Adobe Premiere is one of the most recognizable names in video editing software. The consumer-level version, Adobe Premiere Elements, simplifies the video editing process so you don’t have to be a professional to create videos that you’ll be proud to share with your friends and family. It also gives you the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of editing video so you can eventually graduate to the professional-level version of the software.
This video editor software has three modes to make videos: Quick, Guided and Expert. Each is true to its name. Quick mode allows you to simply pick which media you want in your video, and the program arranges it on the timeline for you. Of course, you can go in and fine-tune your video afterward, but this is a quick and easy way to make a video from the clips on your computer.
Guided editing provides the opportunity to learn about all the features and tools found in Premiere Elements. When you choose this mode, the program walks you through each component of the interface, explaining exactly what it does and how to use it. This is a great feature for people who are just beginning their video editing journey.
Expert mode is for people who know exactly what they want out of their videos and how to get it. There are no training wheels, just the timeline and editing tools. Since the program allows up to 102 video and 102 audio editing tracks, you have the flexibility to make your videos as simple or complex as you wish.
Premiere Elements provides access to hundreds of easily applicable transitions, effects and other objects that can fine-tune your project, even if you don’t have extensive knowledge of how it all works. You can also get deep into manually adjusting your audio and video. This takes time to learn. Guided mode is some help, but expect to put in a good amount of time learning everything this video editing software has to offer.
This program offers some very powerful organizational tools. The program can scan your computer for all media files, including audio, video and images. It will then organize them for you automatically. It uses media’s metadata to sort them by date, place and people. It can even arrange media by event type like weddings, sports, vacations and more. This makes finding what you need easy.
When your video project is ready to share with an audience, Adobe Premiere Elements offers several options. Quick Export makes a video file that you store on your hard drive. You also have the option to optimize your video for playback on a computer, TV or mobile device. However, other programs we reviewed offer you more optimization choices and let you make videos for specific devices like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, rather than just a generic mobile option.
Elements allows you to upload your finished project to YouTube and Vimeo directly within the program. This is great not only because it saves you time over manually uploading a video file, but also because it optimizes the video for playback on those particular sites. But again, other programs we reviewed offer more choices of sharing sites, like Dailymotion and Flickr.
While Premiere Elements makes incremental improvements each year, like the addition of smart trimming and freeze frame motion titles, Adobe isn’t staying on top of the big things. For example, action cams and 360-degree footage aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
If the company wants Elements to compete with products like CyberLink PowerDirector, it should consider adding dedicated modules that tackle these exciting new technologies.
The program also lacks some other features we look for such as to add closed captions or export your video with surround sound. Additionally, there are no multicam tools, which would allow you to easily edit together an event that’s recorded from multiple angles and cameras. Adobe has been falling behind in this respect since more and more of the competition have been adding these features in recent years.
Adobe Premiere Elements is a good video editing program that not only makes finely polished videos, but also teaches you how. Its learning tools are just as important as its large library of effects, transitions and more. However, while it improves year-over-year it still lags behind other video editors we reviewed.