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Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate review


Pinnacle delivers an evolutionary update to an already excellent video-editing package

Review Date: 12 Sep 2012

Reviewed By: Ben Pitt

Price when reviewed: £81 (£97 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
4 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Avid did a good job when it bought up, revamped and rebranded Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. It took six years of hard graft, but it managed to address the chronic reliability problems of the original and include the best creative effects of any consumer editor – largely thanks to some superb creative effects from third-party plugin developer, Red Giant.

A year later and ownership has been transferred yet again, this time to Corel, with another name change. Although the name has reverted back to the Pinnacle brand, though, the features certainly haven’t. In fact, all three new versions – Studio (£44 ex VAT), Studio Plus (£55) and Studio Ultimate (£83) – are evolutions of Avid Studio.

That means your Avid Studio projects will open in Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate, and although the Red Giant plugin set is different this time, raising potential file compatibility problems, Corel will make the missing ones available free to upgraders.

There are two new Red Giant plugins as well, and they're both valuable additions. Cosmo adjusts skin tones while making a minimal impact on other parts of frames, while Mojo is a one-stop-shop for dramatic, punchy colours. It's a lot quicker to set up than the similar Magic Bullet Looks, which is included too, along with an array of other high-quality effects. Colour correction is well specified, although it isn’t quite in the same league as that of Sony Movie Studio Platinum.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

All three versions of Studio now offer 3D editing. It's one of the last consumer editors to add this feature, but it's also the best implementation we've seen to date. In our tests, it correctly identified 3D footage from a variety of cameras, and there's a button to show only 3D media in the library. The preview switched automatically to anaglyph mode, and there's support for Nvidia 3D Vision displays for those with compatible equipment.

Best of all, the 3D Editor GPU effect applies stereoscopic transformations, so clips, graphics and titles can be animated in 3D space. There's a range of 3D export options, too, although Blu-ray export is only as an anaglyph or side-by-side file; there's no support for Blu-ray 3D, which encodes two independent 1080p streams. YouTube uploads can be in 3D, too, but only when we selected the appropriate settings in both Studio and on the website – this should be automatic.

Corel has also picked up the Avid Studio iPad app, which now goes by the name Pinnacle Studio for iPad, and is currently available for free. This is an excellent editor in its own right, with an interface that's based on older Windows versions of Studio.

There are no effects, and we spotted a couple of bugs, but it handled basic editing tasks extremely proficiently. It had no problems editing 1080p video captured with the iPad, or with a Panasonic GF5 in MP4 format (the iPad doesn't recognise AVCHD-format clips), copied to the iPad using Apple's Camera Connection Kit. It doesn't work on the oldest generation iPad, though.

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User comments

Not for om-d owners

Thanks for the nice review. I was waiting for a software that could somehow replace the capable Pinnacle Liquid. Studio 16 could have been it, but video files created using Olympus OM-D EM-5 do not work properly (frame freezing and aquarelle-like rendering). Probably MOV files from other Olympus cameras will show the same problems. I hope Corel (and the Pinnacle division) can solve this problem.

By Antonio on 15 Sep 2012

This is a very slow and annoying software

I am a new youtuber with a windows computer so I got this as my first editing software. And to be honest, it was rubbish! Every time I make a video it crashes and lags and move scenes around!

When you want to move a clip smoothly, it just disagrees! it is like when you are turning up the volume on a computer, You can have it up one or down but up one is loud and down is to quite, you just can't get it in the middle. And that is what the software is like, you can't get it perfectly next to the correct clip with out jumping and moving everything.

It can only edit in .movie files and you need to export it to a .avi file which not only takes a long time but also makes your videos look slimmer and have a black frame around the side.

A Problem I have recently had is putting music in the back ground. I would like to talk with some music in the background but the music is to loud, what do I do? I have to film it again you can't turn down the volume of the background music!

To give you an idea of how long it takes to edit something I have an example. I have made an "A-Z of me" Video and have edited in the letters on different clips, Normally this would take you a few hours or less but on this, it is a different story, it took me two days to make.

Thank you for reading I hope this helped!

Comment by Abi, age 14

By Nocomment on 13 Apr 2013


I bought this last November and it has never worked properly and now it appears I have to pay for support!!!!! It crashes on will not upload directly to utube.If I go to help I get Ooops an error has occurred ALWAYS It tells me NG studio has ceased to function.It will not let me print where it says your text here,and theres more.Now it will not start becauseof a Runtime error.I have spent 200€ with a computer expert shortly after I bought it.I wish I had thrown it in the rubbish anc cut my losses.
Can anyone advise me what to do because its doing my head in!!!!!!

By pandabear0175 on 15 May 2013

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