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Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premier Elements 7 PC Review - -

Installation 9.0
Ease of use 8.5
Usefulness 8.8
Value 9.0
Distributor: Adobe
Review Date:
March 2009
Simon O'Donnell


Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premier Elements 7
with Plus Membership

It's good to see a powerful development company like Adobe not just target their software for high end designers. Although they have some brilliant packages available, they are generally out of reach for the humble home user and this my friends is where Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premier Elements 7 comes into play.

For the laymen user, this means that Adobe have bundled together two great design programs for the home user or small office user that include Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 which is a brilliant photo manipulation software package and Adobe Premier Elements 7 which is equally another impressive video software program. Best of all, both these programs feature some of the high-end functionality of their other products such as Adobe Photoshop CS4.

If you are installing both products which most people will do, the installation is rather lengthy, however once installed, you can neatly pack your software away. The full installation of both programs installed is around 6GB of space so you need to have plenty of hard drive space available for the installation and for manipulating photos and movies.

Another nifty feature of the program is the processor speed that it only requires a 2GHz processor or faster which means computers that are several years of age will have no difficulty in running most aspects of this program. The only problem that I see is that the rendering may take a little longer. (See System Requirements at end of review)

Since the previous incarnations of both these programs, the interface has received a slight face lift that is at times reminiscent of the CS4. Consider it "light" for the home user.

Both programs are quite easy to navigate and the user is not inundated with excessive windows or menus and with this in mind, the program is quite clean when loading photos or manipulating videos.

A really great feature for the user is the organizer that allows you to add keywords to photos such as names, categories or places to name a few of the suggestions. You can even rate these photos and I must admit that searching for photos via this system truly made things considerably easier.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 is definitely one of the most affordable and professional photo editing programs that is great for beginners and amateurs alike. The program offers users a variety of effects and touch-up effects in order to get the most out of your photos.

Whether it's removing redeye, increasing the contrast on your photos or removing unwanted people or flaws in your images, Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 does it all. Even though I have used Adobe's high-end Photoshop program, Elements 7 is considerably easy to navigate and easier to use.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 Features

  • Give your creations a whimsical or dramatic new look with the latest assortment of inspiring ideas, seasonal artwork, templates, and tutorials — delivered regularly to your software.

  • Help protect your photos from computer loss and hard-drive crashes with automatic online backup and 20GB of storage — that's up to 15,000 photos.

  • Show off your favorite photos from any web-enabled computer.

  • Create public or private online galleries for family and friends to enjoy. And get new sharing templates delivered regularly to your software.

  • Easily tag photos with keywords that represent people, places, or events. You can instantly view every photo you've ever taken of your dog, for example, by simply clicking on its tag.

  • Find photos in a flash by typing keywords for tags, dates, and other file information into a new search box.

  • Simultaneously select a specific photo area and apply incredible effects with a single stroke of new Adobe Smart Brush. Improve lighting, add rich textures, and more with eight libraries of over 50 sophisticated effects.

  • You took five shots of your subject, but pedestrians and cars distract from the scene in every one. Now, use Adobe Photomerge® Scene Cleaner to simply brush away any elements that changed positions between photos and create a composite with just the look you want.

  • Never let a frown or a closed pair of eyes ruin a group photo again. Photomerge Group Shot lets you easily combine the best facial expressions and body language from a series of group shots to create a single perfect composite.

  • Quickly create professional-looking photo books with flexible options that allow you to view spreads, flip through your book, and rearrange pages — all with fewer clicks than ever before. When your book is finished, just click the Order button to have it professionally printed, hardbound, and delivered to your door. (Services vary worldwide.)

  • Create a personal web travelogue for friends and family, or just relive memories of your journey by viewing and sharing your photos on an interactive map based on the locations where they were taken. (Available in English-language versions and works with U.S. addresses only.)

  • Showcase your photos in one-of-a-kind Online Albums with your choice of dynamic, animated templates — including new visually stunning options. Adobe Flash® technology lets viewers interact with your photos for an entertaining experience.

  • Easily order prints, share photos and photo creations on the web, share on CEIVA Digital Photo Frames™, and more from within Photoshop Elements. With all your photos at your fingertips, you can quickly select the ones you want and upload them to a variety of online offerings. (Services vary worldwide.)

Another impressive feature is the Photomerge capabilities of the program that allows you to cut and paste certain parts of photos together in order to get the best possible picture.

For example, you may have a great group photo, however one of the members may be blinking. If you have taken another photo, you can then take the "non-blinking" person and superimpose them on the other photo. Definitely great for those family functions.

Add in a variety of special effects to give your photos that professional look or even that "old school" look and Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 is a very impressive piece of software. Easy to use and quite powerful.

Adobe Premier Elements 7

When it comes to video editing, there are quite a few programs available that range from extremely hard to use, ones that are easy, however without the features. Thankfully Adobe Premier Elements 7 sits somewhere in the middle that is actually quite user friendly thanks to the variety of wizards available.

In its essence, Adobe Premier Elements 7 is a video manipulation software package that allows you to edit your videos in order to get that professional look or personalized look.

