Pinnacle Edition DV

  • Editors' rating
    8.0 Excellent
  • $699.99

Pros

  • Unique, Windows-centric interface
  • precise editing controls
  • bundled with custom transitions, DVD authoring and motion graphics programs.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • no audio CD import
  • PC only
  • menu interface is still a bit clunky.

Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro have got new competition. Pinnacle Edition DV is the first offspring of Pinnacle's acquisition of Fast Video, a German company primarily known for professional video-editing software. Edition DV sports a revolutionary contextual-menu interface (you right-click for everything, with no pull-down menus anywhere), a diverse feature set and bundled programs that make it solid competition for any other video-editing program. At £382.13 (ex. VAT; £499 inc. VAT), Pinnacle Edition DV represents incredible value to intermediate or advanced movie-makers. But despite its consumer packaging, this program's unique features and precise editing controls make it too tricky for beginners, who should turn to Pinnacle Studio DV or Video Explosion Deluxe.

We guarantee that Edition DV's interface will bring you up short. Gone are the pull-down menus and tool palettes of most editing systems -- of most software applications, in fact. Instead, Edition DV emulates Windows itself, complete with a Pinnacle Start button in the lower left-hand corner. It's a bit hard to get used to this OS-within-an-OS setup, but once you do, you'll never miss clunky toolbar menus.

Edition DV offers two separate views: Project and Sequence. In Project view, you collect your media (film clips, still shots and music) and organise your material, while Sequence view displays a traditional timeline interface for fine-tuning your project. Each time you switch between Project and Sequence, the icons embedded in the interface also change to match the new operation. We like the interface recycling, since it maintains consistency throughout the program.

Beyond its interesting interface, Edition DV has some impressive editing capabilities, from three-point editing to mixing multiple audio channels. Although Edition DV bundles Pinnacle Impression DVD Pro for advanced DVD-authoring tasks such as menu creation, title transitions and adding audio, it can create an MPEG2 file (the DVD format) and burn a simple, video-only DVD straight from the program. Edition DV also relies on the bundled Commotion program, which provides sophisticated special effects and compositing (creating multiple layers of video). We prefer Adobe’s After Effects for such special touches, but the powerful Commotion easily matches Final Cut Pro's special effects and compositing capabilities.

Nonetheless, Edition DV has a few rough edges that need polishing. For example, although you can change the name of a video or audio track in the Timeline window, you can't resize the column that displays the name beyond five characters. Also, Edition DV lacks real-time transition and effect previews -- a speedy editing tool that even mid-range video editors such as Video Explosion Deluxe, Final Cut Pro and the upcoming Adobe Premiere 6.5 all offer. Finally, we wish that Edition DV could import audio CD files for use as music and sound effects -- a pretty big oversight -- and we miss the scene-detection feature found in Pinnacle's low-end video products, which makes for much faster editing by automatically breaking up a video.

Alas, Edition DV is completely Windows-centric: Macintosh users must stick with Final Cut Pro and Premiere. Otherwise, Pinnacle Edition DV matches those two products and Video Explosion Deluxe almost feature for feature, from audio mixing to special effects to DVD authoring. If you use a PC and are serious about editing video, you owe it to yourself to check out Pinnacle Edition DV.

Specifications

Power Device
Type none
Interface Provided
Gender male
Connector Qty 1, 2
Type IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
Qty 1, 2
Connector Location external, internal
Video
Type video capture adapter
Form Factor plug-in card
Digital Video Format MPEG-2, QuickTime, AVI, DV
Interface Type IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
Digital Video Capture Speed 30 frames per second
Audio Input Support Standard
Audio Sampling Format Stereo 16-bit / 48 kHz, stereo 16-bit / 44.1 kHz, stereo 16-bit / 32 kHz
Image Recording Format BMP, TIFF, TGA
Frame Rate NTSC: 30 frames per second, PAL: 25 frames per second
Digital Video Capture Resolution 720 x 576, 740 x 480
Video Input
Digital Video Format AVI, DV, MPEG-2, QuickTime
Digital Video Capture Speed 30 frames per second
Digital Video Capture Resolution 720 x 576, 740 x 480
Audio Input Support standard
Audio Sampling Format stereo 16-bit / 32 kHz, stereo 16-bit / 44.1 kHz, stereo 16-bit / 48 kHz
Frame Rate NTSC: 30 frames per second, PAL: 25 frames per second
Image Recording Format BMP, TGA, TIFF
Interface Type IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
System Requirements
OS Required Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP
Min Processor Speed 700 MHz
Min RAM Size 512 MB
Header
Brand Pinnacle
Product Line Pinnacle Edition
Model DV
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility PC
Interface Required
Type none
Input Device
Input Adapter Type video capture adapter
Form Factor plug-in card
Interface Type PCI
Software
Type Drivers & Utilities, Pinnacle Hollywood FX, Pinnacle Impression DVD-Pro, Pinnacle TitleDeko
Slot Required
Type PCI
Total Qty 1
Bay Required
Type none

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