Pinnacle Studio 2.0 is the iPad’s Best Video Editor

What It Is
Pinnacle Studio 2.0
What It Does

Full-featured video editing software for the iPad.
Where to Buy It

What It Costs


Maybe it really is time to rethink the iPad as a video tool. Last week we looked at the Padcaster, which makes it possible to connect enough extra devices to your Apple tablet to transform it into a powerful video camera setup. So this time around it seemed appropriate to look at an app that offers an astounding wealth of features for editing the videos you create on your iPad: Pinnacle Studio 2.0.

No one will confuse Pinnacle Studio with Final Cut or Premiere Pro—but it’s sufficiently powerful that no one confuse it with iMovie, either. If you’re a professional, or you just want your personal video projects to look like you are, this is one of the best—and, priced at an unbelievably low $12.99, least expensive—ways to do it.

Not sure where to start? You can pull in all the media (video and audio clips, and photos) on your iPad, or from external devices (with the optional, sold-separately iPad Camera Connection Kit), or even capture photos and videos from within the app itself. Then you can organize it by Albums, Events, Faces, or other criteria.

Want to perform some precisely targeted editing? Not a problem. You can trim video clips down to a specific frame, and do basic sound correction on audio files. The combined storyboard and timeline view that lets you easily arrange everything, and proves a natural for use with the touch interface—something you might not expect of a program as robust as this one.

Interested in making your final product as finished and artsy as possible? Sixteen different transitions are included, and it’s easy to create layered looks, 3D animations, motion titles, picture-in-picture effects, and a lot more with the tools at your disposal. The voiceover narration capability will let you make yourself be heard over whatever else you’ve filmed. You can even zoom in on photos to make elaborate slideshows if you want.

Concerned about picture quality? Don’t be. Pinnacle Studio plays back in full-screen mode on the iPad, and outputs at 1080p resolution so everyone can see your work looking its best. It’s also no problem to share your creations over sites like YouTube or Facebook, or export them to the desktop-based Pinnacle Studio software if you need even more advanced tools.

You have to search pretty diligently to find negatives about Pinnacle Studio. It won’t work on the first-generation iPad, unfortunately, and because it can’t bend the laws of technological time and space, your larger projects may still take a long time to render. But given how much else you can do without first moving your video to your main computer, it’s a more-than-acceptable trade-off.