Review of Wondershare Filmora

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Published date: 1 December 2022
11 December 2022 on 7:59 am

The typical cutting, transitions, and overlay features, as well as the effects we’ve come to anticipate in enthusiast-level video editing software, are all available in Wondershare’s Filmora. Since our last inspection, the company has incorporated more contemporary and cutting-edge capabilities similar to those seen in more seasoned rivals—it now provides motion tracking, for instance. Although Filmora has an easy-to-use interface and can complete the task at hand, you will be without some of the fine control offered by rival programs.

What is the price of Filmora?
A free trial version of Filmora is available, however you can only export video ten times and your exported projects will bear the Filmora branding. Filmora offers a subscription plan when you’re ready to pay (as Adobe does for Premiere Pro). However, a permanent license is available for a little bit extra. Costs for both the macOS and Windows versions are $51.99 annually or $79.99 if purchased altogether (note these prices are frequently discounted). With a $69.99 per year membership option, CyberLink PowerDirector Ultimate costs $139.99, which is cheaper than the cost of the market leader Adobe Premiere Elements, which retails for $99.99. Filmora provides reasonable value if it satisfies your needs.

You can use a variety of effects in your video projects, have watermarks removed, and receive 24/7 technical assistance by purchasing either type of Filmora license. Additionally, new effect packs are added each month for subscribers. For this review, I used Filmora on both Windows and macOS, however I predominantly evaluated the Windows version of the program.

The software can run on Windows 7 through 10 and macOS 10.7 to 11. It is known for its robust support for older operating system versions. Rosetta 2 provides compatibility for the new Apple Silicon M1 processors; while native support would be preferable, Filmora is superior to Movavi in this regard as Movavi did not function on my M1 MacBook Air during testing. On my test PC, Filmora consumed 800MB, which is a moderate amount for this kind of program. While Movavi Video Editor Plus just needs 285MB, Adobe Premiere Pro consumes 3.3GB.

Stylish Interface
Interface for Wondershare Filmora
With a three-panel structure for source content, video preview, and timeline across the bottom, Filmora’s Full Editor interface is similar to that of most other video editing programs. It has a non-skeuomorphic UI that is clear, straightforward, and dark. The program respects the system’s dark or light mode setting and lets you choose between window borders that are black or light gray. Although you can’t tear off panels, you can full-screen the video preview and change the panels’ relative sizes.

You can choose between Widescreen, Instagram (1×1), Portrait, Standard, or Cinema aspect ratios when you begin a project. You can select the frame rate and, if you’d like, a custom size from File > Project Settings.

The Media, Audio, Titles, Transitions, Effects, Elements (graphics), and Split Screen buttons are always located at the top left of the interface. There are links to tutorials, help, your account, the Save function, the app’s message center, and the opportunity to download additional WonderShare FilmStock content, including effects, films, photographs, and audio, at the top right of the screen.

With the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel or the Alt-Mouse Wheel, you may simply shorten and lengthen the timeline. In the source panel, there is a search bar for whatever you may have as well as clear Undo and Redo arrows. Delete, Crop, Speed, Color, Green Screen, Motion Track, Keyframing, and Edit buttons are located above the timeline. Clicking Edit opens a panel with expandable entries for the majority of the preceding options.

Controls for effects in Wondershare Filmora
The number of tracks initially appears to be restricted, but as soon as you add a second video clip beneath your primary one, a new track is added, allowing you to keep overlaying. These newly inserted clips in new tracks move in time with the main track above them, just like the Connected Clips in Final Cut Pro. It’s an excellent approach to retain effect overlays in the desired location. WYSIWYG resizing handles in the preview make PiP simple to use.

There is never any empty space in the movie thanks to the program’s magnetic timeline method, which snaps every time a clip is added to the timeline to the one before it. Additionally, Auto-Ripple is enabled by default to prevent gaps in your movie, but you can disable it if you’d rather. Although you can cut a clip from either the beginning or the end, the current-position line displays scissors, making it simple to split the current clip. However, there isn’t any cutting in the source tray, so editors with professional training might not feel at home. Advanced editing options like slip, slide, and roll are also absent, but for users, that’s probably for the best.

Each clip has a plus sign that makes it simple to add it to the timeline at the desired insertion point. A Storyboard view is an alternative to the timeline view, which merely displays clip thumbnails with spaces for transitions in between. Tracks on the timeline display audio waveforms, which is helpful.

