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Pinnacle Studio 14 HD review

Verdict

A few tweaks, a stop-motion capture utility, and animated titling have been added, but ease of use is its real asset

Review Date: 2 Nov 2009

Reviewed By: James Morris

Price when reviewed: £43 (£49 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

The number after 12 is usually 13, but in some parts of the world superstition means it's often omitted. That appears to be the case with Pinnacle Studio, which has leapt from version 12 to version 14.

Alas, there aren't two versions' worth of updates here, but Pinnacle has found a few important features to add and improve. First up is the interface, which Pinnacle says has been streamlined. It's more of a visual than a functional change, though: all the main tabs and buttons are in the same place. But the redesign has made everything look cleaner and more contemporary.

One area that has seen significant change is the Capture tab, which has been replaced by Import. This leads to an entirely new utility, aimed more at current camcorders than the previous capture facility. Import has the ability to bring in footage from camcorders that use hard disks and Flash memory for storage, in addition to the usual tools for capturing from webcams and tape-based models over FireWire. Now all these are integrated, so you can import clips from disparate sources to the same location.

Import provides an all-new option as well: Stop Motion. This is something Premiere Elements added a couple of versions ago. It allows you to grab still frames from an attached capture device and stitch them together into a single video file.

Pinnacle Studio 14 HD titler

You can capture at either eight or 12 frames per second, and onion skinning is available, which leaves a ghost of the previous one, two or three frames onscreen so you can position your models more accurately for the next frame capture. You can also vary the opacity of ghosted frames.

The Studio Montage interface has improved mildly, with the ability to choose a background and set its colour. If you decide not to have a background, any layers underneath will show through - an effect not previously possible. There are also 58 new templates included, in addition to the 80 already available.

However, the rather arcane method for trimming the clips used in montages hasn't changed and neither has the need to drag clips to the timeline to add effects before including them in a composite. So, while the results can look impressive, Studio Montage remains inflexible here. The Studio titler has seen more significant enhancement.

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User comments

Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate

I have used Pinnacle Studio since version 9 but 14 I find very slow and have to wait a while whenever a transition or sequence of video to render itself is put in which makes editing quite painful. I would also like to know how to send a completed project to my DVD recorder when the camcorder does not have a AV Video IN facility.

By Ian086 on 1 Oct 2010

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