Serif MoviePlus X5 review

£52
Price when reviewed

Trying to buy video-editing software today is a bit like buying PC in the 1990s – it’s a tricky business, and what you end up with may be far more complex than you’d ever bargained for. That’s certainly the case if you opt for our A List choice, Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10, which, although excellent, is daunting the first time you load it up. Serif’s MoviePlus X5 claims to offer a slightly easier route to producing quality home movies.

With that in mind, there’s plenty of up-front assistance on offer. The main window has a How To pane permanently resident next to the Preview pane, and the splash screen gives quick, one-click access to a host of hints and tips. The sample projects are particularly helpful, demonstrating how to achieve advanced effects such as tilt-shift and chroma key. They also feature notes on the video itself, explaining exactly what’s going on.

Serif MoviePlus X5

More critical to ease of use is that MoviePlus is a snappy performer. The timeline controls are highly responsive – we’ve experienced sluggish performance with other video-editing software in the past (Cyberlink PowerDirector, we’re looking at you) – and preview smoothness is good too.
As with Sony’s video editor, you can vary the quality of the preview to suit your hardware, and if that isn’t enough MoviePlus also offers proxy editing – a feature Vegas doesn’t support.

This is where demanding AVCHD clips are automatically rendered to lower resolution files in the background for smoother editing, with the software reverting to the original, high quality file for final output.

What this means on a practical level is that users with modestly powerful laptops and PCs (despite the lack of a 64-bit version) should be able to edit and preview simple projects smoothly, without experiencing stutter.

Details

Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no

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