There are quite few options out there for video editing, from those included on your Mac or Windows computer to professional suites that can cost thousands of dollars, and I’ve tried quite a few of them. If you’re reading this review, you’re probably in the same boat. The goal is finding the balance between power, versatility, and ease of use. It was with that dilemma in mind that I jumped at the opportunity to review Magix’s new Video Pro X5 professional video software suite.
As a game development consultant and gaming journalist, I create and use a lot of video content. That content almost always needs to be edited before it’s delivered, online or otherwise. I work chiefly on a PC, although I do occasionally use a Mac. For really quick editing, Microsoft’s Movie Maker is a convenient option, but lacks many of the quick-to-implement features of Apple’s iMovie. My problem with iMovie concerns workflow. Its onboard video import options are very limited, and converting files adds time and often degrades the content. Although it is expensive, Magix’s Video Pro X5 solves most of those issues and then some.
It is worth noting that Magix does offer a number of lower-cost consumer alternatives to Video Pro X5, but if you’re a professional or semi-pro, Video Pro X5 represents a significant upgrade. Features like multi-format 3D and multiple-camera support are part of the product’s robust offerings.
The MultiCam editing feature conveniently syncs up to nine separate video tracks by their audio. This latest version also offers scalable proxy editing, which significantly reduces the load on your PC and the time spent waiting for rendering.
Video Pro X5 supports 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 8, Windos 7, Vista, and Windows XP 32-bit. The minimum system requirements include either an Intel or AMD dual core with 1 GB of RAM and 2 GB of hard drive space. They do recommend anIntel i7 or AMD Quad-core with 4 GB of RAM and a dedicated video card with at least 512 MB of video memory along with a multi-channel sound card. The program utilizes Direct X to take advantage of multi-core processors, and includes easy-to-use sound and image editors, although they aren’t nearly as robust as the stand alone alternatives.
You can import AVI, DV-AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, MXV, MVC, MXF, ProRes, DNxHD, DVCPRO, AVC-Intra, MKV, MJPEG, QuickTime, and WMV(HD) video files, though DVCPRO and AVC-Intra require users to purchase an activation. WAV, MP3, OGG, and WMA audio files can be imported and Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio can be decoded. JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG, PSD, and TGA images can also be included. All files can be pre-selected and are housed in project folder on screen. Users can then drag and drop these onto the timeline.
When you’re done, the video can be uploaded directly to Vimeo or YouTube, or burned to DVD or Blu-ray. The finished product can also be exported in AVI, DV-AVI, MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, QuickTime, and WMV(HD.) The audio can be extracted in WAV or MP3 formats and outputted in Dolby Digital Stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1. Stills can be grabbed in either JPEG, BMP. While there are certainly more possibilities, the offerings of Magix Video Pro X5 are fairly substantial.
Video Pro X5 certainly isn’t as intuitive as Apple’s iMovie, but Magix has included some nice templates, and of course you can’t Chroma key (blue screen, green screen) with the included software on a Mac.
There isn’t one software solution for everyone. At half the price of Adobe’s premium offering in video editing, Video Pro X5 is at least worth a look. There are plenty of specific video needs and lots options when it comes to meeting them. I found the Magix Video Pro X5 to be useable compromise of power, price, and versatility. They do offer a 30 day free trial version on their website if you’d like to give it a try.