Photo-editing and video-editing tools in a single box
The latest versions of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements can be bought for £75 each but this handy bundle includes both programs for £115, giving users a powerful collection of photo-editing and video-editing tools.
Photoshop Elements 7 includes a number of powerful new features for enhancing digital photos, such as the Scene Cleaner and Smart Brush. The Scene Cleaner will come in handy if you take photos on a busy street where people keep wandering into the shot at the wrong moment.
It allows users to take two or three shots of the same scene and compare them to isolate specific details that to remove. You can then just use the mouse to paint over those details, leaving just the image required.
The Smart Brush is a time-saver that quickly selects areas of an image and simultaneously applies effects to those areas. If you take a portrait of someone and their skin looks pale the Smart Brush could be used to quickly select the face and slap the spray-tan effect to give them more colour.
It can make lips redder, teeth whiter, or simply touch up a dull sky in the background. Both features worked well, although the brevity of the help files meant we took a while to get the hang of them.
Difficulty has also been a problem for Premiere Elements over the years. It's one of the most powerful video-editing programs under £100 but it’s always been complicated for newcomers, so this latest version is an effort to simplify the process.
When video clips are imported, Premiere Elements can use its new Smart Tagging to analyse them and detect specific features such as group shots or close-ups of faces, and assign tags to them so they can be quickly identified later.
The Instant Movie option will make Premiere Elements automatically select clips marked with specific tags and compile them into a complete movie itself, with transitions, music and effects. You could, say, tell the program to find shots of a skiing holiday and use them to create a complete movie in a matter of minutes.
There’s also a 'break apart' option called that splits any Instant Movie project back into its component parts so you can see what edits, transitions and effects were used. This is a good way of learning about editing as it allows users to delve into Instant Movie projects and see how the program puts them together.
If all you’re looking for is some simple software for tidying up photos or uploading short video clips onto Youtube then this Elements bundle is realistically likely to be too powerful and too expensive.
That said, it’s a great buy for the more serious amateurs who want to make the most of both their digital cameras and their camcorders.
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A powerful set of photo-editing and video-editing tools at an attractive price Good points Good value; powerful new photo tools; simplified video editing Bad points Both programs are more suited to experienced or ambitious users
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