I've been hesitant to review this product for a couple of reasons. I haven't used it all that much because I find some of the other video editing software I own to be more user-friendly, and I almost feel as if an amateur video hack like myself isn't qualified to review such sophisticated software as this. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12 was designed to do some pretty impressive things, and I'm just a guy with a webcam and a little Flip camcorder who hasn't yet realized his dream of producing the next great low-budget amateur horror film; heck, I've only posted a couple of videos online over the past year.
So I fired up the program again tonight just to refresh my memory on its capabilities and ease of use, and guess what happened. As soon as I tried to capture a little video via my webcam, the whole program crashed with no explanation. I tried it again, and the same thing happened. My PC hardware is more than capable of supporting this program, so the fact that the capture process basically doesn't work for me has to result in a major point reduction in terms of my rating. As I wait for the program to restart once again, I can't help but notice the significant loading time - another point deduction. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12 is a real memory hog. That's not necessarily a criticism on my part, though; this powerful of a program is naturally going to require a decent amount of your system resources; on the other hand, who needs this kind of hassle when all you want to do is post a short video of your dog on YouTube?
So I go to choose an existing video for editing. Naturally, I want to scroll through a number of my available files to find the right one. Unfortunately, the software isn't as high on that idea as I am, as it commences to hose up the first time I choose to advance in my designated folder. It's enough to make me give up for a few minutes and wander over to Facebook. What if I just want to make a slideshow of various pictures? That's quick and easy - but doing something so simple in this program is sort of like taking an 18-wheeler down the block just to pick up groceries.
I can't complain about the extra features included with the actual product, though. Boris Graffiti is a great program for creating impressive title animations. Magic Bullet Looks gives you dozens and dozens of style choices to use for any given video. ProDAD VitaScene lets you add effectively subtle effects and transitions to your projects. Finally, it goes without saying that the inclusion of a green screen sheet is definitely a plus.
Based on my experience, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12 is just a little too buggy, non-intuitive, and crash-happy for the average person. If you're a hardcore video editor on a budget, though, I think this software is certainly worth a look. The ability to work with and produce high definition video is a feather in Pinnacle's hat, even though you'll probably need a pretty powerful computer and lots of patience to get things working the way you want.