Pinnacle Studio 12 specs

By James Morris


Media Format DVD-ROM
Program Type Video Editing
Max Licensed Users 1 User
System Requirements Processor: Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon 1.8GHz (2.4GHz or higher recommended) Intel Pentium HT or AMD Athlon 2.4GHz or 1.6GHz Dual core required for Windows Vista Intel Core2 Duo 2.4GHz or higher required for 1440x1080 AVCHD editing Intel Core2 Quad 2.66 GHz or higher required for 1920x1080 AVCHD editing Operating Systems: Windows XP with Service Pack 2 & 3 Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 Hard Disk: 3GB of space Memory: 1GB RAM 2GB RAM for AVCHD recommended for HD and/or Windows Vista Optical Drive: DVD-ROM CD burner for creating Video CDs or Super Video CDs (S-VCDs) DVD burner for creating DVD, HD-DVD and AVCHD discs on standard media Blu-ray burner for creating Blu-ray discs Others: DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound card Sound card with surround sound output required for preview of surround sound mixes Capture from DV, HDV and Digital8 camcorders or VCRs (requires a FireWire port) Import from AVCHD camcorders requires USB 2.0 and a UDF driver Capture from analog camcorders, 8 MM, HI 8, VHS, SVHS, VHS-C, SVHS-C, or VCRs (NTSC/PAL/SECAM). Requires DirectShow compatible graphic board or TV tuner board with analog (Composite or S-Video) inputs on your PC Output to DV, HDV or Digital8 tape (requires camcorder with DV Input port and a PC with a DV/FireWire port) Output to analog videotape (requires DirectShow compatible video device or video card with TV-output)


July 17, 2008, 4:20 pm

How is the stability of the software? I used to use Pinnacle Studio 8 but eventually gave up as it was too frustrating. I found I had to save a project every 2 mins before the inevitable crash lost my work.

James Morris

July 21, 2008, 6:35 pm

Pinnacle has had problems with some earlier versions of Studio. Version 10 got a very bad reputation for this. But they sorted the issues by the 10.5 dot release, and Studio 12 uses a development of the same engine. We had no stability problems during testing. In fact, it was a little more responsive than 11. Certainly didn't crash every two minutes, that's for sure. In fact, it didn't crash at all during testing.

Eugene 1

July 28, 2008, 1:03 am

Dear Mr Morris,

First of all thank you very much for so useful article. I bought a program “Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate” few days ago. I have used Studio 11 before that without any problems. But now I have a HD video camcorder and I need to make films with full HD resolution. It is because I have bought version 12 Ultimate.

But unfortunately I cannot burn my HD films on the blu-ray disks! The program (Studio) is crashing and closing on the end of counting files (before a disk burning) without any comments. Terrible! I don’t know what is the plausible reason. Do you had any similar problems during your using and testing that program? (By the way, I have a Microsoft Vista32 SP1 operation system). I am very sorry that I have no any possibility to ask somebody else about that problem. Most of all that have no forum about Studio 12 version at the official website of Pinnacle Systems yet...

Thanks again.

Eugene Soldatenkov

St.Petersburg, Russia


July 31, 2008, 12:21 am

Eugene, I have exactly the same problem with “Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate”. Also the same operating system, etc.. As a matter of fact, it crashes already when I start working on the sound effects. As soon as I pull down onto the track to work on the effects, it crashes. And when I want to work on the full HD 1920x1080p the pics jump, although I got a GTS 8800 video card and 3 GB of Memory. I just can't figure out what the problem is.

Anyhow, sounds like an old AVID problem. Absolutely ridiculous. The best thing would be to switch to Mac & Final Cut Pro, but I don't want to spend the money for this right now.


Vancouver BC, Canada


August 15, 2008, 1:54 pm

I decided to update everything and bought a new PC (with Vista 32 SP1 and 3GB of RAM), an HD camcorder and Studio 12 Ultimate. What a mistake! I have wasted hours trying to get Studio to output a rendered video of a friend's wedding back to the DV tape. Studio either crashes or simply refuses to output. Hours on the Live help line have produced lots of questions like "Is it plugged in" but no answers. All of my questions like "Is this a bug which needs fixing?" are simply ignored. It is so frustrating and time wasting - they should not sell a product until it has been thoroughly tested. There are other problems too, like the player window going blank as a scene changes in the Edit mode.


