(Last updated on December 31st, 2020)
See this in-depth Filmora review to see whether this program is right for you or not.
Filmora is a fantastic, simple video editor from the company Wondershare. The application is designed to be simple, helping the average user edit videos quickly without a headache. The program offers all of the essentials as well as some advanced techniques.
Filmora was created in 2015, updating almost every year with a new version. Its parent company, Wondershare, has been around since 2003 and was founded in China. Wondershare offers many software solutions for its customers.
For clarity’s sake, I will be reviewing Filmora X, not FilmoraPro. FilmoraPro is the more expensive, professional version of Filmora X.
The Pros and Cons of Filmora
- Price: Filmora offers reasonable rates for the software, giving you one-time purchase options as well as subscription-based ones. Providing choices gives the consumer more control. The customer can choose the best software solution for their company or themselves.
- Easy to Use: Filmora has a clean layout that is very accessible. All of the tools are easy to find. Learning the software is a quick, painless process.
- Compatibility: Available for both Mac and PC, not for Linux. Filmora also has sister apps available for both Androids and iPhones.
- Wondershare Filmstock: Connects seamlessly to a huge library of assets, including effects, pictures, videos, and audio. You can get everything from a free subscription up to a Premium one, giving you a great deal on beautiful media.
- Limited Capabilities: Features of the program are limited. You will lack advanced film editing techniques that you would find in DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Smaller User Base: In comparison to the big guys like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, Filmora is not as popular. If you are trying to be competitive in the job market, the more popular programs may be a better fit.
- Limited Downloads: Depending on your license, you have a limited number of total downloads. If you have a personal license, you will only get five downloads of the software. If you have a multi-user license, you will get 30 downloads. Limited downloads can be frustrating if you change your device often/need to work on a separate device. The licenses are limited to one personal computer at a time.
If you only need a basic video editor, Filmora is the perfect application for you. The program is easy to use, a good value and houses the essentials for video editing. If you are looking for professional-grade software, Filmora doesn’t make the cut. The program lacks many advanced features required for complex video editing.
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Filmora has all the essentials for a video editing program. You can cut, trim, move clips, add filters, and more in Filmora. Let’s look at what the program has to offer:
- Footage Library: Organizes your footage into folders. Importing is easy.
- Video Support: Filmora can support up to 4K video.
- Instant Cutter Tool: Lets you import large video files and trim them or merge them without re-encoding them. The Instant Cutter Tool is a great feature for large files such as 4K video, saving you time with quick edits.
- Green Screen: This feature lets you adjust the greenscreen keying, making the colored background transparent so you can replace it. You can adjust the greenscreen color, tolerance, and more in this panel.
- Color Correction: This feature allows you to adjust the video’s coloring, fixing warm and cool tones in the video. Here, you can also adjust white balance, temperature, tint, and more.
- Picture in Picture (PIP): PIP is where one video plays on top of another.
- Mobile Stabilization: Adding this feature will smooth out shaky camera movement.
- Keyframing: Filmora can create customized animations with keyframing.
- Motion Tracking: Using this feature, you can select an object to track, and the software will automatically follow the object for you, creating a path of the object. For example, if you want to censor someone’s face using a shape, you can use motion tracking to track the figure.
- Denoising: Denoising will eliminate machinery, wind, and other background sounds. You can even replace the audio altogether, using royalty-free musical assets from the Wondershare Filmstock library.
- Titles: Filmora provides dozens of text templates outright, each one providing some customization. You can also get more title templates on Wondershare Filmstock.
- Color Matching: This tool allows you to match the coloring of footage with other footage, a great feature to match clips that have been shot on different days. This technique gives your film a seamless color palette.
- Audio Ducking: This tool fades background noise during the dialogue with a single click.
- Dark/Light Skin UI Switch: Change the lighting mode to match the skin tones in your project.
- Keyboard Shortcut Optimization: This optimization allows you to set keyboard shortcuts for action within Filmora.
- Mac Touch-bar Support is included in Filmora.
- Exporting: The exporting options in Filmora are very straightforward. They even provide some preset social media standards to help you export the best project for those sites. In the YouTube panel, you can even upload it directly to the site without having to do an extra step. You can export videos of various resolutions, creating films with as low as 480p resolution to 4K video.
- Filmstock: An optional add-on or included library of stock audio, video, effects, or image assets. You can filter the assets using predefined categories, featured assets, the search bar, or tags. For example, you can search for 4K footage, nature, drone footage, and much more to find specific video clips. The assets are divided into free, standard, and premium.
In comparison to advanced film editing software, Filmora is lacking. For example, programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro allow you to finetune every detail of the project, giving you more adjustment and precision. Advanced video editing can need these features. However, if you are using Filmora for simple edits, then this program will be enough.
