Adobe ® Photoshop ® Elements 5.0 plus Adobe Premiere ® Elements 3.0 software combines two powerful yet easy-to-use products to deliver the most complete photo and video editing solution. Entertain friends with unique cinematic slide shows and dramatic freeze-frame effects, create personalized DVDs, and easily share on the web.
• Intel Pentium (or compatible) 1.3GHz processor with SSE2 support; 3GHz required for HDV
• Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit only), Windows XP, or Windows Media Center Edition (XP and MCE require Service Pack 2)
• Windows Vista: 1GB of RAM; 2GB required for HDV
• Windows XP and MCE: 512MB of RAM; 1GB required for HDV
• 6GB of available hard-disk space
• Color monitor with 16-bit color video card
• 1,024x768 monitor resolution
• Display and sound drivers compatible with Microsoft DirectX 9 or later
• CD-ROM / DVD-ROM drive (compatible DVD burner required to burn DVDs)
• DV/i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394 interface to connect a Digital 8 or DV camcorder, or a USB2 interface to connect a DV-via-USB-compatible DV camcorder (other video devices supported via the Media Downloader)
Being a Photographer, Photoshop is a program that I am slowly getting to know, although I would still class myself as very much a beginner. So it was with great interest that I set about giving Photoshop Elements a good test run, rather curious to learn exactly what was the difference between the two.
To sum it up, I found Elements to be the "low-fat" version of photoshop, cut right down to the essentials, but with still plenty of good stuff lurking in there. Relatively easy to navigate (quite a bit more so, in fact, than the full Photoshop); with quite a few easy-to-use templates, and my favourite part-its own in-built photo organizer. Now this was, of course, nothing in comparison to Lightroom, but it still did the job well enough, and it made flicking through my many photos an even more enjoyable experience, as it allowed you to attach music to each photo, or even just to the whole slideshow. Fixing red-eye (something I'm STILL trying to learn how to avoid when actually TAKING the photo), was as simple as a click of the mouse- although I will admit, it puzzled me as to why it only detected and cleared up the red-eye in SOME of the photos, and not all. At least it saved me some of the work that way though.
All in all, I'd recommend Photoshop Elements over the full Photoshop CS (err- CS3, as it now stands) to those who were only wanting it to view and "play" around with their photos, and make minor edits. For those into the far more serious photomanipulation, I'd say stick with Photoshop CS3.
It has often been said that you can't expect to win the Indi 500 while driving a family sedan... but for most of us, a family sedan is about the level of skill we have when it comes to software. It takes months, sometimes years of training and working with a package to really drag the best out of it, and most people just don't have that level of need, or dedication.
However, I rather enjoy the feeling of having all the raw power of a full-on editting package available to me, even if I don't always use it to it's fullest potential, which is why I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed working with Premiere Elements. Being an enthusiastic beginner with After Effects and having used it to mock up some rough-cuts of possible TV adverts for some friends of mine, and a few animated Christmas Cards for fun, I was quite interested to see how the full version of Premiere and AE would mesh... And for the life of me I couldn't get an easy mix... so I gave Premiere Elements a try and found, to me delight, that I could do all I wanted to do, with a quater of the stress, in half the time!
After importing the raw footage from my camcorder, it was a simple matter to import it into Premiere Elements, trim and chop it into the required snippets, set transitions, add audio tracks I had previously processed in Adobe Audition (part of the Production Suite), and export ready-to-run movies that could, in some cases, be sent directly to his client, and others that could be imported directly into AE and further processed. It was, almost TOO easy... I felt like I wasn't earning my dozen beers!
Overall, for the home user or the busy professional who only needs a rough draft to start with, this is BY FAR the top product to be looking at. Sure, there are others, some come bundled with camcorders or digicams, others come with certain extra hardware for your machine, but they are worth what you paid... not much at all. This is a professional package, designed to be as easy and quick to use for almost any skill level, and a LOT more friendly on your system. Why load up the whole workshop, when all you need is a spanner and screwdriver? great to see, and wonderful to use... as usual.
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Andy Rooney (1919 - )