August 17, 2008, 10:08 am

I liked pinnacle 12 studio so much that within 4 hours I asked for my money back, naturally no response from pinnacle. The problems are--It freezes all the time and for some reason even with the pinnacle hub for s video and analogue inputs it destroys the pictures from a perfectly working canon L2 hi 8 camcorder.The effects are kids play, I mean how many ways can you wipe a scene, side to side, up and down, diagonal and a lot of other goofy stuff.Talk about beating a dead horse. There is no useful imigination to it , unless of course if your 7 years old!! I bought powerdirector 7 and it is a lot more mature in its editing capibilities. It has black and white, sketch, old movie and a lot of other usefull stuff.I only wish it had a few of the pinnacle fades. If you have never edited on pc before find some other softwear than than pinnacle. Oh by the way if you want support good luck understanding a tech, unless of course if you are fluent in Indian english, much like their softwear,,,,useless............


August 26, 2008, 12:48 am

I bought this over a week ago, have about 16 hours into it and no results. First after the download, I had to reinstall, then it would not allow me to download the dolby digital 2.5. Finally after three days, many e mails, and 3 live chats it downloaded. Now I was able to capture my files that were on the hard drive of the computer. I can edit, add music...pick the source dvd... click to make a disc, it freezes up my computer and does absolutely nothing. I have tried to call them, I have e mailed about 15 times explaining over and over the porblem and get no where. I called circuit city they will not allow me to return it. Since the company obviously are inept, I am out 138.00. any suggestions????

John Whitrick

September 13, 2008, 3:56 am

I was a die hard, I purchased all the versions from Studio 8 onwards up to version 11 plus upgrades and found each one progressively worse. After sales support didn't help either. But I was tempted once again to purchase version 12 until I read the previous reviews. Thank you for stopping me from wasting my money again.

Mark 9

September 29, 2008, 2:35 am

I bought studio 10.8 with add ons some years ago and using it on windows XP ran into all sorts of problems. I upgraded to Vista when it first came out and ran into all manner of problems. I was looking to upgrade to version 12 thinking by now it must be up to speed, thank goodness I have read the reviews here. I will not make that mistake, sorry Pinacle. Does anyone have a better solution?

Thanks Mark


October 6, 2008, 9:49 am

Have been using Studio-9 thru with good results until this past week. Dual-boot W2GPro and Vista HP 64-bit, 4x320GB SATA's, 8GB Ram, 3.2GB Dual Intel,

4GB Ready Boost (USB stick), dual LightScribe DVD's, etc (no problem with inadequate resources is what I'm saying). Anyway, my latest project, a bit more complicated than previous ones renders normally until about the third pass, maybe half-way to completion of DVD, and then ...hangs there... forever. Have changed the rendering to an empty SATA drive, reduced my display and saturation, closed off the internet, AV, other items not needed for rendering video, to no avail. Reloaded Pinnacle, reloaded the updates and drivers, no help there. Lately when opening Pinnacle an advertisement pops up offering the Studio-12 (basic) update for maybe 29.oo or so. Anyway, after hours of studying reviews of Studio-12 and Sony Vegas, have about decided to go with Vegas. The thing that kind of irritates me is that I bought Studio-9 w/breakout box directly from Pinnacle for about $200.oo and have tried several times to get back in touch with them, but my original customer password and user name doesn't work. Emailed them, they set another password, it doesn't work either. Feels something like a runaround. I'm getting to that point where time wasted with non-working items is worth more than the cost of dumping them for something that works.

Not saying that Studio-12 is not worth the time or price, or that it wouldn't work, just that I'm a bit hesitant to continue wasting time. So Googled the term "problems with pinnacle studio 12" and found your posts addressing the exact questions I was trying to solve regards Studio-12 and Vista 64.bit. Thanks for the input.


