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Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate - 3D, Plug-ins and Verdict

By James Morris



  • Recommended by TR
Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate


Our Score:


Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate - 3D Video

The first big new feature, however, is that Studio now supports 3D, at long last (just in time for the BBC to drop the format). We didn't find Studio was quite as tolerant as CyberLink PowerDirector 11 for different types of 3D file format, with some side-by-side files we tried not being detected as 3D, and the 50 frames-per-second files from a JC Everio GS-TD1 didn't work either. But we found standard AVCHD 2.0 3D files were fine.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

When viewing 3D footage, you can choose to view left eye, right eye, side-by-side, differential, checkerboard, or output to a 3DTV in side-by-side format. It's also possible to view the 3D in anaglyph format, for which glasses have been provided in the box. Previous versions of Avid and Pinnacle Studios supported a good range of file formats, and the new 3D ability is also joined by the ability to import directly from the Box online video service.

However, Ultra HD 4K video isn't supported. We tried to import 4K video shot on a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition to no avail. CyberLink PowerDirector 11 supported this format last year, and Corel's own VideoStudio X6 does too. So it's a bit of an omission, even if in practice it will be years before the format reaches widespread consumer or even enthusiast adoption.

Once you have imported your 3D, there are some new Stereoscopic effects you can add to your footage. You can choose whether to keep just the left or right eye image, but you can also adjust the parallax. In standard mode, you can simply change the depth effect. In Advanced mode, you can shift the picture left or right, and zoom separately in horizontal and vertical directions.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

The Ultimate version's inclusion of Red Giant's Filmmaker's and Motion Graphics Toolkits adds some serious extra facilities, too. The Filmmaker's Toolkit includes Cosmo, Magic Bullet Looks, and Mojo, whilst the Motion Graphics Toolkit includes Knoll Light Factory, Particular, Reflect, Shadows and Shine. Covering the abilities of these plug-ins in detail would warrant a separate review.

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate

So, in short, Cosmo helps you achieve attractively soft-focused skin tones in your interview subjects, whilst the much-loved Magic Bullet Looks contains a host of customisable presets for different classic film and video appearances, such as horror or tinted black and white. Mojo is essentially a grading tool, allowing you to give your videos various warm or cool treatments. The Graphics toolkit filters let you add things like lens flares and particle systems.

Should I Buy Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate?

Users of earlier versions of Pinnacle Studio looking for more editing power should definitely consider version 16. It may be a significantly different application, but the backwards compatibility with earlier projects make this a better option than switching to something entirely new.

This is a more fully featured editor than previous Studios, and is one of the most capable video apps currently available for under £100, rivalling Adobe Premiere Elements 11 for features and performance.


The code switch to what used to be Avid Studio may be quite radical, but it makes for a much more powerful editing application, particularly in this Ultimate version.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 9

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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