Express with all ad ons Vs Pro?

Hi Folks


I was wondering if I should buy all the add ons for HitFilm express or just make one payment for the latest Pro version.  Can you tell me is there a difference in what comes with each option?




  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Lord EarthPosts: 3,488 Ambassador
  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,566 Moderator

    So the answer to this is: It depends on your needs.

    There are some features in Pro that are not available in Express, even through add-on packs. The most notable of these are:

    8k video maximum (Express only goes up to 4K)

    Pro uses an encoder that allows for potentially higher quality, especially in audio

    OFX & AE plug-in support (Express only supports the Boris and Mocha plugins as addons)

    Foundry Camera Tracker (this will likely become an addon eventually)

    Some newer effects, such as Exposure and Dehaze (there haven’t been any new addon packs made in almost 2 years)


    Various other effects 


    Those are the big omissions off the top of my head.

    Some other things to consider:

    Getting Pro (usually) gives you 3 licenses that can be activated at the same time. You only get one Express activation

    While they usually release Pro and Express at the same time, If there is a discrepancy (like with HitFilm 13 and 14), Pro will get the update first, sometimes months ahead of Express

    Pro gets new effects before Express does (Express has to wait for addon packs for many new effects and features... some effects have been waiting for years)


    All this so far has seemed mostly in favor of Pro... but here’s why you might still choose Express:

    A “fully loaded” version of Express will be significantly more expensive than buying Pro outright, BUT the add-ons you buy will never expire, even as the software continues to be updated for free. If you know you’ll be using HitFilm for years to come, and you’re ok with the limitations mentioned above, it might ultimately be cheaper if you plan to always stay up to date

     If you don’t actually need all the addon packs at once, you might save money buying addons as needed.


    tl;dr 9/10 times, it’s better to just go Pro. Remember that even after your year of free updates, you still get to use your latest version. It doesn’t go away like a subscription does. IMO, I’ll take a 3 year old version of Pro over the latest version of Express almost any day.

  •  Folks


    Thanks so much for the replies.  Really informative and helpful.  I hear Hitfilm will now be able to incorporate Element 3D and optical flares from Video Co-Pilot.  Would I be right in saying that's only with the Pro version?  that's probably going to be the deciding factor for me.    

  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,566 Moderator


     Yes, After Effects plug-in support is ONLY available through Pro, and likely will be for the foreseeable future.

    Keep in mind that only a small number of After Effects plugins are currently available for use and they may not always work as well as they would in AE. The currently supported plugins are VCP’s Orb, Saber, Optical Flares, Heat Distortion, and Element 3D, with Red Giant’s Trapcode Particular also being supported.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,679 Ambassador
    edited March 2020

    Correct, Pro version Only. 

    I believe Element 3D is only working on the Mac at the moment.

    Then again, Hitfilm Pro can work with 3D models directly, in more formats than Element 3D and using FBX/ABC animation instead of OBJ sequences, and the particle sim can use 3D models, so, really, why spend the extra $200 on E3D? Just saying....