- Handles almost all formats
- Sceneline easy to navigate
- Lots of tweak options
- No single clip capture
- Some features oversimplified
- Timeline is counterintuitive
By: Dustin Sklavos
Kicking off a series of video editing software reviews here at Notebook Review, today we’re taking a look at Adobe’s entrant, Premiere Elements 7. Branded essentially as a consumer grade version of their much more powerful, much more robust professional-grade video editing suite Premiere Pro CS4, Premiere Elements 7 exists chiefly to let the armchair videographers and sometime amateur filmmakers put together quality video projects.
In the interests of full disclosure, I recently received a degree in Visual Arts and have years of experience with Adobe’s Premiere and Apple’s Final Cut Pro. I’m used to exactly this kind of robust software, so taking a step down the ladder and looking at the consumer side of things is an interesting detour and if nothing else gives me information that I can eventually pass on to other people — people like With all that said, I’m looking to see how easy this software makes editing video for John Q. Public, but also if it provides a good stepping stone for the filmmakers of tomorrow to cut their teeth on more professional software. This isn’t iMovie-level stuff, it’s a notch up. I’m also going to look at whether or not this software really adds anything that you couldn’t get for free from Microsoft in the form of their Windows Live Movie Maker (currently in beta).
Personal and professional introductions out of the way, with Adobe’s pedigree in higher-end software one should expect Premiere Elements 7 to be a cut above the rest. At $99.99 for a shiny new copy direct from Adobe’s site — the price definitely on the higher end of this market — does Premiere Elements 7 have what it takes?
So the big question is going to be whether or not Premiere Elements 7 is worth the $99 price tag, especially when cheaper and often pack-in alternatives exist in the market. Software like this is ill-designed for editing together your magnum opus, but a video that runs ten or twenty minutes is probably perfectly fine for it.
What Premiere Elements 7 really has going for it is flexibility. It’ll edit just about any video you throw at it from just about anywhere, and it’ll send it right back where you got it or shoot it directly to YouTube if you’re so inclined. A lot of the features you’d expect to find in professional grade software are abstracted into Elements 7, but abstracted to the point where they’re going to be hard to find for average users.
Still, I can’t help but feel like Elements 7 falls short of the mark in at least preparing a user for making the jump to bigger, better software, and some of the abstractions make no sense at all. It’s going to be fine for users who just want to put together family videos, but the user who wants a little more oomph is going to find himself digging through menus a little and hitting a troubling learning curve.
Overall, Adobe Premier Elements 7 is a reasonable piece of software, but I hesitate to draw any conclusions until the wrap-up when we’re done with this series.
- Flexible input and output.
- Sceneline is easy enough to navigate.
- Lots of options for tweaking the video.
- Direct upload to YouTube.
- Too much is abstracted away from the user.
- Doesn’t easily allow for capturing individual clips.
- Timeline is NOT a timeline in the traditional sense, and should not be used by anyone.