Adobe Premiere Elements 8 review

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Premiere Elements has spent a large part of its existence attempting to escape from its past. It has its origins in the professional package, Premiere Pro, so with each new version Adobe has attempted to balance the underlying power with greater ease of use for the beginner. Adobe Premiere Elements 8 continues this trend, but also includes a few more sophisticated creative options for the seasoned user.

The differences are visible from the first splash screen. There’s now an Organize button that leads you to a newly unified asset-management tool. This will be familiar to users of Photoshop Elements 8, but now it’s integrated with Premiere Elements.

The Organizer still contains the familiar abilities to retouch photos and create simple image montages. However, it can now import video, plus other video-specific features have been added.

All the options – Organize, Fix, Create and Share – are arranged as a series of tabs along the top of the main window. The first provides facilities for cataloguing and tagging your clips.

You can add your own keywords to group clips from various events together, but performing more detailed tagging yourself across numerous clips would be laborious, so Adobe provides an Auto-Analyzer.

This runs through your media and creates tags automatically, such as overall image quality, whether the footage is shaky, the volume level of the audio, and even the kind of shot. You can then use these to locate the media you’re after in the Organize tab – for example, a medium shot to follow a long shot.

Adobe Premiere Elements 8

Most of the facilities in the Fix tab can only be performed on still images, however, and include automatic correction of colour, levels and red eye, among others. The new Auto Smart Fix also only works on photos within the Organizer. Similarly, the options available under the Create tab are primarily focused on making calendars, greetings cards and collages out of still images.

The Share section includes a couple of specific options for video, allowing you to send video to either mobile devices or the internet. Overall, though, the addition of the Organizer to Premiere Elements feels like a first step rather than a fully mature addition to the video-editing facilities. The video options merely send your clips to Premiere Elements and append them to the end of the current project.

Continuing the ease-of-use theme, the Instant Movie facility added in version 7 has been enhanced with a host of new themes. These group together graphical titles, music, transitions and effects according, then use the smart tags created by the Auto-Analyzer to select the clips with the best quality, and to decide which order to place them in. The results can be a bit random, but for a quick non-narrative edit when you can’t be bothered to do it yourself, Instant Movie is potentially useful.


Software subcategory Video editing software


Processor requirement N/A

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no

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