Wondershare Filmora Review

Wondershare Filmora splash screen

Why Filmora?

Before I get into the WonderShare Filmora review proper the first thing that needs to be addressed is why Filmora has a place in the world.

So here’s the deal.

Over the past few years the average consumer level video editor has become more and more feature rich which is a bit of a “good news – bad news” type of thing.

On the upside this kind of “feature race” has resulted in the main software companies improving their products at a furious pace to at least, “keep up with the Jones'” or at best to edge ahead of the pack.

The downside is that every time they add some new feature they also have to add access to that feature and access to the settings of that feature. (Not to mention I have to do a new review!)

This invariably leads to a complication of the user interface resulting in software that is more like the control console of a space shuttle!

Another downside and one that nobody really wants to discuss, is that in many cases the added new features are not necessarily things that everyone wants or needs.

Because of this I have noticed more and more people searching for something simpler and easier to use.

Enter Wondershare Filmora

The key to Wondershare Filmora is that it has quite successfully managed to strike a balance between maintaining simplicity whilst at the same time providing ample tools and features that the average person would actually use.

They have kept the user interface clean, modern and uncluttered yet still offering easy access to the features and functionality of the program.

Wondershare Filmora comes in versions for both Windows and Mac and is my top choice for an easy or simple video editing software.

To get an idea of how it looks and behaves take a look at the video below before you continue with the rest of this Wondershare Filmora review.

Enter Wondershare Filmora

The key to Wondershare Filmora is that it has quite successfully managed to strike a balance between maintaining simplicity whilst at the same time providing ample tools and features that the average person would actually use.

They have kept the user interface clean, modern and uncluttered yet at the same time offering easy access to the features and functionality of the program.

Wondershare Filmora comes in versions for both Windows and Mac and is my top choice for an easy or simple video editing software.

To get an idea of how it looks and behaves take a look at the video below before you continue with the rest of this Wondershare Filmora review.

Getting Started

When you open the program each time you are first presented with the simple splash screen below.

Here you can make a few choices as to what you want to do exactly and to set the program to suit your needs for that project.

1. Choose the aspect ratio of the project you want to make based on the aspect ratio of the video you will be working with.

Most modern devices will be 16:9.

2. Full Feature Mode

Takes you into the full editing interface.

3. Action Cam Tool

Takes you into a separate module with tools specifically designed for dealing with action cam footage and the kind of “action” project this type of footage is used for.

4. Instant Cutter

A tool for loading footage and as it suggests offers the ability to instantly isolate segments of that footage and render immediately to a new file.

5. Easy Mode

Easy mode launches the program into a semi-automatic mode which makes use of style templates that you add your video, images and audio to.

You then follow a step-by-step- process through to a final video.

The User Interface

As you can see from the image below the Filmora interface is very simple with no hidden menus or endless menu trees of features.

Quite literally what you see on the screen is what you get.

Access to everything is represented by a simple icon that indicates what it is used for whether it be video, audio, effects transitions or whatever.

Just don’t be fooled by the simplicity of it.

Hiding behind there are over 300 special effects, objects, overlays, sound effects, music tracks and transitions you can use.

Editing is a simple drag and drop process to add things to the timeline with the timeline itself running on a “magnetic” system which causes assets to automatically stay together.

This means that you are not endlessly repositioning clips and audio tracks and images every time you change something.

It has an advanced color tuning feature to allow great control over video and images that you want to give a certain “look” to or to correct video that is not quite right.

On top of that there are 45 color presets to further enhance your footage and the program even supports loading 3D LUTs (Lookup table files) for tuning the color of videos and images.

There is a dedicated Pan and Zoom feature for adding and customizing animations for still images as well as being able to customize and animate text.

It has motion elements so you can drag and drop moving graphics on to your video and a seprate motion tracking module as well.

You really only have to look at the buttons to understand what it is for and that intuitive nature carries on throughout the entire program.

You can cut in the middle of a file by placing the playhead at that point and (obviously!) clicking the little scissors icon.

You can lengthen or shorten a file by placing your cursor at the end, clicking and dragging.

Click and drag items on to the timeline, select and hit delete to get rid of them.

