Adobe Premiere Elements 11
Photo & Video
Mac OS X; Windows
Age Rating: 4+
$111.25 (upgrade); $131.25 (full version)
Adobe Premiere Elements 11 is aimed squarely at the iMovie user who isn’t yet ready for Final Cut Pro X.
On the surface, iMovie ’11 and Premiere Elements 11 look and feel the same, and do pretty much the same things, but this version adds a lot of small improvements.
Its forte is supporting a wide variety of formats, export options and easy- to-use effects. Its aim is to help you quickly edit nice-looking family or activity videos with some ‘shine’ on them, and to get them to play on the devices where people watch videos these days.
We had a perfect test case for running the new Premiere Elements through its paces: video of a family trip this summer. Über-camera nerds that we are, we had videos and stills from eight different video-capable DSLRs, new and older point-and- shoots, and stills and videos from various iPhones.
Premiere Elements 11 handled it all, including the variety of frame sizes and rates, aspect ratios and video formats, and JPEGs and RAW stills.
Even better, we were able to import items directly from iPhoto and Aperture libraries, complete with pre-established events and keywords, into the Adobe Elements Organizer, the free helper app that ships with Premiere Elements (as well as with Photoshop Elements 11).
You should experiment with some of the Organizer’s new capabilities, such as searching and sorting according to people and location.
With Premiere Elements 11, the developers at Adobe seem to have taken a hard look at Apple’s iLife suite – and iMovie in particular – and asked how they could do it better, the Adobe way.
Thus, the packages have a huge amount of overlap in features such as image stabilisation, film-look effects, canned templates and so on. Adobe has taken these features and made them both simpler to use and easier to fine-tune, while streamlining the editing process and opening a path to more-complex projects.
The program’s interface has also seen an overhaul between Premiere Elements 10 and 11: Icons and text are bigger, and backgrounds are lighter such that the program is easier to read and look at.
And primary tools aren’t hidden in menus but are accessible in a row of graphical pop-up buttons along the bottom edge of the window.
Accommodating the app’s varied user base is a useful dual-mode interface. Quick mode offers fewer, simpler choices and controls and a single video layer; Expert mode reveals more options, choices, power and complexity. Overall, the interface has an appealing sense of graduated reveal: You start off with simple options and then dig in to discover more complexity.
If you want to get more serious about video editing and are willing to invest the money, this new version of Premiere Elements seems capable and reasonably powerful. It’s friendly to beginners and gives them room
Mike Curtismike. TechHive