|Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12
|List Price: $129.99
Our Price: $89.95
You Save: $40.04 (31%)
Make your home movies look great without having to learn a difficult editing program. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 12 lets you take advantage of the latest HD video technologies, including Blu-ray and AVCHD. Its Montage theme based editing, designed by professional producers and artists, puts incredible creative power at your fingertips. Simply drag and drop your video and stills to preview your show - and watch your content come alive complete with Hollywood style multi-layered effects, animated graphics, titles and Hi-Fi audio. Edit and polish to your heart's content with the sleek interface. When you are finished, archive your video memories, publish them on YouTube or enjoy on DVDs and portable devices. Includes professional tools for titling, color correction, lighting and special effects, plus a green screen backdrop.
Windows XP with SP2 / Vista (32 bit Vista recommended) Intel Pentium / AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz or higher (2.4 GHz recommended) Intel Pentium HT / AMD Athlon 2.4 GHz or 1.6 GHz Dual core required for Vista Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or higher needed for AVCHD editing 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended) 1 GB needed for HD and/or Vista (2 GB recommended) 1.5 GB needed for AVCHD (2 GB required on Vista) DirectX 9 or higher graphics card with 64 MB (128 MB recommended) 128 MB needed on Vista (256 MB ATI Radeon9600+ or NVIDIA GeForce 6 or higher recommended) 256 MB needed for HD & AVCHD editing (ATI Radeon 9600+ or NVIDIA GeForce 6 or higher recommended) DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound card 1 GB of disk space to install & 3+ GB for bonus content DVD-ROM drive to install
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 12 lets you take advantage of the latest HD video editing technologies, including Blu-ray and AVCHD. All new Pinnacle Montage theme based editing--designed by professional producers and artists--puts incredible creative power at your fingertips. Simply drag and drop your video clips and still images to preview your movie--and watch your content come alive, complete with Hollywood style multi-layered effects, animated graphics, titles and Hi-Fi audio. Edit and polish to your heart's content with the sleek new video editing interface. When you are finished, archive your video memories, publish them on YouTube, or enjoy them on DVDs and portable devices.
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 12 includes professional software tools for titling, color correction, lighting and special effects, plus a green screen backdrop.
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 12 lets you take advantage of the latest HD video editing technologies, including Blu-ray and AVCHD.
Choose from more than a hundred Look presets, all neatly organized into 10 categories, to help set the mood for everything from a wedding to a film festival winner.
Watch your memories come alive with Pinnacle Montage.
Native HD support means you'll get the same pristine quality from your original source all the way to final output--without transcoding and in real-time
New--Pro video tools
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12 includes professional caliber tools for complete control of your productions.
Boris Graffiti--title & graphic animation
The most innovative titling tools in the industry are now at your fingertips. Easily craft sophisticated title animations including type on text, text on a path, jitter and randomization. Create 3D text with bump maps and reflections. An expansive Style Palette and the Boris Library Browser provide fast access to hundreds of preset effects and styles.
Magic Bullet Looks--Pro film styles
Whatever the location, the look of your footage sets the mood. Now you can define the style of your video or film, regardless of on-set conditions, with powerful imaging tools. Choose from more than a hundred Look presets, all neatly organized into 10 categories, to help set the mood for everything from a wedding to a film festival winner.
proDAD VitaScene--lighting, glows & more
Now you can achieve sophisticated effects and transitions that contribute greatly to the style and mood of your project: light rays, color matching, artistic film styles, and much more. Now it's easy to add those subtle details that give you professional looking results.
Green Sheet (approx. 5.95 ft x 5.58 ft) included in retail box version of Studio Ultimate version 12. Essential for creating high quality Chroma Key effects.
Complete HD Workflow
Your Story--Now in Dazzling HD
Pinnacle Studio Plus works natively with HDV and AVCHD footage. Native HD support means you'll get the same pristine quality from your original source all the way to final output--without transcoding and in real-time. You can even combine projects that mix standard and high definition video and photos for a final result in full HD resolution
Built-in HD Disc Burning
Burn your Hollywood-style movies on DVD and HD DVD format discs on standard DVD media. Natively author Blu-ray format discs with full motion menus. Or make AVCHD format discs on standard DVDs to play on Blu-ray players.