October 10, 2008, 8:44 am

Update on Pinnacle 12:

Purchased Pinnacle 12 (basic) online, the download + backup disk (to be mailed). Download went well, loaded on Vista-64 OS like a rocket, reached down into the (inactive) W2GPro Drives and retrieved projects I had done prior on Pinnacle-W2GPro. Also got a popup from Pinnacle with two activation codes for premium content that I had with Studio 9.4.xx, and one I hadn't even known about. Edited and rendered a small retrieved file from the old version over on W2GPro side (18-minute - 28,000 frames - with audio and background music) video shot on Panasonic VDR-0210 mini-disk, rendered it so fast (a few minutes, 10 at the most) I wondered if it had actually worked, but it did. Sizzled a LightScribe logo on the disk, a decorative cover for the crystal case and sent it off to the people who asked me to record ther party. Felt really good to have it go so well. So decided to download a new mini-disk from the camera on a recent vacation and make a video of all the mountain colors.

That's when the problem raised it's ugly head: Pinnacle Studio 12 on Vista 64 (at least) cannot capture from the Pinnacle Studio Deluxe V2 Breakout Box (Now called Pinnacle 700 PCI). Tried different drivers from Pinnacle ( just in case the ones downloaded were incorrect. No improvement. Spent a lot of time trying different things to no avail, so have an email request into Pinnacle describing the problem and asking what I need to fix the problem.

SO, in the meanwhile, I downloaded (free trial) Sony Vegas, and it couldn't use the Pinnacle Breakout Box either. It identified it as "Pinnacle 700 PCI" in the choice dropdown menu, but then said it couldn't use it after setting it as choice capture device. And Sony Vegas doesn't load on the other side of this box (W2GPro) so dumping Pinnacle for Sony Vegas isn't an option. But the Sony Vegas people were really nice.

The way Pinnacle 12 worked on the editing and rendering phases, I'm more satisfied with it than with the prior V-9.4.xx iteration, and that's saying something because I'm not easily satisfied. So if Pinnacle can't come up with something to make Studio 12 happy with the Breakout Box, then I think what I'll do is give this camera to my Grandson, buy one that uses a firewire or USB link to the computer, and get on with making movies. If Pinnacle comes up with a fix, I'll let you know what it is, otherwise you can figure I've changed cameras to provide a different means of importing my videos rather than the Blue PCI Breakout Box.

Hope this didn't bore you too much, and hope it might help someone. If you have the Blue Breakout Box ("Studio Deluxe V-2", AKA "Pinnacle 700 PCI"), you're going to have problems capturing video with both Pinnacle 12 on Vista (at the least) and Sony Vegas won't read the device either. Best Regards, Codejunkie.


November 12, 2008, 6:47 pm

I have tried Pinnacle Software up to the Ultimate Version 11. I refuse to upgrade to 12 or higher. The software is JUNK! and crashes more than anything ever seen. Tech support is of no help whatsoever... Its fine for simply projects but anything worthy to be called a real production piece freezes up, terminates the program unexpectedly, and fails to burn the finished work. You'll have less frustrations using MovieMaker for simple jobs. Its pointless to spend hours working on a project and then the software can't produce the finished product. Serif Movieplus seems to be the way to go ... much nicer and it delievers as promised. No more Studio software for me EVER!

Michael 10

December 20, 2008, 5:07 pm

"The audio capabilities have historically been good in Studio, with 5.1 mixing available for some time"

I take exception to your comment here. I've just bought Studio 12 Ultimate, and to my astonishment, 5.1 camcorder input is downmixed to stereo, and then output as stereo, even with 5.1 output set on!! According to users on the Pinnacle forums, this is as expected. The only way you can create a 5.1 track is by adding your own separate sound sources, you can't use the output from a camera that produces 5.1.

