I am concurrently reviewing the bundle that contains both Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8. Thus, both are on my computer. While I will review each program separately, it is important to know that when you have both installed, they work together. For example, they can both share the same Organize panel as well as work together in different ways. This does not mean that you cannot purchase each separately and use them as independent programs.
Last Year I reviewed Premiere Elements 7. Each year new features are added and some are modified. This review will mainly discuss those features new to Premiere Elements 8. Adobe has added many new features and enhancements to this version.
Premiere Elements 8 is a video editing program. It gives the user the ability to automatically or manually combine video clips into a longer video, add themes, sound, special effects as well as work with Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 (if it installed) to make use of all of its image editing controls.
The new Welcome screen has features to help you familiarize yourself with the program.
If you are familiar with the Organize section of Photoshop Elements 8, you will see that it uses the same one in Premiere Elements 8. Thus if you purchased Photoshop Elements 8, the same one will initially appear. Of course you can have as many albums as you like. Since it is the same, the smart tags are the same also. These will analyze your images or videos when you open them. This can take a little while. Also, you can click on the quality tags to see the quality of your image or video. As a note, some of the same videos showed up in the high quality category as well as the medium and low quality categories. This did not happen with still images and might have to do with the individual frames or the number of different components such as sound; but that is just a guess.
The Create and Share screens are the same in both Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8. The basic Fix screen is different for Premiere Elements 8, but you can choose, full edit, quick edit, etc. and they will open in Photoshop Elements 8.
As with Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, you can use full screen mode. Here you can view and play the video in full screen. This is really nice because you can eliminate any panels. However, you can mouse over controls, such as on the bottom of the screen and they will appear. These controls can open settings dialog, properties panel, and a number of other panels.
You can now backup catalogs so they appear on more than one computer. When you are logged in to your account, you can see the backup preferences available. It is easy to sync two computers. All you have to do is log onto your Basic or Plus account using the same ID and, then, mark the catalog on one computer for backup/synchronization; then, you turn on backup/sync on your other computer, and the media will automatically synchronize.
Since the hub of Premiere Elements 8 is video editing and composing, let's look at some of the new and enhanced features you can use to create great video presentations.
InstantMovie was first added to Premiere Elements 7. It has been enhanced in this version. You can work with clips automatically or manually; you can combine clips and add a theme as well as do a lot more. It took me a few minutes to follow the proper sequence. Once I did, I realized how easy it was. Also, the Help menu will walk you through all these steps.
SmartFix is new to version 8. If there appear to be problems, you can drag the clip to the Sceneline.When you do, a box will appear asking if you want to fix problems such as too dark or too light a clip. If you are having GPU playback issues, you can disable the option, Enable GPU Playback, in the Preferences menu.
SmartTrim is another new feature where you can remove unwanted footage. This can be done automatically or manually.
SmartMix allows you to improve your audio. For example, if you add sound, it can decrease it before a narrative part of the clip. Notice that there are automatic as well as manual operations available.
Adobe Premiere Elements 8 has added other features to customize your videos such as a more graphics, clip art, etc. Also, you can now add bubbles with words in them that will move with the video. I had trouble with adding animated objects which would track with the subject. Perhaps I did not understand the directions in the Help menu. This was the only problem I had when I tested those new and enhanced features that I have described in the review.
If you are not aware of the online service you can have when you purchase Adobe Premiere Elements 8 or Adobe Premiere Elements 8 Plus, you will see that the Basic service provides tutorials, space for backing up your images, and help. In addition, the fee based Plus offers additional content and more options.
The screen below applies to both Photoshop Elements 8 (PSE) and Premiere Elements 8 (PRE).
The cost for Adobe Premiere Elements 8 is US $79.99 after a $20 mail in rebate. To, also, subscribe to Premiere Elements 8 Plus, the cost is US $119.99 after the rebate. A great deal can be had if you purchase Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8 together because the final cost after the $30 rebate is $119.99. One can also purchase the bundle with the Plus benefits. The rebate is time sensitive so go to: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiereel/. Go to the same web page to download a free trial and to obtain more information about Adobe Premiere Elements 8.
Below is a comparison of versions of Premiere Elements.
Below is a list of all the new features. In addition, I have added those features that are enhanced in italics. This information is taken from an Adobe publication.
• 2GHz processor with SSE2 support; 3GHz processor required for HDV or Blu-ray; dual-core processor required for AVCHD
• Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Media Center, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
• For Windows XP: 512MB of RAM (2GB required for HD editing including HDV, AVCHD, or Blu-ray)
• For Windows Vista and Windows 7: 1GB of RAM (2GB required for HD editing including HDV, AVCHD, or Blu-ray)
• 4.5GB of available hard-disk space
• Color monitor with 16-bit color video card
• 1,024 x 768 monitor resolution at 96dpi or less
• Microsoft DirectX 9 or 10 compatible sound and display driver
• DVD-ROM drive (compatible DVD burner required to burn DVDs; compatible Blu-ray burner required to burn Blu-ray Discs)
• DV/i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394 interface to connect a Digital 8
DV or HDV camcorder, or a USB2 interface to connect a DV-via-USB compatible DV camcorder (other video devices supported via the Media Downloader)
• QuickTime 7 software
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8 share many panels, screens, and functions. To get the most out of the programs, I recommend that you purchase the bundle. The number of projects you can create and share seem to be endless. Adobe Premiere Elements 8 allows for clips to be turned into "fun" and creative videos. The new Smart functions make the creation of better videos a lot easier.
After working with Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8, I found that Photoshop Elements 8 is more intuitive than is Premiere Elements 8. I recommend that users buy the bundle because the cross over and integration of the programs is extremely beneficial and the increase in possibilities when using the two programs is really worth it. I liked the new features in Adobe Premiere Elements 8 and for those (on a budget or new to video editing) it is a very good program, especially since you can work in both automatic and manual modes.