Watch your memories come alive
- Enjoy multi-track power without the complexity
Thanks to fantastic pre-built templates designed by professional producers and artists, Pinnacle Montage automatically generates all the necessary titles, effects and animations.
- Create multi-layer effects
Access to Picture-in-Picture, Chroma Key or A/B editing with two video tracks at the tip of your fingers.
- Mix your media together
Use all your media--photos, video, and music--to create a Hollywood-style movie.
- 11 themes with +80 templates including Video Wall, Album, Seasons and more
It's all in the Timeline.
With its sleek, scalable interface, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12 represents a stunning leap forward in workflow refinement and ease of use. Directly import your digital videos, photos and audio from a wide range of devices including DV, HDV and AVCHD camcorders, and digital still cameras. Automatic scene detection and clip creation gets your project off to a great start. You'll be editing your movie, fast!
Optimized for performance
Unleash the power of your computer. This means a faster, smoother experience while you work and in your final output.
Real-time multi-track editing
Create advanced effects like Chroma Key, graphics overlay and Picture-in-Picture (PIP).
Key frame-able 2D/3D motion graphics
Pick from hundreds of effects and transitions, and preview them in full quality, even in HD. If you ever need even more creative variety, add to your effects library with just a few simple clicks.
Scorefitter music generator
Automatically generate a rich soundtrack to match the length of your movie; now with 40+ source tracks that feature more choice, higher fidelity and increased accuracy.
New--Web publishing simplified
What fun is capturing your memories if you don't share them? In just One-Click share your movies with the world on popular web sites like YouTube and Yahoo! Video
New--Refined audio editing
New digital controls and monitors to add a dimension in sound to your movie.
Clean up and rejuvenate
Improve audio tracks, clean up video, enhance color, remove noise, and fix poor lighting to restore old, damaged footage--automatically.
New--Even more ways to share
Output movies to Sony PSP, Apple iPod, DivX certified players and even 3GP mobile phones. Export to Flash video too.
Built-in HD Disc Burning
Burn DVD, HD DVD and AVCHD format discs on standard DVD media. Natively author Blu-ray format discs with full motion menus.
Scalable user interface
Keeps tools at your fingertips. Adjustable windows are perfect for widescreen monitors.
- Take control of your videos with professional strength editing tools
- Capture, edit and burn: The complete native HD solution
- Define the style of your video or film, regardless of on-set conditions, with powerful imaging tools
- Share and archive your creations on DVD, YouTube, and more
- Includes: Boris Graffiti, Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks, proDAD VitaScene
- Frustrating and Disappointed
I have had similar problems with my system crashing under Studio 11 and 12 Ultimate. I even had to reformat my system (Vista 64 bit/ Intel q6600) because of the conflicts caused by Studio. It was even more frustrating with the Pinnacle cust. service help. I have wasted my money on Studio 11 and now 12. I bought 11 and was hoping that version 12 upgrade would fix all of the errors...I was wrong. Please don't waste your time and money on this product like I did. ...more info
- Nothing but a nightmare
I am going on 2 weeks without sound with little or no help. Basicly Pinncale support has sent me the same trouble shooting e-mail at least 6+ times. They elevate the problem and send you the same trouble shooting e-mail. Had the same issue with Studio 8 & 9 and they were able to fix it.
Also note I am note running anything spacial have an XPS, Windows XP system, sound works in all other applications except Studio. They are now blaming the other applications have unloaded and reloaded all different ways from Adam still no luck. have come accross many other users with same problem that have given up. waiting for one more responce and will be moving to a different product.
I will say I am dissapointed been a studio 9 user and if you can get beyond the set up issues that will certianly happen it's a good product.
took me a long time to get the guts to upgrade and now I remember why, it is a horror to get this product up and running, that is all versions 8,9,and 12....more info
- Better than Premiere Elements, but ...
I own Adobe Premiere Elements 3 and 4, so I am going to be comparing Pinnacle Studio to Premiere Elements.
I have been using the Studio Beta 12.1 downloaded from Pinnacle's web site, so this review reflects the Beta program.
Studio is a decent program, it has features similar to Premiere Elements. In general, Premiere Elements has more tuning features than Pinnacle Studio. For example, consider the task of rendering a movie to MPEG. Pinnacle Studio allows you to choose bitrate and frame size, and that's about it. Adobe Premiere also lets you choose I-frame and P-frame spacing, and field order.
