If you have been hesitant about getting a “real” video editing program, or if you are considering an upgrade, do it now. The new look that came to Premiere Elements last year is retained in version 10 with the addition of a couple really nice, new features. And the best thing of all is that Premiere Elements 10 is even faster than version 9! This may be due in part to its support for Windows 7 64 bit. Either way, it’s nice to see more programs taking advantage of the computing power we have at our fingertips.
Let’s take a quick look at a few highlights:
Whether you get Premiere Elements along with Photoshop Elements, or on its own, you’ll also receive Adobe’s video/photo Organizer. It was added to last year’s release and now it’s faster and seems to run much smoother than it did in the previous release. Along with Face Recognition, it now features Object Recognition. This is a new feature that I have really been waiting for. How well does it work? Fairly, but certainly not what I was hoping for, but hey, there is always next year. Granted it is a fairly advanced calculation. You can select an area of a photo, the whole photo, or several photos to help it choose the right images. You can adjust the slider to focus more on color or shape. It will also show the percentage that each photo matches. I put a photo of a giraffe and it did find a few giraffes, but it missed quite a few too. So, it’s not perfect, but it will help somewhat and is definitely a move in the right direction.
There is also tighter integration to online services. You can use your Facebook friend list to tag people in your photo collection. And since Organizer also handles your videos, they can now be uploaded directly to YouTube.
There are only two major updates to the video editing. First there is an easier way to enhance or correct color in your clips. You’ll find these methods under the Video Effects – Color Correction. There you will see two options: “Auto Tone and Vibrance” and “Three-way Color Corrector.” The Auto Tone works pretty well and it is easy. The Color Corrector is a bit more advanced, giving you a lot of control of the look and feel or your clip.
My favorite new addition is the Pan-Zoom editor. This is an effect that is vital if you are going to include stills in your video. In previous versions you could create great Pan-Zoom effects, but it was a time consuming, tedious process. Not anymore! Even if it is your first time using the software, with this wizard you will be able to make really cool panning and zooming effects. There are other programs that can do this, but what is really nice with Premiere Elements is that you are not limited to one pan. You can zoom in, pan to the left, pan down, zoom out, and on and on. It’s really a lot of fun!
The editor also features face recognition. Simply press the button and it finds all the faces and automatically pans to each one. This worked ok, but not perfect. Yet even if it missed a face or didn’t center it perfectly, it’s real easy to adjust it. And of course, like other automatic features, you can adjust just about anything. So more advanced users will not feel limited by the software.
When it comes time to make your DVD, choosing a theme and burning to disc is fairly straightforward. Premiere Elements 10 could use more themes, or at least more professional looking themes like the ones you can find in iMovie, but the themes that are available are more than sufficient for most users. You can also opt to make your own theme in Photoshop, but this is not a realistic option for a beginner.
One more enhancement is the ability to burn AVCHD format videos to standard DVDs. You may not have a Blue-Ray burner, but at least now you can have HD-quality movies burned on your standard DVD burner.
All in all, Adobe Premiere Elements 10 is a solid upgrade, and I highly recommend it. Adobe continues to keep the price for Elements very reasonable, especially when you purchase it together with Photoshop Elements 10. If you held back from buying or upgrading last year, now is the time.
Good: Stable and Fast eprformance; pan-zoom features built-in; affordable pricing.
Bad: Needs better selection of DVD themes.