- Vastly improved usability
- New effects capabilities including adjustment layers
- SpeedGrade now part of Production Bundle
- Expensive, unless you own a recent previous version
- GPU acceleration still mostly limited to professional graphics cards
Review Price £895.19
Adobe Premiere Pro has received a dual boost over the last couple of years. First came the CS5 and 5.5 releases with their new powerful 64-bit Mercury Playback Engine that provides true real-time editing performance. But at the same time, Apple has kindly made a significant portion of the market up for grabs, as the professionally-oriented Final Cut Pro was phased out, to be replaced by the much more "pro-sumer" Final Cut X. These two factors together have meant that Premiere Pro has made huge inroads where Final Cut - and Avid Media Composer - used to reign supreme. Into this context comes the latest CS6 update of Premiere Pro, which doesn't focus on cloud-based features as much as Adobe's Photoshop Touch, but has plenty to offer of its very own.
The differences from previous versions are obvious as soon as you load the application. Before, the interface developed incrementally, with the underlying engine and features having the more significant changes. But with CS6 there is a major shift and modernisation. The changes are made a little more pronounced by the fact that the default workspace now foregrounds the source and program monitor windows, an arrangement known as "two-up" that is much more in keeping with higher-end editing platforms. But this is a slight red herring as this workspace was optionally available in previous versions, and you can switch back to the old default if you like too. Old projects will be imported with the old default workspace unless you reset them as well.
The more significant change is the tidying up of the plethora of buttons around the video windows. The jog-shuttle controls, a vestige of physical edit controllers, have been removed, so that now the buttons take up a single strip of space. You can customise the contents of this strip as well, even adding a second layer of buttons again if you wish. But you might not want to, as the aim of the "two-up" default workspace and these enhancements is to maximise the space for the video windows, which is essential as format resolution continues to rise to 4K and 5K.