Pinnacle Studio Plus 11 - PC review

It would seem that video editing is all the rage at the moment with Corel and Pinnacle both releasing new versions of their software at the same time.

This latest package from Pinnacle certainly offers plenty of material, as it spans two DVDs. To be fair, the main tools are on one disc, while extras and samples are saved for the second.

Still, there is enough here to give the novice user plenty of hands-on tools to get comfortable with the package.

To make things easier for the casual user, Pinnacle has broken the process down into three separate sections, and has even split the main screen into three different tabbed sections to make it even easier.

Step one is Capture, which as the name implies uploading video into your PC. This can be straight from a camcorder, which is the most common method, or equally can be from a DVD or external hard drive.

The main selling point of this latest version is its support of high-def, so you can even upload files directly from HD DVD or Blu-ray source.

The second step is Edit and is the main meat of the product. The main interface has changed much with a large viewing screen on the right-hand side and a storyboard mode at the bottom of the screen.

As with previous versions, you can switch the storyboard for a timeline mode, which is a great deal easier to physically view what’s happening to your footage.

The main benefit of this layout is that it’s intuitive and easy to get results. Scorefitter is a tool we haven’t come across before and ramps up the music import functions, allowing you to cut music to size and import them in to your films. Pinnacle even supplies plenty of samples, so you don’t even need to go off and find tour own music.

Make Movie is the final stage and as we’ve come to expect, you can burn to DVD, either normal or high-def, as well as to either external players such as Sony’s PSP and the Apple iPod. However, it’s the support for copying straight to the web that is the interesting addition here, as it makes uploading to sites such as YouTube a good deal easier.

There are plenty of other features but Pinnacle hasn’t done a major overhaul with this version, merely tweaked certain areas. Our main complaint with version 11 is the raise in the base specification you’ll need to get the most from it. Version 10 ran quite happily on a single-core machine with 1GB of memory.

However, this latest version really needs a dual-core processor with 2GB, especially if you’re thinking of creating high-def content.

Verdict

Pinnacle Studio Plus 11 is a reasonable and logical step forward. If you’ve used the previous version you won’t find anything out of the ordinary here but the new features do make it easier to make the most of all current formats and for that alone is worthy of recommendation.