Anyone Used Pinnacle Studio Before?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by BruceEBonus, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816

    BruceEBonus

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Derbyshire, England
    #1
    I did. Years ago on the PC. No doubting its a helluva good package for what it did/does/ I say did. Because I am now using me Mac 24" Ali. I could use Windows Emulation via Fusion but really having completed two iMovie films to good effect - which use a very similar approach - they dont measure up to the flexibility of Pinnacle Studio - however I also have Final Cut Express which I haven tgot round to really using yet due to its initially daunting interface.

    My question, readers is:
    What is the equivalent Mac Video Editing Program that you'd recommend for ex-Pinnacle users ...
    This can only be answered if you're an ex PC user who used this program - so good luck and get answering. :)

    Cheerio!!
     
  2. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    I used Pinnacle Studio before. For a year because I was bound to it. It was absolutely the worst experience in my life. So we're coming from different viewpoints but...

    You'll be able to do a lot more with Final Cut Express. It's much closer to a professional editor than Pinnacle and it's the next step up from iMovie. The interface is indeed intimidating at first, but you can do great things once you get used to it.
     
  3. BruceEBonus thread starter macrumors 65816

    BruceEBonus

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Derbyshire, England
    #3

    Thanks Power-PC Michael
    I thought the interface with Studio was pretty easy to get on with and 'obvious' to folks like me ... in other words - simplistic. Which is probably why iMovie works too .. but then it crashed more often than George Michael and it was back when I had to connect up a video recorder to output the results!!!

    What annoys me is that FCE has no hard manual ... its all online! Maybe I should invest eighty quid for a years worth of One To One training? Or get a third party book. Any suggestions?.

    Cheers the noo

    Bruce
     
  4. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #4
    I started with Pinnacle mainly because:

    1) I had a tremendous amount of PC hardware
    2) It was the best I could find, which was in my budget range
    3) I only had an inexpensive Panasonic MiniDV camera and my filming/post production skills did not warrant anything more than the equipment I had

    I was pleased with the video I began to produce, after many long hours of set-backs and dogged determination. My nephew bought an eMac and FCE. He came to visit one weekend and brought his system down with him. I was definitely impressed. it did not take long to realize that Apple was a much more robust (and professional) environmental than Pinnacle.

    Then my universe changed. Walking through Fry's. I went down the Apple isle. On display was the brand-new PowerMac G5 2.0 x 2 with FCP on it. It was connected to a 23" ACD, and the side cover was removed so you could see the incredible engineering inside. I damn near seizured on the spot. For two days, it was all I could think about. I knew I could not buy it. I had recently bought aa 'Vette and I knew my wife would do something unthinkable while I was asleep (well probably not, but I was not willing to roll those dice). I explained all this to my boss over lunch and the miracle happened.

    She said, "Why don't you use your training budget?". The seizure feeling returned. I stammered, "I can use my training to buy hardware and software?" She replied, "It is your money to spend as you se fit." I was on my way to the Apple Store within the hour. As it turned out, I had 3 years @ $2500 and 3 years @ $3500. I had $18,000 to spend! I also ordered a Panasonic AG-DVC30 (shipped Fedex Priority Next Day, of course).

    That is my Cinderella story. Back to your original question, you can get a pretty accurate guess for when I switched from Pinnacle to FCE (and FCP 6 months later) just by knowing when the G5 PowerMacs came out (and Panther as well. They were brand-new. FCE was in a different league than Pinnacle. I have not used either of them after using FCP, however.
     
  5. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Bruce, you sound like I did years ago.

    I used Pinnacle b/c it was the 'best' consumer based pkg at the time.
    And man, did it suck. Now, this was 5 or 6 years ago.

    I started off with FCE and yes, it was daunting, but I bought a book by Tom Wolsky and simply spent some time doing the tutorials and reading. I was up and running and haven't looked back (and never will either).

    FCE is far more robust than imovie. I imagine it would be blow Pinnacle to bits too. Maybe the UI would be similar, but that FCE brings with mac os as its base, will spank pinnacle silly. A very stable editing system it is.

    Best of Luck,
    Keebler
     
  6. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #6
    Bruce,

    Since you already have Final Cut Express, I would strongly suggest you start using it. Check out lynda.com - spend $25 for a one month subscription and work through their tutorial videos. There are good books out there, too, but it'll be hard to beat the $25, plus many people benefit from seeing things "in action", as opposed to static pictures.

    I promise you, you will not go back to iMovie once you discover what's inside FCE.

    - Martin
     
  7. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #7
    If you are using iMovie '08, you might want to try out iMovie '06 as that is porbably closer to Pinnacle than iMovie '08.

    It is free to download from Apple if you have iLife '08.

    I use FCE myself and while there is a bit a learning curve, once you get going, it is not that bad. I would just bite the bullet and get started. You could print out the documentation!
     
