Adobe Premiere Pro CS5: Better, Faster, Bigger and Especially Faster

PVC by Scott Simmons

Kicking the tires on Adobe’s newest release.

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With the announcement of Adobe’s new version of their Creative Suite, CS5, they are delivering a new version of Premiere Pro. This review is based on a beta version of Premiere Pro CS5 but from my time spent working with the program it was much more stable that much of my Premiere Pro CS4 experience, and very fast. I think it’s safe to say that this beta version of the software that Adobe delivered to the press ahead of its April 12 launch was a nearly finished version, minus some documentation, help files and a few features here and there.

I don’t think this piece should be considered a full review but rather my thoughts and experiences as I worked with the application on and off for a couple of weeks before the official April 12 announcement. While I kicked the tires on many of the new features my main objective was to see if I, as an experienced Avid and Final Cut Pro editor, could sit down in front of Premiere Pro CS5, go to work and find value outside of what I already have. I have dabbled with PPro CS4 so I was familiar with PPro as a whole. In short, there’s some things to really like about this new version. Realtime performance and the support for native formats is unrivaled, especially when coupled with the right hardware. But there are some things, simple things, that were frustrating.

Let’s talk perception for just a minute. I don’t want to offend any red headed step-children out there but Premiere Pro has often been considered the red headed stepchild of the non-linear editing world. As one of the three big A’s (Adobe, Avid, Apple) I think it’s safe to say that PPro is considered to be in 3rd place behind both Media Composer and Final Cut Pro when it comes to usability, stability, installed base and overall performance. Premiere has evolved quite a lot over the years both in interface and availability. It didn’t always use the 3-point editing paradigm that is commonly used today. It also left the Macintosh platform all together somewhere around version 6.5 only to reemerge as an Intel-only version with CS3 in 2007. Premiere Pro CS4, while quite well featured always seemed a bit more buggy than it should have been. CS5 seems much more stable. And man, oh man, is it ever fast. read more...

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