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Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate review




  • Recommended by TR

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Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate


Our Score:



  • Support for 3D video and images
  • Powerful Red Giant plug-ins included
  • Imports projects from previous versions


  • Not the same application as previous Pinnacle Studio
  • No Ultra 4K support
  • Basic version has notable limitations

Key Features

  • Unlimited editing tracks (Ultimate version)
  • Wide range of file support, including 3D
  • Comprehensive video effects and transitions
  • Powerful Red Giant plug-ins (Ultimate version)
  • Green screen included (Ultimate version)
  • Manufacturer: Pinnacle
  • Review Price: £99.95

What is Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate?

Studio 16 Ultimate is the top version of Pinnacle's latest consumer video editing application. Studio is one of the longest-standing brands in its field, and has passed through numerous hands. The latest owner, as of about a year ago, is Corel. So Studio 16 sits alongside VideoStudio 16, with which it used to be a direct competitor, and in some ways now is even more so.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate - Features

We're not sure where Corel's ownership of two such similar products is likely to head, but for now Studio is receiving the same progression of development as its stable mate. After all, it has been a pretty equal fight between the two applications for over a decade, and both have large followings.

As usual, there are multiple editions of Studio, with a range of features and bundled extras. The basic version provides three audio and three video tracks, whilst Plus increases this to 12 apiece, and the Ultimate version on test here is unlimited. There are more effects, transitions, titles and templates as you move up the range, and if you want to author Blu-ray or import and export 5.1 surround sound you will need Plus or above.

Effects keyframing is also only available with Plus or higher. The Ultimate version justifies its additional premium with some third-party extras as standard. Red Giant's Filmmaker's and Motion Graphics Toolkits are included, plus there is a piece of green-screen material in the box as well, which has been a bonus with the top version of Studio for some years now.

However, this version isn't quite a tweak of Studio HD 15. In fact, although the interface looks superficially similar, Studio 16 is based on the code base of Avid Studio, which was developed by previous Pinnacle owner Avid. So, in answer to the question "What's new?" the answer is actually "Everything."

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

This is no major issue, though. You can import projects from previous versions of Studio. We tried this with a project created in Pinnacle Studio HD 15 and it came in without a hitch, preserving transitions, effects and titles in their original forms. The different approach to tracks used by the previous Studio was also preserved, with tracks renamed according to their more specialised roles in the earlier software.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate - Interface

At first glance, the interface doesn't look that different to before, either, but there are subtle improvements over both Studio HD 15 and Avid Studio 1.1. A leaf has been taken out of professional video editing software, and Studio now gives the option of having preview windows for both the source clips and the timeline on screen at once, rather than having to switch between them.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

This does mean reduced space for the media and effects pane, but will be a familiar arrangement for anyone with professional aspirations. The pop-out effects monitor of Avid Studio is still available, though, letting you tweak a clip and change effects parameters with a larger video preview. The range of adjustments available here is comprehensive, and with the keyframing available in Plus and Ultimate, it's possible to create some highly professional-looking effects.

Alex Walsh

July 22, 2013, 1:45 pm

This is about twice the price of the latest version of Premiere Elements (I picked up a bundle of premiere & photoshop elements before Christmas for £50 in fact). Is it notably better? What can it do that Premiere Elements can't?

Does it support multi-core processors for starters...


August 9, 2013, 4:19 pm

It sure does support for multi-core processors and cuda too!Bob

Harry S

September 15, 2013, 6:50 pm

I was a Pinnacle Studio fan since Studio7!!!. Studio 16 Ultimate was the latest version I bought, and it will be the last one!. With Coraldraw they completely lost track. Program is eating all processing and memory power, even without editing or compiling movies. The great story board,.... is in Studio 16,.. "end of story". It's a shame, it was always a very good product, now will never ever buy it again


October 15, 2013, 11:00 pm

So I tried the free trial version to find out that the disc menu is very confusing to use. I currently use 14 ultimate and it is very user friendly. The main thing about the menu / chapters is you have to save and exit your movie to add to it. Click on this screen and drag to that screen to link to the other screen to make it all work. Do one step out of order and you get to start all over. The propeller head that designed the disc menu should be fired. After you leave the disc editing screen the chapter screen is no longer visable on the story line. They made an easy user friendly operation at best horrible. I don't plan on purchasing 16 for this one reason.


