The most notable update in Adobe’s consumer video-editing Premiere Elements 14 over its predecessor is 4K support — primarily targeted at the action-cam (GoPro) video editor — beyond that, there’s not much to get excited about.
Upgrade pricing for current users sits at $80 (£50 , AU$115), while new users will pay the full $100 (£80, AU$100), or $150 (£100, AU$150) for the bundle with Premiere Elements 14. Upgrade price for the bundle is $120 (£80, AU$170).
- 4K support: Yup, it imported my videos with no problems, but Smart Fix didn’t seem to work with them. However, the automatic tools did a creditable job doing a quick-and-dirty tonal adjustment on video that was shot with a flat (very low contrast) profile.
- More prominent audio tools: The audio features were somewhat buried in previous versions, so Adobe has given them a dedicated way to access them, plus an Audio view in the timeline.
- New Guided Edits: The first is Slow or Fast Motion, which walks you through the program’s time-remapping feature to slow down or speed up segments of a video. The other, Black and White with Color Pop, shows you how to convert your video to black and white and then bring out a specific color. The great thing about the guided edits in Premiere Elements (as opposed to Photoshop Elements) is that it actually shows you what to do; after using it a few times, you know how to produce the effect you want.
- Motion titles: These include movement in and out of the frame, fades and the ability to pull a frame from the video as the title background. You can select from predefined graphics; text blocks, fonts and styles; and different animations. Every time I tried to change the frame for the background from the default, though, it expanded the video display and closed the motion title panel; when I reopened the panel, it defaulted back to the first frame of the video. And though you can customize the graphics it uses to a certain extent, you can’t delete any of the elements. The text doesn’t render very crisply, either. Aside from that, it’s a nice feature.
- New export and share workflow: Adobe has tried to make the process of encoding video and uploading to common sites — YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo, at least to start — more straightforward by breaking your options out by target device or sharing site.
- Updated Organizer: Adobe claims the Organizer has faster, more accurate face-recognition capabilities, and it is faster and more accurate, but still a little unsure of itself and requires some confirmations. You can quickly scrub through stacks of faces, and view all the photos attached to them. Map view displays thumbnails that you can scrub though as well and the program will automatically map photos taken on a mobile device and that are tagged. Finally, it provides suggested Event groupings as well. All of these updates are pretty much catch-up features.
If you already have the last version of Premiere Elements, the $80 price is too high to justify upgrading — except if you need the ability to handle 4K video. If you’re a first-timer, then this video editor offers a lot of tools in a relatively easy-to-learn interface. However, aside from the Shake Stabilizer introduced in the last version, there are no easy or specific or beginner tools for working with action-cam video, such as a Guided Edit for multicam editing.
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