On the other hand, Premiere Elements crashes a lot. Some of the features appearing in its menus simply don't work. It is my least favorite piece of software by a wide margin. No bug fixes either: Premiere Elements 4 has lived its entire life without an update from Adobe. Premiere Elements 7 has already been announced. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12 is quite new, yet a 12.1 beta is already available. Pinnacle wants to fix problems, that's great!
My issues with Pinnacle Studio all seem to involve high definition video output, which is probably not used by most customers of this program. Here are the issues I have found so far:
I cannot find a way to output 1080P (progressive) video. 1080I (interlaced) output is possible though.
A Studio "project" has to be created as a high definition project or a standard definition project. You can't have it both ways. If you try, certain features will fail to work properly.
In a project consisting of still photos (a slideshow project), I started off by manually creating the project as a high definition project. After much time spent editing and authoring, I found that 1080I output failed. The program popped up a warning "aspect ratio is incorrect." The solution is to NOT use the manual method to set the project as a HD project. Instead, drop a large JPEG onto the editing time line, and wait for the program to ask you if you want high definition or standard definition.
That last bit of awkwardness is an example of how unpleasant Pinnacle Studio can be. On the other hand, Adobe Premiere Elements is far more unpleasant in this regard, and it has other problems (stated above). In fact, I would dump Premiere Elements in favor of Pinnacle Studio, except for the fact that I really need 1080P output.
For folks that don't deal with high definition video, this is a nice program to use. Certainly, it is much better than Premiere Elements. If there is a better product in the same price range, please, someone speak up....more info
- Installation is painfully slow, awfully slow, horribly slow
The installation brings your computer almost to a halt. Took over two hours to get the software and its latest (online) update to install. It's like waiting for a 80's software install to complete. Who knows what it put on my machine b/c what could require that amount of memory. ...more info
- Great program for consumers--not for pros!
Let's put our expectations in check. This is not a professional video editing program. Pinnacle Studio 12 is an amazingly easy to master, simple to use program aimed for consumer video editors. As I noted in my USA TODAY video review (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yYZYjRLpvk&feature=user) it's a program to learn with; eventually you will want to step up to a more advanced program like Sony Vegas or Final Cut. Thanks to a cool new feature, called "Montage," you can create a "video wall," of multiple images--a great way to open your show. I demonstrate on the USA TODAY Talking Tech web video show. ...more info
- Poor Customer Support
In spite of it's reputation of being better and more stable than Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate, I have had so many installation issues that it's hard for me to judge at this point. The program crashes upon launch due to bugs in 3rd party plugins that you have the option to buy later installed in the program. I called technical support to assistance and I was told that I should visit their websites for solutions by a technician with attitude. I went to the website and found a fix for the one problem, but I had to go to the ProDad website to get a solution to the other issue. After many attempts I got that resolved.
I also had purchased some additonal effects and content packages, but they gave me a download instead of a physical CD shipment. The 4 of the 5 adds ons installed, one would not install at all. The ones that did install would not accept the serial number provided. I tried chat support this time and they could offer no help in resolving the issue. I asked for a physical shipment of the CDs and they ignored the request entirely. I am very angry as I paid a lot for this program and it's add on, I even purchased a training DVD and they have not been helpful at resolving the issues.
In hindsight I wish I'd bought Vegas Studio 9 Platinum Plus instead. If I can't get Pinnacle to refund my money, I don't think I'll be able to afford it right now though....more info
- Works fine for me
Had no problems installing and have been able to publish movies without problem. Little pricy though....more info
- Not at all Intuitive
I have five years+ under my belt working in a professional editing environment using an AVID, so I thought getting Pinnacle was the best solution for editing movies at home for youtube. Well, I guess it was the best solution considering I have a PC and not a MAC, and it isn't very expensive, but it is not intuitive at all to use.
The frustration started when I got the software. I was very exciting to get it and tried to install it after work the same night it arrived, but after about 3 attempts it just wouldn't load. I looked on-line for help and found instructions ranging from "restart your computer and try again" to resetting a bunch of information in the settings on my computer. The next morning, maybe after a night in the cool air, it installed right away. It should say, "Make sure your computer is cooled off and well rested before attempting to install" so that other people don't waste hours trying the install over and over again. But I did finally get it installed.