If you are just a beginner or get stuck somewhere just hit the help button and another separate module will open up as below.

Filmora help module

In this module you have access to 11 specific videos that will play inside the module explaining step-by-step how to learn and use the program.

If you are already up to speed with it but come across something you are not sure of you can just scroll through the video thumbnails, find the one you need and watch it.

All the videos are very well put together, easy to understand and very straightforward.

Video Creation

By hitting the Export Button a new module opens offering 12 different formats in which you can export your project.

It also offers 12 preset formats that are arranged by device so if you really have no idea what format you should be creating but you do know the device it will be played on, you are covered.

You can also automatically upload your final video to FaceBook, YouTube or Vimeo and all of these have presets to make sure your video gets online at the highest possible quality.

The same goes for DVD with a simple pre-set system for directly burning to DVD or to an image file and burned later.

Stuff Even I was Surprised to Find!

I have already mentioned that everything in Filmora is tucked neatly away so that the interface stays clean and uncomplicated however there are few little secrets tucked away as well and it wasn’t until I had been using it for a while that I found them!

A Screen Recorder!

Yes, just like most of the $130 to $400 video editing software programs, Filmora actually has a screen recorder built into it!

You can launch it from inside the program and start recording whatever you are doing on your screen to make demonstration videos.

Green Screen

Filmora also has the ability to handle green screen or chroma-key footage in your video projects.

Motion Paths

It comes with face detection technology so you can automatically attach objects like speech bubbles to a face or to an object that is moving and have it follow along.

Video Stabilization

It has quite an effective stabilization filter that offers auto setting that you can also adjust to get your videos as stable as possible.

Audio Equalizer

You can use this to fine tune your audio tracks prior to export to get your soundtracks polished.

Summary

Probably the word that best describes Wondershare Filmora is intuitive.

It doesn’t really seem to matter what it is you want to do with the program, all you need do is look at the interface and pretty soon it seems obvious what it is.

The real problem in writing this review is trying to communicate the simplicity of the program without making it sound as though it is somehow crippled or lacking in features which is simply not true.

Filmora is ideal for the person who wants to quickly and easily edit their videos without all the bells and whistles they will probably never use.

Click Here to See the Full Features at Wondershare Filmora

4.5 / 5 stars     
Wondershare Filmora Review was last modified: February 8th, 2017 by Lance Carr
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43 comments to Wondershare Filmora Review

  • Manuel

    Hello,

    I have tried the Filmora trial version and it looks quite easy to use (I just need a simple tool to mix clips for YouTube).
    The only problem I’m facing is the output quality: my camera records in FULL HD @ 50p, but when I export it I can’t find a way to save it without losing quality. There’s a NOTICEABLE difference.
    I’ve tried the MP4 and the best output settings, yet my 180MB test video comes out as a 90MB video with noticeable lower quality.
    Recording in 25p reduces this problem but the quality itself is much different, less “smooth”.

    How can I fix the problem? I really like the simplicity of this software, but I was also looking at Cyberdirector ans Sony Vegas.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Manuel,
      That shouldn’t be a problem.
      Just navigate to the video your are editing and right click it.
      Note down the frame rate, resolution and the total bitrate.
      Then load the video into Filmora, do what you have to do then go to Export.
      In the export window choose MP4 and then click the Settings button.
      Make sure you have exactly the same frame rate, resolution and bitrate chosen then select OK.
      Now output the video and you should be fine.

  • Anand

    Hi,
    I want to buy filmora video editor from their website.
    Is it safe to buy?
    what is the return n refund policy?
    How will be the support?

    could you please revert back.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Anand,
      I have been recommending this software on my site for over two years now.

      In that time I have never received any compliant about the software, the company or any problem with refunds or customer service.

    • Keith Povall

      I’ve had a lot of dealings with the Filmora folk. I use the program both at work and at home. The company is great to deal with in all aspects. The program is pretty easy to use, most of the features at least. Lots of choice of export options.

  • Neil Francis

    Is there anyway you can get rid of the auto magnet of the film clips and why can’t you take a clip from the video time line and drop to the pip below there fore removing it from the video timeline ?

