SoftwareVideo editing software
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Pinnacle Studio 26 Ultimate Review
Easy to use
Stereoscopic 3D compatible
Over 2,000 effects included
Edit with unlimited tracks
No telephone support line
Features to look out for in the Pinnacle Studio 26 Ultimate software include unlimited tracks for editing, 3D and precision 2D editing tools, enhanced media tagging, and Pinnacle Studio for iPad (available separately from the app store.)
Ultimate version is the most feature-packed of three different packages – Studio, Plus and Ultimate. If you are still working with Avid Studio you can get an upgrade package. A change of ownership can mean improvements or inconveniences – we checked out the Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version to see what you’ll be faced with.
System requirements for Pinnacle Studio Ultimate include Windows 11 & 10; an Intel Core i3 processor or higher; 4GB of RAM, a DirectX 9 graphics device or higher; display resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher; and a CD or DVD burner for creating discs. If you are editing in the Stereoscopic 3D mode you will need a number of different accessories to make it work, including a compatible TV, an nVidia 3D kit and graphics card, and a powerful PC.
Get your raw material from practically any device – most digital cameras, camcorders, mobile phones, tablets and webcams are supported. You can also import 3D clips and audio files which have the 5.1 surround sound format. We like the tagging features included in the package so you can organize and rate your media files, and place them in different categories so it is easier to find what you are looking for at a later date.
There are over 2,000 2D and 3D transitions to choose from and a green screen effect, along with montage templates and stop-motion effects. The Pinnacle package gets its powerful features from the Red Giant Filmmaker’s Toolkit and Motion Graphics Toolkit. Another useful tool is the movie and photo enhancement feature inside the program so you don’t need to use anything else to hone your clips – crop, eliminate red eye, stabilize shaky clips, and clean up the audio quality.
While many people will run away from the idea of editing a movie on a tablet, the Pinnacle software gives you the opportunity to edit anywhere with your iPad. You have free cloud access so that you can access files and projects and start the editing process on your iPad. Continuing the editing, and making more detailed changes, will always be easier on a more powerful PC so you can transfer your bundled project back to your computer.
With unlimited tracks you can work quickly with the editing software. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate arranges its editing tools well – preview the source clips and the timeline at the same time so you can intuitively switch between the two to handle basic then precision editing. The start of the process can be streamlined further by using the drafting feature on the storyboard and even by creating a movie automatically.
Most video editing packages include 3D editing in the package but Studio Ultimate gives you stereoscopic 3D editing with nVidia 3D Vision. Using this feature you can both edit and preview your videos on the full screen. HD editing is, as you would expect, included in the package.
One good feature for beginners is the ability to add a soundtrack from the royalty-free music library which the software automatically adjusts so it fits the length of your video. For greater flexibility and creativity, you can also import your music from your PC, including your own audio creations.
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate gives you enhanced performance in some aspects of the programming, including GPU acceleration which can cut the rendering time on a project. There is also 64-bit optimization to help things along.
Pinnacle Studio includes the regular menuing options and also a set of montage templates that automatically provide you with themed disc authoring ideas.
The stereoscopic 3D technology allows you to export 3D movies direct to YouTube, mobile devices, and direct to TV. Non-3D projects are also exportable to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. Create movies in HD and for Blu-ray disc, as well as exporting your masterpieces to iPad and other mobile devices.
Ease of use
The Pinnacle Studio Ultimate video editing package is a streamlined, simple and intuitive piece of kit to use and will suit beginners and more advanced editors. We like the way you can easily reorder and arrange clips on the storyboard then immediately switch to the precision editing on the timeline without having to close either application. The iPad app is also easy to use although you will come across some editing limitations using this format.
Help & support
The help and support section is mainly for ordering and associated customer service questions, while the knowledgebase is a self-service area for answers to common questions. You can ask for technical help within the 14-day warranty period by registering the product and using a code to submit a question. If you are looking for help from the pros without having to submit a support ticket, the Pinnacle Studio Ultimate package includes video tutorials online as well as a “getting started” DVD for extra help.
The Pinnacle Studio 26 Ultimate includes some useful and attractive editing features to produce near professional-standard movies and the system is easy to get the hang of. An iPad app is a good addition and the 3D editing is proficient if you have the hardware to make it happen.
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