Pinnacle Studio 8

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Pinnacle Studio 8

Pinnacle's Studio software has been an impressive contender in the entry-level DV editing arena for a good while, but last year's launch of version 7 set new standards and established it as the best basic editor on any platform. Now, with Version 8, Pinnacle is adding powerful DVD authoring tools, too.
Pinnacle's Studio software seems to be born from a very different philosophy than that of competing products such as MGI/Roxio's VideoWave 5. While many entry-level editors sell themselves with flashy effects and the notion that an easy-to-use interface must also be limited, Studio has established itself as best of breed, thanks to useful editing tools and a lot of genuine thought directed towards what the video novice actually needs.
Version 7 broke considerable ground for video editing newcomers, and competitors MGI (now Roxio) and Ulead are still struggling to catch up. Pinnacle's lead seems set to grow even further with Studio 8 - which has the same array of video editing tools, but adds DVD authoring features that could rival more expensive dedicated applications, such as Ulead's DVD Workshop. The new version of Studio also sees a considerable drop in price, from £80 to only £60.


As with version 7, there is still plenty of room for improvement. An intelligent differentiation of which timeline elements are exported to tape and which are saved for DVD should be introduced as soon as possible. As with the previous version, we'd also like the option of retaining audio from inserted video clips - possibly extracted to one of the audio tracks, as it is with Apple's iMovie.
Regardless of these complaints, we feel that Pinnacle Studio has managed to keep its crown as the best entry-level DV editing software on any platform. Itís remarkably well featured, but still tactile and intuitive. And unlike some contenders - notably MGI's VideoWave or
Cinematic - it makes no attempt to patronise the user. Studio could well be all the editing software many people need. And at a new low price of £60, itís a no-brainer for anyone thinking of taking the DV plunge.

Peter Wells

For the full review, see the November 2002 issue of Computer Video.

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