What Video Editing Program Is Compatible With The Mac And Is Similar To Pinnacle Studio?
Question: What program is compatible with the Mac and similar to the Pinnacle Studio Ultimate video editing software suite?
I need the software to be able to import from DVD and export in MPEG 1 and 2 formats. This is for video to be used in legal settings, edited, played in court, etc.
Answer: Hi, thank you for the question. I also get many questions on this topic from a couple of other readers. Many of them have used Pinnacle Studio in the Windows environment and found it to be a very decent video editing software. However, for some users, the Windows environment is not very stable and tends to hang after extended periods of editing.
If you're running a Mac platform, I'd say that there are a few video editing programs options you have. One of them is iMovie, which is built-in with your Mac as part of iLife. iMovie is not a particularly comprehensive video editing solution.
Sure, you can do the basics, but if you want more - I'd suggest you take a look at Final Cut Express.
Final Cut Express is much more powerful than Pinnacle Studio and iMovie in many aspects. Pinnacle Studio and iMovie are, in my opinion, more more geared towards beginners. Final Cut Express is more suited for intermediate level video editors who want more editing power in their hands. It comes with AVCHD support, multi-resolution timelines, advanced keyframing and color correction, along with a huge list of useful features.
Some comparisons here - Pinnacle Studio is quite basic, with some intermediate functionality. However, it has only one basic video/image track, one sound track, and one overlay track (e.g. for voice-overs). However, if you look at Final Cut Express, it can handle up to 99 Video tracks, 99 soundtracks and so forth.
That being said, Final Cut Express only takes in AVCHD and DV/HDV video formats natively. If you are working with other formats, you would first need to convert them with a free tool (e.g. MPEG Steamclip). Also, the don't expect to jump right into Final Cut Express and expect to hit the ground running. Final Cut Express has a definite learning curve, and is suited to those wishing to upgrade their editing knowledge and skillset towards Final Cut Studio. The skill level required for Final Cut Express is closer to that of Adobe Premiere Pro.
Some other thoughts too - when using Final Cut Express, you'll notice that you have to switch from one program to another. For example, to make titles you have to switch LiveType. For making the DVD, you have to switch to iDVD. It is not all integrated like in Pinnacle Studio. This does take some getting used to.
I hope the above has been useful to you. Do let me know if you have further questions.
Click here to buy Final Cut Express.
Also, given the steep learning curve, you might also want to purchase this guide book to help you along. You can also click here to read my reviews of other video editing software programs.