There are many things I am frustrated by each time I try and use the program. I have edited 2 projects and it isn't getting any easier. Right now I'm trying to make a DVD with chapters of the 4 youtube videos I've done to send to friends who do not have computers, and I run into problem after problem. My current problem is that I have 1 blank frame in my timeline which I can't figure out how to get rid of (when I try pushing my video up against it, it either deletes the video I'm pushing or it refuses to leave, not letting the video push), and my DVD won't render until it is gone. I didn't put a blank frame there, so I don't know where it came from. I haven't been able to figure out how to put blank frames in to my timeline yet, so I'm amazed I was able to get it to happen on accident.
The problem with on-line help in forums for a product like this is that there are so many variations on how it is used, that to find somenone who is doing the exact same thing I'm doing and having the exact same trouble is difficult, so even looking for help on-line is frustrating.
To be fair, I haven't read through the manual because I've been able to muddle through until now, but I'm going to be forced to look up the chapter on making a DVD with a menu/chapters before I can finish my latest project. But the controls I have been able to figure out on my own just aren't as intuitive (I'm back to that word) as on an AVID (which I have extensive manuals for which I haven't read all the way through and didn't need to read word one of to be up and running) or as I'm sure they would have been if I'd gone with Final Cut Pro. I'm mostly doing what the manual calls AB editing, maybe if I was doing the montage editing I wouldn't be encountering the same difficulties.
The program is not for someone who doesn't want to actually learn something new as there is a steep learning curve. I'll get there, but I suspect the program will still be klunky once I've figured it all out....more info
- Has alot of Variety in one box
First off being a Machinema fan. Where you take movies outta your video games and put them together to make a story or something to put on youtube such as with spore creatures or the sims 2. I admit I was getting bored with the regular old Windows Movie maker there was just only so much you can do with that. this add spice to life so to speak. You can add all sorts of special effects to any movie including your home made movies from your digital camera etc. green sheet effect etc. There is even burning software within for dvds and stuff I like it better then my Nero Software for making custom menus etc. After playing around with this for a few days or so I already have determined that this is going ot be my new favorite movie making and dvd burning and labeling software. IT adds so much. IT can almost make a movie director outta anyone even amatures who dont' know what they're doing kind of a thing. Goes great too with making sims 2 movies :) which is what I thought would be fun bout it why I selected it outta the lineup on the newletter this month. I am a real fan of movies made from video game animation aka machinema. Anyhow give this a try its well worth the price thats on the box you get so much outta it . Its lots of fun and great for the creative person. ...more info
- Beware Pinnacle's Duplicitous Practices
Pinnacle's Serial Numbers and Activation Keys expire after two years.
This applies to all Pinnacle software, not just software downloaded online. Activation Keys bought online AND Serial Numbers for software bought in retail stores only work for two years.
It's in the fine print - which you can't even see until you rip open the box (thereby forfeiting your right to a refund) and click the "Yes, I Agree" button during installation.
If you have to reinstall the program (or any part of it) two years and a day after buying it, you will have to completely repurchase the software.
What's especially fishy about Pinnacle is how it will suddenly start crashing at 2 years after initial installation. My video drivers stopped working at a point, I'd later realize, coincident with the 2 year anniversary of my having installed the Pinnacle software.
In trying to fix the suspiciously-timed program crash I was mystified to learn that a number clearly printed on a CD sleeve was suddenly "Not a Valid Serial Number." The Activation Keys I'd bought online, and had on file, were suddenly incorrect.
I contacted Pinnacle, who informed me of the two year statement in the agreement. Here is an excerpt from their email:
"The reason you are not able to obtain a redownload of your purchase is
that the Extended Download Service was not purchased with your download
and the time to purchase this service has expired. Unfortunately, this
means that in order to obtain the product, you will need to repurchase
Keep in mind - I was asking Pinnacle for no software. All I needed was a Serial Number and Activation Keys, because the Serial Number printed on the CD sleeve itself, and the Activation Keys I'd received two years earlier no longer worked.
Just something you might want to keep in mind before buying Pinnacle software....more info
- I prefer Adobe Premier
This wasn't bad, but Adobe Premier is more intuitive and blends well with Photoshop Elements. ...more info
- Nice package and easy setup.
I've noticed there are reviews which have crucified the DV import features and our package came with a note from Pinnacle with an invitation to contact Pinnacle for any reason.
