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Just about every successful director will tell you that great movies are made in the editing room. Shooting film is an idealistic attempt to capture the best possible footage, but editing is where you turn that footage into something great. That said, post production can be grueling. Hours can easily turn into days when you’re editing, and if you’re going to spend so much time at your computer screen, it makes sense to have the best equipment out there. Even mildly tedious tasks can become excruciating when you have to repeat them enough, so anything you can do to streamline the process will pay dividends for your sanity. Below, find our picks for some of the must-have hardware that film editors should buy. For more shopping suggestions, see our roundups of the best editing software for filmmakers, comfortable office chairs, affordable desks, and best speakers for your computer or laptop.
If you edit with Adobe software and are looking to take your editing setup to the next level, this console is a great option. Not quite a keyboard, it’s specifically configured for editing tasks, containing dials that allow you to adjust everything from exposure to saturation and temperature with ease. The clean layout eliminates any distractions that you would find on a regular keyboard, allowing you to focus on your craft.
Adobe Premiere Pro users who are not quite ready for a Loupedeck+ but still want to customize their work space should try the LogicKeyboard Astra. This backlit keyboard has every shortcut for the Adobe software labeled right on the keys, so it can function as a control panel while you edit your next masterpiece. Plus, it’s really colorful, and will hopefully put a smile on your face every time you sit down to work!
The best editing keyboard in the world is useless without something to view your work on. The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is a backlit 4K Ultra HD monitor that will display your footage with pristine clarity, maximizing your ability to put your new keyboard to good use. If you’re a Mac user, the 27” Apple iMac with 5k retina display is one of the best options for video editing.
This premium wireless keyboard is not configured for any one specific editing software, but it’s the hardware of choice for many film editors. Designed with artists in mind, the keyboard sports a “creative input dial” in the top left corner that allows you to seamlessly scrub through footage without using a mouse. And when you’re done editing, it still works wonderfully as an everyday keyboard, with backlighting and a premium feel that elevates the experience of sending emails and browsing social media.
Just like their craft keyboard, the Logitech MX Master 3 mouse isn’t specifically manufactured for video editing, but the design is an improvement over just about everything else on the market. Specifically crafted to fit your hand, the MX Master 3 is comfortable to use for hours on end, and contains some shortcuts that make life just a little bit easier.
If you edit your video footage on a Mac, it doesn’t hurt to have an entire setup of Apple products. The Apple Magic Mouse 2 is a bit of a pricier option but this rechargeable, Bluetooth, wireless mouse has the sleek design that the company is known for, and easily pairs with their computers.
We haven’t forgotten about editors who rely on DaVinci Resolve. The software is a popular choice for editors these days, and Blackmagic has released a keyboard to go along with it. This hefty keyboard combines the best elements of the LogicKeyboard Astra and the Logitech Craft, with clearly labeled keys and a dial for easy scrolling. If you already use DaVinci Resolve, this is the best way to improve your experience.
Professionals who refuse to settle for anything less than perfect color should check out the HP DreamColor Z31x. Not all 4K is created equal, as this monitor specifically utilizes 4096 x 2160 Cinema 4K resolution (as opposed to the 3840 x 2160 on consumer facing 4K products). And the color accuracy is unmatched. The price tag is not for the faint of heart, but the display is exhilarating.