Lightworks vs. Kdenlive

Lightworks is going to become freely available this year and it supposed to be very good. I took a look at the feature list ( for it, but couldn't really find anything that important, that would be missing from Kdenlive.

Can someone enlighten me to what exactly make Lightworks so good?


Works tightly integrated with other commercial apps like AfterEffects and Final Cut.
Reliability when working with different standards like film or different broadcasting formats.
Stability, reliability, standards.

It may not be important if you work with your own small project but when working in a production pipeline, together with other people, Kdenlive won't have much to put up against apps like this.

I think it could be of interest mainly to dissect it and extract some good/quality methods of doing things.
It seems to be Windows only at the moment and with a horrible interface, by the way.
I don't think it will attract the masses...

Well, it's not targeted towards the masses. Neither is Blender-NLE or Cinelerra.
Kdenlive and OpenShot is much more so.

I don't want to put a damper on anyone but as far as I am concerned, until they release some source code it might as well be vaporware. Even then, a lot of these application never come to be. For example, I heard about Lumiera before I heard of Kdenlive and it's still not usable and Kdenlive has matured beautifully.

Then it should be targeted to an audience who likes to do simple things complicated, and who likes to do so with such an ugly interface, I suppose. ;)

Kdenlive at moment is the powerful editing software for linux.
I happy to use kdenlive for my projects, but for television i use premiere or avid with the hardware for realtime.
A software is good when is ok for us works so welcome all software.

But, I think that Lumiera is a very slowly project.
Lightworks is for windows only, Cinelerra crash even.

If we send good idea to kdenlive team this software to be numer one

pelus's picture

Hello everybody,

I've downloaded de beta version of Lighworks and it looks ok. Fast and elegant. Not so many crashes.
It has nice tutorials on the editshare group, on youtube.

I don't think it's very intuitive but I guess the design is geared to manage large amounts clips and edits.

To my surprise, I'm hiting unespected codec related problems.

First, the DNxHD transcoding is unexistent. And I'm reading this codec will be sold separately from de program.

Second, I'm using a pretty standard Panasonic AVCHD camera and Lightworks is unable to read de AC-3 audio. I've read somewhere this are, again, licensing problems. I could look for some way to turnaround this problem transcoding with some other software but I don't feel like.

So, right now, I'm still using kdenlive and liking it a lot.

Maybe I should explain I'm not migrating to Lightworks because there is something wrong with Kdenlive. The reason is that you can't sell youself as a professional saying you edit your videos with kdenlive. Nobody knows kdenlive, sometimes not even in the linux world. Kdenlive has no reputation between professionals.

It is the same problem some photographer told me with professional photo equipement. You can't go to photograph a weeding and find that the father of the bride has a bigger camera. Maybe he don'g know what "White balance" stands for but he has the money and makes you look cheap.

This is my first message in this board but I like kdenlive and I will try to contribute more.

Are you (planning to) making money with videos? No worries it's good to know several different pieces of software I think... Feel free to share some good ideas from Lightwave with us here on the forums :)

I can assure you that real "professionals" don't judge you by your tools but by your results. At least not the professional professionals. If you think that kdenlive doesn't give you the required professional touch you may be in for a big, nasty surprise. Maybe some day, someone might tell you.

I'm not a professional by any means and I don't try to emulate one, not with tools, not by attitude. I'm using camera equipment every sane person would declare as total wrong tool for the job: GoPro's HD Hero 3 Blackies. Yet people like my videos, the way I'm showing them things from under water, the way I'm keeping the image stable despite having no stabilizer. And I'm using the wrong editor according to your scale: kdenlive. Yet people don't care, asking me all the time whether I'm a professional which I always decline.

I can assure you: people aren't judging you by your tools, but by what you achieve.

pelus's picture

You might be right. "real "professionals" don't judge you by your tools". But I'm not selling my videos to professionals, but to midsize business. And also seeking jobs for tv channels where decisions are made by executives.

Anyway, my point was the lack of support for kdenlive. I find more references to Lives, Openshot, Cinelerra and Lumiera. Kdenlive developement is been slow and I find documentation and tutorial scarce. There is a lot to do.

Anyone who wants to survive in a professional video-editing environment better stay away from Kdenlive. This is just a very cool open source initiative with a promising future. And will probably remain that way if you ask me.

If you like the ideology and enjoy working with/creating free legal open software you're in the right place!


i consider myself a professional videomaker and i will stick with kdenlive :)

of course i know alot of its flaws but it will get there eventually. for me it is the only floss solution avaiable at the moment (at least until novacut or lumiera get released) or they release lightworks under a gpl compatible license.


Just saw your blog farid, got to say I'm impressed! Still, the TV-stations where I worked as editor you wouldn't be anywhere without Avid/Final Cut. Much respect for what your Estudio Gunga is doing.

I tried lightworks beta on ubuntu -its useless for me -its too clumsy and slow in my opinion and where are the effects??? Not many. Kdenlive is so quick and easy especially cutting and moving etc.

I totally agree.

@Weevil: true, I would also have assumed so. I am under the impression that pelus was referring to freelance work, where I as a customer would judge by the result, not by the tools.

I'm just getting into video and am by no means a "pro", but I do hope to eventually create pro-quality video.

I built the beta Lightworks Fedora 18 RPM that is available in their forum, and have started learning the Lightworks interface. But all actual video I have produced so far has been created using Kdenlive.

I don't think we have a Lightworks vs Kdenlive situation, but a Lightworks AND Kdenlive situation, which can only be a good thing. I'm going to use and support all stable, functional Linux NLE software.

Kdenlive is a great editor that "just works" and has handled everything I can throw at it. Quick and mostly intuitive and for many projects you don't need anything else.

Lightworks for Linux is in beta and lacks support for various codecs, etc. But when it is ready it will be a great editor capable of dealing with full length 4K movies. It has a 20 year history editing Hollywood movies, so it is not quite vapourware.