October 31, 2013, 1:22 pm

Have used various versions of Pinnacle Studio for years. Always has been a resource consumer - more so than other apps. However, I encountered a problem with 16 ultimate and the process has been horrific. The app will successfully complete every single function present EXCEPT burn to a DVD! Crashes every time. So, I purchased the one-time premium support - had a project to complete. Multiple calls and broken promises for Corel to call back I am one full week in and no resolution yet. Giving serious consideration to an alternative - possibly PowerDirector based on multiple reviews. Anyone else have similar experience(s)?

Crimson Dragon

November 4, 2013, 9:53 am

I use Avid Studio 1.1 and I tell you it's better than Pinnacle Studio 16!! If you're not interested in 3D is much better use Avid Studio. Well this is in fact Avid Studio 2, but unlike the first it didn't bring anything revolutionary. These days was edit Pinnacle Studio 17 so Avid Studio 3. Of new stuff the really new are 4K and screen record, but Cyberlink already launched a better one Power Director 12 suite 2 and Magix also Movie Pro 2014 Premium. After Corel bought Avid the sequels of Avid Studio became so lame, maybe to sell more of the originally Corel video editors. It's better Avid leaves the home video and invests this money to its professional stuff, Media Composer and others, at least there they're the best.


November 11, 2013, 10:34 pm

I have used several versions of Pinnacle/Avid.....I upgraded from studio14 ultimate to pinnacle studio 16, and I have a problem....with 14, I have my old family movies transferred to DVD discs, and had not problem importing them to 14, but with 16, the import process indicates reading, but it never does. Can antone help?


November 19, 2013, 1:27 pm

PInnacle Studio 16 is taking me to long to learn not a very good purchase.

Disgusted Pinnacle User

December 20, 2013, 1:56 am

Total waste of time and money. Have been using Pinnacle software for editing for more than 10 years and this is by far the worst version of all. Its clunky and lags badly. Editing in this version is considerably slower than Version 14 Ultimate which I have now gone back to using. Since Corel took control of this product they have managed to undo all the good work that Pinnacle achieved in the last decade. Built a new PC specifically to run V16 Ultimate on and was extremely disappointed with the software's performance. Either find a copy of V14 to purchase or look for something else. Congratulations Corel on taking a good product and turning it into garbage.

Disgusted Too

March 19, 2014, 10:02 pm

I agree with Disgusted. I started using Studio back when my grandchildren were born 16 years ago and Studio 100 dealt with analog video cameras, so I have experienced the changes over the years. Avid tried the Studio 16 format as Avid Studio in 2011. It was as terrible then as Studio 16 is now (and presumably Studio 17). I installed 16 only to see if I could recommend v17 to a friend. Not going to happen. Dealing with specific scene clips is horrible. It's not clear where edits start and stop. Sound editing appears to have disappeared. It doesn't appear where the help shows it to be. 14 and prior needed help to make sound editing (mostly volume adjustments) precise. The user interface is extremely cluttered with pages and pages of redundant transitions / titles. A title placed on an unused track picks up as a background whatever is on the video track. The .avi produced was fuzzy compared to the source. And only 14 days of support!!!

Long Time User

April 4, 2014, 1:48 am

Have been a long term user of Pinnacle products (15yrs+) and since Corel got their hands on it this software has turned into rubbish. If you are looking for good editing software this is NOT it. Save your money and buy anything but Pinnacle. Corel have taken a reasonably stable and straight forward product and managed to over complicate it, making it considerably less stable than previous versions. Despite having a computer specifically built for editing the program constantly crashes, produces DVDs spasmodically and seldom runs smoothly. I've tried using V16 & V17 with updates installed and in my opinion both are complete garbage. Features that used to be easily found and applied are now hidden behind a multitude of layers and when applied still don't work properly. Basic features you expect to find in the software require you to purchase them even if you have the Ultimate edition. If you are looking to purchase video editing software this is not the one to waste your money on. I have wasted way too many hours endeavouring to get this software to work efficiently and suggest that unless you have a lot of time to waste you look elsewhere. The rating of 9/10 here is garbage and shows that Trusted Reviews are not.


May 11, 2014, 1:57 pm

Suprised by such positive rewiev. I'm not happy with my purchase - this app is crazy slow and unresponsive even on my powered up I7 . To make thinsg worse user interface choices are IMO bad - it tries to be "friendly" but is cumbersome instead, forcing you to try to figure out howto get round past UI restrictions.
I'd recommend trying other software , there's a chance even free / open-source ones will fare better....

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