Magix is a bit of a sleeper as far as movie editors go, and honestly it does fall short in some of the higher level features that you’ll find in the big dogs like Final Cut and Adobe Premiere. But let’s start with the basics of what makes it great for a beginner, and that’s the fact that, well, it handles the basics really well. First off, it’ll run on most modern Windows machines, up through Windows 10, which is great for beginners because those people most likely won’t have the budget or desire to shell out for a Mac. So it’s software that will work out of the box for your affordable Windows machine. According to their website, the software has been going strong for 15 years, delivering upwards of 93 percent customer satisfaction on its iterations.
Premiere Clip is perfect for creatives whose videos are bound for social media channels like YouTube and Instagram. You can easily import video clips from places like your phone, Lightroom, Creative Cloud and Dropbox, and then use the app’s Freeform editor to trim or split clips, adjust exposure and highlights, add audio and more. And, of course, you can add filters, which is a given in today’s social media sphere.
Then, along comes the EOS M5 and M6. I was reluctant to take the plunge due to slow-focusing issues I'd read about. I wanted the smallest possible camera but very high quality. Then, I read that the M6 has a nearly identical APS-C sensor to the new 80D - which has even better dynamic range than my 7D Mii. Then, I thought "but it doesn't have a viewfinder." Well, heck, I take photos all the time with my phone. So, I ordered the M6 with the 15-45 kit lens. I took many test photos. The camera is very easy to work with and I was pleased with the results. Compared to my previous Canon glass, M-lenses are tiny, but they're sharp. Plus, any small faults can be corrected in software. I don't really miss the viewfinder but there is one available to attach to the hot shoe. The controls are intuitive and the touchscreen is a joy to use. Manual exposure is easy to dial in quickly.
However, simple editing can be done on the cheap if you’re willing to ditch powerful, high-end software such as Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere, in favor of a more modest program. Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be taking home the Palme d’Or with the film you cut on your laptop, but your home movies and YouTube uploads can take on a whole new shine with a few straightforward tools.
Support for 4K video source content has become pretty standard in video editing software, but the support varies among the products. For example, some but not all of the applications can import Sony XAVC and XAVC-S formats, which are used by Sony's popular DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, and professional video cameras. The same holds true for the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Most of the applications here now can import and export HEVC, though there are still a few holdouts.
For our speed comparison, we tested all of the Windows and cross-platform video editing software on an HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop running Windows 10 Home. The laptop's 64-bit Intel Core i5 processor, with a 5200U CPU, runs at 2.2 GHz on an Intel HD Graphics 5500 system and has 8GB of RAM. We tested iMovie on a MacBook Air (late 2013) with a 1.7-GHz Intel Core i7 processor, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and 8GB of RAM, and running macOS Sierra v. 10.12.1.
We combined a text opener with five clips linked by a cross-fade-type transition into a 2.5-minute video shot at 60 frames per second, and rendered the projects to the MPEG-4 format at 720p. We timed rendering at both 60 fps and 30 fps. We adjusted settings to take advantage of hardware acceleration for all tests whenever possible, setting them in either the preferences or the rendering controls for the best speeds. Apple’s iMovie, the lone Mac-only app, is not included in the timed comparisons.