Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0

The latest edition of Adobe's low-cost video-editing package has all the features we'd expect. These include support for HD (high-definition) video, the ability to export to portable media devices and support for uploading clips from selected mobile phones. But the most welcome change is the introduction of the Sceneline.

This allows you to drag-and-drop clips into the editing window, giving you a visual representation of each scene in the movie. It's useful for anyone put off by the more traditional Timeline approach.

However, advanced users are looked after as well - you can switch to Timeline view in just one click. This method gives more control over video and editing, so the software can expand to meet your needs as you become more confident.

Using the Sceneline view, you can drag clips to where you want them in your movie. Clicking on any clip brings up the Monitor view, where you can do all of your editing, adding effects, trimming and splitting clips.

While this improves the ease of use, Premiere is not a beginners' tool. Unlike Ulead's VideoStudio Plus, for example, it doesn't have a wizard feature. But enhanced features such as a narration tool, still frame animation, TV-style effects and hundreds of transitions mean that, if you're prepared to learn the software, the results should be more professional-looking. And once you're done, you can burn the video to DVD in just two simple steps.

Verdict: With Premiere Elements 3.0, Adobe has greatly improved simplicity of use - the Sceneline view and centralised Monitor window impress us - but we still wouldn't recommend Premiere Elements to beginners. It will grow to meet the needs of more advanced users, however, so this is a good low-cost solution for more confident video editors.

Price: $189

System requirements: 1.3MHz Pentium 4 or Celeron processor; Windows XP with SP2; 512MB RAM; 4GB hard disk space; DVD writer; DV/iLink/FireWire interface to connect a Digital8 or DV camcorder

Rating: 4/5

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Ursula Seymour

PC Advisor (UK)
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