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Filmora offers plans for individuals, businesses, or education. Wondershare also offers subscriptions to Wondershare Filmstock, with different plans to meet your needs. Let’s start with the individual plans:
- Subscription Plan: This plan costs $49.99/year and will give you the latest version of Filmora, updating its newest features. There is no watermark, and you get free tech support.
- Perpetual Plan: This plan is a one-time fee of $79.99, giving you a lifetime membership. You will still receive updates to this version of Filmora, in this case, Version X, but you will not get versions beyond this one. You will get all features, no watermark, and free tech support. You will also have the option of adding Filmstock for $9.99/month with the first month free.
- Bundle Subscription Plan: This plan costs $159.87/year. As long as you have an active subscription, you will have the latest Filmora software. You get all the features, no watermark, free tech support, unlimited downloads from the Filmstock Standard Library, and new effects each month.
Next, we have business options:
- Business Annual Plan costs $155.88/year. You get all of Filmora’s editing features, updates, tech support, permissions for company use, no attributions required, volume discount, multi-user control, 1-1 Sales report, and flexible payment options.
- Request a Quote: If you want to purchase a business plan for more than five users, Filmora suggests requesting a quote from a Wondershare sales representative. The pricing page gives you a form to fill out to request a quote.
Let’s explore educational plans. Filmora offers an incredible discount for students and educational institutions.
- Students can pay monthly at $7.99, quarterly at $15.99, annually at $39.99, or the lifetime plan at $69.99. These plans get all features, free updates, no brand watermark, and free tech support. You must prove that you are currently an active student to get the deal.
- Educators can request a quote to see if they qualify for the discount.
It is worth noting that Filmora does make promotional sales on their products. If you buy during a sale period, you could get an even better offer on these prices. Filmora gives you many options to purchase the software. You can even try out the program in a free trial.
Now, let’s look at their Filmstock Plans. They offer Free, Premium, and Standard Options, paid monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
- Free: $0 for any plan. You get unlimited downloads of free assets with a royalty-free license.
- Standard Plan: $9.99/month, $23.98/quarter, or $95.90 annually. If you get the quarterly or annual subscription over the monthly, you will get a decent discount. You will get unlimited downloads of free and standard assets, royalty-free licenses, and free technical support.
- Premium Plan: (As a note, these prices might be sales prices and could be slightly higher when you go to purchase. If the prices are higher, I recommend waiting for a sale to get a better discount.) $34.99/month, $89.97/quarterly, or $299.88/annually. Annually gives you the best price-per-month value of the subscription, giving you unlimited downloads of free assets, standard assets, and up to 20 premium assets a month. You also get a royalty-free license and free tech support.
The Bundle Subscription Plan for Filmora comes with the Standard Filmstock plan. You will still have to pay extra for Premium assets. If you decide to opt for the free plan, you will need to pay for both Standard and Premium assets individually.
Filmora is a great value. You can purchase the software off the bat or do a very reasonable yearly subscription that will give you the latest and greatest version of Filmora. Filmstock, in comparison to the very expensive Adobe Stock, has a much more reasonable pricing plan. In terms of value, Wondershare provides a good deal.
Ease of Use
Learning Filmora couldn’t be easier. When you open the app for the first time, Filmora will give you a Quick Start Tour of the application. This tour will point out the program’s basics, walking you through quickly, so you have a good understanding of what’s available to you.
A funny feature of the program is the challenge panel. This feature encourages you to try out new techniques, getting you to learn how to work Filmora. You can even win a prize!
The layout of Filmora is very clean and polished. The color scheme is dark and easy on the eyes. All of the tools, timeline, and video monitor are all easily accessible and uncluttered. The clarity makes the program great for beginners, unhampered by a feature-heavy system.
This program is extremely easy to learn. You will be able to jump in straight away.
What is the lifespan of Filmora? Wondershare continues to update Filmora almost every year, fixing bugs and adding useful features to the program. Filmora is designed to be a bare-bones editor that won’t overwhelm a user. Because it continues to be upgraded, this assures us that the program will be updated in the future.
Filmora represents a tiny portion of the market share at less than 5%, according to Enlyft. Competitors like Adobe Premiere Pro have 17% of the market, Final Cut Pro with 18%. If you are trying to get a job as a film editor with a company, you may want to consider a more popular program like Premiere or Final Cut Pro to make your skillset more relevant.
While Filmora is not as popular right now, this could change in the future. According to Google Trends, interest in Filmora has grown by 20% since the beginning of 2019. If interest and usage continue to climb, Filmora will take a bigger slice of the market.
Overall, Filmora is continuing to improve its program. If you want a more popular program, I suggest getting Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro to make yourself more competitive. If you want just a simple video editor, Filmora is a great choice. It’s continuing to update with the times, giving you a software choice that won’t become obsolete.
