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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. If you’re planning on finally making that indie film you’ve been thinking about, it’s worth looking into the best editing gear to take your project across the finish line.
Shopping for the right gear can be a little intimidating, luckily, we’ve put together a list of some of the best editing equipment on the web. Most of these great devices can be found on Amazon, which offers free two-day shipping for Prime Members. If you don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can join for $12.99 a month (click here to sign up). Besides free shipping, Prime Members get access to the Prime Video film and TV library — another cool perk, in case you ever need some creative inspiration.
There’s been a lot of discussion about the best editing software (read our take here), but that’s only half the battle. 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.
Several different companies have released keyboards that are specifically designed to work with film editing software, and the user experience is a significant step up from a standard keyboard. Most of the keyboards are already backlit for late night use with clearly labeled keyboard shortcuts, or dials that allow users to bypass keyboard functions altogether. Some are configured to work with one specific editing software, while others are universal. Even if your current keyboard gets the job done, upgrading to something specifically made for editing could make a huge difference.
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. Once you upgrade your keyboard, you might need a better mouse. Not to worry, we picked out some of those, too. Ditto for the 4K monitors that allow you to take advantage of all the subtle color options on your new keyboard. And if you plan on spending a lot of time editing, you might want to take a look at our favorite office chairs to maximize your comfort, whether at home or in the editing suite.
Editors are the unsung heroes of filmmaking, so if you work in post production, this is a great time to treat yourself to something that will make your life easier. And if you’re just getting into editing, it’s better to learn on the proper equipment so you can develop good habits. Below, find our picks for must-have hardware for film editors.
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 is specifically configured for editing tasks, containing dials that allow you to adjust everything from exposure to saturation to 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 look no further than 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!
This premium wireless keyboard is not configured for any one specific editing software, but it is the hardware of choice for many film editors. Designed with artists in mind, it 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.
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.
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.
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.
This mouse is Logitech doing what it does best: finding products that you take for granted and improving them to the point where you can’t imagine living without the new version. Just like their craft keyboard, the 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. When you’re pulling an all-nighter in the editing suite, that stuff matters.
If you edit your video footage on a Mac, it looks good when your entire setup is made of Apple products. It’s 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.