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Lifewire / Todd Braylor Pleasants
Highly customizable interface
Advanced Lumetri color tools
Team Projects is great for professionals
Traditional file structure, no keyword searches for clips
Creative Cloud subscription is less affordable than other software
Longer render times than other software
Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry leading video editing program for good reason, it features advanced post-production and video editing capabilities plus an intuitive workflow to create professional quality video.
We purchased Adobe's Premiere Pro CC 13.1.2 so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC is one of the top video editing programs on the market and is used by mainstream broadcasting companies, music video producers, online media companies, film production studios, and many other professionals. Premiere is accessible to both seasoned pros and new video enthusiasts and is based upon a traditional workflow for video editing called the track-based model. A track-based timeline editor refers to a layout that utilizes different tracks in a timeline, called video tracks, where you can layer your clips, move them around, and order them. Everything is done manually: the timeline workspace requires you to delete empty spaces, reorder the sequence of your clips when inserting new media, and position all the footage where you want it. In a track-based program you are in complete control of your timeline.
Premiere is also packed with a host of other useful features. We tested it with any eye towards which editors would find it most valuable, and how it stacks up against its top competitors.
First released in 1991 as just Premiere—one of the first nonlinear video editing programs available—Adobe's Premiere Pro CC 13.1.2 is the newest evolution of a tried and true program that has evolved to feature a highly customizable interface. A nonlinear program simply refers to a digital work environment where the original content, or video media in this case, is not actually altered during the process of editing (like tape used to be literally cut, arranged and combined). Instead, software like Premiere Pro keeps track of all the edits you make and shows you preview files that are rendered quickly for reference media at a lesser quality than your original files.
Premiere Pro features five main windows or panels as a default workspace for its interface. There are multiple other docks, or panels you can access and you can also resize or drag different panels into one another for a high degree of customization.
As alluded to above, Premiere Pro utilizes a more traditional file structure within the media browser that uses 'bins' to store and locate your media. Bins are simply folders for organizing your content, but the name comes from the old days where tape editing stations had literal bins for stacking the footage rolls. Bins are a mainstay in Premiere Pro for how you import and keep track of your media. This element of PP ultimately requires the editor to be responsible and always in charge of organizing their files on whatever hard drive they are using for storage.
One of the most versatile features of the Premiere Pro layout is its list of menus at the top, giving you quick access to key features of the editing process.
It also means you have to be mindful of the storage location of any proxy files. A proxy workflow uses lower resolution files in place of your original media to make editing faster with smaller file sizes. Most professional editors will be used to the bins system for accessing their media and this is just a quick example of how Adobe has built its software around the fundamental elements to video editing.
One of the most versatile features of the Premiere Pro layout is its list of menus at the top, giving you quick access to key features of the editing process. When selecting from this menu, the program will alter the five main panels with different key features to create different 'workspaces'.
Having these different workspaces 'built-in' to the interface is very convenient and makes it easy to edit fast and accomplish different tasks in quick succession, even when you have reordered or resized the different interface panels. If you need to adjust the white balance of a clip you can do it quickly under the 'Color' menu, if you want to then throw an effect on another clip, your options are right there under the 'Effects' menu, etc.
Adobe Premiere Pro is only available as a subscription service. You’ll be required to use your email to make a Creative Cloud account on Adobe.com and then subscribe to one of Adobe's plans. You can then download Premiere Pro to your computer and get started editing in no time.
Installation of the program is simple and straightforward. After signing in with your Creative Cloud account, Adobe.com will walk you through the download process, and once you’ve extracted the installer the onscreen instructions will walk you through activation of the Premiere Pro app.
Premiere Pro is a multifaceted program and is used by the film industry and television broadcast professionals for good reason. The program excels at producing cinematic quality content in one app but also affords integration with other Adobe apps like After Effects. There are three key features that make Premiere stand out: color correction with Premiere Pro Lumetri color, exporting a range of media with the Adobe Media Encoder, and the collaborative features that Adobe Creative Cloud affords.