Vista Business installation was easy and without hiccups and SP1 compatibility wasn't a question.
Friends of ours brought their Sony CX-12 HDV cam and we exported the video from the memory stick using the Sony software functionality then loaded it easily into Studio.
The number of effects are ridiculously enormous and gives you more options to stretch and transition frames and scenes in more combinations than most people will ever need.
The really nice touch was the green fabric background screen included in the box, this helps the author shape special effects with greatest neutrality and seamless effects.
- Mixed Experiences
I'll keep it short. I've used Pinnacle Studio since version 8. I've upgraded and used various add-ons and bonus packages. When it works it is wonderful and the best value hands down. When it doesn't work you will be frustrated and have absolutely nowhere to turn - except reviews like this one, and other forums. The Pinnacle support is horrible.
But, as I said, when it is good it is wonderful. I bought Ultimate 12 for the AVCHD support for my Canon Vixia HF100. It works wonderfully for everything except putting AVCHD on DVD's for my blu-ray player. There is currently an aspect ratio issue. However I can produce regular DVD's that are jaw-droppingly wonderful, so I'm not furious, just frustrated.
My advice to you. Read all these reviews. They're mixed, but there is good info there. Regarding AVCHD - make sure you have a honking computer to run this thing. Seriously - you must have a 3+ GHz dual core computer with 3 or 4 GB of RAM and two 500 GB disk minimum. Don't let anybody tell you that you can get by with less. Get the fastest CPU you can possibly afford because AVCHD is a resource hog.
Good luck! When it works it is wonderful and a great value....more info
- One word: horrible.
I have never had so much trouble with any product in my entire life!
Not only does it behave like something out of the DOS era, but the "ultimate" version requires that you pay extra for things like additional menus. The learning curve is eternal. Run away!!!!!...more info
- Definately not for a beginner
Warnings before you buy this product:
- not for amateurs in that it is not an intuitive product
- to use the blu-ray features then you need to have a blu-ray burner, which in 2008 prices mean a $600 additional expense as most current computers do not come with blu-ray burners
we found loading the software easy enough, but then we tried to load a HD movie from a panasonic pocket camera and we started having problems and errors alert. At first, the program did not recognize the format, but if you leave it running then the program renders the format into edit mode. Then to burn the dvd was relatively easy, pending on the speed of your computer. We use the idvid and imovie from Apple alot and found the former a lot more user friendly and sleaker than pinnacle product. In fact we found a lot of the available formats looked 'dated' in pinnacle - as much as 3 years ago.
Pinnacle may have come up with an improved product, but it is still far behind from a slick format and functionalities. We believe this product would work for an advanced home user with a PC; any semi pro to pros would be using Apple and not this product. ...more info
- Probably Awful...
Pinnacle cannot render itself out of a paper bag. Not being able to correctly render your own project files is pretty pathetic..... I do not own Studio 12 but after my experiences with Studio 11 you can bet I never will!!!!...more info
- Nice idea, horrible execution
Pinnacle Studio 12 is a nice idea at a nice price. But it was a total waste of money for me as it crashes my Vista system each and every time I use it. Subsequent research online has convinced me that this software has serious conflicts with Vista. No other piece of software I use causes anywhere near the problems I experience with Studio 12. It's more or less unusable for me.
Another nasty surprise was that Studio 12 won't even recognize the m2t files that I've pulled off my Canon HV20.
I wouldn't buy a Pinnacle product again....more info
- Frozen in Titles
I have owned Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12 for five weeks and used it for less than a week before it stalled in Titles. I have a top of the line computer for editing video. In fact I purchased a new computer with the idea of editing hi def video. I've been in contact with Pinnacle Support during these last few weeks, and they have yet to solve this problem. I've done everything they have asked of me and more, including hiring a computer expert to also try to help me. I've been a Pinnacle user since version 9, and have upgraded every time it was offered. Version 12 is not up to their standards, or at least not the standards I've been accustomed to. When I asked Pinnacle Support why they stated that their product was compatible with Vista Home Premium 64 bit their response was "well not really". ...more info
I was about to purchase Pinnacle 12 Studio Ultimate, but that disclosure of 2 years limit for installed software license has stopped me in my tracks. Thanks for that info.