That, and the lack of smart rendering, makes this a poor product in my view, though I have not had a problem with crashing as reported by some.

paul 10

January 24, 2009, 3:45 pm

I started with Pinnacle Version 9.4 and had no complaints. Then upgraded to version 10.6 and 10.7 using this with XP Pro. Last year I got a new PC 2.4 Gig/quad processor, series 8 graphics card and 4 Gigs of memeory with Vista Ultimate OS and then upgraded Pinnacle to version 10.8. So far so good ( a few unexplained hangs, but nothing too serious) but my problem is that DVD disks burned on this set-up freeze by those watching them in UK and in the USA they cannot read the disks at all. Anybody got any ideas why this should be so? I could go back to my old XP Pro PC and version 10.7, but that seems to be totally counter productive!


February 7, 2009, 1:06 am

I used Pinnacle version 9 with no damaging problems (apart from the occasional hang) and more recently have tried versions 11 & 12 with AVCHD but here it was problems all the way. Pinnacle support blames system demands for a range of issues (e.g., green frames, exclamation marks in place of captions and more) whereas competitor products such as Adobe Premiere Elements and Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 are stable on my computer.

I really wanted to use Pinnacle,- I like the user interface better than the competition, but in the end switched to the Sony package because it is reliable, doesn't crash (so far!) and seems to offer a lot of control.

I do hope Pinnacle will do some more testing before version 13 comes out (lucky for some).


February 21, 2009, 2:17 pm

I am now ready to buy some editing softwear, and just read these reviews, and I guess it will NOT be Pinnacle. Thanks for the warning!


March 12, 2009, 8:56 pm

Love this software.

I read all of the negative feedback on these sort of message boards but downloaded the trial, tried it all out and have now purchased the full version of Studio 12 Ultimate.

Runs really well. I have made a couple of AVCHD DVD's, from Panasonic TM300 HD camcorder footage, and played back on multiple BD players with no problems at all.

Running Dell XPS laptop, 2.4Ghz Dual Core, 4GB RAM, 400GB HDD, 256 dedicated graphics card.

Obviously, some of the more advanced transitions take a little longer to render but I can still work on other parts whilst it renders in the background.

No freezing, crashingor problems to report.

In short, VERY pleased with this product.

Derek Burns

March 20, 2009, 2:06 pm

I've made the same mistake twice, which is what seems to happen quite often with purchasers pinnacle studio. I bought studio 9 plus a number of years ago and yes, it was unstable, crashed and all the regular pinnacle studio traits. As usual, about 9 months after the initial release, a fixed version was released which solved most of the issues.

OK, then I had calmed down a little and started to enjoy using Studio 9 plus. However, there always seems to be a limit, which is about 24 minutes of footage. if you try to go beyond this, then the whole thing goes pear shaped, and hours of your time will simply be flushed away.

Well, in acceptance of all this I stupidly upgraded to V12 ultimate, which was a BIG mistake. Fancy interface, tempting goodies. what a load of utter rubbish. THE most unstable software ever imaginable, even when installed on my HP XW8200 workstation with 6Gb Ram, 3.4 Xeon processor, SCSI 1500 rpm HDD and nVidia FX graphics.

I then even wasted more time trying to communicate with pinnacle to get a solution.

These guys are hiding behind a lead lined concrete, rubber padded wall. Many years of producing half finished software has made them experts at dodging unhappy customers.

I expect their mailbox has a chute leading directly in to the rubbish bin. THE most professional scam I've ever fallen for twice. Shame on me, they are the smart ones with a great marketing machine that can even make people buy their junk twice in a row!

Roger Martin

April 27, 2009, 12:20 am

I just bought Pinnacle Studio ultimate, version 12. I have never used any kind of software like this before. I am not having the crashing problems, etc. I can barely get the basics to work. I managed to capture some video from my analog VCR, which is the whole reason I bought this program. However, I cannot get the thing to burn a DVD. When I try, I get a message that says "browse for folder" and "select image folder." No explanation as to what this means (I am not a "computer" person). The file I want to burn is in a particular folder, but whether I select that folder or another other, I always get the same message: "The path name is invalid." Again, I am not a computer person, so I have no idea what this means or how to work around it and get this thing to burn a DVD. The 315 page book that comes with the program devotes a total of 2 pages to burning DVDs -- and no explanation of what this problem is, or how to fix it. Nothing mentioned in the index, or anything that I can find online. It looks like it would be a good program, if only it worked. These people need a section that just says, "look, here's how you accomplish this task - hit this button here over in this corner, hit that button there, if you get this message do this" and so on. Keep it simple. I shouldn't need to search through a 315 page book just to figure out why the d*** thing won't do a simple task. So far, the tech support has been no help. Anyone have any ideas on how to get Pinnacle to burn a DVD?