Adobe Premier Elements 7 Features

  • Turn your video clips into polished movies with cool ideas, tutorials, movie themes, and special effects that are delivered regularly to your software.

  • Help protect your videos from computer loss and hard drive crashes with automatic online backup and 20GB of storage — that's up to four hours of DVD-quality video.

  • Access your movies and clips from any web-enabled computer.

  • Create polished movies with no effort using creative techniques from Hollywood directors. Just choose a theme and new InstantMovie automatically edits together your best clips with coordinated music, titles, effects, and transitions. You can even customize the final result if you wish.

  • Let Adobe Premiere Elements automatically analyze and tag your footage so you can quickly find your most interesting, highest quality clips.

  • Composite video with entertaining results. Use new Adobe Videomerge technology to cleanly extract your moving subject from a solid color background and then drop it into a new setting for a fun or creative twist.

  • Use new SmartSound to add a variety of musical soundtracks that automatically adjust to perfectly match the length of your movie. Even synchronize scenes to the beat of your soundtrack.

  • Choose from a set of world-class Adobe fonts designed to look great on video, and customize them with shadows, glows, and other effects. Then animate your titles to make them bounce, spin, or zoom across your scenes.

  • Easily upload your movies to YouTube or your personal sharing page. Adobe Premiere Elements takes care of optimizing and formatting for the specific destination so your movies always look great.

  • Design custom disc menus from scratch, or choose from dozens of menu templates. Adobe Premiere Elements automatically creates scene indexes or chapters for your menu with links that correspond to your video clips.

With a variety of stock standard effects for improving your video quality, the standout feature for Adobe Premier Elements 7 is the "InstantMovie" which basically joins a variety of movie clips together through the use of themes of transition effects.

Some of the "themes" included in InstantMovie include fun things like comicbooks and a classic news reel theme which really makes your movies look quite entertaining, matched with the right sort of music. It's a very interesting effect that is great for joining together family movies or other theme based events such as weddings and birthday parties.

My favourite effect in the program is the Videomerge which basically allows you to superimpose a person or subject onto another video. This is similar to Hollywood's green screen technology, however Adobe Premier Elements 7 only requires a flat colour behind them. Quite clever in our books.

Apart from adjusting videos and the like, you can add sound effects and soundtracks to your videos which is quite easy to do and allows for that additional professional presentation that your videos may be lacking.

Besides creating standard DVD's or avi files, Adobe Premier Elements 7 allows for other devices such as the iPhone and by clicking on a wizard, it offers the user a great way of converting these high quality videos into the portable format. It's also great for those fans of YouTube! Needless to say Elements is a decent program that features all the options that you need in creating those great videos.

In conclusion, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premier Elements 7 is a very impressive piece of software, well two actually that easily allows the end user to modify photos, video and sounds flawlessly.

It supports the new format of AVCHD, including burning Blu-ray videos for that additional quality which is definitely headed in the right direction. Those who have little computer experience may at first struggle, however if you put the effort into learning the program, you will soon unleash your hidden muse and create some wonderful final products.

System Requirements

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7

  • 2GHz or faster processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 or 3 or Windows Vista®
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 1.5GB of available hard-disk space
  • Color monitor with 16-bit color video card
  • 1,024x768 monitor resolution at 96dpi or less
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible display driver
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Web features require Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or 7 or Mozilla Firefox 1.5 through 3.x

Adobe Premiere Elements 7

  • 1.8GHz processor with SSE2 support; 3GHz processor required for HDV or Blu-ray; dual-core processor required for AVCHD
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Media Center, or Windows Vista
  • For Windows XP: 512MB of RAM (2GB required for HDV, AVCHD, or Blu-ray)
  • For Windows Vista: 1GB of RAM (2GB required for HDV, AVCHD, or Blu-ray)
  • 4.5GB of available hard-disk space
  • Color monitor with 16-bit color video card
  • 1,024x768 monitor resolution at 96dpi or less
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 or 10 compatible sound and display driver
  • DVD-ROM drive (compatible DVD burner required to burn DVDs; compatible Blu-ray burner required to burn Blu-ray Discs)
  • DV/i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394 interface to connect a Digital 8 DV or HDV camcorder, or a USB2 interface to connect a DV-via-USB compatible DV camcorder (other video devices supported via the Media Downloader)
  • QuickTime 7 software

Adobe Premiere Elements supported import/export formats include:

ASF (import only), AVI, AVCHD, SWF (import), Blu-ray Disc (export only), DV, DVD, Dolby® Digital Stereo, H.264, HDV, JPEG, PNG (import only), PSD (import only), MOD and TOD (JVC Everio, import only), MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MP3, WAV, QuickTime, Windows Media, WMA (import only), 3GP.

Import/export of some formats including AVCHD, DVD, Blu-ray, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, and Dolby Digital Stereo may require activation via an Internet connection. Activation is fast, easy, and free. Import/export of 3GP, 3GP2, MOV, MPEG-4, and QuickTime requires QuickTime software.


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