- Not so Hot - awkward & time-consuming
I have worked with many video editing programs similar to this. Of course the high-buck professional ones are the way to go, but for this price range, I have not found one that has it all. Adobe Premiere and After Effects rule, but the trial version of Premiere shuts off the computer at startup, so I cannot rate that one yet. Magix Movie Edit Pro 12 is great except for the constant bugs and work-arounds. Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate has very limited bugs, but also has very limited clip maneuverability. You are limited to just two video tracks, and overlapping them and tweaking positioning and transitions is painfully awkward. As an editor, this is one of the worst downsides, because it eats up time and creativity. I'd rather work through some bugs, especially at half the price. I have not yet found a program that has all of the content as well as the freedom to work with it...more info
- What iMovie '08 Should Have Been
Let me start off by saying that I'm a Mac guy and I do a lot of video. I generally work with Final Cut Pro but often drop into iMovie '08 for projects that need to be done quickly without the need for precision editing. After spending a few hours with Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12, I'm almost ready to boot my Mac into Windows for those tasks I'd normally edit on iMovie.
1. Awesome plugins: It's funny, but what I like best about the Studio Ultimate are the parts of it not made by Pinnacle! Included on a second CD are titling effects from Boris and professional-grade color correction from Magic Bullet. Magic Bullet adds a 'film look' to your video as well as a number of other color related effects. Everything renders quickly and looks great.
Those two features alone usually cost several hundred bucks a piece (on top of the editing software), so their inclusion in the package certainly adds to its value.
2. Instant conversion from AVCHD. One of my complaints on the Mac side is that AVCHD video needs to be converted to an Apple codec prior to being edited. This usually adds a considerable amount of time to the workflow, as the video is 'ingested' at a rate usually double that of the length of the file (i.e. a ten minute clip takes twenty minutes to import). All Studio Ultimate needs is the drive letter for your card reader and the video is ready to be edited. Very cool.
3. Fast performance and mixed formats: Editing performance is very fast and responsive with fast render times too. Studio Ultimate also allows a mix of formats on the timeline. I tested editing a high definition AVCHD clip along with an included DV movie and all mixed together perfectly.
4. Green screen is included: Pinnacle even throws in a free green screen! It's large and can easily fit two people in front of it. A nice and thoughtful addition to the product.
5. Many export options: Outputting the video to something playable beyond the PC is very smartly implemented. Presets for basic exports (like YouTube and DVD) are available as well as fully customizable advanced settings into a variety of formats.
6. Multi-track video editing: Unlike iMovie '08 there are two video tracks that can be used for video overlays, etc.
1. Slightly complex: The developers tried their best to keep it simple and organized, but there is some complexity involved with doing anything beyond the basics. It's nothing that's not impossible to learn, but there are a few layers of menuing necessary to accomplish some effects tasks (like chroma keying or using a plugin). Additionally, the plugins (like the magic bullet software) all have their own interfaces separate from the studio interface. They also don't install themselves automatically, so you'll need to insert the second disc on your own to get access to them.
2. File management is confusing: Studio Ultimate forgoes the standard Windows file management routines and adds a multi-paged navigation to find items on your hard disk. Not very efficient and sometimes difficult to navigate back to where you started. It would be much easier to find files based on the standard windows file open dialog. When I did import an AVCHD file, it did not show up on the 'my movies' option on the file navigation window. I'm not sure exactly where it ended up!
3. AVCHD import follows a different workflow: The developers spent a lot of time with three simple top level tabs: Capture, edit, and "make movie." Unfortunately bringing AVCHD video in does not follow that same convention. It would be nice to have the AVCHD import options in the same place as the DV/HDV imports.
Video editing is a very complex task and many products have tried and failed to make the process fast and easy. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate is probably the best of breed for consumer video editing apps on any platform. It is a little more complex than iMovie on the Mac, but it also adds considerably more creative options that rival professional-grade applications. It will import footage from cameras as old as Digital 8 (and even VHS with added hardware) and mix that footage with the latest AVCHD offerings very efficiently.
Overall Pinnacle has an impressive offering that I highly recommended to Windows users. This Mac user is just a tad bit jealous.
- All-around prosumer/consumer video package
First, like several other reviews I am a prosumer photographer but I only dabble with video. I've been recording HD video with my Canon TX1 for close to a year now and thought Pinnacle Studio Ultimate would be a good compliment for me.
