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Avid Pinnacle Studio HD Version 15

Pinnacle Studio is a venerable name in consumer video editing, and Avid is continuing that tradition with the release of Studio version 15 (while starting to depreciate the "Pinnacle" name). This new version focuses on "empowering hobby videographers and editing enthusiasts to make professional-quality movies at a fraction of the cost."

This is a year of consolidation in consumer editing, without huge new technology upgrades as in the past with HD, AVCHD, and Blu-ray. As a result, the focus is on enhancing the user interface to make editing easy for casual users, while still providing impressive capabilities for more advanced users.

Studio 15 adds new technology with Intel processor optimization for improved playback speed and performance, and support for additional formats including DivX Plus HD, YouTube HD, QuickTime HD, and AVCHD Lite.

And it includes a new Archive/Restore feature to back up all your project data in a single location, and conveniently transfer projects between multiple PCs.

Plus, the Studio 15 products pile on additional content and plug-ins to enhance your projects, starting with more than 1800 built-in effects, titles, and transitions.

As with previous releases, Avid has released Studio 15 in three versions:

Studio HD for $59 is the base product.

Studio HD Ultimate for $99 adds Blu-ray burning, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, Keyframe effects, and the Motion Titler, plus two Red Giant plug-ins and a content pack of more than 200 more titles, sound effects, and DVD menu templates.

Studio HD Ultimate Collection for $129 includes a 5 x 6 foot green screen for creating chroma-key effects, plus another four Red Giant plug-ins and another effect pack.

The base Red Giant plug-ins are Knoll Light Factory for light and lens flares and ToonIt for video animations. The additional four are Trapcode Shine for light ray effects, Particular for 3D smoke, explosion, and rain effects, Magic Bullet Looks for looks and mood, and Trapcode 3D Stroke for animation and 3D effects.

The Avid / Pinnacle Studio 15 line provides clear options for different kinds of users, from entry-level basic editing (albeit still with HD video), to taking advantage of more advanced built-in motion titles and effects, to learning the Red Giant plug-ins for professional-style looks. (A variety of plug-ins and content packs are also available separately.)

Avid also has announced a new Avid Studio product for the next step in consumer editing, extending the Pinnacle Studio approach for editing enthusiasts.

You can download a free 30-day trial edition of Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 15 to try it out for yourself.

See my Video Editing Software Gallery for information and links to video editing tools.

Find the Avid Pinnacle Studio HD 15 on Amazon.com

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