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Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £810
inc VAT

A cleaner, more focused interface raises this powerful editor to lofty new heights

Premiere Pro is a juggernaut of desktop video editing, with a vast collection of powerful tools and the weight of the Adobe Creative Suite helping it find favour among both amateur enthusiasts and professionals. Avid Media Composer dominates for broadcast and film, but in the world of web video, where production standards are just as high but teams are smaller and budgets lower, Premiere Pro has found a natural home.

Premiere Pro Multicam
Multi-camera editing is no longer limited to four cameras, and new keyboard shortcuts and split-view Monitor (top-right) make it easy to nudge edit points

It helps that it has some of the best animation tools of any general-purpose editor, giving meticulous control over the path, speed and effects settings of visual elements as they move around the frame. This sort of work used to be farmed out to specialists using dedicated compositing software, but the ability for one person to do it all in one application makes sense for web video production.

Premiere Pro CS5 looked like a professional editor but this was sometimes to its detriment. Its interface had various features that felt like a hangover from the days of tape-based video, and the dense clusters of icons and text weren’t exactly welcoming for newcomers.

CS6 introduces a sweeping redesign of the interface. The new default layout of panels reduces the number of on-screen buttons and dead space, making more room for the video. The missing buttons can be restored as required, with jog and shuttle controls being the only permanent casualties. Shuttling back and forth through clips is now possible in the Project panel, simply by moving the mouse left and right over a thumbnail. These thumbnails can be scaled up to a maximum of 546 pixels wide, and you can use keyboard shortcuts to set the in and out points without needing to use the Source monitor.

Premiere Pro Project
The revamped Project window (top-left) can preview and truncate clips without having to bother with the Source monitor

It’s finally possible to toggle effects on and off, adjust their settings and even add or remove effects without interrupting playback. The same goes for timeline edits, too. Combined with the loop-playback-around-marker function and various new keyboard shortcuts for nudging edit points, it’s an extremely elegant system for fine-tuning edits. Multi-camera editing is simpler to set up, and there’s theoretically no limit to the number of clips that can be combined into a single multi-camera clip.

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