Premiere Elements 11 is a video editing suite along with an organizer that helps amateur videographers work with those home movies but with only a few new features in this release an upgrade may not be worth it.
Ease of Use, Performance: 3/5
Look & Feel: 4/5
How much I enjoy 2/5
Total: 3.5/5 Stars
I have a real love hate relationship when it comes to Adobe’s Elements line of image and video editing software with the love going to the Photoshop edition of the pair of amateur programs. While I highly recommend Photoshop Elements the video editing package and especially the more recent editions of Premiere Elements just does not have me thrilled to edit video.
Premiere Elements 11 has been released with some problems addressed while others still lie in wait for the consumer to discover but you may not have the same problems I did. Premiere Elements has always been a sore subject with me mainly because I do not have those expensive camcorders that are supported by the software and I do not like how the company advertises that support.
Premiere Elements is a video editing and organizer software suite that can also be purchased with Photoshop Elements or as a standalone package which I do recommend for Photoshop Elements but not Premiere Elements. The software opens to a splash screen that gives you option for how the program and organizer open when using them with the splash screen opening or either the main video editing program or the organizer opening.
The organizer from Adobe is used for both the image editing and video editing software and works very well to keep images and video organized and to help you search for particular types of images or video. The organizer can import all your images and video or just ones you want but it also allows for quick editing of images in the organizer like a simple rotate or auto fix.
The organizer has some search features like being able to recognize faces or scenes and search for those types of images and video but this is a basic feature and one not that works all that reliably but not because of the program. The search works well but as you can imagine with the wide variety of pictures and video the program is limited with what it can recognize and search for so it does work very well.
The organizer is a handy way to keep your library of images and pictures in libraries and does work well for searching and has been reworked into a useful tool for the at home videographer and photographer. Along with a rework of the interface for the organizer Adobe has worked on the interface for the main program giving it a cleaner look and a bit easier to use menu system for a big improvement right from the start.
Gone is the scene mode that I did not use as the timeline mode was much easier and better for most work, I just could not see much of a use for the amateur user editing video by scenes. The new interface is better and much easier on the eyes than the darker appearance that version 10 had but also the menu system has been improved for an easier navigation through often used features.
New features in edition 11 include a few useful tools like a blend mode that easily adds transitions and a Time Remapping tool that is useful for fast and slow motion effects which are fun to play with. Audio in the time mapping editing feature goes out the window and Adobe has not included a way to keep audio with a slow or faster clip.
I had fun playing around with some video of birds and other critters in my backyard but alas I did run into problems from a particular camcorder and the program just did not handle the format at all. I was able to import and edit the video from this particular camcorder and work with it some but after rendering the final product the video from this camcorder did not show up in the final movie.
In the past I have had issues with slow software and crashes along with unsupported formats from inexpensive camcorders in the $100-$200 price range but I have also read online of others with similar issues. I’m not sure why I was able to see the video and edit with it in the program but this comes as no surprise when I have had other issues with this camcorder footage in the previous editions of Premiere Elements.
Premiere Elements does work well for editing and many have no such issues but I have read about others who have tried to use previous editions and some on Amazon who are now having problems with the current edition of Premiere Elements. The program just does not work well for some people and with some formats of camcorders so the problems I have encountered in the past are not all solved with this release.
Problems with slow work in the timeline that is partly affected by Windows Aero are not fixed as I did have a few times where the program would be a bit behind what I was trying to do and I would have to let the program catch up when editing. One issue someone else brought up is that turning off Windows Aero does smooth out editing but in Windows 8 you cannot turn Aero off so future problems may exist with Premiere Elements and Windows 8.
Premiere Elements continues to rank somewhat high with other video editing software but there are other software packages out there that have fewer problems and more features that are easier to use. I have installed Premiere Elements on two Windows 7 64 bit systems and one Windows Vista 32 bit PC and had problems with slow response and an occasional crash on all three.
Importing videos from a simple SD card seems to be one problem as I tried several times to import video files and the program crashes or throws errors from time to time at me regardless of the camcorder and computer used. If I move the video file to my desktop it works just fine so I am not sure if it’s the program itself or just the part that is importing the video because when the video file is on a removable media it uses a different part of the program than just moving files from my hard drive.
I am still having issues with video from specific camcorders but was able to edit the video, just not get a rendered final product out of it but other issues plagued me enough to get me fed up with the software. I was trying to edit a clip and after a couple of edits the clip became unresponsive and would only show a still image even after rendering the project to finalize what changes I had just done.
Once the clip was stuck as a still image it would not fix no matter what I tried and I would have to go back to square one and start over from a saved project file in the editing process to continue working. While this may all be due to the lesser quality camcorders I am using and the specific file formats they record in I have not had these same issues with other editing software and would rather just use software that has less problems and works better.
While I do think Adobe’s Premiere Elements does work well I just could not recommend it when there are other solutions available that work without nearly as many problems for people as this does. Sorry Adobe but I just think other video editing software is more worth customers dollars like Corel VideoStudio or CyberLink PowerDirector which I have used and work very well.
Premiere Elements @ Adobe
Premiere Elements @ Amazon (Read some of these reviews as well)