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Video software Reviews
15,518 Reviews

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 review

£77 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Adobe

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 adds new features and functionality to Adobe's entry-level video-editing software.

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 adds new features and functionality to Adobe's entry-level video-editing software.

The video-focused complement to Photoshop Elements 9, the new version of Adobe's image-editing application, Premiere Elements 9 lets you easily upload finished videos to Facebook (the program first acquired YouTube-upload capability in Premiere Elements 8).You can't send your freshly edited video directly from Premiere Elements to Facebook, however; instead, you must save it, return to the Elements organiser (a separate application), find the video, and then use commands in the organiser to upload the video. It's easy to do once you're in the organiser, and the process works very well, but we'd rather use a more consistent interface, so we wouldn't have to remember to use YouTube in the editor and Facebook in the organiser.

Similarly, though Adobe Premiere Elements 9 has a new import dialog box for handling video from Flip camcorders and from digital SLRs, you have to remember that the mechanism is in the editing application, not the organiser. It doesn't really matter, though: You can import video into the organiser, too, or you can simply connect your camera and wait for Adobe's stand-alone import application, which monitors such connections, to pop up. And that application imports the video into the... organiser, we think. It's tough to keep track when the applications look so similar and have randomly overlapping duties.

Adobe Premiere Elements 9: DVDs Without the Discs

One nifty new feature is the ability to create web DVDs, which are high-quality online movies with DVD-like menus. Create the menus in the Adobe Premiere Elements 9 editor, choose a still image and a soundtrack for the opening menu, and then specify chapter points or tell Elements to create them automatically. When Elements is done producing the movie, it uploads it to Photoshop.com, Adobe's online sharing site. Web DVDs have a few advantages over regular videos - the opening menu interface looks and sounds slick (if you choose a good soundtrack), and the ability to fast-forward to chapter points in the video means your viewers can fast-forward to scenes they want. And unlike a real DVD, your video can be in high definition (DVDs are limited to standard resolution).

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 has some additional editing capabilities to help with audio problems. Six new audio effects - Audio Polish, Auto Mute, Cleaner, Hum Remover, Noise Fader, and Noise Reducer - are mostly automated tools designed to solve common issues. As with any filter, the results they produce depend on the quality of the video, the severity of the problem, and your willingness to tweak beyond the default settings.

We tried the tools with a few types of audio, including music transferred from old vinyl records, singing from decades-old acetate recordings, and audio captured with my digital SLR, and we weren't too impressed with the effects at their default settings; often they reduced the clarity of the audio as they were reducing the amount of hum, pop, and hiss. But if you pick the right effec - we had the best luck with the Audio Polish - and play with the settings enough, you can improve the audio quality. Just don't drop it onto your soundtrack and expect the Royal Albert Hall.

Adobe says that Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is optimised for high-definition editing, and we had no real problems editing HD footage, except that we had to wait while our relatively powerful PC processed the footage. Premiere Elements 9 does not take advantage of certain graphics cards to speed things up, as its big brother Premiere Pro CS5 does, and Elements 9 remains a 32-bit application, whereas Premiere Pro CS5 is now a 64-bit application that can take advantage of larger amounts of system RAM.

See also: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 review

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Expert Verdict »
2GHz processor with SSE2 support, Multicore Intel processor
Windows XP with Service Pack 2/Vista/7, Mac OS X v10.5.8 through v10.6
1GB of RAM
2GB required for HD editing (including HDV, AVCHD, or Blu?ray)
4GB hard?disk space
Graphics card with the latest updated drivers
1024x768 display resolution at 96dpi or less
Microsoft DirectX 9 or 10 compatible sound and display driver
DVD?ROM drive
DV/i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394 interface
QuickTime 7 software
Windows Media Player
internet connection required for internet-based features
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

We like using Adobe Premiere Elements 9; we think it's a good value for the money, and we consider it the best of its ilk. But we sure wish Adobe would rethink how its organiser works with its editing applications. Trying to keep straight which application does what is harder than remembering where we left our keys. The latest version of Premiere Elements is not a huge upgrade, but it is still an excellent video editor, especially given its price.

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