The primary benefit of this integration is that the Effect Controls palette is now always available, although it has been renamed Properties. This changes its contents with context, and in Edit mode includes the Motion and Opacity controls as before. But Image controls have also been added, giving you access to brightness, contrast, hue and saturation controls without the need to add a specific filter. The Opacity section also adds quick fade in/out tools, and Motion the ability to rotate footage back to landscape which was shot in portrait mode, for example using a mobile phone.
The capture applet is now integrated into the main application interface, and supports DV capture from USB 2.0 camcorders as well as via FireWire.
Continuing the theme of integration, the capture applet is now part of the interface rather than a pop-up window. The range of supported editing formats has increased greatly, but the capture applet still only works with DV camcorders, although it can now capture DV over USB 2.0 as well with the appropriate driver. To acquire other file formats, a new Media Downloader applet has been added. This can import clips from optical disc and USB 2.0-attached cameras. You can bring in 3GPP and 3GPP2 files, ASF, MPEG-1, 2 and 4. Most gratifyingly, the MOD files used by the JVC Everio camcorders can now be used directly. However, one format is notable by its absence - HDV. With the just-released Pinnacle Studio 10 supporting high definition editing, this could be an omission Adobe will live to regret if HD camcorders fall any further in price (see our review of Sonyâ€™s groundbreaking HDR-HC1E).
The core functions of the program havenâ€™t changed radically, but theyâ€™re now much more friendly for the novice. Effect filters and transitions come with a picon to help you work out what they do, and you can group the ones you use often into a favourites section. Separate buttons help you find each category of effects. A new addition is the project archiver and copier, which will transfer everything you need to recreate the edit on a new system. The media is copied to a separate folder, which you can then burn to disc or copy to a removable drive.