Installation was a snap with several customization options. It was the typical install without much fuss. I have used the software on both my Windows Vista machine and a Windows XP virtual machine. After a good bit of use, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate v12 has performed well on both setups.
I have been impressed by the number of templates and themes that are available in the software for menus, text, graphics, etc. Several of the features and plug-ins (such as Magic Bullet and Graffiti) are very neat but seem to be limited in overall capabilities. Coming from an amateur video guy that may not mean much, but I felt limited in some of the options. It was either take the default or deal with it. I say that with caution, as I also felt that the software package allowed me to create very nice videos with just a few clicks. Perfect for the consumer or amateur, but likely limiting for the professional.
The software ran well on my machine (but I do have a PC stocked with plenty of hard drive space, RAM, and CPU power). The export options were varied with everything to web publishing to mobile devices. Luckily I do not have any experience with Pinnacle's customer service as it appears that many customers have had complaints.
At the end of the day I consider this to be a good purchase. Are there better packages out there? Absolutely. However, for a consumer that dabbles in video I find this to be an excellent choice for the price. I may not be able to create superior videos, but Pinnacle Studio Ultimate does offer me the ability to kick things up a notch. ...more info
- Works reasonably well with AVCHD.
I set about evaluating video editing software after getting a Canon HF100 HD camcorder (excellent, by the way). I spent a lot of time with CyberLink's PowerDirector 7 as a free 30 day download. I found it excellent in every way except its proclivity for making coasters out of expensive, dual-layer DVDs, and it did a lot of that. Everything was great until I tried to actually burn a DVD. Since that just wasn't working out, I turned to my second choice: Studio 12.
First of all, they don't offer an evaluation download, and by that fact alone I would not have even considered it if PowerDirector 7 had worked. After reading the reviews, I decided to take a chance and actually buy it without evaluating it first. Definitely a risk, and Pinnacle ought to be slapped for making people do that with software this expensive.
Anyway, I was able to bring in to my project the HiDef (.dts) clips I'd downloaded from the memory card in the camera. I didn't even try to see if Studio 12 would recognize the camera connected via USB. I found editing reasonably easy, although I missed the multi-trim feature in PowerDirectory. Once I took the time to actually read the manual (PDF file), things went pretty well, although I liked the simplicity of PowerDirector better, and more intuitive. So when it finally came time to render and produce a DVD, I was anxious to see if this actually would work under Vista. PowerDirector would crash almost every time during the burning process. An important feature in Studio 12 that PowerDirector lacks (apparently) is the ability to create a true image file that can later be used directly in the tool to burn a DVD. PowerDirector will save a series of files in a directory of your choice, but it can't burn a DVD directly from them, at least not on my computer. Studio 12 was able to create both a standard DVD of the HD content (not in HD, of course), as well as a AVCHD disc of true HD content (menus don't work in this format, but you get real HD quality). Both products support burning to true Blu-Ray, but the discs are too expensive to waste if anything goes wrong.
Without going to a lot of detail about how to do things in either of these products, here's what I would advise:
Download CyberLink's PowerDirector 7 and give it a try. I liked every thing about it better EXCEPT when it came time to burn a DVD. I thought the interface was more intuitive, easier to use, and at least as powerful as Studio 12. If you're able to burn DVDs successfully with it every time, then go with it.
If, however, you have trouble creating DVDs due to program crashes (and they were frequent), take a chance and buy Studio 12. I have issues with being nickel and dimed to death to unlock stuff, and installation took forever, but in the end, I got functional DVDs with regular and HiDef content that work on my Blu-Ray player, and I could burn new copies from the image files created without re-rendering. I should mention that I did not attempt all the things mentioned in other reviews, so I can't vouch for whether they work or not. If you don't like it, well, good luck getting your money back. There are lots of cheaper packages out there if you don't need HD capability....more info
- Ridiculously good value
I'm not sure what some of the previous reviewers are talking about - my experience has been nothing short of terrific. I'm also a pro photographer and semi-pro videographer, and typically use Vegas Pro and Premiere. But I was having a hard time with my AVCHD files so I decided to try this. Honestly, I'm blown away. It handles my AVCHD files with no problems (I'm on a 2.4ghz Q6600, 8gb ram, Vista x64 machine).
The fact that Magic Bullet Looks is included is insane - that program costs $400 on it's own.
