Software For Video Editing: Adobe Premiere 6.0 Review

Adobe Systems

345 Park Avenue

San Jose, CA 95110-2704

(888) 724-4508

www.adobe.com

Adobe Premiere has been the software of choice for many committed video editors, from the hobbyist to the budget-minded professional. The fact is, for modest investors, it had been the only choice. At present, there are many new slick-faced software youngsters out there mixing it up with the likes of the legendary Premiere. In version 6.0, the wily veteran takes on the consumer DV world with wide range device support and editing tool upgrades. There is a comfort zone for Premiere users groomed by years of availability that has evolved into a loyalty to the product. The elegantly improved Adobe Premiere 6.0 rewards that steadfastness.

All Aboard!

At press time, digitizer/capture board manufacturers were just beginning to ship with Adobe Premiere 6.0, so the jury was still out on compatibility across that market. The list of video camera drivers supported within Premiere is very impressive, and will be more so if they all prove reliable.

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Nip and Tuck

Features are by far the most relevant upgrade in 6.0. In the Windows menu, you can select preset workspace setups, depending on the task. Buttons at the top of the Monitor window make it easy to move from dual to single to trim modes. The Project window logically organizes bins with a much needed folder system. The icons remain small in 6.0’s spruced-up timeline, but the new additions provide some nice surprises.

Pullin’ Out the Driver

Our hats are off to editing software engineers who provide machine control for multiple camera models from multiple manufacturers. Adobe overcame the challenge and beefed up Premiere 6.0’s DV camera support roster. It lists every camera that we had available to throw at it.

I Hear Ya!

In 6.0, Adobe has come a long way toward addressing audio, always a weak point in the Premiere environs. You can now toggle between Pan and Volume graphs in the audio tracks. This gives much more control over the mix while you are editing.

The biggest nod in the audio direction is the addition of a Mix window. Finally, there are onboard VU meters and channel faders that have automation capabilities.

Feels Like the Real Thing

Single track editing is a new and welcome addition to 6.0. Keyframes, filters and compositing tools on the video end have brought Premiere 6.0 a little closer to the shining star of its adopted COSA sibling, After Effects.
As in After Effects, if you have a file from another Adobe program like Photoshop in your project, you can edit that document in the program in which it was created and the file will be updated automatically in the Premiere 6.0 project. Unlike After Effects and many other editors, however, Premiere 6.0 does not allow more than one sequence per project. This is a real drawback when you need multiple versions of the same piece.

Start Em’ Up

We installed Premiere 6.0 in an HP Pavillion with a P4 1.5GHz and a built-in OHCI-compliant FireWire card. For DV device control testing we batch captured footage from three different cameras.

We used two Mini DVs (Panasonic AG-DV1000 and JVC DVL-9800) and a Digital8 (Hitachi VM864LA). The Panasonic was by far the hardiest of the lot when it came to device communication performance. The driver quickly brought the camera online, and Premiere 6.0 swiftly acquired its shots.

The JVC did not come online until we restarted, with the camera off, and relaunched Premiere 6.0. Then, after two or three attempts at establishing control in the settings, the JVC came alive and responded quite well in searching out its batch list.

The Hitachi took some fussing with in order to get the driver to see the camera. When it did respond, Premiere 6.0 began to hang a bit in its response. Windows froze several times and when an action was taken, it took an uncomfortable moment or two to respond. Eventually, we received the captured list. We then tested the editing environment.

Out on the Track

Using the single track mode of the edit interface, we began laying shots in the timeline. When we trimmed our footage and added filters and transitions, we found the much improved edit functions to be very intuitive and easy to learn since we were already familiar with Premiere.

Audio mixing with the automated Mix window was a timesaver and easy to get the hang of. During playback we adjusted levels and saw the result on the timeline.

Premiere 6.0 is packed full of many more features than we have the space to include. We believe this upgrade is a must for anyone currently using Premiere and that there has never been a better version for users at any level to begin an editing relationship than with Adobe Premiere 6.0.

Specifications

Price: $549

Minimum System Requirements

Platform: Macintosh PowerMac

OS: Mac OS 9.0.4

RAM: 32MB (128 recommended)

QuickTime 4.1.2

Apple FireWire 2.4

QuickTime compatible IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interface

Large capacity hard drive able to sustain 5MB/sec data rate

Third party capture card: OHCI/ Adobe Premiere certified capture card (see Web site)

Minimum System Requirements

Platform: Windows

Pentium 300MHz

OS: Windows 98/98SE/2000/Me/NT 4.0

RAM: 32MB (128 recommended)

Large capacity hard drive able to sustain 5MB/sec data rate

Capture card: OHCI/ Adobe Premiere certified capture card (see Web site)

STRENGTHS

  • Improved audio support
  • DV device control support
  • Logical updates to interface
  • Timeline keyframes

    WEAKNESSES

  • Slow communication with specific camcorder in our testing

    SUMMARY

  • Much improved version that keeps Premiere at the top of the consumer editing software list. Adobe Premiere 6.0, as a creative tool, has gone through a metamorphic transformation. DV camera support seems good, but it’s still unclear how the new capture/digitizer hardware versions react with 6.0.
  • The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.