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The box and its contents:


Pinnacle Studio 12 ULTIMATE - The box !

As soon as it was received, we feverishly opened the Pinnacle Studio 12 ULTIMATE box to explore it's contents ....

First, you get the usual "green cloth" which should not be overlooked as extremely useful for many types orf "Mr. or Ms. Weather Forecaster" videos (especially if you've already gotten the green cloth with S10 or S11. You can sew them together!).

Then comes the documentation and the CD / DVD. It's new, the DVD Bonus Content disc no longer exists, third party plugins must be downloaded from the Pinnacle website (as a demo version or paying version - you grumpy ones will no longer be able to say you find yourselves with a multitude of locked effects - take note that demo versions will be available in ~15 days, by clicking on the treasure chest in Studio) . The Studio 12 Ultimate DVD is in the pocket with the unlock number that will make for an easy installation. If you acquired the ULTIMATE version, the second disc is a CD containing three plugins that we previously discussed (BorisFX, Magic Bullet Looks, ProDAD VitaScene). For Scoreffiter, it is installed with Studio 12. For RTFx Plus, it is installed with the Plus and ULTIMATE versions.

Finally, the materials include:

  • Studio 12 manual (Consult chapter 6 to for Pinnacle Montage - Well, okay you will also have a summary by Le Papy who will publish it ...) .
  • the "Pinnacle Support" leaflet, which tells you how to find help on the software (the famous knowledge database, support free phone with your access code for thirty minutes - purchase of additional minutes is possible - the forum and do not forget the live chat system not listed in the leaflet / Oh my god, they forget to mention our website !! Probably a mistake to be corrected with V13 - I've already told you that I still believe in Santa Claus ?...)
  • a small sheet on the specific tool "Transfer Content Wizard" that allows you to recover your content from old Studio 10 and Studio 11 (previous versions of S10 are not supported, but that should  be enough for our usual tools: BIAS SoundSoap, Title Extreme, Premium Pack (Volume 1 / Volume 2), RTFx (Volume 1 / Volume 2), HFX Volumes (Volume 1 / Volume 2 / Volume 3). Note that SmartSound will automatically be recovered during the installation process (no need for the transfer content wizard).
  • Quick Start Guide to produce a video in a few minutes and burn a DVD in an hour (dixit the guide).
  • and a leaflet on the use of the three previously mentioned plugins (BorisFX, Magic Bullet Looks, ProDAD VitaScene). The assistance in this area is not very big, but the Boris Graffiti manual is also available on our download page, otherwise please refer to the online help from different suppliers, or our site for the proDAD part (tutorials will be published soon).


Do not forget to finalize your current project before installation (rendering DV AVI or MPEG should be sufficient to re-use your video within Studio 12)! Then, insert the Studio 12 DVD, and let's go.

First surprise: The installation program is virtually perfect and very fast.

There is no request to uninstall previous versions. The unpleasant progress bars for each module which were not always realistic have disappeared.

On a modern configuration (*), the DVD installation (1 disc) is done in less than 12 minutes. The progress bar is progressing normally except at the end where it reaches 100%, it is empty and then nothing happens for 3 minutes (only the processor usage indicates that the computer continues working), otherwise one gets the impression that the computer has crashed. So it's very good overall presentation and efficiency, a pity that we must end on this small weakness (without consequence, however, please be patient while the installation process finishes).

One other minor problem, if your Pinnacle passport has changed during installation after registration, you will receive an email with an activation key that is not functional (precisely because of the Pinnacle passport change). In such cases, do a key regeneration. Then you will receive your new functional keys.

For owners of the ULTIMATE version, the CD (the second disc that includes three plugins) is installed within 5 minutes.

Documentation :

The documentation delivered is of good quality. The manual (which is also on our site) seems well documented and I greatly appreciated the two small additional "Quick Start Guide" and "Ultimate Plugins for Pinnacle Studio."

Running software :

  • very intuitive
  • executes very fast, if not instantly, and fluid transitions and other effects even with the background rendering switched off.
  • I really liked the Pinnacle montage themes (nice effects and implementation is very simple and intuitive). We will come back to this feature in a forthcoming news.
  • I really liked the markers (very useful in my opinion).
  • after installation, I found all my SmartSounds® without using the Content Transfer Wizard which I have not yet tested (we will also see later on this feature).
  • big disappointment however that there are no additional video tracks. The themes will have to temporarily substitute until a better solution is available.
  • Finally, the inability to edit or create themes is a big issue, we strongly hope to have an enhancement for this in a future patch/update. So please post about this on Pinnacle forums if you wish to see such a capability...

I tried several complex operations, without crashing the software. Great !!

Use :

It will take a little time to have a more serious opinion. But I already noticed some very good points like, among other things, after closing Studio, it is reopening and displaying the latest movie in 10 to 15 seconds (setting "Save and automatically load my projects").

Conclusion :

At first glance, this Studio version is a very good improvement compared to previous ones, probably the best version I have ever tested. Now let's wait a little bit, using the software intensively in the next days and weeks... I can only hope that the good impression will not be challenged by the emergence of new (x) bug (s).