  • Rachel

    Hi. I am considering buying Filmora for a video I plan to do for work. Could I use the free, trial version, and if I’m satisfied, upgrade to the paid version so I can download the video without the watermark — without it affecting the video? I’m also still undecided whether to get the one-year or lifetime license or the multi-user. It would depend on how the trial works out for me.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Rachel,
      When you have finished all the work you want to do on a project you can take two steps from there.
      First, you can just click Save and the entire project gets saved as a project file.
      As long as all the assets you used in that file remain in the same place on your computer you can re-open it at any time.

      The second thing you can do is create a final video file and you do that by clicking on the Export button.
      This renders the entire project to a new video file.

      If you have not paid for a licence that final render of the project into a new video file will have a watermark but will IN NO WAY be any different to a file created with a licensed version of the software.

      So, yes you can complete you project, create a video file with a watermark using the free version to check if you like it or not… BUT!

      If you do like it and want to pay for a licence you will have to re-render the file again using the project file (mentioned at the top) only this time there will be no watermark.

      Finally on the question of licensing.

      That would depend on a few things that I can’t really help you with especially whether or not you would want a multi-user licence.

      Personally I still like perpetual licences but I suspect that’s more an emotional reaction than hard headed thinking!

      • Rachel

        Thanks, George. This all sounds good. I will definitely give Filmora a try. I’m a Mac user and very familiar with iMovie. How does Filmora compare? Is it a step up from iMovie or down? The reason I ask is because, initially, I had considered getting a used MacBook Pro that I can use for work. (I have a personal one but my husband tends to use it more.) Then I stumbled upon Filmora. I figured, Filmora license is cheaper than a laptop.

        • Rachel

          Oooops. That was supposed to be, “Thanks, Lance” =)

          • Lance Carr

            Hi Rachel,
            Filmora is probably a little more feature rich than iMovie in so far as it offers a few more advanced features like screen recording, green screen, the ability to use LUTs in the color grading module etc.

            More important to me is the fact that as a paid product there is far more pressure on their development team to keep the software maintained.

            By this I don’t mean endlessly adding new features.

            I mean keeping the software fully updated to compensate for the ever changing environment of video is general.

          • Rachel

            Thanks, Lance. I will give it a go.

  • George

    Hi Lance,

    Thank you for taking your time and answering our questions.

    I got two, which are sort of indirectly related to to Filmora.

    1) Is it possible to upload and further edit a (Filmora) video in a more comprehensive software at a later stage? Most of the time I (Beginner) will be using Filmora, but I might want to tweak the videos later on.

    2) I think I read that it is possible to upload 4k footage into Filmora. Can you please confirm. I am planning to buy a Panasonic GH5 these days and it shoots 4k among other formats.

    Thank you!

    • Lance Carr

      Hi George,
      1) Filmora exports to absolutely bog standard video files which you could edit further down the line BUT!

      You would be editing a completed file, you can’t “deconstruct” that file into its original components.

      This is true for any video editing software.

      Each time you work on a project the software creates a project file which is a record of everything you have done so far and is used to create the final output file.

      All editors use this system and NONE of those project files are readable by any other software so keep that in mind.

      2) Filmora imports, edits and exports to 4K no problem.

  • Anthony

    Hello
    Thanks for being here!
    When you view the media playback screen, when the source video files are of 1080 upto 4k in quality ( if you play the video files in VLC on a 4K TV it looks perfect) however The play back video quality is poor. Does this reflex the final exported file image when you save it at 1080 or 4K (using any appropriate file format eg MOV or MKV) ??
    Ps does it save using 264 or 265?
    Thanks
    Have a wonderful day
    Anthony

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Anthony,
      I’ll answer both your questions here.
      The playback quality depend entirely on the available resources of your computer, not so much the software.

      Video players are more able to smoothly display hi res footage because they are only approaching the task of playback and nothing else.

      Editing software is trying to playback as well as render on the fly any changes made or transitions added and the rest of it so often the computer itself falls behind. This is why many types of software offer to edit using low res proxy files then at the end render to hi def.

      The quality of the playback has nothing to do with the quality of the final file.

      Filmora can handle resolutions up to 4K but does not render to h.265, it uses H.264 only at this stage.

