When it comes to video editors, Adobe says: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’
Adobe's Premiere Elements has for some time been one of the leading video-editing programs for home users, and this upgrade doesn't try to mess with a winning formula.
Instead, Premiere Elements 10 simply fine-tunes some of its predecessor's features and throws in a couple of powerful new ones.
There are enhancements to a number of existing tools such as the ‘pan and zoom', which allows users to pan across still photos and use them as part of a video project. This now incorporates face-recognition so it will automatically focus on people's faces as it pans across the photo. There are also some new templates for use with the Instant Movie feature, which does all the work for you by automatically editing a selection of video clips together into a complete project.
However, the main new features are two advanced effects tools called Auto Tone and Vibrance, and Three-Way Color Correction. AutoTone and Vibrance can quickly boost the colours in a video clip to give it a bit more life. However, the program is intelligent enough to detect faces in the clip and leave them untouched, so they don't end up bright red and looking like they fell asleep on a sun-bed.
The Three-Way Color Correction also allows users to adjust colours of clips but it is a bit more complicated and will mainly appeal to more experienced users. What it does is isolate the brightest and darkest areas within the video – known as highlights and shadows – as well as the ‘midtones' that lie inbetween. Users can then selectively alter the colours of those areas with great precision, perhaps making the sea look bluer, or making grey clouds look brighter and warmer.
There are simpler video-editing programs available, including Microsoft's free Windows Movie Maker, and Premiere Elements is very much aimed at the more experienced and ambitious home movie buff. Even so, it's competitively priced, especially if you buy it in a combined package with Photoshop Elements, and a good choice for anyone who wants to produce professional-looking home movies, or even small-scale professional projects.
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This powerful and affordable video-editing program can be more complex than some of its rivals
Wide range of video-editing and special-effects tools; advanced colour-correction features
Many tools are quite complex; requires a powerful PC; poor documentation
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£79 (£69 upgrade or £119 with Photoshop Elements 10)
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