Ever wanted to create more types of content, but GIFs weren’t for you, voiceovers didn’t appeal to you and video editors were too expensive? You’re in luck, Filmora is a simple and fun video editor that you can use for your Content Marketing.
Filmora can do all the basic things you’d expect from a video editor:
- Split a video file
- Extract audio from a video file
- Add transitions
- Export in multiple formats
- Add music and text effects
It can also do a few things that are considered basic by the newer generation of kids, shooting and editing videos on their smartphones. It can add custom elements like balloons, animated love signs, stickers, stars, etc.
While they’re not all terrific (some are downright Microsoft PowerPoint Clip art awful), you can find a few that can work in some instances. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear what’s editable and what’s not.
For example, Elements seem to be static and non-editable, while Text/Credit effects are editable – but only text. There’s an element I played around with: a simple The End credit piece, with an arrow underneath it and another piece of text under that. The arrow just wouldn’t want to be another color other than the preset white.
I even ended up going into an advanced animation editor, but I still couldn’t change its color. If that’s possible, it’s beyond me.
I do enjoy having all the different element types organized on a specific timeline, instead of jumbled together.
Overall, I do find jumping from Vegas and Camtasia into Filmora is an easy transition to make, even though some interface design choices are a bit confusing. I really enjoy the fact that I can switch from white to black in terms of interface color. It’s a small welcomed addition.
Since I’ve talked about this side of the interface for a bit, I thought it’s important to mention a few things about it.
The timeline is stuck at 25 fps, no matter what type of video you input. Surprisingly, the exported files work just fine. Perhaps it’s just one of those small fixes they can take care of in the next version (although I’ve read it’s been like this since version 6).
The scroll wheel doesn’t really help in the timeline view. It only goes up and down through the different types of tracks (elements, videos, text, etc.). I really wish it zoomed in, like in other video editors. The zoom is done via a set of 2 magnifying glass icons. Not even the + and – signs on the keyboard do anything. A few more of these keyboard shortcuts and I really would’ve felt at home using Filmora.
Some things you can drag and move, others you can’t. Effect elements are easy to move, while standard media (images and videos) just won’t budge while you drag them to the left or right.
While Vegas had a few ways of splitting a video, Filmora has only one: go to the point in the video where you want to cut and use the Scissors icon to do just that. At first, I didn’t know how to use it, since it was inactive, but that was just because I was at the beginning of the video – there wasn’t anything to cut there. Also, if you want to cut more than one layer/track, you have to select all of them. You can just move the timeline slider and cut to impact all tracks.
Some added bonuses are:
- Royalty-free audio tracks (21 in total, across multiple genres)
- Special overlays you can preview over your video in real time
- Built-in message center (with 11 YouTube tutorials you can watch directly in the app)
- Free downloadable effects and elements
- Upload your video directly to Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook
While burning videos to a DVD, sunset overlays or YouTube uploading sounds advanced for 1999, not now, I do appreciate a few features that cater to an audience that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of complicated video editors.
I find the complete package to be more than enough for what I want to use it for – Content Marketing.
I plan on creating small ebooks from my articles, turning those into presentations and using Filmora to animate them.
Since I’ve been doing courses, I’ve been looking for a simpler alternative to PowerPoint+Camtasia and this app seems to have won me over. Course chapter titles will look stunning with easy, drag-and-drop, text effects.
Having an integrated screen recorder means I can create more in-depth reviews for this blog or my YouTube channel.
Anywhere you look, in terms of sharing and spreading your content, Filmora seems to have you covered. That is, if you can excuse its missteps and ignore some errors and issues.
Filmora vs Sony Vegas
The very first time I edited a video, I used Sony Vegas. Some might’ve passed through Windows Movie Maker, but it just didn’t appeal to me. Adobe’s suite of editing apps seem to complicated for me.
Vegas provides a great interface and lots of exporting options. When I was using a DSLR (Canon T2i) to shoot videos, I thought I needed to know the difference between CBR and VBR, 2000 kbps and 4000 kbps. And while those are great, I grew tired of all the different boxes I had to tick to actually export a video. It became too cumbersome and time-consuming.
Filmora seems to fit the bill in terms of what I want – I don’t need to know the difference between MP4 and M4V; I would like to have an estimate of the file size before I actually render the file.