I've only been at it for a few hours, but if you have an AVCHD camcorder take the other reviews with a grain of salt and try it for yourself....more info
- Strictly a video editing program
This program will not process any other files except video files. I needed to be able to process any files. Studio is a comprehensive program if you are into video exclusively. Customer service could be better....more info
- Great package
I bought this version 12 ultimate from amazon the other week after weighing up the other options. I've used Premi¨¨re Elements and Sony Vegas before, but I thought I'd give Pinnacle a try this time. It turned out to be a good choice. Firstly this ultimate package offers you special effects and plugins that you don't get with Premi¨¨re Elements or sony vegas in the same price range. That was my main reason behind choosing it. Because editing footage at the end of the day is just splicing video into the order you want it. I can do that in movie maker. Pinnacle adds the extra creative dimension that makes your videos that bit more interesting to watch and put togther. The process becomes more creative and rewarding. 'Magic Bullet looks' for example. This allows you to change the look and colour timing of your footage to match many blockbuster films, Tv shows and music videos. Boris Graffiti gives you access to professional titling tools. You even get a Green Screen sheet with Pinnacle 12 Ultimate so you can do your own green screen effects stuff. I haven't tried that yet. I've been playing around with Pinnacle for a few days now and once you get to know it you love it. I can see why it has a dedicated number of followers. At a first glance it looks fairly plain and basic, but then you get to know it more and you find how intuitive and advanced the performance can be. I've found producing videos to be a pleasure rather than a chore. So I would recommend it. You might want to check you have a good enough PC to run it first. That's common sense though....more info
- User since Version 6
There's a lot of people that complain about Pinnacle Studio, but I like it. I've like it since I bought version 6, with the exception of version 10. I'll assume you tried a version of Pinnacle Studio for my review, and know what you like and don't like. Here's my take on it.
Pro's: My favorite thing about Pinnacle studio has always been the transitions and ease of adding transitions to videos. On earlier versions I would notice that when I would add to many transitions, the video would sometimes freeze during the transition or not show the transition at all. With version 12 One of my favorite things about this version of Pinnacle Studio is that the ruler turns green on the part you edited and renders after you make a change. This way you know Pinnacle Studio is doing something, and not just hanging. Because of that rendering, previewing the videos with transitions has dramatically improved. Adding transitions/montages with multiple screens is a lot easier with the drag and drop ability for setting the video/picture to the specific frames.
Cons: Nothing new. Price, not necessarily the price of the software, but the price to unlock the modules you like. And there are a lot of modules to unlock. If you like transitions like I do, you'll have to spend a lot more than the retail price to unlock everything. Either that or you'll need a keygen to generate the activation keys.
My advise to Pinnacle would be to add a trial version to there website, so you wouldn't have so many people bitching and complaining about how it runs on there PC. Maybe put Pinnacle Studio in the middle of the screen for whatever they render in the trial.
Hope my review was helpful.
Windows Vista Ultimate
2.8GHz Pentium D
2GB DDR2 667 Ram
320GB + 500GB SATA Hard Drives
ATI Radeon X1550 512MB Video Card...more info
- Best choice!
If you are new to video editing you will find these two items will get you off to a running start - Pinnacle Studio Ultimate and Complete Training for Pinnacle Studio 11 & 12 (shown on same page) The Pinnacle program easy to use; the training CD is the best I have ever seen - it walks you through the entire program. The training is a must have. I also purchased VideoStudio Pro X2; its support is poor and the telephone support is fee based. If you put any value on your time you will easily pay for the price difference. ...more info
- Horrible Customer Service
I was planning on purchasing this product, since i read about it's features in its web site. I have to say I was rather disappointed when i called in regards to many of the questions i had since i read many reviews here on Amazon. Poor customer service were the results, not only was the call a non 800 number, meaning you have to pay in order to receive information about the product, but the representative was incompetent and could not answer any of my questions. I was glad i didn't place the order and avoided the future headaches of calling pinnacle for support....more info
- New Version! - Still Awful!
The new top end version of Pinnacle Studio - 12.1 Ultimate incudes many new features. It is reasonably intuitive and easy to operate. It is also still far to buggy to use productively to ANY degree. Even on clean machine reboots it will still often freeze and/or throw error messages. On those occasions when you successfully create an edited movie file, the output will have random glitches and sound drop outs....more info