When it comes to video, you're not a pro, but neither are you a noob. You can use better video tools, but the best is way out of your price range. Pinnacle Studio Plus 16 might be what you're looking for. This full-featured video suite is compatible with the latest HD and 3D standards, including Blu-ray and AVCHD. It offers 24-track editing, multilayer special effects, animated graphics, custom titles, and hi-fi audio quality. You can save your productions in a variety of formats, share them online, or burn them to disk. Pinnacle Studio Plus 16 is free to try and costs $99.99; not cheap, certainly, but within the budget for many sophisticated amateurs. The latest release has an improved user interface, better 3D editing, and integrated cloud storage.
Pinnacle Studio's installer includes an Advanced Option that let us decide what Bonus Content to download and install. An interesting "Learn while installing" feature lets you view a Guided Tour, video tutorials, a manual, and Help flyers (the registered free trial includes technical support) during the lengthy process. The Standard Content Pack is a substantial (but recommended) optional download that needs Pando Media Booster, which required an additional installation step, as well as a current DirectX release.
Pinnacle Studio Plus 16 has an up-to-date user interface featuring a timeline with previews and drag-and-drop compatibility. Despite its many features, this program is actually easy enough for beginners. Pinnacle Studio is first and foremost a video-editing suite, but it also imported all our digital media files, including images and music, to its Library file manager. One of the first things we did in Pinnacle Studio was set up our Watchfolders for automatic updates. Pinnacle Studio's image quality is excellent, and it has too many features to summarize (more than 1,800 effects alone). Like similar tools, some processes take time, though how the program performs obviously depends on your system's capabilities. We started small but achieved better results than we expected the first time out. Though it's no lightweight, Pinnacle Studio Plus 16's trial release is well worth the time it takes to download and install.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1.