Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12

Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12Programs as complicated as Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12 wouldn’t ordinarily merit a Reviewer’s Choice designation because they might compare poorly to similar programs that are easier to learn. But the robust capabilities and advanced features of Avid Technology’s software make up for its learning curve.


Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12

Pros: Powerful cutting-edge features with a sophisticated interface.
Cons: Complicated and time-consuming to learn.

Performance: A
Features: A+
Ease of use: B-
Value: A-
Compatibility: B+
Price: $130
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For $130, you get a video-editing tool that could compete with professional programs that cost about $1,000. The main feature that sets this tool apart from its competitors is its ability to make complex and intricate templates via a composing tool that provides layering, title animations and animated graphics.

Pinnacle 12 is so advanced that it offers a two-hour tutorial to cover some basics and a lot of advanced features. Fortunately, the tutorial is intuitive and easy to follow.

The program has many of the same basic features as its competitors, including complete HD functionality for high-definition standards such as HDV, AVCHD and Blu-ray.

Lead story: Video-editing tools cut to the chase

Some of the small touches that set this tool apart include master volume control, which allows you to make overall changes to output without altering or influencing the mix between various audio tracks, and an intuitive image reference tool that lets you find where an image from an album is used in a video.

If you do a lot of video editing, one of the main issues you will encounter is making sure you have enough space for all your video footage. So it’s nice to have a feature like Pause Export, which notifies you when a drive is becoming full when you try to export a video file. It will automatically stop the data transfer until you have had a chance to clear space on the destination drive.

Unfortunately, Pinnacle 12 does not come in a Mac OS flavor. However, with advanced features that seem to go on forever, it is still one of the best video-editing tools in this roundup.

Avid Technology, 650-526-1600, www.pinnaclesys.com

About the Authors

Carlos A. Soto is a former GCN Lab technology analyst.

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