Perhaps the most powerful of these features is the Premiere Pro 'Color' menu which gives you quick access to Premiere Pro's Lumetri Color panel. Lumetri Color is Premiere's color effect and offers video scopes, color curves, color wheels, temperature controls, white balance picker, and more for advanced color correction. For even greater utilization of effects, Premiere Pro offers the ability to use multiple instances of the Lumetri color tools on single clips to be able to layer different color effects for highly modified or customized looks. There is also a new file structure in Premiere Pro that allows you to save LUTs, short for Lookup Tables, which are color presets you can create with Lumetri color to quickly add a color setting to your footage. PP also features comparison views for Lumetri color which can greatly assist the color correction process by being able to see the before and after look of color grading during your workflow.
Premiere Pro is a multifaceted program and is used by the film industry and television broadcast professionals for good reason.
Adding to its versatility as a video editor, Premiere Pro includes Adobe's Media Encoder. Media Encoder allows you to export and encode a large variety of file formats and adds versatility for exporting a final feature length film in 5.1 surround sound or for creating proxy files. If you happen to be editing very large or ultra-high-resolution files, like 4K video, creating proxy files can make the editing process much faster by giving Premiere Pro smaller files to work with as an intermediary before final export.
There’s also the Team Projects option, a powerful tool for collaboration. This is one of the biggest upsides for professional editors and producers with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. The Adobe Creative cloud allows users to sync their projects with their account and then share project files and assets with anyone. The subscription for Premiere Pro also comes with 100GB of cloud storage and the option to upgrade for more. The Creative Cloud means that if you are working with a team of editors and producers, you can all work on the same project file at once with Team Projects. Any changes one member of the team makes will instantly show up for everyone else. Team Projects makes collaborating on video productions easy, plus the Creative Cloud can be used to send assets to other members of your team.
Adobe Premiere Pro pricing is sold as a monthly or annual subscription.The pricing differs slightly based upon your payment schedule and plan duration. A 'Single App' subscription for only Premiere Pro costs $21 a month or $240 when prepaid in full for the year. If you are a content creator or other creative professional who often uses other software, you may want to consider the Creative Cloud 'All Apps' plan to gain access to over 20 Adobe apps. That option will run you $600 a year if prepaid in full.
The eternal debate amongst video editors rages on. Final Cut and Premiere both have their hardcore adherents and it’s hard to discuss Premiere Pro without mentioning its main competitor, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. Final Cut Pro X 10.4.6 now offers advanced color grading tools, making it a more serious contender to Premiere Pro. FCPX also supports 4K and 8K video, and can export a large variety of file formats and codecs.
Which program is superior really comes down to your personal preferences and what you are specifically looking for in a video editing workplace. The differences between the programs come down to two main things: your budget and your timeline editing style.
Let's discuss price first, where Final Cut Pro X is a clear winner—a single, $300 payment nets you a lifetime license. When compared to the $240 that Premiere costs each year, the difference can easily add up to many times the price of FCPX. As mentioned, Adobe makes a host of other powerful apps and they offer a more competitively priced $53 monthly subscription for access to everything, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. If you are a professional content creator or producer this deal may well be worth it to have access to the entire suite of Adobe products.
In terms of basic functionality, the biggest difference between FCPX and Premiere Pro is that FCPX is a trackless or magnetic timeline based editor while PP is a track-based system.The track vs. trackless debate boils down to a couple key differences in workflow. FCPX’s magnetic timeline is designed to increase editing efficiency by automatically snapping your clips next to one another in the timeline. But with this added efficiency comes some loss of the flexibility and autonomy that Premiere Pro’s track-based timeline workspace affords.
The track-based timeline of PP can be a better option for editors and producers working on longer-form, cinematic, and feature length content where you are already committing to spending a good amount of time on an edit. In this scenario, you may want to be in total control of where every clip goes and when it is put into its final position in your editing workflow. Premiere makes it more easy than FCPX to lay down a selection of clips—or segments of a film—into your timeline and work on the sequence in chunks. In PP, you ultimately have greater flexibility while working on longer projects, and you can use markers in the timeline to help keep you organized.
More powerful features at a greater cost.
In the end, Adobe Premiere Pro without a doubt makes using advanced video editing and post-production features like the Lumetri color panel fast and accessible. The Premiere Pro interface and integration with the Adobe Creative Cloud is beautifully designed for maximum customization and ease of use during intense workflows and collaborative projects. Once you’ve finalized your media, the Premiere Pro Media Encoder can output it in a variety of formats and codecs. All the features of Premiere Pro are optimized for professional use, and the price reflects that—your frequency and level of use will ultimately determine if that price is worth it.