FCE 4 vs Pinnacle Studio 12

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    • #47812

      I’m thinking of moving from Studio 12 (on a PC) to FCE4 (on an iMac). Would you consider this an upgrade or a lateral move?

    • #196690

      In my opinion (just my opinion) it’s a lateral move. You’d be better off stepping up to Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas Pro, or the Mac equivalent if you’re going the Mac route. I worked with Studio for years, since version 8 or so. When I finally got up the nerve to change, I went with Adobe’s package because of all they offer (you can use Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, etc, together easily). I also stayed PC because I have more experience on them and didn’t want to learn a new OS even after working with the Mac for a test run. This is just my opinoin. Others might have ideas about what FCE does that Studio doesn’t, like particular features, but the price range is still pretty much the same. If you want to move up you have to move up the next price range. The bright side is that the next “price” range is pretty much the tops!

    • #196691

      Thanks for the comment.

    • #196692


      I have to respectfully disagree with “pseudosafari” about whether FCE is a lateral or upgrade move. FCE is much more powerful than Pinnacle/Avid Studio 12 in many aspects. As a Windows and Mac-based editor, Studio 12 and iMovie are considered pretty much the same with respect to editing level and power (what you can and cannot do functionally). If you are new to video editing, then stick with Intel/Pinnacle Studio 12 or move up to Adobe Elements or Sony Vegas….even Avid Liquid would be an upgrade to Studio 12 on a Windows-based machine. If you want to move to the Mac platform (iMac, etc.) then iMovie comes pre-loaded in iLife, as the basic video editor. If you are an intermediate editor wanting to move to the Mac platform and place more of the editing power in your hands, then Final Cut Express is a good start for later moving to Final Cut Studio in progression.

      Some Caveats please, FCE v4 only ingests DV/HDV and AVCHD video formats natively. If you are working with other formats, you would first need to convert them with a free tool like…MPEG Steamclip. There are other tools available for conversion too. If you are expecting the same ease of use in FCE, Premiere, Vegas, or Liquid as you have experienced with Avid/Pinnacle Studio 12 (i.e. templates, overlays, etc.), your expectation would be too high. All have some templates to get you started, but you need to know how to perform key-framing and other editing basics. FCE has a learning curve, as does Premiere, Vegas, or Liquid. FCE is for those wishing to upgrade their editing knowledge and skillset towards moving to Final Cut Studio, much the same way someone wanting to move to learning Avid or Adobe editors, but with the understanding there is a learning curve.

      FCE is a great editing suite and very powerful, but if you are expecting to jump in and use it the same way as Studio 12…it won’t happen. As with all semi-pro/pro editing suites, practice, training, and repeated use is the key.Pinnacle Studio 12 while very basic, does have some intermediate functionality, but only has one basic video/image track, one sound track, and one overlay track (voice-overs, etc.). As a difference, FCE can handle up to 99 Video tracks, 99 Sound tracks, etc., in its timeline for compositing, etc.

      Finally, I recommend you research and learn as much as possible about video editing suites and their technical specifications, based on your requirements (what you want and expect to do with the editing suite) before you jump to any editing suite…Windows OS or Mac OS platform!

      Just my honest opinion. Good Luck!


    • #196693

      wbmp, excellent response and very helpful to me as well. I have used nearly every PC editing program to various degrees andStudio 12 as met my expectations best for the reason you gave,If you are expecting the same ease of use in FCE, Premiere, Vegas, or Liquid as you have experienced with Avid/Pinnacle Studio 12 (i.e. templates, overlays, etc.), your expectation would be too high. All have some templates to get you started, but you need to know how to perform key-framing and other editing basics.” Studio 12 makes projects simple, fast,and easy. Once I am prepared to create my own key framing and my own templates, I would move to a more sophisticated program such as Premiere or FCE should I ever move to a Mac.

      Jeff4y, it would be nice to hear your thoughts if you do make the move.

      On a related topic, I recently started playing with ProShow Producer and so far have been impressed. It might over take my useage of Studio 12. Does anyone else have any thoughts on ProShow Producer?

    • #196694


      I use ProShow Producer (not Gold – – The lower-end of the Photodex products) for use in creating slide-shows only, as I can still control keyframing, etc. I find it a bit more powerful than the Pinnacle Studio line, as it relates to creating slideshows. I would recommend ProShowProducer. My problem with the Avid/Pinnacle Studio series is the constant upgrading and/or revisions to their software. Over the years, many Studio clients have requested Pinnacle add additional video and audio tracks to the program, but Pinnacle doesn’t seem to listen to their editing audience feedback often. I have used Pinnacle Studio since version 7.x and have upgraded over the years as they compile more or change features into their product, but not without lots of headaches. Pinnacle Studio’s upgrade path is for the birds. Upgrading from Studio 9 to 10, 10 to 11, then 11 to 12 was very painful over the years, as they change their included third-party feature offerings. By the way, I found the last “stable” version of Studio was v9.x.x. It simply turned me off of their product.

      Photodex’s ProShow Producer seems to be as equal or a bit more powerful (feature sets and editing tools) than Pinnacle Studio. I understand many professional photographer’s move to Producer than Studio to create client slideshows. Photodex offers the same background template sets, themes, and overlays for additional online download fee, similar to those offered by Avid/Pinnacle.

      Anyway, my thoughts…..Hope this helps!

      Good Luck!


    • #196695

      Thank you againWBMP. Cooincidentally, I was playing with ProShow Producer last night and really got into the more advanced features. I do notice there are less transition effects than Studio but I only used them when it was for fun, rather than serious shows. I heard Studio had stability problems but since 11, I have not experienced any. It has crashed but less than a handful of times in the past several years. Save, Save, and then save.

      I would like to hear from others if they feel Premeire Pro or Sony Vegas as “that” much better IF the user is at the enthusiast level and looking for easy usage of advanced features.

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