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Magix Movie Edit Pro 2015 review

Ben Pitt
13 Feb 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
99
inc VAT

Packed with powerful features, but Magix Movie Edit Pro demands a fair amount of patience from its users.

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Specifications

OS Support: Windows 7/8/8.1, Minimum CPU: Dual-core 2.4GHz (Quad 2.8GHz for HD), Minimum GPU: 512MB for HD, Minimum RAM: 1GB (4GB for HD), Hard disk space: 2GB

Home video producers are spoilt for choice, with seven editing packages vying for their business. Movie Edit Pro hasn't been our favourite in the past, but Magix is looking to change that with this latest update.

It's not lacking in features, with 99 tracks that can accommodate any combination of video, audio and graphic files. Ripple-editing options let the user dictate what happens to clips located downstream on the timeline when earlier ones are edited – a valuable feature for complex projects that's notably absent from most consumer editors. 

Our chief complaint with previous versions has been the unwieldy interface that makes it hard to locate and use features. As such, we were delighted to see a redesigned user interface listed among the new features. Our excitement was short-lived, though; the redesign appears to be purely cosmetic, with a few redesigned and relocated buttons but no change to the sprawling menus and confusingly named features.

Movie Edit Pro is finally an entirely 64-bit application, which bodes well for preview smoothness. However, our hopes were dashed once again. The previous version was able to play seven simultaneous 1080p AVCHD streams on our Core i7 870 test PC with 8GB RAM. Loading the same project in Movie Edit Pro 2015, playback began smoothly but stuttered badly about every ten seconds. We had to reduce the number of stacked video streams to five before smooth playback was re-established.

As with previous version, Movie Edit Pro 2015 comes in three editions. The standard version (without a suffix) costs £60. Movie Edit Pro 2015 Plus adds various additional features including surround sound, custom disc menu design and 3D video support. There's a NewBlue Titler EX plug-in for designing 3D titles – a welcome addition but confusingly located under the Effects rather Title tab.

^ Multicam mode now supports up to four video streams

It also includes a multi-camera editing mode that's designed for events that were shot with two or more cameras, simplifying the process of synchronising them and cutting between them. This mode now supports up to four cameras, which is a significant improvement on the two-camera support introduced in Movie Edit Pro 2013. Cyberlink PowerDirector has a similar feature, but we much prefer Magix's implementation because it integrates simply and neatly with the main timeline controls.

The Plus edition also introduces a new effect for removing fish-eye lens distortions. This is particularly useful for GoPro Hero and other action cameras that have fish-eye lenses. The correction is performed manually rather than using profiles for specific lenses, but it worked well enough for our Hero 3 Black Edition footage. We took the opportunity to test Movie Edit Pro's stabilisation, but it fell short of the standard of the recently upgraded stabilisation in Adobe Premiere Elements (see Reviews, Shopper 323).

^ Correction for fish-eye lenses should prove useful for action cam footage

Another feature that's reserved for the Plus edition is proxy editing. This swaps high-definition video for lower-resolution copies to enable smoother previews, returning to the originals for export. It's an extremely valuable feature for 4K editing, and for HD editing on modest hardware. It's just a shame it's not better signposted. This kind of technology should be on by default for 4K footage, or at least offered when importing it. 

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