I don't think the cinerender physical renderer will be on par with a dedicated engine like maxwell, however: there are a lot of cinema 4d tutorials you can find to get you along, the preview is quick to give a good indication of materials/colour, it works fine for still images and there is no extra cost for getting a seperate engine.
Also kind of depends on your platform. MAC is kind of limited to high end CPU rendering, I'd say, whereas GPU rendering seems quite popular for windows machines.
I think actually the biggest disadvantage is the missing possibility to output channels.
But still, Maxwell is an unbiased renderer and treated properly it will produce pictures with the highest quality.
AC 24 [ger] | Win 10 | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text | «Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»