Best Video Editing Software – November 2012 (Part 2)

12/5/2012 2:53:04 PM

Price: $120


Many of the features we disliked about Magix Movie Edit Pro last year still bother us on this latest version. When you delete a clip, the separate parts don’t automatically join together; exporting our video took almost five minutes; playback is jerky; and there is often a delay when viewing real-time previews. We also had to register with Magix to get access to the full range of features, despite having already paid for them.

Description: Magix offers more precise customization options

Magix offers more precise customization options

On the plus side, menus and titles are intelligently labeled, so it’s easy to find your way around tabs and options.

We also liked having tools and effects built into clips on the timeline. For example, you can get straight to common effects by clicking the AB button on the clip; change the brightness by pulling down a virtual blind; and get to popular tools from the right-click context menu. This makes editing much faster because you don’t have to switch between tabs and menus to access many of its options.

Magix has the same range of transitions as the other programs we tested, but offers more precise customization options. When you put a transition onto the timeline, it sits across the join between two clips, rather than at the end of one or the start of the other. Magix was the only program to do this and it made a noticeable difference to the level of control over transitions, making our videos look smoother and more professional.

In addition, the audio mixer was the most precise in our tests, and the image-stabilising tool was the most accurate. Another small but useful extra is tabbed timelines, which let you edit multiple videos simultaneously.


Magix narrowly missed out on a place in the top three. It has some great features that are within easy reach and simple to use, but exporting videos takes ages. The software struggled with playback and previews when editing our HD file, and it often stopped responding for seconds at a time. It was easier to use than PowerDirector, but didn’t perform as well.

Corel VideoStudio Pro X5

Price: $90


Corel has hardly touched the layout and design of VideoStudio since we looked at it last year, which will please regular users but makes the software look dated. However, there are some unique new features, including built-in screen recording, and you now get HTML5 output and an updated template library. It’s also one of only three programs (along with Magix and Premiere Elements) that lets you fully customize your workspace. But tools and edits are buried within menus and subfolders, which slows down the editing process, as does switching between tabs.

Description: Corel VideoStudio Pro X5

Corel VideoStudio Pro X5

It imported files in just seven seconds, but took six minutes and 45 seconds to export our finished video (the slowest software here). Playback was often jerky and the final video quality, especially of title graphics, didn’t match up to the others.


Corel VideoStudio X5 has a couple of standout features that impressed us, but its dated design doesn’t live up to the fresher-looking award winners, and the final quality of its movies isn’t as slick.

Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12

Price: $90


All our award winners have a wide range of features, catering to both beginners and advanced video editors. However, Movie Studio Platinum 12 is over-complicated and fiddly, and would baffle even the most experienced editors, let alone a novice. For example, there are sometimes up to three different ways o perform the same task, such as splitting a clip. This is unnecessary.

Description: Because the edits are so sophisticated, they look polished and refined when you get them right

Because the edits are so sophisticated, they look polished and refined when you get them right

The software doesn’t include any wizards, or simpler versions of complicated edits, so it takes a while to get to grips with. The grey design is also rather uninspiring.

Because the edits are so sophisticated, they look polished and refined when you get them right. As a result, Sony’s finished video looks the most professional of the lot, and the software handles HD videos with ease.


You get lots of features, high-quality editing and a strong performance for your money with Sony’s Movie Studio Platinum, but you need it invest a lot of time and patience in perfecting how to use it.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

Price: $150


We found Pinnacle Studio 16 frustrating to use. It’s meant to have fused the best bits of both Pinnacle 15 and Avid Studio (last year’s Silver Award-winner, which has been discontinued as a product in its own right), but it’s made the software more complicated. The layout is messy, with dozens of icons, and it’s not clear what each one does.

Performance is particularly poor. The program took five minutes to launch, importing a video took over a minute and, at times, there was a noticeable lag when opening a menu.

Description: Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

Pinnacle has similar features to other software but they’re hidden away. However, when you do find them, they’re sophisticated, and our finished video looked professional. It’s not enough to win us over, though.


Pinnacle Studio 16 fell short of the mark in just about every category. It’s expensive, slow and difficult to use. The software is confusing and less user friendly than previous versions.

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