Premiere Elements 9 now supports 24p

The new Premiere Elements 9 has quite a few new features, features that you can read about at Adobe’s own page. What I would like to talk about instead, is about its brand new 24p support, a feature that mysteriously was not mentioned anywhere in their marketing material, or other reviews — even if it’s a major feature for people who are even a tiny bit serious about video!

So, as you can see in the screenshot below, there is now AVCHD and dSLR 24p project presets. There is 1080/24p & 720/24p for dSLRs, and 720/24p for AVCHD. Unfortunately, and I hope Adobe fixes this with a free update, a 1080/24p template for AVCHD is missing. Also missing is HDV 720/24p. If you have an HD digicam instead (e.g. a Canon one), you must use the app’s… “Flip” presets.

Running files on their non-native frame rate or resolution, reduces performance (it’s only normal, this behavior applies to any video editor). This is why the way to go around the multiple choices project settings problem, is to let users pick their own project properties (res, fps, aspect ratio, field order, etc), like Sony Vegas Platinum allows you to (Elements’ main competitor).

Premiere Elements 9 now has a brand new Mac support! This is the ONLY Mac video editor that supports 24p but doesn’t cost thousands of dollars (costs just $80-$90 instead). You see, both iMovie, and the $200 Final Cut Express, don’t support 24p timelines!

Regarding h.264 performance, there’s a huge improvement! Even on my old P4 at 3 Ghz, without any hardware acceleration, 720/30p digicam h.264 files were real time! Vegas Platinum 10 was slower than Elements 9 on the same files! On 1080/24p, where both editors had trouble, Elements had an easier time! I expect 1080p to be real time on a faster machine than this old P4 computer. AVCHD performance was pretty good too, and again, I expect a real time preview on a more recent PC.

Where the application loses points in terms of performance is in its user interface. The app itself is slow. Slow to load, slow to carry through actions, and there’s a lot of “order prints”, “sign up here and there”, and other such useless garbage all over the interface. It feels like an Adobe ad, more than an app. The UI is simply overloaded, and confusing.

Regarding color grading, the Channel Mixer plugin is the most interesting tool in the app, but a 3-way color wheel would have been as useful too if it existed.

One other problem I encountered is with the logic of the app. For example, if you have a 1080/24p dSLR project and such files loaded, and then you load a 1440x1080x1.333 Cineform file, your Cineform file will load up as 4:3. Premiere only recognizes it as having aspect ratio 1.000 instead of 1.333, and there’s no way to tell the app that the file is widescreen. Vegas provides ways to do that.

There are also a few bugs. The timeline cursor doesn’t always move when you preview, the “Organize Media” doesn’t always show you the file you’re trying to load, etc. Oh, the app also crashes:

I believe that the app is in urgent need of a software update, but here’s hope. Since there’s now 24p support, and good h.264 performance, things are looking brighter. It just needs some polishing.


Michael C. wrote on October 14th, 2010 at 2:03 PM PST:

I tried playing with Premiere (it was CS4) and I could not get its project presets. Are they fixed? I could not customize them. This was an immediate turn-off for me: in Vegas a preset is just a preset, and one can customize project properties any way one likes. The result: I removed Premiere 20 minutes after I installed it. It just does not work for me. Does FCP work similarly? I’ve heard these two products have common origins. In this case I cannot get the awe FCP usually receives. These tools seems so rigid and limiting, Vegas is very flexible in regard to frame size, rate and scanning type compared to them.

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Eugenia wrote on October 14th, 2010 at 2:18 PM PST:

No, CS5 does not let you edit presets fully either. It’s one of the reasons I use Vegas too.

Michael C. wrote on October 15th, 2010 at 4:31 PM PST:

Well, apparently some Vegas users can upgrade for $140, but I, with three registered Sony products, must pay $240. Thank you, Sony.

Michael Wisniewski wrote on October 24th, 2010 at 10:41 AM PST:

I didn’t receive this either via email, but if you log into the Sony site that manages your Sony media software, it should show up properly.

Otherwise, Here’s the direct link to the US$139.00 Sony upgrade.

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