Do you have the right tools for success on YouTube? As the video platform continues to dominate social media, indie branding, and grassroots marketing, having the right program for short-form video editing has never been more important. Enter Wondershare’s Filmora, a simple and easy-to-use video editor that’s beginner friendly—and good for video editing on the fly.

How easy? We tried it out with some of our stock footage to see how it stacked up compared to industry mainstays like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro.

Available for both Mac OS and Windows, you can download a free watermarked trial of the program, or purchase a registered Filmora license for either $44.99 a year for Mac users and $39.99 for Windows users—or $59.99 for a lifetime license. With the lifetime license option and reasonable pricing, this makes Filmora highly competitive compared to the steep price tags of industry leading editing programs (Adobe Premiere Elements will run you $99.99). Once you’ve paid for a registered Filmora license, watermarks are removed from exports and you gain access to additional effects, plus 24/7 customer support.

The biggest difference between the Mac OS and Windows versions of the program is that the Windows version includes an Easy editing mode and freeze frame. Otherwise, both versions are fairly comparable.

 
Video Editor
(We test drove Filmora for Mac OS.)

So here’s what Filmora can do:

 

Features

 
Full Editor
Filmora’s three-panel full editor will feel familiar to those with experience in other editing programs, with the standard workflow layout for source content, video preview, and timeline. The presentation is clean, allowing for working with multiple video or audio clips, and the timeline is magnetic, quickly and intuitively snapping clips into place.

Filmora includes 100 transitions to apply to your footage, categorized by either Fancy or Basic. The editor also includes color editing, filters, overlays, elements, split screens, and text effects.

 
Video Editor
(Filmora’s filter options.)

 
Video Editor
(Filmora’s transition options.)

 
Easy Mode
The program’s beginner-friendly mode is perfect for novice film editors—or those who are looking for a highly simplified workflow without all the bells and whistles. Adding clips is as straightforward as drag and drop, and then edit by applying templated themes, music, and titles. Et voila! Your video is complete.

For filmmakers looking for precise editing control or the versatility of special functions like freeze frame or brightness control, Easy Mode probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re new to film editing or are looking for a workaround to the finicky workflow of most standard editing programs, this is the perfect place to start.

 
Action Cam
Filmora’s action camera mode highlights tools for an action editing workflow, including Fix, Speed, and Color. Here’s the breakdown of each tool:

  • Fix: Lens fisheye correction, stabilization, and denoise
  • Speed: Freeze frame, speed up, slow down, and repeat
  • Color: Saturation, tint, temperature, brightness, and contrast

Because of the easy-to-use workflow, you’ll need to import a single file at a time until you achieve your desired cinematic look and feel. It’s important to note that the action cam is not intended as a multiclip editor. You’ll need to export clips from the Action Cam and then incorporate them into your project in either the Easy Mode or Full Editor mode.

 
Instant Cutter
Like the Action Cam, this mode is single-purpose and is not meant for full video editing (for that you’ll want to work with the Full Editor or in Easy Mode). However, Instant Cutter is useful for quickly trimming clips before moving into your main editing workflow.

 

Summary

 
Pros
Designed to be beginner and novice friendly, Filmora reduces user friction with its Easy Mode and its straightforward three panel interface in the Full Editor, while the single-purpose Action Cam and Instant Cutter modes provide additional functionality and value. Beyond the ease of use, Filmora’s strongest attraction is the effects, text tools, and filters packaged in with the editor. At the competitive price of $59.99 for a lifetime license, users gain a powerful basic editing tool for a fraction of the cost of industry mainstays.

 
Video Editor
(Filmora’s text effect selections)

 
Cons
Veteran film editors will likely find Filmora’s beginner-friendly approach over simplified for their needs. While the program includes an impressive set of built-in effects and basic tools, those who are used to the versatility of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere will find Filmora somewhat limiting.

Want to test drive Filmora for yourself? Try it here. Then, you can download some of our stock footage and start experimenting—and don’t forget to check out their Guide to YouTube Video Editing Tools.