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Adobe Premiere Elements 7.0

Robust editor has nifty new features, finally catches up By John Virata

The last time I bought a traditional video camera was in 2000 when FireWire based camcorders were all the rage. It was a Sony DCR-TRV11 that I purchased for $1000. The camera still works great, and it has been through a heck of a lot--getting zapped to death by an Alienware FireWire port (which Alienware paid for after I complained), getting dropped, which resulted in the lens loosening from the camera, getting rained on, you get the picture. After a quick trip to Sony surgery, it came back good as new. But the problem is I hardly ever use it. It has been set aside in favor of my other video capture capable devices, an Olympus 1030SW digital camera and a Flip video mino camcorder. Welcome to the new age of video capture. And with that comes new tools for video editing.

One of those tools is Adobe Premiere Elements 7.0 for Windows. The application, now in version 5 but called 7.0, is a consumer level video editing tool that has embraced some of the latest consumer video capture devices, as well as the output mediums that many people view video, including YouTube. The big news with version 7.0 is its support for AVCHD and JVC TOD files. While other consumer level video editors have had support for these files for a few years now, it's nice that Premiere Elements 7.0 finally offers support for these formats. Today's video watcher is no longer confined to viewing video on a VHS tape or DVD. They're watching video on the Internet, portable media players and other devices, from a variety of devices and formats, and the video editing tools have to keep up.

The Premiere Elements interface is largely unchanged, likely due to the fact that it works well with everything easily accessible. You can still edit in Timeline mode, or Sceneline mode, which is the same as Storyboard mode. The opening screen is a bit different, with a link to Adobe's new community, as well as a new InstantMovie button, to go along with the Open Project and New Project buttons. Click the new Project button and you are prompted to name your project, where to save it and to choose project settings. When you choose your project settings, your choices now include AVCHD, in addition to DV, hard disk and Flash memory camcorders, HDV, and PAL settings. Each of these settings have sub settings where appropriate. For example, with AVCHD, you can choose Full HD 1080i 30 to HD 1080i 5.1 channel. Click OK and you are ready to build your project.

The Edit tab

The Premiere Elements interface is built around a tabbed structure called Task Panels. These panels include Organize, Edit, Disc Menus, and Share. The idea here is to give you direction on how to build your projects, and it works fairly flawlessly. The new Task Panel on the block is the Organizer. The Organizer enables you to perform all types of identification tasks. The idea here is to get you to better organize your assets, which makes for an easier editing experience.

Task Panels

From the Organizer you can get media for your projects, create an InstantMovie, tag your clips and perform Smart Tagging on your clips. You can also filter your clips based on albums or tags. Once your media files are organized, the next step is to edit that footage, via the Edit tab. This is where you place your videos on the Timeline or Sceneline in the order you wish them to appear in the project, make cuts to the clips, choose a theme if you wish, add titles, effects and transitions, and so on. From the Edit tab you can also preview and set your in and out points of any clips that are in your project by double clicking the clip's icon.

After you complete your editing, the next task is to choose a disc menu if you are going to burn the finished video to DVD. Premiere Elements 7 includes several types of disc menus, including some high definition menus, and I am sure that more are available at Some of the disc menu types include Retro TV, Holidays and events, memories, kid corner, wedding, travel and sports.

Your final task is to share your video. Premiere Elements has always had some pretty robust sharing capabilities. These include burning your project to disc, creating a file for playback on your computer, mobile phone or media player, video tape, and for playback on YouTube or your own website. Within each Share type are a variety of different formats and quality settings that you can choose from to finish your project.

Disc menu


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