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In these YouTube days, the other new option is naturally online video. Premiere Elements has been able to burn Web-friendly formats since it first arrived. But now that Macromedia is part of the Adobe stable, encoding to Flash video has been built in too. Adobe has also integrated FTP upload abilities, so you can either post straight to your own website in Flash 7 or 8 formats, or directly to your YouTube account, with an optimised preset included. Unfortunately, the latter ability appeared to be broken in our press beta, so we can't report on how well it deals with YouTube categories and keywords.
So far, Premiere Elements 4 sounds like a pretty healthy choice whether you're a newcomer or an old hand, with comprehensive editing and output abilities, and plenty of editing control. However, we did find one area for concern. As regular readers of the camcorders section on TrustedReviews will have noticed, high-definition camcorders using the AVCHD format have been arriving thick and fast from Sony and Panasonic, with Canon not far behind. So we fully expected Premiere Elements 4 to support this format, as it is fast becoming the standard for consumer HD cameras. But our testing using a Sony HDR-SR8E drew a blank - the software wouldn't detect the video on the camcorder itself, nor could it import the MPEG files when transferred to the hard disk using Sony's Motion Picture Browser utility.
Considering that Pinnacle Studio 11 Plus and Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus are both fully capable of importing and editing video from AVCHD camcorders, this is a major blot on Adobe's copybook. Although we still recommend Premiere Elements 4 if you're using a standard definition or HDV camcorder, AVCHD early adopters will be sorely disappointed. In this case, you may find yourself looking elsewhere. We hope Adobe rectifies the situation with a patch sometime soon, but it will more likely be a feature in Premiere Elements 5 - and another year is a long time to wait.