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Adobe Premiere Elements 9 review



  • Recommended by TR
Adobe Premiere Elements 9


Our Score


Review Price £56.83

Adobe’s professional-grade video editing app, Premiere Pro, recently went exclusively 64-bit with its CS5 version. This update incorporated the most powerful multi-format real-time video editing engine currently on the market. But the time is not quite ripe for an exclusively 64-bit app at the consumer end of the video editing market. So the latest ninth incarnation of Adobe’s Premiere Elements has nothing quite so revolutionary to boast about. However, like Photoshop Elements 9, there are some sundry improvements, which Adobe hopes will be enough to tempt you.

The Get Media applet now supports importing footage from Flip cameras and DSLRs

To start with, you can now import footage from a Flip camcorder or a DSLR as easily as you could with AVCHD devices beforehand. The Get Media import applet already available for other file-based camcorder formats now includes these types of camera. You can open a Flip or DSLR’s storage and browse the contents, including the ability to play clips in thumbnail form to help you find the one you’re looking for. Then simply select the clips you want, choose a destination folder, and click Get Media to bring the clips in.

These will automatically be included in your Premiere Elements project, but also added to the Organizer catalogue, so you can tag them and analyse them using its management features. The Organizer is now available in the Mac version as well as the PC version, where it has been included since version 8. Premiere Elements is also tolerant if you import footage into a project with the wrong settings for the footage, automatically prompting you to switch if it detects any major differences.

The InstantMovie automated editing system includes a few more themes than the previous version

InstantMovie’s smart automatic editing has been enhanced, with the inclusion of extra themes. These range from Fun in the Sun to Crazy Cartoons and Pets. The themes bundle music, transitions, titles and effects, and apply these automatically to your chosen set of clips to create a finished movie. However, there’s no difference to the functionality of InstantMovie in Elements 9 compared to version 8 – you just have more template options. So this remains a useful tool if you're in a hurry or new to editing, but it can't work miracles.

There are few changes to the underlying software engine. Premiere Elements doesn’t use the 64-bit Mercury Playback Engine of the latest Premiere Pro, although Adobe has allegedly incorporated some of the CS5 technologies to provide optimised HD editing. In practice, we found Premiere Elements 9 a little more fluid than the previous version with AVCHD and HDV-encoded clips, but the performance difference isn’t the sea-change we experienced from the move to Premiere Pro CS5 from CS4.

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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/window...

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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