Adobe Premiere Elements 15

Adobe Premiere Elements 15
Developed by: Adobe
Ranked: 3rd
Overall rating:
Best price: $99.99
Purchase:

Stephen
Qualtrough

Reviewer

Technology should make our lives easier

 
Review

Review summary

Good points Adobe Premiere Elements 15 review good points

• Huge variety of effects & transitions

• Over 100 simultaneous video & audio tracks

• Auto-tags video & picture files

• Wide variety of universal formats

• Lots of themes available

Bad points Adobe Premiere Elements 15 review bad points

• The depth of options & features can be daunting for a first time user

• Sometimes runs slower than other video editing software

• Extra cost for some content & tutorials

Our verdict

Adobe Premiere Elements 15 is lagging slightly behind some of its competitors, but it is still among the top video editing programs available. If you're an amateur video producer or you're looking for something to help polish up your home videos then Adobe Premiere Elements is an excellent option for you to consider.




Full review

Premiere Elements is the streamlined version of the successful video editing software developed by Adobe. Premiere Elements has always received positive reviews from software critics and this latest version shows real promise with more effects, transitions and output methods. We took a look to see how Premiere Elements stacked up against the competition.

Setup

Adobe Premiere Elements 15 utilizes an Install Manager, which makes it easy to download and install. However, you will first need your own Adobe ID, which is free and can be set up in a matter of minutes. The installer will eventually ask you if you want to setup timecode frame rates for NTSC or PAL – NTSC is 30 frames per second, while PAL is 25 frames per second. In North America, NTSC is the usual format.

Installation of the software still requires that you reboot the system in order to complete installation. Adobe Premiere Elements is available for both PCs and Macs.

Importing

Adobe Premiere Elements allows you to upload pictures and video clips from any video or digital camera in nearly any format out there. Upload video from your DV, HDV, DVD, Flip or AVCHD camcorder, your webcam, your DVD drive, your digital camera media (SD, MicroSD, CompactFlash) or your smart phone.

Adobe Premiere Elements will then import your clips using a new application called the Organizer. With the Organizer, you tell the software where to import the content from, and you can specify which folders it will watch. Those watched folders will automatically be imported to Premiere Elements every time you add or remove a file from them, so you'll always have the most up to date listing of available content on your computer each time you open the software.

While the Organizer can make it difficult to view just videos as opposed to the rest of the content on the computer, the video editor itself makes this task quite simple.

The Organizer designed for grouping, tagging and browsing media files has been upgraded with new tagging technology. Auto Analyzer scans through your clips, tagging them for quality and interest (even utilizing people recognition) to make it easy to find the clips you want when you want them.

Video editing

When it comes to editing your movie Premiere Elements uses a sceneline and timeline like most other video editing software. There are a decent number of visual and transition effects to play around with. You simply drag and drop your chosen effect onto the preview panel.

Somewhat disappointingly motion tracking which was a nice feature of Premiere Elements 10 has now been removed from the package.

New video effect features include green and blue screen options allowing you to remove backgrounds and place a person or other object on a totally new background. Another cool feature is the NewBlue Cartoonr Plus, which will try and add a cartoon drawing effect to your video.

Fix shaky footage automatically, adjust the color and lighting, trim your clips so you are left with your best footage and basically create the best movie you can from your own footage.

One of the nicest features of Premiere Elements is the real-time video rendering that allows you to instantly preview any changes made to the timeline.

Audio editing

Audio balance helps to smooth out the rough spots in your soundtrack. When you're looking to add music, the wide range of audio tracks that can accompany your basic video provide a more professional finished soundtrack.

The SmartSound feature automatically adjusts your music tracks to match the length of your movie, and can even synchronize scenes to the beat.

Performance

When we tried the Adobe Premiere Elements software on our video editing project, we didn't encounter any problems with the performance of the computer. The program itself is a little slower than some competitors, such as comparable offerings from CyberLink (PowerDirector 9) and others.

Disc Authoring

The Adobe Premiere Elements video editing software contains all you need to create a polished end product, allowing you to burn directly to DVD and choose from a variety of chapter effects, DVD menus and more. The process of creating a final disc is simple to carry out.

Exporting

Adobe Premiere Elements provides several options for exporting to traditional media such as video tape, CDs, DVDs, HD Discs, or Blu-Rays, or new web media formats that can be viewed on smart phones, tablets or PCs via social media sites like YouTube and Facebook.

A useful addition is the 2GB of free online storage that will take care of your finished projects and photos.

Ease of use

Premiere Elements is aimed at users who want a simple drag-and-drop approach to creating videos. The entire process is streamlined so that you can easily find what you need, and most of the menus are options will be self explanatory. If you're in a hurry, there's an Instant Movie mode which will actually turn out an excellent result for you. Simply choose your theme, choose your clips and photos, and the software will turn your content into a video that will look good and sound great as well.

The interface itself is very polished, as we've come to expect from most Adobe products. The time, thought and effort alone that went into creating this interface make it easy to figure out exactly where everything is, what you need to do and get through your project as quickly as possible.

Tabs allow you to do most of the common tasks – Organize, Edit, Menus and more. Even some of the more high-end competitors, like Sony's Vegas Movie Studio, cannot compare in the areas of user interface and ease of use.

From beginner user to hobbyist and through advanced users, you'll be able to find all of the options you need, or scale down to make the simplest video possible. Adobe has done all they can to suit the needs of all their users in this newest release.

Help & support

Adobe offers a host of support options. You can call or email Adobe's customer support, as well as browse a selection of well written FAQs and search the KnowledgeBase. Adobe products also have a huge following, so there are forums and other resources available around the web to help you, whether you're having a technical problem or you simply need a how-to.

It's also possible to access how-to videos through the Organizer, if you're looking for a walkthrough on how to do a specific task that you might be having trouble with. The unfortunate thing about a lot of this content, as we mentioned earlier, is that much of this content is only available with the Plus level of the software. Still, most of the tips are fairly basic, and you can easily figure out much of it on your own or even by finding tutorials on the web.

Overall

Premiere Elements 15 isn't exactly a huge overhaul of the Premier Elements software line, but instead a more streamlined version. You will find new features of course, such as integrated Facebook uploads as well as audio cleaning and more.

Another improvement in the software is an improved ability to import video from newer devices, such as the Flip line of cameras. The only major downside is that a lot of the content that you may find useful is only available with the Plus level to the software, which will bring the list price up to $139 from $99.



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Ratings breakdown

Overall
 received a rating of 5 for Overall
Setup
 received a rating of 4 for Setup
Importing
 received a rating of 4 for Importing
Video editing
 received a rating of 5 for Video editing
Audio editing
 received a rating of 5 for Audio editing
Performance
 received a rating of 4 for Performance
Disc authoring
 received a rating of 5 for Disc authoring
Exporting
 received a rating of 4 for Exporting
Ease of use
 received a rating of 5 for Ease of use
Help & support
 received a rating of 5 for Help & support