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Adobe Premiere Elements 9 - Other New Additions and Verdict

By James Morris



  • Recommended by TR
Adobe Premiere Elements 9


Our Score:


There are a couple of new effects and filters. You can add a plethora of cartoon effects using the NewBlue Cartoonr Plus Elements filter. This is essentially an artwork filter that converts your video to a hand-drawn 2D cartoon look. There is a host of presets, and options to vary the parameters of line and colouring in, to give precisely the look you want. It’s a fun filter, and great if you want to create a stylised video or sequence. However, like every elaborate effect, you won’t use it every day.

NewBlue's Cartoonr Plus is the major effect addition, allowing you to create a stylised cartoon look for your videos

Another new addition from the NewBlue stable is NewBlue Cleaner, which attempts to fix problem audio automatically. There are separate controls for reducing general noise and specifically for hum. We tried clips with considerable hiss and others with electrical RF hum, and the results were reasonable. However, NewBlue Cleaner doesn’t go so far as to allow you to sample an area of noise and subtract it from the remaining clip, which is the most effective system. You will still need a standalone audio editing tool for fixing problems with this level of sophistication.

If you’re a Mac user of Elements, you have another new addition as well. Videomerge, which was already available on the PC version of Elements since version 7, is now included on the Mac version as well. This is a rather powerful assisted compositing tool, using Adobe’s extremely capable technology in this area. The Mac inclusion signifies parity at last between Elements on the two platforms, with exactly the same features available on both.

You can now output Web DVDs, which act like DVDs but are delivered over the Internet to a regular Web browser

The remaining improvements are focused on the output stage. It’s now possible to create Web DVDs directly from Premiere Elements. This builds a webpage and associated media subfolders that mimic an interactive DVD menu but are delivered via the Internet. You can copy the main HTML file and media to your site, and link to the Web DVD from your homepage. In our testing, this didn’t appear to require any special video streaming capabilities on the webserver. We placed the Web DVD assets on standard webspace and it played just fine, albeit a little jerky in places, and interaction functioned like a DVD.

As with Photoshop Elements 9, it’s now possible to share videos and photos on Facebook, although not directly from the main app. Instead, this operates through the Elements Organizer. You can upload single videos or whole albums of photos, with the ability to provide the necessary titles and descriptions. Facebook is fast becoming the key place to share everyday social snaps and clips, particularly as more and more camera-equipped mobile phones are now able to upload to Facebook directly. So it’s good to see Adobe keeping up with this trend.


Premiere Elements has been our consumer-grade editing software of choice for some time now, although competition has been stiff from Corel’s VideoStudio and, increasingly, CyberLink’s PowerDirector. For once, however, we have to say that current users of Premiere Elements 8 are more than likely not to find enough here worth the upgrade.

Whereas the ninth incarnation of Photoshop Elements also has little change to its underlying engine, at least it incorporates some significant new filters. The additions to Premiere Elements 9 are less groundbreaking. Nevertheless, if you’re a newcomer to video editing, or using a version of Premiere Elements earlier than 8, this is still the most fully featured consumer-grade video editing app out there. It’s just that we’d have liked to see more here to tempt existing users to remain up to date.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 10
  • Value 9
  • Features 9
  • Design 9


November 24, 2010, 3:34 pm

For any users of Premiere Elements 7 (PE7) on Windows 7 64-bit - PE9 works much better and seems to utilise all four of my CPU cores properly when rendering final output(PE7 was a mixed bag in this regard, depending on which output formats were selected).

In-editor previews tend to play better as well even with several animations / sequences / overlays active at once (without having to pre-render before playback).

Not a huge number of new features even over PE7, but at least PE9 feels much more at home on Windows 7 now.

Brian ONeill

November 24, 2010, 4:09 pm

I think the adobe Elements apps have a very high learning curve, the interface is very complex. I had to do some video work recently, and i tested this and the corel app. I ended up using the free windows live movie maker http://explore.live.com/win...

For basic stuff its great. So the moral is if you want to do video check out the free options first, you might be surprised.


November 24, 2010, 4:42 pm

Amazon customer reviews slate this software (1 star average from seven reviews). Who is correct?


November 24, 2010, 4:49 pm

I find it a little strange that TR have given this a Recommendation and 9/10 when nearly all the reviews thus far on Amazon.co.uk are 1 star only. Most users there seem to cite the fact that this software is tricky to use.


November 24, 2010, 5:34 pm

I'm curious about the amazon reviews as well. Reminds me of TrustedReviews PowerDirector 8 review. Read the comments on that. I'm not saying TR are wrong I just find it strange there is such a difference of opinion.


November 24, 2010, 8:15 pm

I need a new video editor, but I'm confused now. Amazon reviews say nay TR say yay.

Brian ONeill

November 24, 2010, 10:17 pm

I tried Premiere and corel video studio, they are both clunky as hell. As far as i can see there is no decent video editors for the pc that don't require a very steep learning curve.


November 25, 2010, 6:41 am

It's probably more a case of what you're prepared to get to know... Premiere Elements is fast for making edits if you learn the keyboard shortcuts, e.g. For splitting footage (Ctrl + k), playhead transport ( space bar, cursor keys with and without shift), etc, etc.

Takes some getting used to, but there's a lot of power just under the surface if you persevere... such as keyframing of almost every effect, rotation, alpha transparency, scaling - with ease-in & ease-out.

Certainly possible to build decent projects and the best tool for quickly assembling impressively smooth 'Ken Burns' style video slideshows, with superb control over every aspect of the pan, rotation and scaling.

James Morris

November 25, 2010, 7:13 pm

We've erred on the side of power with our video reviews. Video editing is never going to be easy, and with its Premiere heritage Premiere Elements is taking pro-grade tools and trying to make them more friendly for the beginner. They don't entirely succeed. But if you want an app you can grow into, rather than one which limits you once you get the hang of it, we still stand by our recommendation of Premiere Elements.


November 25, 2010, 11:09 pm

@James Morris

I agree 100% - several years into my Premiere Elements 'adventure' and prefer it to the other 'consumer-level' alternatives.

Maybe next year we'll be treated to a slightly scaled back version of the Mercury engine... that would really shake things up, especially given how powerful the average PC workstation is these days.

Bob Dix Photographer

August 31, 2011, 2:37 am

Trial version showed sluggish performance with H.264 clips from a Canon 5D Mark II, this 9 version not much better than PE4 which is still very good.

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