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Magix Video Pro X7 review

Ben Pitt
4 May 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
349
inc VAT

Streamlined timeline controls and superb shake reduction processing, but Video Pro X7's other effects don't match the high price

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Specifications

OS Support: Windows 7/8, Minimum CPU: Dual-core 2.4GHz (quad-core 2.8GHz recommended), Minimum GPU: 512MB DirectX 11 recommended, Minimum RAM: 2GB (4GB recommended), Hard disk space: 4GB

Magix Video Pro X is video-editing software aimed at professional and ambitious amateur users. In many ways it resembles the consumer-oriented Magix Movie Edit Pro, which has impressed us in the past with its advanced features but less so for attention to detail and ease of use. At £349, Video Pro X7 has its work cut out to compete with Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Apple Final Cut Pro.

It quickly became apparent that this is a much more capable editor than its consumer-oriented sibling. We had no problems importing, editing and exporting at 2.7K and 4K resolutions. We were perplexed to find no 1080-25p options among the project templates but the software automatically matched the project settings to imported media.

There's support for nested sequences, so complex sections of a project can be packed away in a dedicated timeline. Keyframe automation includes independent keyframe lanes for each parameter plus the option to edit automation envelopes using Bézier handles. This is vital for giving animated objects a sense of momentum and inertia, and something that remains annoyingly absent from Vegas Pro. It doesn't match Premiere Pro's ability to define Bézier curves for both position and speed, though, and Magix's controls were trickier to manipulate.

Keyframe animation includes curved-based editing but it can be a little fiddly

There are a few features in common with Movie Edit Pro that we welcome, such as the responsive timeline controls with neat shortcuts to fade clips in and out, reduce their opacity and dissolve from one to another. Ripple editing is neatly implemented, with three modes that behave exactly as expected. It's easy to copy and paste some or all effects settings between timeline objects.

Preview performance was mostly excellent. 4K footage from a Panasonic GH4 played back smoothly with colour correction. Transitions caused the preview to falter but it's easy to render specific sections of the timeline for smooth playback. Layering multiple 1080p clips gave variable results. It could play five streams consistently smoothly, but adding more resulted in sporadic slowdowns.

The effects section falls short of the standard set by its competitors. Colour correction is a little better than in Movie Edit Pro with three-way colour wheels for shadows, mid-tones and highlights, but there's a notable lack of curve-based colour correction and no option to apply correction to a limited range of tones. There are no blend modes for combining layers in creative ways, except for a Mix option that can't be used in conjunction with chroma keying. The chroma keying itself is reasonably well implemented but there's no mask facility to remove areas of the frame manually. It's possible to apply a mask to an effect, but only by importing a bitmap file.

Chroma keying works well but without dynamic masking tools it's all but useless

Most other creative effects are limited to single-slider processes that do little to flatter or interact with footage, and many of these can't be keyframe animated. It's impossible to change the order of effects, which can limit what's possible in some instances. For example, applying a blur followed by chroma keying looks entirely different to applying them in the reverse order. In fact, applying these two effects caused the chroma key effect to cease functioning at all. On the upside, many of Video Pro's effects are GPU-accelerated, and we were able to stack lots of them up without damaging preview performance.

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