Quick Cutter
Wondershare Filmora’s Instant Cutter
You can use the tool Instant Clutter, which is designed for use with massive, high-res footage, during the clip import process. As the name suggests, it is incredibly straightforward and serves only one purpose. If its Merge sub-mode is chosen, you can only drag numerous clips onto its window. The interface of the Trim mode doesn’t even display more than one clip in the left-size source tray; it is only used to trim the ends of a single clip. You can create a new clip based on your edited original by adding segments, but you cannot intentionally separate a clip. However, I received a message stating that certain test clips were not supported.

Numerous Transitions
The Wondershare Filmora transitions
There are 100 transitions available in Filmora, and you can now search for them using their names, just like in PowerDirector and Adobe Premiere Elements. Basic, 3D, Ripple & Dissolve, Speed Blur, Warp, Lifestyle, Slideshow, Linear, Plain Shape, and Filmstock are among the ten categories. You can make those you use frequently into Favorites for quick access. While most programs just display an example A to B animation, Filmora uses uncommon schematic diagrams to explain what the transitions do.

I find this interesting because typically you want the transition to span the current and next clip when you add transitions because the program places them inside the edge of the clip when you add them using the + sign on the right side of the thumbnail. Thankfully, this is a simple process that can be accomplished simply dragging the transition’s timeline entry with the mouse; it will then automatically snap to the halfway point between clips. By sliding the edge of a transition, you may also change how long it lasts. You can select whether a transition is overlapped, prefixed, or postfixed to the clips by double-clicking the transition entry.

Editing with color and other effects
Picture-in-picture (PiP) effects are simple to make, and you can move and resize PiP windows directly in the video preview by clicking on the relevant timeline clip and moving the crosshairs in the middle of the edges and corners. For my test film, Chroma Key (also known as green screen) effortlessly and effectively covered my test subjects’ frizzy hair, which is frequently challenging to conceal.

There are 12 categories on the Effects panel, ranging from Shake to Night Life to Instagram-Like and using well-known names like Amaro, Brannon, and Hefe. These can give your video drama just like they do still images. A collection of light leak and film type overlays are also provided, along with distortions like mirror and water ripple. There are about thirty LUT (lookup table) effects included, many of them are named after the films and television shows whose colors they imitate, such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and so on. For a fee, users of Filmora’s subscription edition can access more effects, objects, video templates, and color filters.

The Motion Tracking feature is easy to use and performs ok. It doesn’t have a ton of settings, but that really makes a welcome break from the too large collections of options the competition frequently offers. You create a box around the thing you wish to monitor, press Start Tracking, and then decide whether you want a file of your own or a variety of mosaic blurs to follow the track. The thing you are tracking must be visible the entire time, and Filmora performs a superb job at both tracking people and objects. It would be wonderful to be able to utilize text or graphics in addition to the mosaic blurring as the mosaics aren’t always positioned on top of the track automatically.

in Wondershare Filmora’s Color Tools
You can access Color Correction or Color Match by clicking the advanced Color choices button above the timeline. The first presents a live histogram along with presets (such as Warm, Vignette, and Walking Dead) and settings for Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Vibrance, and Saturation. Although you don’t have access to color wheels like more modern editors offer, the control is still excellent. Color Match was a little puzzling at first, but I eventually understood that the tool would apply the color from the Reference image to the Current frame (along with the complete selected clip); the tool did this convincingly.

in Wondershare Filmora’s Color Match
Although the stabilization tool does show you how much of the content’s edges will be cut out—the more severe the crop, the more stability—I don’t appreciate the stretchy rubber-band appearance. The stabilization function in Filmora is useful, but programs with more sophisticated and efficient stabilization features include PowerDirector, Adobe Premiere Pro, Movavi, and Final Cut Pro X.

Changing the speed in Wondershare Filmora
Once more, the Speed adjustment tool is easy to use and efficient. It’s great to see that there’s a Freeze Frame option as well. You can choose Slow, Fast, Normal, or Reverse by simply tapping the button located above the timeline, followed by the fraction for Slow and a percent for Fast. Conveniently and legibly noted at the top of the clip in the timeline is the time change. You may even accelerate up while in reverse. A 2-second still clip of the current frame is all that is added by the freeze frame.

Only position, rotation, scale, and opacity may be utilized with keyframing, which has been added since my last look at the software. Although it’s a good beginning, certain applications, such as Pinnacle Studio, allow you to time pretty much any effect or transformation that is possible with keyframes.