  8. BruceEBonus thread starter macrumors 65816

    BruceEBonus

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Derbyshire, England
    #8
    Cheers to all for the plentiful and useful advice ... including trying iMovie 06 - Lynda training ... the books and the fact that FCE isnt almost as good as but in fact better than Pinnacle and I respect the info because its coming from people who have used both and thats the main thing .. as you say - use it to learn it - I think the book idea is a good bet and for the cost of $25 which is about £13 British Quids - its not going to break the bank for a month on Lynda! Ahem! Cheers once more y'all!
     
  9. PsychoToddler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #9
    I like Pinnacle

    I found this thread through a google search of "mac program similar to pinnacle studio."

    I'm a long-time PC user and amateur videographer. I used Windows movie maker but eventually found it limiting (can't adjust brightness and color, for example) and began my quest for a better Windows movie editor. This led me through Sonic, Roxio (very buggy) and finally to Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11.

    I really love that program. It's easy to use, has great features, does practically everything I need except for fancy special effects (my son downloaded adobe premiere elements and a few others for a light sabre battle).

    So why am I suddenly buying an iMac and looking for a comparable program?

    Crashes. I got tired of them. I hate spending hundreds of hours tweaking a production, adding sound, panning still photos, music, L-cuts, merging footage from the still camera, adding titles---only to have it crash halfway through compiling. Over and over again.

    Everyone is telling me macs are the way to go. They're more stable. The programs are more robust. Well, what I'm looking for is something that will do at LEAST what pinnacle did, but do it more reliably.

    Now, the full out version of Pinnacle (including a green screen!) set me back $130. The EXPRESS version of Final Cut is $199. Someone tell me that for the extra 69 bucks that I will get a program that does all the things that pinnacle does.

    BTW does it do DVDs? Greenscreen?

    The reviews of the newest version on Apple's web site are not favorable.

    feel free to email a response to me.
     
  10. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #10
    I admittedly have not used the latest version of Pinnacle, but I have to assume that FCE has more capability than Pinnacle.

    It does do green screen.

    It does not do DVDs, but you export to a Quicktime movie and then use iDVD (which comes free on your Mac) to create a DVD. I think iDVD is great.

    Don't know why FCE has some negitive reviews. I I have used FCE for the past 3 versions and they are all pretty much the same to me. I have never had a single issue that wasn't my own fault.
     
  11. PsychoToddler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #11
    see here
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?revw=MB278Z/A

    Most of the complaints seem to be about removal of features that were present in the previous version. That's what makes me worry about spending $200 on a version of a program that is "stripped down".

    The full version of Pinnacle costs a lot less and was pretty robust. I really enjoyed using it. It had a lot of features that FCE claims are new, like being able to incorporate different formats into one project, Ken Burns Pan and Scan (and it seems much easier to use on Pinnacle), and an infinite variety of output and compression options. Plus full DVD authoring.

    It was the crashes and failures to compile that really annoyed me and that's why I'm moving from PC to Mac.
     
  12. amysig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    #12
    I used Pinnacle Studio back in 2000-2001, I believe it was Studio v7 or 8, and I stayed informed on new features up to versions 9 and 10.

    Like most of you, I used Studio before I switched to a Mac.

    Studio is in my opinon, in-between iMovie 6 HD and FCE in terms of capabilities. Studio is as easy to use as iMovie but it adds some nice features like 3D transitions, surround sound mixing, and a very nice titling system (TitleDeko, I think).

    I think Pinnacle was the best beginner level software with good features on Windows. The problem was that it was very unreliable on certain hardware. I never had an issue on my home built PC, but I can remember the forums filled with very angry users.

    Pinnacle seemed to be adding more and more features with each release. Sometimes these came with additional bugs and issues but I'm still waiting for 5.1 mixing in the iMovie/iDVD suite and Studio had this years ago.

    I guess to get similar capabilities to Studio at this point in time, I would suggest going full into FCE and this would include some $ on training.

    A year ago I would have suggested iMovie 6 HD and a few third party plugins like the Slick Plugins from GeeThree http://www.geethree.com/.

    But now that Apple has re-engineered iMovie and there (currently) is no 3rd party plugin support that isn't a great option.
     
  13. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #13
    I believe it removed "Soundtrack" which Apple claims can be replaced by Garageband, which comes with every new iMac. I don't know whether Garageband is really an equivalent one, but I am pretty sure FCE itself has some basic sound editing features, which should be enough for most projects anyways.

    In any case, there are loud complainers whenever Apple does anything, so I'd try to get the opinion of somebody you trust and think along similar lines.
     
  14. PsychoToddler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #14
    Amy, thanks, that was very helpful.

    I also saw complaints about the lack of compression features, which may have been in an older version of FCE but now is only in PRO.
     
