you need a video editing app that treads lightly in terms of its hardware requirements (including an iPad version), can deal with many different video formats including 360-degree and H265, and which is simple enough to use on location shoots, then VideoPad starts to look like a better choice. Pay for the Master’s edition, and you get a lifetime license that covers future updates, which is in itself a valuable thing these days. It’s priced similarly to other editing apps in the same category, and while it’s hard to compete against apps such as Shotcut and DaVinci Resolve that give their services away for free, the wealth of tutorials available for VideoPad, along with its clear interface and the ease with which the app can be learned, count for a lot in today’s marketplace.

VideoPad review

(Image credit: NCH)

Should you buy VideoPad?

VideoPad’s free version may be slightly limited, but works as an effective free trial to see if you like it enough to consider upgrading to one of the paid-for versions. Liking an app, and being able to quickly parse its interface, go a long way toward converting a free customer to a paying one, and VideoPad makes a strong claim for your money with its ease of use and light hardware requirements. While its interface feels dated now, this could be one of the better video editing apps after the forthcoming update.