Why pay for Lightworks Pro? Comparing the Free and Pro versions of #Lightworks.

Why pay for Lightworks Pro?

You’re probably wondering why Lightworks is free (we think about that sometimes as well). The truth is, many of us at EditShare have spent years working in the industry. We have also built our entire company on the basis of collaboration and contribution. We believe you get out what you put in, and this is our chance to put something back in. When we acquired Lightworks in 2009 we saw something different. Underneath the hood was some great technology, but it needed a major revamp. So we spent the last two years investing in Lightworks and modernising it.

Of course, offering a free product doesn’t mean that we don’t support it or continue to develop it. We are passionate about developing great products that help drive creativity. But we are a business, and like other businesses we need to earn a living. And the reality is some things cost us money. We’ve thought carefully about this and we’ve looked at where we can absorb those costs, and where we have to charge for a contribution towards them.

To be clear, some things cost us money because they are third party intellectual property, such as codecs. Other things cost us money because we employ a team of highly experienced developers. So Lightworks and Lightworks Pro have not come about by chance. But we are also not going to pretend that some things don’t cost us money. We realize not everybody will need Avid DNxHD or AVC-Intra, and we understand that a lot of people do not want technical support from us. So we’ve priced Lightworks accordingly. The free version is incredible value, and the Pro version, at £40 / €50 / $60, is probably the only solution available with this level of professional features.

Even if you don’t use all the features, purchasing Lightworks Pro contributes to this project and helps us to push the boundaries of development. We want to make Lightworks the best editor in the world. And we won’t disappoint.

We have highlighted the main differences between Lightworks and Lightworks Pro here:

Lightworks Pro has the following extra features:

  • ProRes Decode
  • Avid DNxHD Decode and Encode (extra Avid DNxHD License required)
  • AVC-Intra Decode and Encode
  • XDCAM EX Decode and Encode
  • XDCAM HD 50 422 Decode and Encode
  • DPX Decode and Encode
  • RED R3D Decode
  • H.264 / AVCHD Decode and Encode
  • BluRay VC1 Export
  • MPEG-4 Export
  • Quicktime Export
  • AAF Import and Export
  • Titling tool
  • Stereoscopic Support – Import, Edit, Effects, Export
  • Project Sharing
  • Hardware I/O Support
  • Multiple Concurrent User Licensing options
  • Volume Licensing options
  • Lifetime Pro Membership of the Lightworks Community

As a Pro Member, you can interact with our developers, and can directly influence the future roadmap for the software. In fact, you become part of the Lightworks team.

In addition, a single purchase of Lightworks Pro entitles you to lifetime membership of the Lightworks Pro Community, with the following benefits:

  • Create or join specialist user groups
  • Organise or follow Lightworks events
  • Live chat between members (with automatic language translation)
  • Messaging between members
  • Showcase your production skills, technical skills biog and equipment
  • Interact with Editshare’s Lightworks developers and product managers
  • Vote on new features – Have a direct influence on the future development path of Lightworks
  • Become eligible for Editshare Pro Support (this is a paid-for service)

Education discount

PRO Activation is available at a discount price (50% saving) for those currently studying or working in full-time education. If you believe that you qualify, please complete and submit the EDU Application form. EDU licensing is limited to a maximum of three years for students. Applicants are required to provide evidence of their education status. Processing typically takes 4 working days.


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