Filmora has a decent amount of compatibility. The program works on both Mac and Windows and is available for mobile devices. Filmora is not available for Linux.
When purchasing the Filmora subscription, you need to choose the correct system, Mac or Windows. There isn’t a universal license that works for both. When acquiring the software, you have to make sure it’s the correct one for your machine.
Filmora also has alternate apps for mobile and online. You can use FilmoraGo to edit videos on your phone, Vlogit to edit and share YouTube videos, Online Meme Maker to make online memes, and an online video trimmer to trim videos online. All of these tools are either available on mobile Android, iPhone, or as a web app.
Filmora will use the fonts downloaded and installed on your computer. If you download and install a font from a free site like DaFont.com, the new font will show up in the program.
Overall, Filmora works on a decent range of devices. There are alternative sister apps available for mobile and web apps, giving the user options.
Filmora’s Effects & Resources
Here, we will be exploring Filmora’s effects and resources, going into depth over Wondershare Filmstock and more.
As a graphic designer or editor, we all know how important it is to have high-quality, royalty-free assets. Filmstock is an incredible resource that is a part of the Wondershare family. The Standard plan is included in Filmora’s Individual Bundle Plan or available as a separate subscription.
There are Free, Standard, and Premium assets available in Filmstock. You can get audio, effect, video, or photo assets. You can purchase assets as a single purchase. However, buying the assets individually can get expensive fast. I recommend getting a subscription to Filmstock if you plan on using many assets to save you money in the long run.
When looking for assets, you can sort them into distinctive categories. For example, you can search by asset type, only looking at free assets or looking at the most popular choices.
The effects lineup is one of Filmstock’s most impressive aspects, with tons of creative templates available to you. By creating great templates, Filmstock gives you the ability to create finished, professional videos with ease. It is worth noting that some of the Filmstock effect packs cannot be used by companies. A detailed list is provided in the FAQ (dropdown underneath “Can all the Filmstock assets be used by Companies?”).
The program has many filter and effects options right in the default application. There is everything from artistic ones like Chromatic Aberration to distorted video, and more. The filters are easy to navigate, organized by type, and stored away in folders.
Filmora includes cropping filters like Image Mask or Crop, changing the shape of the final film image. There are also the LUT effects, providing vintage or cinematic coloring to your videos.
You can also add graphical elements to your story. You can add animated fire, shapes, arrows, or energy bursts, to name a few options.
Here, you have many songs to choose from, adding a royalty-free tune to your video. You can also add your own music or add sound effects to the piece. You can also edit the audio, adding a fade-in/fade-out effect, altering the pitch, using the equalizer, denoiser, or ducking functions.
Filmora starts you off with over 200 transitions to choose from. You can do everything from dissolves, fades, and flashes to turning the image into a 3D square transition. You can alter the transition mode, duration and choose whether you will include trimmed frames.
Split Screen gives you the option of creating visually interesting split-screen effects. Filmora includes thirty of them to choose from.
Overall, Filmora provides a fantastic array of assets. Using templates can speed up your editing process. By adding interesting visuals, you can add that final professional touch to your project.
Filmora is great if you need a basic video editor. The program is affordable and easy to use. If you need advanced video editing features, you will need a heftier program like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve. These programs are designed for film-industry grade final products.
Filmora has stepped in to fill the gap in accessible video editing software. Professional film editing programs are stuffed to the brim with features. In the race to create the best software ever, many software companies create programs that, while very feature-rich, have many tools that a user doesn’t need, especially for simple video editing. These programs can also be difficult to use because of the sheer number of options and the tools’ complexity.
If you are happy using an advanced editor like Premiere Pro, Filmora won’t inspire you to make the switch purely because the latter has less to offer. In the end, picking a video editor depends on your preference and your needs.
Frequently asked questions
No, Filmora is a paid program. You can, however, try out the software in a free trial.
Yes, Filmora has more options and customizations than iMovie. Filmora is a great in-between software from iMovie to complex, traditional film editing software.
Yes, Filmora is good for beginners because its’ intuitive and has a clean design. Unlike professional-grade editing software, the interface isn’t cluttered with too many tools.
Thirty days and all videos exported will have a Filmora watermark until the software is bought.
Anne is a filmmaker and writer with a passion to bring stories to life. She has created several short films, specializing in stop-motion animation. Anne has over eight years of filmmaking experience, and she is always ready to share her knowledge with other creators. She started her company Anne Gets Creative in 2020.
Anne is extremely familiar with many Adobe programs: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere, and Audition, to name a few. She has also worked with other programs such as Procreate, Canva, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro. She always strives to give the best software reviews, researching diligently so her readers don’t have to.