I purchased and installed Adobe Premiere Elements 11 yesterday. Needed it for teaching basic video editing techniques to beginners in my 2-day Basic Videography Course. After using it for a full day together with my students, I have discovered its pros and cons. Here’s my honest review…
What is Adobe Premiere Elements 11?
Adobe Premiere Elements 11 is a software that helps you do the task of video editing easy and quick. I like to call it the baby version of Adobe Premiere Pro. Where the “Pro” has lots of buttons and features, the “Elements” is simplified yet powerful. I chose this software to teach beginners because it is intuitive, so newbies can start making videos immediately after the class.
What makes Adobe Premiere Elements 11 so special?
The first reason I want to use this software to teach is its compatibility with both the Mac and the PC. Half the students in my workshop come with the Mac and the other half PC. Some students also ask to learn a software that works on both the Mac and the PC, so that their new knowledge and skill is transferable. Speaking of knowledge transferability, learning the “Elements” version is stepping stone into the industry-standard “Pro” version.
Does it edit better than alternative brands?
Before narrowing down on Adobe Premiere Elements as my choice of video editing software to teach, I have reviewed other alternatives like the Corel VideoStudio, Cyberlink PowerDirector and the Pinnacle Studio. They all have their own unique features. Corel was a close fight until I discovered some very useful automated tools in Adobe Premiere Elements, like the Smart Trim, Smart Mix and Smart Fix. These tools automatically perform tasks that we professional video editors take lots of time to do manually.
Does it produce better quality videos?
I would rather say it “improves” your video quality. 3 features stood out which I find helpful for new Videographers to “repair” footage from their first shots. There is the “Video stabilizer” for shaky shots. Then there is the “Noise Reducer” for interviews with a noisy background. The third feature surprised me, the Three-Way Colour Corrector! This is not an automated tool but a full fledge Colour Correction tool which professionals use. This makes me wonder if this really is a baby version of the “Pro” or a “Pro” version in disguise with a friendly user interface.
Does it save time or money?
At US$79.99, you don’t have to think twice. I purchased it together with Adobe Photoshop Elements as a discounted bundle. If you want to get started making videos quickly with all the automated tools without spending ten times more for the “Pro” version, then consider Adobe Premiere Elements 11. Talking about saving time, version 11 works faster than the earlier version. I hesitated to buy when I was trying out Adobe Premiere Elements 10, because it was sluggish. That changed with the responsive version 11.
Who needs Adobe Premiere Elements 11?
Adobe promotes this software for the home users to edit family events, vacation and kids videos. HOWEVER, after testing and reviewing Adobe Premiere Elements 11, I feel this is the perfect solution for Small Business Owners, Trainers, Human Resource Managers, Corporate Communications Executives and any vocation whose core role is not video production. From my Videography workshops, I detected a rising trend. Companies are sending their staff to learn Videography. Staff whose jobs are not the least bit related to video production, but need to make video reports, make social media videos and send messages with videos. They simply have no time to meddle with the “Pro” video editing software to get the video out quickly.
What do you need to use Adobe Premiere Elements 11?
Although this video editing software is easy to use, you must first be computer literate. I once made a mistake by accepting students who rarely use computers. I had to teach them all about drag, drop and folders. At the end of the day, they had a hard time figuring out video editing even on the simplest Windows MovieMaker. Other than computer literacy, you need a computer. A Mac or a PC will do. For the PC, an old computer running on Intel Core 2 Duo will still work.
Are there downsides in Adobe Premiere Elements 11?
I hate the 30-day trial version. I do not hate the 30-day limitation. It’s the annoying huge watermark positioned right smack in the middle of every video clip, title and image. If Adobe wants us to try only for 30 days, then let us try it in its full glory. When I teach using this software, I don’t expect my students to buy the software yet. I am introducing a software that may be useful for them as an evaluation before they buy. The huge watermark hinders some of my training topics where we need to see the middle of the screen. Adobe could have made the watermark smaller and place it in a corner.
Are there any downsides in the paid version?
Exporting in WMV files is limited to the standard formats without HD. WMV is a popular video format amongst PC users and I wonder why it is limited. Furthermore, there is no customisation feature for me to tweak the exact output I want, like changing the bit rate and video size. At least there are still Quicktime HD and MP4 H.264 which are the other 2 popular video formats.
I have not figured out how to turn off ripple mode. Ripple mode is great for beginners to prevent unintentional gaps between clips. However, when you start building up layers of clips and want to insert some more, the thing starts to mess up. Maybe I missed something, but I can undo and rework.
If you are new to video editing and want to make videos easily, quickly and professionally without spending big budget, then I recommend the Adobe Premiere Elements 11. I used it yesterday for the first time to train newbies and they loved it!
Please feel free to leave your comment below.
Discover Web Videography
I have created a free online videography course. Discover Video Camera Skills and Video Editing Techniques. Get Your FREE 5-day Videography e-Course now… http://videolane.com/free-videography-course/
Here’s a video of me Downloading Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Trial …
Get started with Adobe Premiere Elements 11 on the fast lane…