Adobe Premiere Elements is the Video/Photo Editing solution for folks who have hit a wall with the free tools that come bundled with their Windows or Mac systems, but are not ready for expensive professional tools like Final Cut X or Photoshop. It offers enough additional features that budding photographers and video producers might ask for, without going overboard. It is also a nice, cheap way to get familiar with Adobe’s flagship Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop product lines.
User Interface and Installation
The out-of-box experience with Premiere Elements features a fairly straightforward installation process. The primary installation is on a single disc; both programs are installed separately. There is a separate disc that contains a lot of extra content.
One issue I’ve always had with Adobe is their user interface. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you invest the time to learn it, you will be reworded with a menu system that is applied across their entire toolset – including all of their professional products. So at $149 retail, the Elements bundle is a good investment for those who want to get their hands wet and learn the basics of professional tools that easily cost thousands of dollars.
The interface has improved tremendously in the last few years and I give Adobe points for streamlining and making everything a lot more intuitive. It is still not as easy as I’d like, but it is a lot easier than before. I also like how seamless the integration between Premiere and Photoshop elements is. Working with native files in each application has never been smoother.
The Adobe Organizer
For fans of Apple’s iPhoto, Adobe Organizer comes with the Elements bundle and serves as an entry point into your photos and videos. It is the unsung hero and glue of the entire package. It contains a lot of nice features including full support of iPhoto for Mac Users and Windows Live Photo for Windows users.
You can drag and drop material into folders and edit photos directly from the tool. For better organization you can rate every photo in your collection, sort your collection by quality (High, Medium, and Low resolution), assign names to individual faces, and more. The Organizer supports multiple format types including movie files.
A lot of your more basic automatic fixes can be done directly in the Organizer. It includes options for AutoFix, AutoLevels, Cropping, AutoSharpening, and more. However, it is missing one key feature – you can’t resize your photo.
If you want more customization you simply click the Edit Photo or Edit Video button and it will automatically launch either Photoshop Elements or Premiere Elements. Organizer includes an option to set a different default-editing tool to launch. Direct upload to various photo and video sharing services like Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, and YouTube are supported. Organizer is a surprisingly powerful and useful tool.