Lightworks vs Shotcut: Quick comparison

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Lightworks vs Shotcut: Quick comparison

So, this is a quick comparison between Lightworks and Shotcut. Lightworks is a paid editor but I was just giving the free version a trial, which outputs to 720p maximum. Shotcut has 4K output and is an open-source editor. Before anyone asks, the reason I did not include Davinci Resolve in this comparison is just because my computer doesn't have enough juice to run it, haha! (I probably should upgrade one of these days.)

I was running both on Linux Mint 19.1. I did not yet try 10-bit files on either.

Some of my impressions:


  1. A very polished editor, definitely more polished that Shotcut
  2. The editing, putting clips together is very refined. It is a very intuitive editor
    During a single 2-3 hour session in the editor, sometimes it would just lock up. Seems to happen fairly regularly when I reduce a 60fps clip to 30fps for slow-motion effect
  3. Has basic colour grading, effects such as tone curve, sharpen, text.
  4. Keyframes for effects is really easy to use and has a graph editor for visual effect transitions
  5. Audio is easy to manage. Volume and fade in/out very easy to manage
  6. Had this weird bug that seemed to introduce sound artifacts with my narration when I imported them as MP3s. I verified this my listening carefully to the playback in Lightworks and with a media player. When I re-exported them as WAVs in Audacity and then imported them into Lightworks, the problem disappeared. Not a big deal -- the WAV files are bigger but they don't take up very much space in comparison to video of course.
  7. Video made with Lightworks:


  1. The best open-source video editor I have tried (others I tried included Cinelerra, Kdenlive, Openshot)
  2. Has some features Lightworks does not like video stabilization. It is not a gimmick and actually works decently. Other features that Lightworks does not have are more video effects like denoise
  3. As far as I am aware, you need to add a filter to the audio to increase its volume. I may be wrong on this but it does not look as easy as Lightworks where you can just drag it up in the editing window
  4. Playback stutters on transitions and adding effects. Lightworks did not have this problem at all. Lightworks in generally seems much snappier. Therefore, it is harder to preview what the final product will look like. On faster computers this might not be a problem at all.
  5. Adding text titles is way easier in Lightworks. In Shotcut the interface is a little clunky
  6. Keyframes/effect transitions is much harder in Shotcut. In Lightworks, the style parameters for most effects are easily keyframeable. In Shotcut it is not straightforward to have fade-in text for example. To do that you need to split your video clip and transition one into the other or do some other hack. The keyframes in Lightworks is just way more advanced.
  7. Video made with Shotcut:
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