Title and Text Effects
WonderShare Filmora titles
Filmora comes with more than 200 attractive text and title designs, some of which have interesting animations, making it simple to add titles and text. Right in the video preview window, you can adjust everything, even the beautifully designed title themes. You can further customize your text by changing the movement, typeface, and fill color using the Advanced Text Edit dialog.

PowerDirector and Premiere Elements’ ability to use video to fill in text letters is one flourish that is missing, but you can use a photo instead, which is very nice. You have a good assortment of objects and shapes to overlay on your movie in addition to text.

Audio and music
You can add your own music files to the 172 background tracks already present in Filmora’s Music section. The music is categorized into groups like Tender & Sentimental and Young & Bright. However, there isn’t an auto-fitting feature like in Premiere Elements. You can change the volume and panning of each track using an audio mixer. Audio may be easily ducked by dragging the timeline’s audio waves up and down. You can muffle background noise and adjust ducking, but PowerDirector offers acoustic effects that mimic concert halls and other venues.

Detecting Silence with Wondershare Filmora
activity of silence detecting
Auto Normalization and Silence Detection are two more recent technologies that are designated beta. Although there is a Denoise checkbox, the audio tools provided by Adobe and CyberLink’s products are more potent. On the plus side, there is a microphone button directly beneath the video preview window that makes it simple to record voiceovers.

Exchange and Product
The majority of output possibilities are available in Filmora, including AVI, FLV, HEVC, MKV, MOV, MP4, and WMV. Even an animated GIF option is available. The quality settings of Best, Better, and Good are available when exporting to one of the numerous file formats that are supported. Additionally, there are buttons for DVD burning and the creation and upload of videos to Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook. However, unlike some other video editors, you do not receive DVD menu displays or chapters. Both 4K and the more recent, effective H.265 codec are supported.

On my test machines, Filmora generally felt responsive, but a few times it froze up as I started exporting, and one export to Vimeo failed. As with Corel VideoStudio, GPU acceleration is off by default, so I ran my tests on a computer running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, a 3.4GHz Core i7 6700 CPU, 16GB RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5 RAM. But you may easily modify this in the Settings menu.

I make a movie with four mixed-type clips (some 1080p, some SD, some 4K), a standard set of transitions, and render it to a 1080p MPEG-4 clip at 15Mbps, H.264 High Profile, to measure render times. MPEG AAC Audio: 192 Kbps is used for the audio in the clip.

With a time of 1:16 for rendering the test movie, which is little under five minutes long, Filmora achieved an impressive result (minutes:seconds). This was considerably faster than Adobe Premiere Elements’ 4:10 and Corel VideoStudio’s 1:12 and significantly faster than PowerDirector’s and Premiere Pro’s times of 1:32 and 1:40.

On a Mac, use WonderShare Filmora.
Auto Reframe in WonderShare Filmora on the Mac
The macOS version of Filmora is largely the same as the Windows version, with the addition of a few new features, such as Auto Reframe, which crops wide content to fit into social-post sizes, such as the square Instagram format or the vertical phone view for “stories,” similar to recent features in Final Cut and Premiere Pro.

You can start a new project or access Auto Reframe’s two-finger tap menu option on a clip in the source panel to use it. When I tested this using video from a football game, my results, like with the comparable tools from Adobe and Apple, were inconclusive. Like the other two, Auto Reframe failed to keep the action in the middle of the frame.

Due to the lack of a Touch Bar in my Air and a fatal hard drive problem that occurred recently while running Final Cut on my prior MacBook Pro that had one, I was also unable to test the other significant new feature, support for the soon-to-be-discontinued Touch Bar.

Filmora took 4:55 (min., sec.) on my M1 Air performance test to complete the same project that took 1:12 on my Windows test PC. That is obviously not similar. As an example of the difference between an application that is M1-native (iMovie) and one that uses Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation engine to run current programs, the same project rendered in just 50 seconds in iMovie. A representative from Wondershare informed me that a native version would be released in July 2021.

More or Filmora?
Along with offering a variety of useful effects, text tools, and filters, as well as straightforward video cutting and solid output options, Wondershare Filmora boasts an eye-pleasing interface. Filmora should work well for enthusiastic video editors, and it has some of the fastest rendering times. However, those who truly dive into effects like stabilization and denoise would wish they had spent a little more money on more sophisticated software. Although Filmora is inexpensive, we still advise Final Cut Pro, PowerDirector, and VideoStudio, the Editors’ Choice winners for enthusiast video editing software, because to their more comprehensive tool sets, superior effects, and wide support for new methods and formats.

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