  • Mike

    Does Filmora offer a jump cut using some type of morphing. If so, how would you rat it compared to morph cut using other more expensive programs?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Mike,
      OK, first of all we may have a little confusion going on here regarding the terms we are using.

      A “jump cut” is a straight cut with no transition (I’ll get to the transition bit in a minute!).

      It is simply a cut from one shot to the next without the camera angle of either shot changing more than 45 degrees.

      It can be used intentionally to create an effect or can be used mistakenly to create an error.

      Imagine a shot of a guy walking towards you along a long hallway. It takes him 20 seconds to get from the other end to you and you are shooting the whole time.

      Instead of just speeding the footage up you can have him walking forward, then cut a bit out so he kind of immediately jumps forward in position then keeps walking forward at normal pace. You then repeat this process a few times so that the entire clip is now 10 seconds. Walking, jumps forward, walking, jumps forward, walking, jumps forward.

      That is an example of a jump cut.

      The concept of “morphing” that you mention I think you are referring to what is called a transition. It can be a sort of fade from one shot to the next, or a dissolve or it can get more complicated.

      Most consumer level video editing software regardless of brand comes with a lot of transitions built in.

      The reality is that you only need three or so.

      1. A straight cut from one shot to the next = no transition.
      2. A fade or dissolve from one shot to the next.
      3. A fade from black at the the beginning of a project… see number 2.
      4. A fade through black (or white) from one shot to the next so shot one fades TO black and then shot 2 fades in FROM the same black…. see number 2.

      So having said all that Filmora is perfectly fine for any of that unless you want a mountain of prepackaged cheesy transitions to use in your projects that clearly state to anyone watching them, “I really have no idea what I am doing here!

      Questions?

  • Carol Little

    I bought Filmora last year because I have one project, turning my old home movies into interesting videos with titles, music, etc. There are 3 files, each at least an hour in length maybe more. I worked with it for several weeks but then had a several month interruption so I am starting all over. I couldn’t seem to get the hang of cutting out frames and I felt that I had too much on my timeline to deal with. I also had trouble saving what little I was able to accomplish. Is there a glossary for the meaning of initials? Since I bought Filmora, I’m sure there have been updates. Do I need to pay for updates? How do I go about getting the updates.
    Thank,
    Caro

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Carol,
      OK so first of all there are many video tutorials and a full help section on the Filmora website that can show you how to do those things… especially the basic stuff like cutting.

      All of it is accessible through the HELP button when you have the program open.

      Cutting out frames is easy, just load the clip on to the timeline, place your cursor at the beginning of where you want to cut and click the little scissors icon. Then place the playhead at the end of where you want to cut out and click the little scissors again.

      Now just click on the section that you want to cut so it is highlighted and either right click and selct Delete or just hit the Delete button on the keyboard.

      There probably have been updates to the program since you bought it and yes, they are free.l

      Just go to the Filmora website, download the program again (It will be the latest version) and just install it.

      It will detect the ealrier version as well as your existing licence and you will have the new one installed on top of the old.

  • Patricia

    Lance, hi. Thanks for all your answers to questions here. I have one too.

    last night I used the internal ‘record video’ feature in Filmora to make a little video of a friend speaking. However, it appears to be very choppy. Is that as good as it gets? Or is there a way to adjust settings? Or does it smooth things out when I save it?

    Any idea?

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Patricia,
      OK, the possibilities here are endless!

      Filmora has two recording modes.

      One is to record the screen and the other is to record from a webcam attached to the computer.

      So the question is were you on some kind of chat program and you recorded what was happening on the screen or did you use a webcam to record the person?

      In a general sense the quality of the recording basically will come down to the quality of what was capturing that recording.

      Jumpiness could be from an internet connection not quite keeping up with the stream, a computer with not quite enough resources to keep up with things, a camera recording at a very low quality, a connection that was unsuitable for recording and on and on…

      You will notice I am not mentioning the software itself!

      Filmora can do what you want but to do it it has to tell everyone else in the chain (camera, screen, operating system, computer) what to do.

      It is entirely another matter as to whether everyone else can do it or at least do it on time!

      If you want to debug this hit the contact button on the site and we can talk directly rather than have this go on and on in the comments section here.
      Lance

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