Pinnacle – Studio Deluxe Version 8 review

capable video editing package
Photo of Pinnacle – Studio Deluxe Version 8
£219 + VAT

This is Pinnacle’s top-of-the-range video editing package for the home user. It’s designed for those who want to work with their home videos, either analogue or digital, tidy them up with a few well-placed edits and save them to videotape, CD or DVD.

There are three main components to the package; two hardware and one software to drive them. To start with there’s a PCI expansion card designed for video capture. As well as two IEEE 1394 FireWire ports to connect your digital video camera, the card includes a Philips video capture chip to convert analogue video to digital, suitable for editing on your PC.

To help with this, a ‘breakout’ box is included, which connects via a long cable to a socket on the back of the capture card. It puts the vital video and audio sockets you’ll need to connect your analogue camcorder or VCR conveniently at the front of your PC, so you don’t have to scrabble around the back to make connections. There are separate phono and miniature DIN sockets on the box for composite and S-video inputs and outputs.

The third part of Studio Deluxe Version 8 is a copy of Pinnacle’s latest Studio software. This is a well designed video editing package which makes a brave attempt to combine a simple, easy-to-use interface for the beginner with sufficient functionality for the home video enthusiast.

The main editing screen is divided into three parts. At top left is the Album, a multi-page ‘booklet’ which can show video clips, transitions, titles, stills, sound effects or menu screens for video CDs and DVDs.

To the right of the Album is a preview viewer, which plays back any selected video clip. Below these two is a storyboard viewer, to which you drag-and-drop the elements of your current video as you’re editing it. You can switch this viewer to show a timeline or a text view, if you prefer to work with these tools.

Studio Version 8 covers all aspects of a video edit, from capturing the video clips from your camera or VCR, through laying out and developing a customised edit to finally burning a CD or DVD, complete with DVD-movie style control menus. There are a number of specialist tools to help you through this process, which pop up over the main editing screen when called for.

Included here are a sophisticated titling editor, a sound editor and numerous transitions for moving from one clip to another. The package includes Hollywood FX Plus, which augments the good range of transitions in the basic program with some very high-quality, broadcast-like effects.

Company: Pinnacle

Contact: 01895 442003


Verdict
This is a well integrated, high-value package for anybody wanting to explore video editing. With Pinnacle Studio Deluxe Version 8 it's simple to edit both analogue and digital video and send the output to tape, CD or DVD.