Adobe Premiere Elements 2022 full review
Like Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements stands out by providing powerful video-editing tools and wrapping them up into an easy-to-use interface that caters for both beginners and more experienced users.
This year's 2022 update isn't a major upgrade, but at £86.56 it's still a good option for people who shoot a lot of videos for sharing on social media, and those looking to do some precise editing work for vlogging or business presentations. You can also buy Premiere Elements in a bundle with Photoshop Elements for £130.36 from Adobe US / Adobe UK. [Read our review of Photoshop Elements 2022.]
Premiere Elements' interface provides three different editing modes for people with different levels of experience. The Quick mode helps beginners to get started by allowing you to quickly import multiple videos and automatically arranging them into a simple timeline that runs along the bottom of the screen.
The Expert mode, as the name suggests, provides more detailed editing tools, with the timeline providing multiple audio and video tracks that allow you to perform more complex editing work. And, like Photoshop Elements, it also has a Guided Edit mode that provides step-by-step help for common tasks, such as adding titles to your videos, or creating time-lapse effects.
There are two new Guided Edits available in this 2022 edition. The Animated Overlays feature allows you to add overlay effects, such as falling snow or leaves, or confetti for a wedding video. This is a useful option for many video projects, but even in Guided Edit mode this feature is still a little confusing.
The instructions in the Guided Edit mode show you how to select the animated effects and add them to your video timeline, but there's still a confusing array of additional options to deal with, such as Blend modes that determine how the overlay effect is applied to your video clips. A little more clarity – and maybe even a proper PDF manual - would be useful here (and the Help files on Adobe's web site that still refer to the 2019 edition of the program obviously weren't very helpful).
Thankfully, the other new Guided Edit is more straightforward. This allows you to adjust shadow and lighting levels in your videos in order to improve visibility. The app can adjust the levels automatically for you - and quickly produced noticeable improvements in our test video clips - or you can use simple slider controls to adjust the lighting levels yourself. There's a similar new slider control that allows you to adjust the size of your video files when exporting them to social media sites.
There are other new features that are very much designed for social media too, although this is where things get a bit complicated again. Premiere Elements now allows you to alter the aspect ratio – the height and width - of video files, so that you can create smaller, upright videos for Instagram, or larger wide-format videos for FaceBook.
This works in conjunction with the new Auto-Reframe option, which automatically edits the video to keep the subject in the centre of the frame as you as adjust the aspect ratio. Unfortunately, we struggled to even find these features at first, and then found ourselves confused by some of the complex settings involved in applying these effects.
Premiere Elements might be a case of overkill if all you want to do is to quickly trim some short video clips before uploading them to social media. But, if you need more powerful editing tools for combing multiple video, audio and graphics files, then it's still one of the most powerful video-editors in the sub-£100 category.