Where Wondershare’s app fails me is in terms of ease of use. Multiple timelines are great, but Sony’s offering laid out everyhing on 2 basic tracks:
- Video, images, effects
It made sense, since I had to sync voiceovers or add a custom audio track at a certain point in the video.
With Filmora, I imagine I’d have to keep track of more than 2 basic tracks, since each type of file is its own track. For this reason, I don’t see myself editing a large, real-life project in Wondershare’s app.
That isn’t to say it’s a bad app compared to Sony Vegas, it’s just doing different things for different people. And from my time with it (past 2 weeks), Filmora does that pretty well. Once you get the workflow right, getting a new Content Marketing piece is a walk in the park (excluding rendering times, of course).
If I had to compare the 2 on a more general level, Sony Vegas is for the careful, considerate, patient editor, who doesn’t really care about how the interface looks. Wondershare Filmora is more for the millennial crowd, with a clean, streamlined interface, fast drag-and-drop effects that make your holiday or day to day pictures really pop.
Filmora vs TechSmith Camtasia
Camtasia’s definitely my go to app for recording and editing video coming from my computer screen. The complete workflow makes so much sense – it feels like the app makers are video creators themselves.
It’s hard to describe it to someone who hasn’t been using similar software before, but the differences aren’t very specific. It’s more that Camtasia “feels” professional, while Filmora feels like it still needs a bit of growing up to do.
Camtasia’s not perfect either – there have been plenty of times when I couldn’t find an option because I needed to resize a panel or because it was hidden behind a weird menu structure.
I wish the scroll wheel would have an effect on the timeline, in Techsmith’s offering. It does zoom the video, which is the least it could do.
Exporting a file in Filmora is much simpler and cleaner than in any of these 2 alternatives. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of control – you just want the files rendered and that’s the end of it. Camtasia sometimes looks like it’s trying to overcompensate it’s bland/standard interface with an enormous amount of features – some only aimed towards experts or video editors.
If we’ve learned anything from Final Cut Pro X is that simplicity will win, All those expert features can still be there, as long as they’re neatly organized and out of way. Unfortunately for Camtasia, most features are always activated. You can’t simplify the interface or the options panel.
Filmora takes the other route – it gives you just enough options to create beautiful videos, fast. And once you’re ready to add advanced effects, filters, etc. you can find these in the app (you just have to do a bit of digging).
Since Filmora moves in a few circles (screen recorder, video editor, video enhancer), it’s hard to pin down an exact competitor. It’s unfair to compare it with apps that cost more than 10X its price (even though I just did that, above). So here is a selection of more apps that do part or all of what Filmora does.
- Capto (Mac only)
- ZS4 Video Editor
- VideoPad Video Editor
- VSDC Free Video Editor
- WeVideo (more of a web service than an actual app)
There really is a video editor for anyone, any need and any budget. You just have to figure out what your plans are, what you want to achieve. And then choose accordingly. Since most are free or offer a trial, you can choose a few and see if they fit your needs.
Pricing And Limitations
Filmora costs $29,99 per year or $49,99 forever. The price goes up if you want the Mac version (for some reason) and if you want to install the software on more than one computer.
Then there are effects packs. Some are free, some cost $14,99 each. But there are always deals available (now there’s one where you can get 2 for $19,99). These really do bring value, providing very specific overlays, titles, transitions and filters.
Think of effects packs not as pointless upsells, but rather game DLCs. Developed by the same people, adding more functionality to an already well-rounded product.
In terms of limitations, the free/trial version only has 1: a giant watermark across your entire video. Besides that, it’s the fully functional Filmora video editor.
There’s a lot to love about Filmora. There are also a few things that the software needs to get right before it will be adopted by a larger community. Things like the 25 fps timeline, the giant watermark in the trial version and little specific app quirks you need to get used to.
In the end, once you get used to the interface and create your own video creating workflow, you should feel right at home using Filmora editing basic videos, making boring ones awesome and pumping out a lot more content marketing pieces.
Wondershare Filmora Video EditorDollars for Personal Use49
Look and feel9/10
Ease of use8/10
- Great, fun app, with free add-ons
- Awesome for content marketing
- Extremely simple to learn to use
- Familiar timeline
- Built-in screen recorder and voice-over creator
- At times a bit simplistic
- Timeline is just 25 fps
- Sometimes takes too long to load/render
- No expert editing options
- Giant watermark in the free version