NB :

The files Repair-HFX-S12-Vista.bat and Repair-HFX-S12-XP.bat will soon be posted on this site to recover transitions available on the site (Free HFX). However, some of them do not function anymore, and will require changes / adjustments. We strongly hope that Pinnacle could provide a tool to remedy the situation.

(*) modern system used: Q6600 Quad Core 2.40Ghz 8 MB cache, 4GB DDR2 800 Mhz and clean, but with some videos software obtained here on our link page, as well as Studio 10 and Studio 11.

{Article made by Le Papy excepted the introduction "box and its contents" by Declic Video - Translation by Loosecannon}

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Saturday, June 21, 2008 8:58 AM
I'm getting ready to spec out a new desktop system. Regarding memory I understand XP only addresses 3mb RAM maximum and was wondering if Vista addresses more. Maybe the operating system is not the thing that limits addressable memory... maybe it's the 32bit architecture. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Sid Grimm
Saturday, June 21, 2008 8:00 PM
This was definately the most refreshing and honest account I've yet found on the new S12.
I hope to find all your intended updates as your testing goes on. I started with S9 and went up to S11 ultimate. I've spent a year groping for the right fixes and have YET to experience that mysterious SOUNDSOAP which installs sometimes after all the uninstalling and reinstalling tramas and now I actually have fun writing to Pinnacle EVERY day begging for real fixes with this.
Like many others, I have put enough dollars into these POTENTIALLY cool products, that I too am tempted to bump to 12. Heck, its only another hundred bucks, right? Well, I sit with this decision and wait for more reviews cause frankly, I don't want to merely help Pinnacle pay their rent. I'd like to have a studio that actually works this time around. Nice review! (On behalf of every frustrated Pinnacle owner)..Keep them coming!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 2:26 PM
I have used 9.3.3 till now. All the bugs and gremlins in 9 kept me from updating. I am keen on 12 ultimate, as soon as it hits our sunny shores.
Till than I'll read the comments and frustrations of the 12 owners.
Thanx for the sound resume thus far.
Thursday, June 26, 2008 7:47 PM
Good Review! Thanks.
For Puterman - Vista 32 can also only address 3.5Gb of system RAM. You are correct that it is a 32bit limitation. Vista 64 solves that, but can anyone tell us if Stuio 12 runs under it?
(I'm sure its NOT 64 bit) but some other video tools are starting to emerge that are...
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 6:35 AM
Any news on Mercalli for Pinnacle Studio? ProDad used to have a FAQ entry saying Mercalli could become available with Studio 12. Now that information window on the ProDad site is empty.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 7:27 AM
Mercalli Light is now available for Studio 12.
Please see this FAQ:
Déclic Vidéo FX
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 9:32 AM
@theblake: Studio 12 is fully compatible with Vista 64 but it is a 32 bits application.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:48 PM
The Ultimate version 11 contained a pan & zoom plug in ... can version 12 do the same pan & zoom for photos?
Etienne Kinnaer
#Etienne Kinnaer
Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:21 PM
Hi Mathews,
1) The pan and zoom on Studio 11 is working on Photos as well.
2) The pan and zoom in Studio 12 will work on photos as well.
There is no difference.
Best regards,
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 2:33 PM
Does the Core2 Quad 2.40 processor perform well when editing 1920 AVCHD?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 5:23 PM
No. The minimum spec for 1920x1080 AVCHD is an Intel® Core™2 Quad 2.66 GHz or higher required for 1920x1080 AVCHD editing
Rémy Fehlmann
#Rémy Fehlmann
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 11:17 PM
1440x1080 AVCHD: Intel® Core™2 Duo 2,4 GHz or higher
1920x1080 AVCHD: Intel® Core™2 Quad 2,66 GHz or higher
Friday, August 8, 2008 3:06 AM
I'd be willing to endure some low performace on my 2,4 quad processor when using Studio 12 and 1920 resolution - so can I expect things to trudge along or not at all with my current configuration? Noticed that the test machine for this artice sports a similar processor.
Friday, August 8, 2008 5:12 AM

Based on feedback in the Pinnacle forum, it will just be slow with the potential for some additional crashes. But, it will generally work.
Ron Talbot
#Ron Talbot
Friday, May 1, 2009 12:52 PM
What have I missed? I have been running 12 Ultimate for almost a year now and was not aware that it had not been released. In general, it is a lot more stable than previous versions and I have only encountered minimual probles.
1. When going to "Make Movie" I have had the program tell me that my less than 1 hour video is in excess of 4.7 Gb. (6.7 - 9.6Gb). When checking the file thru Windows it shows to be 2.77 Gb. You can not burn direct to DVD when this happens but I have been able to write a rendered file and then burn it.
2. I have also had a problem with capture. The "Preview" is jumpy and gittery. Tried all tyes of fixes but ended up using the same VHS player, cables, & capture box but loading Studio 9 on a different computer. I could then Capture and transfer using a Thumb / Jump drive to Studio 12 on my main computer. Pinnacle had no solution for either problem other than re-installing the program which I did a couplle of times.

The program is much more solid and everything seems to work from 9, 10 & 11.
Saturday, May 2, 2009 12:07 PM
A recent problem has duplicated the sending of certain newsletters.
This is resolved now.

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