April 28, 2009, 3:19 am

Think that all the positive comments are from Pinnacle employees. After some bad experiences with previous version gave version 12 agina a try. Now deeply disappointed, each time I build a new project it erases all the work I did and I end up with an empty project. I hate this terrible buggy program, time to switch and stop waisting money on Pinnacle Studio.


April 29, 2009, 10:05 am

I do not know how many versions of Pinnacle Studio I have bought over the past 10 years or more. I have a Dell Studio XPS with i7 quad core intel processor, 3 Gig memory a terrabyte hard drive and so on. Sitll the Pinnacle Studio 12 ultimate is giving me trouble. A simple thing such as entering text is causing the blue exclamation mark to appear. I am using the Sony HD CX7 camearas files. Sadly if this issue of the popping exclamation mark is not resolved I will have to declare the product a failure.

I am running Windows Vista 64 bit version


May 1, 2009, 9:53 am

I have just bought a Sanyo VCP CG10 HD camcorder that uses MP4. Can anyone tell me if Pinnacle Studio 12 supports MP4 ? I have had problems with other Video editing software and don't want to buy Pinnacle if it isn't compatible or has problems with MP4 file compression. I am running windows XP. If its not that good, does anyone have a product that can be recommended?

Paul Nagle

May 3, 2009, 9:07 pm

I though it was just me - Have been using 10.6 for a year or two. Created a training DVD where I did a lot of voice overs. After 20 minutes of voice overs it moves the voice clips all over the place and corrupts the project. Voice overs 20 minutes in the movie suddeny appear 5 minutes in the movie and overwrite the original voice clip. I must have wasted 200 hours trying to complete a project because of re-doing the voice overs again & again.Also sent this problem to support with PDF files showing them the CLIP changes and they give you a reference number but you will NEVER hear from them.

Yes it also hangs and stops working for no reason.... I have just purchased a SONY HD CAM this weekend and was going to upgrade to pinnacle V12. Now that I read the reports I think it's VEGAS here I Come ! - Pity I like the pinnacle interface.............


May 16, 2009, 10:18 pm

I read all the comment above and I agree with most of you. I have been using all version of Pinnacle studio and every one of them problems, I just wondered how can any company launch products with much bugs, do they test them at all before they release it. The support is very poor also, they would tell you to remove and install it again, even you tell them " I have re-installed 5 time already", they still insist you should reinstall.

Although the Pinnacle is so unstable, I must say the interface is very user friendly. This is why I keep upgrading it, to 8, to 9, 10, 11. When the 12 was release I was very hesitate to upgrade it this time. 2 reasons, reason 1: it is not much "upgrade" fom studio 11. Reason 2: I don't believe Pinnacle has improved the stability issue. I wanted to wait for some months until thell gave the market feedback and release the fixes. Now its the time to re-visit "should I purchase the upgrade from 11 to 12. After reading the above review. I don't think I should continue to follow the Pinnacle Studios! I have the same conclusion as Paul Nagle: Pity I like the Pinnacle interface ........

Andrew Hill

May 29, 2009, 7:10 am

Is anybody in the world happy with the pinnacle range. Not me either. No one at pinnacle can comprehend the mental anguish of spending untold hours fine tuning a project into the early hours of many mornings and having it all jump off the page or lock up unsaved and not be retrievable. AARRGGGHHH!. I'm now using the Sony Vegas studio 9 and for an amateur it is complicated and much harder to learn BUT it is so far 100% stable and when you start to get it it provides far more professional options and finish.

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