Pinnacle Edition DV review: Pinnacle Edition DV

  • 1

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good Unique Windows-style interface; precise editing controls; includes programs for custom transitions, DVD authoring, and motion graphics.

The Bad Steep learning curve; no audio CD import; no Mac version; clunky menu interface.

The Bottom Line Pinnacle Edition DV delivers powerful video editing and a great value for intermediate to advanced users, but beginners will struggle with its unique interface and abundance of features.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Look out, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro: there's a new kid in town. Pinnacle Edition DV is the first offspring of Pinnacle's acquisition of Fast Video, a Germany-based company primarily known for professional video-editing software. Edition sports a revolutionary contextual-menu interface--you right-click for everything, with no pull-down menus anywhere--a diverse feature set, and bundled programs that make it solid competition for any other video-editing program. At $699, the Edition DV package presents an incredible value to intermediate or advanced moviemakers. But despite Edition's consumer packaging, this app's unique features and precise editing controls make it too tricky for beginners, who should turn to Pinnacle Studio DV or Video Explosion Deluxe. Look out, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro: there's a new kid in town. Pinnacle Edition DV is the first offspring of Pinnacle's acquisition of Fast Video, a Germany-based company primarily known for professional video-editing software. Edition sports a revolutionary contextual-menu interface--you right-click for everything, with no pull-down menus anywhere--a diverse feature set, and bundled programs that make it solid competition for any other video-editing program. At $699, the Edition DV package presents an incredible value to intermediate or advanced moviemakers. But despite Edition's consumer packaging, this app's unique features and precise editing controls make it too tricky for beginners, who should turn to Pinnacle Studio DV or Video Explosion Deluxe.

Extraordinary interface
We guarantee that Edition's interface will throw you for a loop. Gone are the pull-down menus and tool palettes of most editing systems--heck, of most software applications. Instead, Edition emulates Windows itself, complete with a Pinnacle Start button in the lower left-hand corner. It's a bit hard to get used to this OS-within-an-OS setup, but once you do, you'll never miss clunky toolbar menus.

Edition offers two separate views: Project and Sequence. In Project view, you collect your media (film clips, still shots, and music) and organize your material, while Sequence view displays a traditional timeline interface for fine-tuning your project. Each time you switch between Project and Sequence, the icons embedded in the interface also change to match the new operation. We like the interface recycling, since it maintains interface consistency throughout the program.

Bundled goodies
Beyond its interesting interface, Edition sports some impressive editing capabilities, from three-point editing to mixing multiple audio channels. While Edition bundles Pinnacle Impression DVD Pro for advanced DVD-authoring tasks such as menu creation, title transitions, and adding audio, it can create an MPEG-2 file (the DVD format) and burn a simple, video-only DVD straight from the program. Edition also relies on the bundled Commotion program, which provides sophisticated special effects and compositing, (creating multiple layers of video). We prefer Adobe After Effects for such special touches, but the powerful Commotion easily matches Final Cut Pro's special effects and compositing capabilities.

Diamond in the rough
Nonetheless, Edition has yet to polish a few rough edges. For example, although Edition lets you change the name of a video or audio track in the Timeline window, you can't resize the column that displays the name beyond five characters. Also, Edition lacks real-time transition and effect previews--a speedy editing tool that even midrange video editors such as Video Explosion Deluxe, Final Cut Pro, and the upcoming Adobe Premiere 6.5 all offer. Finally, we wish Edition could import audio CD files for use as music and sound effects--a pretty big oversight--and we miss the scene-detection feature found in Pinnacle's low-end video products, which makes for much faster editing by automatically breaking up a video.

A professional's tool
Alas, Edition is completely Windows-centric; Mac users must stick with Final Cut Pro and Premiere. Otherwise, Pinnacle Edition matches those two products and Video Explosion Deluxe nearly feature for feature, from audio mixing to special effects to DVD authoring. If you use a PC and are serious about editing video, you owe it to yourself to check out Pinnacle Edition DV.

Pinnacle Edition DV's contextual interface breaks the mold by changing as you switch screens. This traditional timeline in the Sequence window, for instance, embeds icons into the interface, where you right-click them to access tool menus.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Vizio E0i-B series

    Starting at: $497.99
    4 stars

    There may be better TVs released this year, and there may be a cheaper ones too, but we'd...

  • Vizio M2i-B series

    Starting at: $447.99
    4 stars

    Excellent picture quality, well-thought out features and distinctive design make the Vizio...

  • Samsung UNHU8550

    Starting at: $1,797.99
    4 stars

    With 4K TVs, great picture quality is still gonna cost ya. Samsung's feature-rich, high-style...

  • LG 55EC9300

    Starting at: $3,499.00
    4 stars

    With its bright whites and perfect black levels, the LG 55EC9300 lives up to the promise...

 

Discuss Pinnacle Edition DV

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Interface Type PCI