You totally do not mention that Pinnacle studio crashes a lot and has a lot of bugs. I do not believe that you did not experience any bugs during your review. I did own every single version of Pinnacle studio starting with version 9, and I always upgrage NOT because I want more functions but simply in a hope that the next version will be at least a bit less buggy.
My last experience from yesterday when trying to make a 5 minute movie from skiing holidays:
* first i couldn't find the simplest fade through black transition (there is a zillion of pathetic amateur looking transitions with all the whistles and animations which makes finding simple transitions very uneasy).
* than when trying to save the movie: it immediately crashed upon opening the 'Save as' dialog. It is quite normal when you work with this programm for more than 20 minutes so I didn't worry - but it occured that because of this error I cannot change the name of the movie (no possibility to 'save as') I have located the temporrary file (New movie.movie.axp) and changed it's name but Pinnacle studio deleted this file immediately upon opening it.
I had to start my work from scratch.
After a few hour spent on re-creating the whole movie I entered the 'export' menu and started export to TS format. It did export 27% and the export process hang. The UI was responsive but export never passed 27%.
And I can tell everybody reading this comment: such behavior is COMPLETELY TYPICAL for Pinnacle Studio Products. No matter on what hardware and what Pinnacle Studio version you have.
I would have to disagree with Damago. I edit with the software all the time. I do complex, multitrack editing with effects. I edit native AVCHD and Canon DSLR MOV HD footage. I use 18megapixel images (from the Canon) and finish everything I start.
Are there problems? Yes. But there are problems with every software out there. I export to file (MPG4 1080P) and upload to my youtube channel. Many out there are using the software producing amazing results.
Because someone does not know how to use the software, nor has bothered to read the manual or watch the easy to follow online video tutorials that Pinnacle offers to everyone (professionally produced by ClassOnDemand) is not the software's fault. Reading your post, you mention looking for a simple fade to black in the transitions. You don't have to "look" for it. Easy to apply and do.
The behavior might be "typical" on your machine, but not mine. I have the video evidence to prove it and can point to many others publishing their work.
Have you tried the Pinnacle user forums?
Simply read user comments under other reviews. On trustedreviews or even amazon. The number of people totally frustrated with memory leaks, crashes, other problems when actually trying to use is speaking for itself. And for instance in amazon they are interleaved by all-star reviews like the one by Chef Scott which are just marketing blah blah with even copied parts of marketing materials - clearly not done by the real user.
Maybe you are one of some users who are happy enough to use only the path in the programm which is NOT crashing. Me, and hundreds of other users are not so happy. Bugs and crashes from last week:
* fails to export to H264 (stalls after some number of frames)
* fails to import from DV (after investigation on forums it seems that the last version to correctly import & detect scenes was version 12 and the bug was not corrected ever since)
* crash when trying to cancel export (heap corruption)
* black frames instead of transitions in exported material
* need to close application via killing ngstudio.exe and bgrnd.exe in task manager - otherwise you cannot start the application back
and this is only from the last few days of usage.
not mentioning problems with track-to-track synchronisation (no possiblity to keep tracks synchronized without very tricky operations when you are trying to simply trim or prolong the clip on one of the tracks).
Pinnacle support is less then helpful. Over the years I owned at least 4 versions of Pinnacle Studio. I bought the last one when the product was owned by AVID. At a later date Corel has purchased Studio. I was re-installing the Studio only to find out that activation key for MPEG-4 does not work. It appears it cannot validate my ID on Pinnacle website. Corel support answer to my problem: buy the latest version. This is the fist time any software company I worked with flatly refuses to support prior versions of the product. I work for a software company myself and find this approach as a blackmail.
As I have mentioned above, I do upgrade from time to time when I can see that new features add on to the usability of the product. At this time I am very happy with the version I have, but without MPEG-4 key I cannot use the program.
When puchasing any product please consider a longer term implications. Will the company support you 1- or 2 or 3 years from now. There is nothing in the software sales pitch to indicate that you have to buy a new version every year, but apparently Corel has a different opinion. Keep it in mind when buying Pinnacle Studio. When You invest your time in learning this product you are locked and switching to a different vendor will not be easy.