  15. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #15
    I'd probably get a third-party book. The advantage here over a manual is they're typically not as "dry" and often contain hands-on exercises.

    FCS2 comes with hard manuals but they're identical to the PDFs that go along with an FCP installation. I personally prefer looking through PDFs because I can find the information I need in a couple of keystrokes instead of flipping through a 500-page bible.

    That's funny, because Garageband shares a lot more in common with Logic (it uses the same engine) than it does with Soundtrack. Nonetheless, I think the functionality of these two programs should be unified into one application anyway.

    Apple removed Soundtrack from FCE because it's never been a popular program (at least according to them). Now, they only offer Soundtrack Pro bundled with FCS2 and Logic Studio. The only thing I even use Soundtrack Pro for is to capture audio from DAT tapes.
     
  16. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #16
    I never used Soundtrack when I had it for the previous versions of FCE. I mixed all audio in FCE as there are several options to alter the audio.

    The one time I had to do any significant audio work, I used GarageBand anyway because I already knew how to use it.

    So to me it was no loss. I think FCE is a great program and I certainly got my money's worth out of it. I use it a lot for everything from filming bands, weddings, and making my own mini-movies.
     
  17. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #17
    I used Pinnacle's Windows version in a sad attempt to get movies done without an available Mac. It was terrible. Dropped frames everywhere. And, it was a very Fast PC with 2 GB of RAM and a fast hard drive, and had FireWire and did quite well with other a few other video programs.

    But, Pinnacle's product dropped so many frames, that it was worthless. Now, the frames were not lost in import. They were lost in the encoding stage (preparing to burn the DVD).

    It was only once the encoding was done, and you played the final DVD that you found the video to be all jumpy.

    Looked great if played on the computer, but terrible if played on a television. Didn't matter what DVD player I used. Looked terrible on a Television.

    And, it's not the DVD burner, because I'm still using that burner today with my Mac to produce great videos in iMovie 6 and iDVD.
     
  18. jakfrost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #18
    Just a quick question on a slight sidetrack...I decided tonite was the nite to start getting some of my mini DV movies into the iMac and try out iMovie.

    Problem is the Sony TVR25 Mini DV camcorder doesn't seem to have a firewire port. It has a USB and something called an iLink cable, which connects to the camera OK but not to the computer.

    Soooo, anyone know how I can connect the Sony TVR25 to my iMac? I know Pinnacle 12 comes with a connection device for all sorts of camcorders, new and old, but I can't use Pinnacle on the iMac...:mad:

    Jim
     
  19. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #19
    iLink and FireWire are the same thing. Sony calls it iLink. Apple calls it FireWire.

    The iLink connector on your camera is just a small Firewire connector. You need a FireWire cable with that small connector on one end and the larger one on the other end.

    You should be able to find it at Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, or just about any computer store.
     
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #20
    Aww man, you beat me to it. I didn't get to explain that Sony once again does stuff their weird own way.

    Yah, i.Link and FireWire are the exact same thing. Everybody not named Sony calls it FireWire.

    For the cable, I found a nifty one at Target. It has the big plugs on both ends and comes with two adapters for smaller plugs (like the ones on MiniDV camcorders). It was $25 and I think it was 6 feet.
     
  21. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    As a few members have already said, iMovie 06 is very close to what I remember of Pinnacle. Final Cut Express is a much superior video editing program and it's fairly easy to get to grips with it. In version 4 of FCE you also have the advantage of being able to edit AVCHD files.
    IMO FCE is definitely the best way forward .. :)
     
  22. jakfrost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #22
    Well that explains why I thought I was losing out...i was sure I remembered checking when I bought the camera that it was FireWire 'enabled'...but that was 3 years ago :).

    Thanks for the help!! Now the real work can begin!

    Jim
     
  23. dgarmaise macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #23
    Trying to master FCP, but how to do surround sound?

    I'd love to learn and use FCE, but it does not support surround sound. So, here I am trying to learn to use FCP. I have video clips from two DVDs, both with surround sound. I want to put them on one DVD, for my own personal use, with a transition between them. I created a sequence in FCP; exported it to Compressor; selected what I think are all the right settings in Compressor (MPEG-2 etc.); output a file with the extension .m2t; demuxed the file into two streams in DVD Studio Pro; imported both files into DVD Studio Pro; did what I thought were all the right things in DVD Studio Pro, burned the disk; played the disk on my DVD player. No surround sound. I may have missed something in the 2000-3000 pages of manuals for the four applications. I am not expecting you guys to give me a tutorial. But is there something simple and obvious that I missed?
     
  24. dgarmaise macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #24
    One correction to previous post

    I did the demuxing in MPEG Streamclip.
     
  25. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #25
    Glad to help. Have fun :)
     

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