Recently launched is the latest version of Adobe’s Premiere Elements which is their entry level video editing software. Adobe, also offers a dual package which contains Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 11, for around $80. I come from a very heavy video production background and have edited with some of the major programs for many years but realize that some people don’t have the budget to spend big dollars on a professional editing system and still want many of the professional functions and features. Another big issues is many editing programs especially ones that are a few version back have some real trouble rendering or importing mts files also known as the AVCHD format in addition to being able to mix formats too.
Currently, one of my clients runs an older version of Premiere Elements 9 and while it does support some of the HD formats it does seem to be a bit sluggish mostly likely due to the fact that these HD formats were not supported and used as much as they are today. Knowing that they did not want to spend a lot on an editor and that they liked the Adobe Elements program I tested and reviewed the latest version of the program for them.
Premiere Elements 11 full of features including two editing modes providing interfaces for beginners and experts. The beginner mode makes it very simple for anyone getting started with editing and Adobe supports a wide variety of different formats with a long list of presets too which makes importing from a ton of different platforms and devices a snap. Another great tool is the automatic movie mode which will analyze your clips and automatically assemble a movie to an editing template that you choose. Adobe opted to do this since many people love shooting movies on digital cameras but just don’t have the time it takes to sit down and edit a full family vacation — which I will surely agree with. Also included with the program is Adobe’s media organizer which provides a great way to organize all of your media in addition to tag locations where footage was shot, tag people in the video and more giving you a ton of ways to search through your footage and files.
The beginner interface makes editing simple by dragging and dropping clips, the interface also allows you to add a variety of video effects, text and transitions. The beginner mode is extremely simple and very straight-forward and after only few hours of basic training my 7 year old son was able to edit a basic video.
For the more professional users and ones that would like more control Adobe Elements 11 provides the expert mode with a simple click of a button. This mode looks more like a traditional non-linear editing system offering much of the same look as the more professional version of Premiere minus some of the big-boy tools and controls that most people using an entry level editor would never need.
I installed and ran both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the program on Windows 7. The 64 bit machine is a quad core with 4gbs of ram along with a USB 3.0 drive. The 32-bit was tested on my laptop which runs on 4 GB of ram and a dual core chip. Both systems actually ran great even with the large files of HD content. I was very pleased with the playback quality and performance I saw running on the laptop system too which would make for a great mobile editor — although I do recommend shutting of some of the background programs like anti-virus while editing as it seemed to make a big difference — my suggestion would be an i7 laptop but my dual core did the job. On the other hand, my 64-bit Windows 7 desktop machine outperformed the laptop on renders, scrubbing and playback but that was expected with the more powerful components.
To test the capabilities of the software I shot a band performance on two different HD cameras, in two different formats and at two different frame rates. One was the Canon T2i which records in the MOV format and the Canon M500 which shoots and exports the MTS format which I had issues with in the past with other editing systems and with Premiere Elements 11 I did not have to re-encode the files which made it much easier to work with. I also knew that my project was going to be edited and delivered in 29.97 (30fps) at 1080i even though the M500 footage was shot at 23.97fps. I thought this should be fun but — I selected the project setting I was looking for and was able to import both files and combine them with no problems. My guess would be that Premiere applies a pull-down effect which makes up for the difference in frames but the two different video clips blended perfectly.
I started editing and adding more files too the edit — and note that I did have to decrease the size of the preview window slightly to be able to get smooth after-render playback — especially on the laptop. I was able to remove the unwanted audio tracks and add more video tracks — I believe you can add up to 99 audio and video tracks which is great when editing a project like this.
My biggest complaint editing a project with multiple tracks is not having the lock track feature that is found in the professional version of Adobe Premiere — as I had to constantly watch that the tracks where not moving as I would lose lip-sync. I think this is a feature that many would appreciate especially with many independent filmmakers working with audio sync.
Working with other tools in the program such as motion and adding effects was very simple. Also, adding cross dissolves between clips or just the audio or video was very simple too — I could do this with a simple right click of the mouse after selecting the clips.
adding titles was easy to edit an add to the project and exporting the project has been made very simple too. Adobe offers tons of options including direct export to YouTube and Vimeo and a variety of other local formats including desktop, dvd, bluray and mobile formats. Nevertheless, I would like to see a little more control over the export options and project presets too — that would be nice to have especially when using the expert mode although I am not sure how many basic users would even explore those options– but for those with a little more knowledge it could be a great option to have.
I’m also a huge fan of plugins and I would love to see Adobe start some type of open source plugin directory allowing users to generate and share plugins and presets. Things like colorizing, or even simple time code generator would be great if someone would write a simple script that could be installed.
Adobe has a great program with many features that cater to both beginners and professionals and with such a huge list of supported formats this program really has all the features needed to produce professional quality content for TV and the web. Some of the features like GEO tagging your media files in organizer I think is a little silly and don’t see many people using this feature but it is still an interesting option to have and you never know it could make locating clips very easy.
I have reviewed and worked with a few editing systems and I try to keep the reviews as non-bias as possible and you must remember that all programs all have their advantages and disadvantages. Adobe has developed a wonderful and professional product and at a cost of around $80 for the dual package mentioned earlier making this very affordable. You can demo Adobe Premiere Elements 11 at Adobe.com and give the software a test drive for yourself. I do recommend that you check the minimum requirements for the program especially if you will be working with HD files as they need some major processing power.
After running and evaluating the software now for a few weeks I give Adobe’s Premiere Elements 11 one Damn Good Review.
[learn_more caption=” Product Highlights”]
- Multi-Platform Video Editing Software Powerful
- Easy to Edit
- Easy to Navigate User-Friendly
- Customizable Interface Imports Video and Photos Drag-&-Drop Clips
- Transitions Effects
- InstantMovie – Auto-Edits Your Best Clips
- Mobile Connectivity / Instant Sharing
- Easy Color and Sound Adjustments
- Hollywood FilmLooks / Stores of Effects
- Supports Most All File Formats [/learn_more]
Anyone looking for a easy to use video editor software that offers a variety of features and tools for the beginner to the advanced user with high quality HD output and editing features.
- Easy to use
- Great price
- Could be sluggish on some machines