Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12
Feature for feature, Studio Ultimate 12 gives you more tools than any other video editor, but some problems detract from its versatility.
- Many features for the money, Easy to learn
- Minor instability, Sometimes sluggish
Studio Ultimate 12 has more features than any other consumer-level video editor, but I still prefer Adobe Premiere Elements 4 because of its more elegant interface and superior stability. (That product doesn't yet support AVCHD editing, however.)
Price$ 129.99 (AUD)
Standard-definition video is going the way of the HD DVD player — or is it? TVs have gone high-def in a big way, but YouTube and other online venues continue to serve standard definition. Pinnacle's Studio Ultimate 12 video-editing software tries to maximise its appeal by adding Blu-ray disc, Flash video and direct-to-YouTube support.
The previous version of Studio Ultimate let users import footage in the Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) and High Definition Video (HDV) formats, and create HD-DVD discs. Studio Ultimate 12 drops HD-DVD in favor of Blu-ray Disc authoring, with tools that include animated menus. The basic version of Studio does not support AVCHD or HDV importation; the more expensive Plus and Ultimate versions do. Studio performed sluggishly with AVCHD files on both systems that I used with it.
The first Blu-ray discs I created wouldn't play in an older Blu-ray player, but they worked fine in a newer model, the Panasonic DMP-30K. The reason: The newer player recognised discs burned in AVCHD format, whereas the older one didn't; you can, however, change Studio Ultimate's settings to create discs for older models of Blu-ray players.
Studio Ultimate 12 lets you export videos directly to YouTube. Studio 11 supported Yahoo Video or Pinnacle's own video-sharing site; though you can upload to Yahoo with Studio 12, uploading to Pinnacle's site is no longer an option. The YouTube uploads have just one quality setting — which is understandable, since YouTube has a single upload setting.
Once they're uploaded to YouTube, however, you can view clips in "high quality" or "standard quality". I've found that, the higher the quality before I upload videos, the better the YouTube-compressed versions turn out to be. My best results came when I uploaded a high-quality Flash video to YouTube.
A new feature, Pinnacle Montage, provides 11 themes and 80 templates that you can use to add effects such as menus of moving frames with video, animated text, and graphics. Some of the Montage options are snazzy, but few of them allow any customisation. For example, you can specify multiple moving frames, but you can't alter the frames' dimensions, and you can't adjust how quickly they appear and disappear.
Three new plug-in packages included with Studio Ultimate 12 confer varying benefits. The proDAD VitaScene plug-in contains a ton of neat transitions — blurs, spins, and so on — along with at least as many effects as the main Studio application has.
The Magic Bullet LooksBuilder SE plug-in has many powerful settings for customising the way clips look; but it doesn't let you set key frames, so you can't set points in the video to use in timing the intensity of an effect. And since you can't set an effect to strengthen gradually (for example), the effects sometimes produce rather amateurish results. (The plug-in requires a powerful graphics card to work: You can't install LooksBuilder SE on a system that relies on integrated graphics.)
Boris Graffiti, the third new plug-in, is designed for adding moving titles; its preset titles worked fine, and it has an extremely complex advanced mode for setting key frames. Unfortunately, you must use whatever interface the plug-ins require, rather than Studio's standard interface — so that's three different tools you have to learn. I would have much preferred that the tools be built into Studio itself.
A small but welcome new feature: If your designated drive runs out of space while you're outputting content to it, you can pause the operation. Regrettably, you can't pause output for such purposes as to check your e-mail without screwing things up — unlike with Corel VideoStudio 11. Though I experienced a few crashes with Studio 12, the application seemed more stable for me than past versions.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Here's how Evernote moved 3 petabytes of data to Google's cloud
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCDeployment EngineerSA
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - ITMSP - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTFull Stack PHP Developer - Focus on Front EndQLD
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCDemand/ Resource AnalystVIC
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional ConsultantQLD
- TPTechnical Business Analyst - DigitalQLD
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectQLD
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Natural/Adabas)SA
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD