Update: This review is for an older version. For the latest release, see our Wondershare Filmora 11.09 review.
Aiming for a wider userbase than most video editors, Wondershare Filmora9 is easy enough for beginners to use (if they don't mind a bit of a learning curve), but powerful enough to keep more demanding users happy. The 'suitable for all levels of ability' label is bandied around quite a lot, but it's entirely appropriate here. It says a lot about the program that it's possible to sit down and create something without the need to turn to any sort of guide.
When you learn that you have the option of working with up to 100 video track and 100 audio tracks, it gives you an idea of what you might be able to achieve – and that's before you even delve into the titles, transitions, effects and screen elements that can be used to transform you video from ordinary to extraordinary. While there are a huge number of free video editors to choose from, Filmora9 shows what a difference parting with some money can make to quality.
Wondershare offers three different plans for Filmora9. The annual plan costs a reasonable $39.99 per year (about £30, AU$60, currently on sale, down from $49.99), while the lifetime plan costs a one-off fee of $59.99 (about £45, AU$90, down from $69.99).
There's also the option of adding Filmstocks downloads for $9.99 (about £8, AU$15) per month (and there is a one-month free trial), which gives you unlimited video effect downloaded. The final option is the Annual Bundle Plan which includes a year's access to Filmora and unlimited downloads from Filmstocks for $99.87 per year (about about £75, AU$145, down from $159.87).
Anyone who's used a video editor will find Filmora9's interface to be very familiar – it has a very similar layout to many of its rivals, but has an indefinably more polished feel than others. The first step is to import media to work with, and there are numerous options here. as well as adding footage that's already on your computer, you can also pull content directly from a phone or camera, as well as from online resources such as Facebook. There's even a record option for grabbing footage from a webcam, or recording videos of on-screen action.
Automated scene detection does the hard work of splitting up lengthy clips into more manageable, ready for you to add to the workspace, apply effects, and drag to different timelines. As well as a range of strikingly decent effects and transitions, there are also numerous Split Screen options for creating various elaborate picture-in-picture layouts.
On-screen text, titles and onscreen elements (such as graphic overlays) are handled with equal aplomb, and it’s hard to find fault with what’s on offer. Completed projects can be saved in a variety of formats, burned to DVD, saved for specific devices, or upload directly to YouTube and Vimeo.
When you're working with effects, you'll quickly realise that you need to download them in order to use them. You can do these on an as-required basis, or opt to download everything at once. IT is at this point you'll discover that Wondershare has chosen to host its 1GB Effect Pack on Google Drive, with 'Desmond' indicated as being the owner; while there's nothing inherently wrong with this, it is a little strange, and a little unprofessional.
But the results you can achieve with Filmora9 are far from unprofessional. It's worth taking the trial version of the program for a test drive, bearing in mind that anything you export will be watermarked. If you're impressed – as we think you will be – you can upgrade to the paid-for version and export a clean version of your creation.
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- Check out our guide to the best free video editing software
You might also want to check out our review for Wondershare Recoverit (opens in new tab)