Adobe Premiere Elements 8 and Photoshop Elements 8 - Adobe Premiere Elements 8

By James Morris



  • Recommended by TR
Adobe Premiere Elements 8 and Photoshop Elements 8


Our Score:


Premiere Elements 8 continued...

As it is, whilst the Organizer shows potential, it doesn't yet add enough for video to be a truly essential addition. Fortunately, there are some significant new features within Premiere Elements itself, which make use of the information gleaned by the Auto-Analyzer. Adding a clip to the timeline prompts you whether you want to apply SmartFix. This uses the Auto-Analyzer tags to figure out whether colours need correction or levels need to be adjusted, and will also smooth out shaky video.

Smart Trim also uses the Auto-Analyzer information to suggest which areas of a clip are usable. These are then fed into the Smart Trim tool, where you can use the suggestions to adjust in and out points for the clip. However, you can also pull out more than just the middle portion. In automatic mode, Premiere Elements will extract the sections it thinks are usable and place a fade between each to join them back together. This is potentially the most useful aspect of Smart Trim, as in manual mode it almost feels more complicated than simply choosing the in and out points yourself.

The Smart Trim tool attempts to cut out the dross

from your clips automatically.

More clearly useful is SmartMix. This will automatically reduce the volume of your background audio in favour of your foreground sound, which is particularly handy if you have dialogue over musical accompaniment. You can set which audio tracks are the foreground and which are the background in the Options. The results are very convincing, too, with an adequate period of delay before the background audio is raised or lowered so it doesn't 'pump' up and down.

Rounding off the features designed to entice beginners, InstantMovie now includes a few new Themes. These are Art in Motion, Baby, Dreamscape, Outdoor Adventure and Retro. InstantMovie uses the tagging from the Auto-Analyzer to edit your movies for you according to the chosen theme, adding titles and music. It's a quick way to make something of your footage, although it won't tell the story you want.

The powerful Motion Tracking tool will follow objects as they move onscreen

and synchronise the movement of static or animated graphics.

Not everything in Premiere Elements is for those new to video editing, however. An extraordinarily powerful addition is the Motion Tracking tool, which can follow the motion of objects onscreen and trace this with a graphic or animation. This is the kind of feature normally associated with high-end video compositing applications such as Adobe After Effects. The Premiere Elements version is naturally less powerful. The tool will initially track the most obvious moving object in the scene automatically, but you can also specify other objects to track. The final additions of note in Premiere Elements 8 are a selection of new effects, including Duochrome, Dreamglow and Film Look, plus a large library of clip art.

Dave Jefferson

October 14, 2009, 7:51 pm

How does the photo face recognition compare to picassa 3.5's?

Barbara Allen

October 15, 2009, 2:31 am

As usual you do the best review on the net! You are obviously very knowledgeable. I need help deciding which program can do the things I want to do. I'm doing the trials, just started, but since I'm so new to this it takes me a while to figure out the best way to do things. I'm doing home movies, and I envision doing two things in particular. One is I want to be able to zoom into a face and put into a frame? or shape and move it. Pinnacle does this with their Creative Pack Add Ons(possibly otherwise, too) The Winter Pack, ornaments. It also does something similar in Prem.Pk wedding2, where the the scene is captured and turns into a framed moving object,a transition,I believe. However Pinnacle seems to be limited to doing it only their way. I've never seen anything quite like them in the other programs. The other thing I want to do is have 3 or 4 videos overlapping(faded edges)at the same time, but not in squares or split screen etc.Like a video montage. Ple-e-ease, can you help me?

James Morris

October 16, 2009, 1:53 pm

@Barbara Allen Not sure about the framing aspect, but Premiere Elements has had exceptionally good motion control, cropping, zooming, and layering abilities right from the first release. I suspect the clip art added in the latest version could have what you're after, but you could easily create your own graphical frame in Photoshop Elements and use that.

James Morris

October 16, 2009, 1:54 pm

And thanks for the kind words about the review!

David Foster

October 18, 2009, 11:49 pm

Hi - Can you confirm this will run on Windows 7 ( 64 bit ) can't seem to find anything that will confirm this 9 only says Windows 7 on Adobe website )

Cheers - Foz

James Morris

October 19, 2009, 9:54 pm

It's supposed to run on Windows 7, but I actually had problems running it on 64-bit Windows Vista. This was preview code, though, so you can't infer from that it doesn't work. I would be very surprised, as Premiere Pro runs just fine on 64-bit Windows and Elements uses the same basic codebase.


November 15, 2009, 1:50 pm

Hi there- Do you know if the Adobe Photoshop Elements and 8 and Adobe Premiere Elements will be able to run on a HP Pavillion Slimline s7520n desktop PC from 2006? I looked at the specs on my HP and the system requirements for the Adobe package, but I get confused when it starts talking about number of GHz and GBs. I really would like to get this program, but I just need to know if it will run smoothly on my computer...

Here is the link to the specs from my computer-

And the system requirements for the Adobe Photoshop Elements and 8 and Adobe Premiere Elements-

Maybe you could look at them and compare them and help me out! I'd be so greatful!! GREAT review, by the way!


February 12, 2010, 9:18 am

This product was the most unstable and unreliable software I've ever come across. Wouldn't run under Windows 7 or Vista without frequent crashes and crashes infrequently under XP


February 12, 2010, 1:58 pm

@Cowboy: Sounds distinctly like a problem with your PC, whether it be hardware or a software clash. It's impossible to be specific but that is definitely the more likely scenario.


February 13, 2010, 2:40 am

If you're after a solution for HD (1980*1080), forget APE and all the other entry-level solutions. They're hopelessly slow and *all* crash whilst saving. After trying Adobe Premiere Elements, Ulead Video, Pinnacle and Cyberlink PowerDirector, the only program which works with HD videos is Sony Vegas.

In a nutshell, you get what you pay for.


March 16, 2010, 8:54 pm

I have had a very difficult time trying to determine what is the simplest software for editing my video for color and brightness, as you do in Elements for photoss. ANy help would be greatly appreciated!

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