Pinnacle Studio HD: Stealing the Spotlight
We live in a world where video is the venerable king of communication. From grainy cellphone footage of Middle Eastern revolutions and overthrown dictatorships to slick video sales presentations, everybody wants a piece of movie magic. There are plenty of varieties of video editing software on the market – some great, some good, and some bad. It’s a maze of movie-making mysteries, but fear not, there is a video editing victor – Pinnacle Studio HD v15. Avid offer this product in three editions:
• Pinnacle Studio HD v15 Standard
• Pinnacle Studio HD v15 Ultimate
• Pinnacle Studio HD v15 Ultimate Collection
The Ins and Outs of Running the Show
Whether you are a production professional or a perfect beginner, you want video editing software that is easy to use, with extensive editing capability and versatile import and export options. And don’t forget, you want powerful performance backstage. It’s just as important for the software to be fast and efficient; you only want your frames freezing as a visual effect, not due to sloppy software performance.
Pinnacle Studio HD offers all this and more.
There is an impressive list of supported import format options for Video, Audio and Graphics. This is fundamentally one of the most important features of any video editing software you may be considering purchasing. As a general rule, if you can’t import, it falls short. Pinnacle Studio HD imports a wide range of all the major file formats including, notably, HDV, AVCHD and Blu-ray as well as some minor formats. It also has the option of capturing your footage from your VCR, Digital camcorder, VHS tapes, mobile phone, USB key, digital camera or webcam, amongst many others. You can even combine standard and high definition video and images in a project, to produce a complete dazzling High Definition resolution video.
Export formats are equally extensive, and cover all major file formats including DivX, Quicktime, HD and AVCHD. You can export easily to your Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo devices, make your own DVDs, Video CDs, and YouTube videos. Export to Blu-Ray is only supported in the Ultimate and Ultimate Collection editions.
Picture Perfect Editing Capabilities.
The difference between a good movie and a great movie is the editing. You may be editing a home movie, or a corporate videobyte but the quality of the image and audio is still a major concern. Pinnacle Studio HD’s different editions (below) increase in editing capabilities in line with the two price points:
Pinnacle Studio HD Standard edition offers you:
…a range of features designed to make your video as unique and professional as you have in mind. Shooting a video is not where it ends; a perfect video edition is what creates an irresistible movie magic, and that is determined by the video edition features at your disposal. With Pinnacle Studio HD Standard edition, you are offered more than 1800 video effects and transitions in a mixture of 2D and 3D effects. It also comes with several theme effects which can be selected according to event, like the Weddings theme used for marriage and wedding events, Comics and Cartoons theme for fun and relaxation periods, Waves theme and many other themes coupled with Custom Effects Editor.
Of course, audio sound is among the spices that make a great video. It can be used to highlight interesting areas or to retain the interest of views throughout the series. Pinnacle Studio HD Standard edition features 4 Timeline audio tracks; Original, Overlay, Sound Effect/Voiceover and Background Music. Keeping everything simple and stress-free, it also comes with SmartMovie feature which automatically harmonizes the music and the video, while adding slideshows within the same rhythm. The Pinnacle Montage feature will also allow you to simply create this slideshow effects to your taste. As a user of these 24 frames per second recording system, the comprehensive range of Audio and Still Image editing effects are yours to play with!
Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate edition offers you all of the Standard edition above plus:
…several other value added features meant to provide you advanced video customization options. Among these value added benefits is the ability to add Dolby Digital Surround Sound to your audio and embed even an additional video within a main video with the Picture-in-Picture feature. Would you prefer a unique title that appeals to the eye? The Ultimate edition features a Motion Titler Tool which enables users to create and edit animated titles and graphics. Within the keyframe, users can also change the effect parameters and carry out many other customizations with several theme selections, multiple sound effects, titles and templates.
Child’s Play or Sweat All Day?
No matter how experienced you are, you want software that’s easy to use and responsive. Pinnacle Studio HD 15 scores highly when it comes to editing features. While, each edition features an intuitive ‘drag –and –drop’ interface, to allow easily import, edit, manipulate and export you video, audio and graphics, the range of features is so large that you may have to invest some time learning the application.
However Avid do a great job in customer support, with online video tutorials, webinars, a PDF manual for download, email support, live chat support and a knowledge base as well as user forums for discussion.
Also included in each edition is an ‘Archive and Restore’ option that backs up your work more completely and allows you to move saved material between projects.
So, what do the users say about Pinnacle Studio HD 15?
The Pinnacle Studio website has a long list of users giving great testimonials. We wouldn’t expect any less though, owing to what we saw on the site. Stepping outside of Avid’s own self promotion however, there seem to be a lot of buzz created around this software solution. We find that Pinnacle Studio HD is still a very highly regarded video editing program. The UK’s PC World scored it 3.5 out of 5. Techradar.com scored it a massive 4/5 for the Ultimate Collection edition as did TopTenReviews.com who also listed the Standard Edition in their top ten choices for video editing software.
So how has Pinnacle Studio performed with individual users? Customers expressed satisfaction over Pinnacle Studio’s HD 15 simplicity while laying more emphasis their knowledgebase, forum and unlimited support contact channels that ensure the satisfaction of every single user. From the pool of customer feedbacks, it is obvious that Pinnacle Studio HD 15 is the simplest and yet fastest method of creating professional videos.
Important: There are differences in the spec for your machine with for each of the three Pinnacle Studio HD 15 editions and users have sometimes reported issues with the performance, particularly if they are upgrading from a previous version of Pinnacle Studio, this is most likely down to their machine not having the system requirements for the new editions.
Quality features at excellent value, an intuitive interface and suitable for beginners and professionals alike, this suite of applications offers masses of versatility and endless production possibilities but requires you to spend time getting to grips with its powerful editing tools if you are a new subscriber.