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Corel Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 23 

Adding to its range of graphics software products, Corel has released version 23 of its Pinnacle Studio offering. I was fortunate to have been sent a free version of the top of the range Ultimate product rather than the standard Studio or Studio Plus products.

Corel Pinnacle Studio 23 Ultimate
click image to enlarge

Without a doubt, the fact I had been sent the Ultimate version of the product added to the time required for the downloading of the software and its installation on my work system.  The size and length of time required by the tasks can be judged by the number of desktop icons that were created.  Normally you would expect a product, even one involved with graphics, to make do with a single desktop icon.  However Pinnacle Studio 23 Ultimate does not feel it should be constricted in its use of available icons.  A quick check of my already well- populated desktop revealed that Pinnacle Studio 23 Ultimate software had placed icons for the main program, a DVD burning utility and a training module plus an additional icon for a folder for use when working with Pinnacle Studio 23.  There was also a MultiCam Capture Lite product which was first added to the previous version of this product.  I would suggest occupying your time with a coffee and biscuit break while waiting for the Pinnacle Studio 23 software to complete its set-up installation as this process can take over an hour.

While the initial firing up of Pinnacle Studio 23 Ultimate can be a rather slow process as the software check out the facilities available, including an offer to join an experience improvement  program, subsequent loading of this software is decidedly quicker.  Following the pattern used by other titles in the Corel family, Pinnacle Studio 23 splits its opening introduction into a Welcome section that then leads on to a tabbed interface that concentrates its functionality into Import, Edit and Export areas 

The initial Welcome screen provides you with  access to a series of video tutorials with associated commentary.  These tutorials, covering a range of topics that have been graded suitable for Beginners, Intermediate and Expert users.  While the various videos were fine, I did encounter one slight issue when accessing this interface.  The reason for my problem was that the developers of the product had combined a black background with a black cursor.  My aging, cataract-affected eyes found it difficult to distinguish between the two elements and the software did not appear to allow for some adjustment between the two shades of black that were the default.

The software does  allow you to select your opening default option as you decide on Import, Edit or Export and gain access to relevant tools as areas are set aside for adjusting factors and working with content from sources, such as DVD and Bluetooth plus what is already stored on the host computer's hard drive or from a live video feed from an attached camera before moving on to editing features as you work with Timeline and Storyboard modes. 

Once satisfied with any required tweaks and other editing features. you can move on to the Export mode where decisions can be  made regarding the format and eventual destination of the completed video project.  Feedback, regarding the size of the forthcoming video, depending upon the decisions you have made, will be provided just in case you feel size-related issues need to be made.

With this latest 23 version of the software, several new and enhanced features have been added to increase the power, precision and creative opportunities delivered by Pinnacle Studio 23.  New editing software can take advantage of higher bit rates and enhanced Intel Quick Sync video hardware  acceleration,  Adding to version 23 is a new Video Masking facility which allows for the removal of elements, the blurring of faces, cloning objects and the application of effects to a portion of the video clip.  Also new, to this latest version of the product is Timeline Efficiences covering features such as clip nesting, group multiple clip action and the decluttering of a Timeline to improve the progress of work.  Pinnacle Studio 23 also features the newly added  NewBlue Audio Essentials module,  This can be used to streamline audio effects such as chorus, delay, echo and distortion when working on audio issues.

While not exactly new features, the program's developers have  enhanced Colour Grading to set the overall tone of a video and save time when copying and pasting attributes.  Also enhanced are Exporter options that include the new Alpha Channel to export projects with transparent backgrounds plus the ability to seamlessly process multiple files at once.

This version of Pinnacle Studio comes in three different version.  The standard offering is priced at £59.95 with the Studio Plus product costing £78,95. The Ultimate version, and subject of this review, is listed at £114.95.  System requirements call for a  64-bit operating system using a 4.0 GHz processor with 4 GB of RAM and 8 GB of hard disk space.  This product is well worth considering.

Full details are available on the Pinnacle web site.

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OverallCorel Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 23 rated 96 out of 100
Highly commended product

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