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Adobe Premiere Elements 10 continues the somewhat iffy prospects of video editing depending on the camcorder you use to capture video but it does work well if you use a supported video format.

Ease of Use, Performance: 16/25
Look & Feel: 14/25
Features 22/25
How much I enjoy 10/25

Total: 62/100

Premiere Elements 10

Premiere Elements is an easy to use program for the most part but like any video editing program it does take some getting used to as well as having some problems. Premiere Elements 10 brings some more camcorder and format support along with a much needed basic improvement to the video editing but lacks enough new features to warrant a purchase.

If you own a recent release the upgrade may not be worth the purchase depending on your experience with the previous version and whether you like the program. If you have a previous edition and want the possible improvements and new features the newest edition may be worth a look as long as things work for you.

The problem here depends more if you have never used a recent previous edition and are looking to buy Premiere Elements for the first time. The program in its recent edition and the past few have had problems for many users with certain file formats that are not supported and don’t work with Premiere Elements.

Video files come in different formats and it’s these formats that can be a problem, Premiere Elements supports or works well with certain formats but not others. Companies that make camcorders either use common formats or ones that they alter to fit specifically to their camcorder and programs can have a problem with these file formats.

Instant Movie

If you have a camcorder that is supported you should have no problems but even then I have had the program crash for no apparent reason. I have had numerous problems with Premiere Elements on different computers and others have also reported the same issues on both the Adobe forums and Amazon customer reviews.

You can use a media converter and reformat the file you want to edit but this additional step should not be necessary for a decent program, the program should handle the files without a problem. I have had great success using other video editing programs for the same camcorder and even the free Windows Moviemaker so the file format should not be that big an issue.

Premiere Elements 10 works well with the right file formats most of the time, the interface is easy to use and very intuitive and there is help in the form of tutorials all over the web. When you first open Premiere Elements you are faced with a welcome screen and choices for what you want to do, the first time it will ask to import pictures and video but you can easily skip this if you want.

You will have to open this welcome screen the first time you open the program but you can select to go right to the organizer or Premiere Elements if you want. Once at the editing screen you can easily import videos from a device or file and get to editing using the simple timeline, you can also use features like InstantMovie to create a simple movie.

Editing Video

The InstantMovie feature works well, I created several movies quickly over the last few weeks simply by using this feature to get a movie to disc for viewing without any editing. The file format was an issue but with a simple conversion of the video to a common HD format I was able to edit the videos and get them to a disc.

Uploading to disc or to an internet service like Facebook also works well but these are mostly simple steps where things work easily but I did have problems from time to time. The main problems of file formats and random crashes or slowdown of video playback in the editor still plague this edition along with past ones like editions 8 and 9.

I think one user put it correctly on his review at Amazon, if you use Premiere Elements on what the creators wanted and expected the program to be used your fine otherwise it’s no good. As they put it” If you walk the straight and narrow path and avoid Memory card based video recordings, large images, downloaded video and audio files, too many edits and long videos” things work.

It’s when you do those other things like using SD card based camcorders or too many edits that problems arise with Premiere Elements and not just this edition. I have always had problems with numerous editing or long videos and my pet peeve with Premiere Elements is the SD card based camcorders which seem to be a major fault of the program.

New Color Correction

Many camcorders are becoming SD card based and they often use a proprietary format package that the company designs or they use a format package that Adobe does not support specifically. This leads to Adobe’s not fully supporting many camcorders because their formats are not exactly like the mainstream ones like Canon and Sony.

If you look at reviews and customer complaints many of the Flip type camcorders don’t work well with the Premiere Elements program because of the format package used. The Coby Snapp camcorder I have that costs $40 works just fine but the Genius HD520 that retails for over a hundred dollars will not work at all for video until I convert the format.

Looking at my screenshot of the program you can see the Coby video clearly with both video and audio but the program only recognizes the audio from the Genius camcorder. It’s this lack of support and clearly not explaining this on the Adobe site or on sales sites selling the program that I dislike and think Adobe needs to at least explain better.

They do support a wide range of camcorders but when it comes to supporting others the program probably doesn’t so my advice is if you have a specific camera that you want to use make sure its on the supported devices list. With that said I really do not like Premiere Elements in any edition as it just does not work as well as other programs for video editing with as wide a variety of camcorders.

Supported & Unsupported File Formats

Adobe Premiere Elements continues to be a model specific video editing program that works for some but not for others depending not on your computer but on the file format your camcorder records in. I just cannot recommend Premiere Elements as it continues to support a more limited amount of camcorders than other similar priced software.

Before buying Adobe’s Premiere Elements 10, or any software for that matter especially video editing, try the software in a trial version to make sure it works for your camcorder and computer.

Adobe Premiere Elements 10 Website

Premiere Elements @ Amazon