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on 1 January 2010
The other reviews here seem a little stingy so I'll try and rebalance it a little.

Firstly Adobe support is non-existant - fact, and always has been. I've been using their products for as many years as I can remember and neither I nor anyone I know has ever had any kind of satisfactory response from them. There is an upside however. The ubiquitousness of Adobe in imaging means there are literally hundreds of books, magazines, web sites and forums devoted to all of their software. If I had a query or needed to know how to perform some retouching feat or other I would Google it and I would find an answer in a second. And yes, I would love a proper manual as well but Adobe aren't alone in dropping these from their packages and much as we all moan about it I don't think they are coming back!

Secondly hardware compatibility. I'm using them both on a Quad core Intel Vista 64 machine with 8gb ram with no problems. Interesting I had to remove Windows 7 because of other program and hardware compatibility issues - which didn't incude PSE & PRE! The fact these aren't 64 bit is not a secret - you can read it on the Adobe site. It's a shame and I'm sure it will be addressed (if 64 bit OS's continue to grow in popularity) in an upcoming version but there it is. All it means in day to day use is that it doesn't access all of my available memory but the programs remain very quick and stable and both are a joy to use.

Let's get this straight - these are pretty much essential purchases (or the Corel alternatives) if you have any interest in photography and video. They are both excellent products, well designed, with huge creative potential with five star reviews practically everywhere plus you have the reassurance of a worldwide user base in the millions. If you are unsure download the trials and have a look but I reckon you will be back and if you do choose these you won't be disappointed.

If I was going to be critical my only moans would be the loading times - which are dire, and I miss some of the functions that even my old copy of Photoshop had (curves anyone?).

Speaking of which brings me to the price. Looking at the price of PS CS4, which Elements 8 is based on, Elements is the bargain of a lifetime (and the bundle price is the bargain of two lifetimes!). For the normal (non-professional, non-print based) user PSE has all you need and more. It has most of the PS functions, some of them have been 'simplified' and are a little hand-holdy (coming from Photoshop) but some are downright useful and so far I haven't found anything essential lacking - and you can use Elements as an upgrade path to PS if you wish!
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on 11 November 2009
I regret that I didn't check the other reviewers here. Photoshop elements works fine but premiere elements is another matter.

It crashes or freezes all the time. Contacting support does not work, they reply once with a webpage link that says words to the effect of "it is your computers fault if there are crashes or freezes it must be a driver problem our software works perfectly". They try to claim it is your computer, not their software bugs. I have quite a fast PC with 4Gig of memory, lots of hard disc space, all my drivers are fine, no windows system errors, no third party codecs, and a clean windows 7 install just a week ago. All my other software works perfectly. My computer exceeds the minimum requirements.

Don't waste your money on this software. It may work for you but if it doesn't adobe will get you to follow steps on a webpage such as remove everything but their software or reinstall your o/s, checking for system errors etc but all this will have no effect. The software quite simply doesn't work on my computer and I have had no help to fix it, they have stopped replying to my support requests.

The problems are random crashes, high cpu use on exit, the process never goes away until you kill it. Program freezes for minutes everytime you play a video, or start DV capture.

You can get some results from it but it will take you hours of work after you start again after each crash or go and make a cup of tea during every freeze.

It could be a windows 7 thing, however it says it works with windows 7 on the box, that is why I purchased this newest version.
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Updated review. The crash issue has now been resolved. There was a special setting in the graphics setup for accelerated graphics.
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on 17 January 2010
I'm writing this as I struggle for yet another hour in to make this work and after discovering one disappointment after another with Adobe Prmiere Elements 8. For one thing, it says it will run under Windows 7- well it does, grudgingly, because this is 32-bit software, not 64 so it won't take adavantage of all the memory on your system and will be slow (other reviewers have said the same, and its worth checking before you buy). For another, the installation procedure is an Adobe own goal- it's on two disks, and I defy anyone to
install the second, which contains additional content, easily. After installing the program via the first disk, the program demanded a reboot (which took half a dozen attemnpts before Windows would reboot. Now that may be down to other factors, but I have my doubts). After that the program said the full install hadn't been achieved and would I like to install the contents from the second disk? When I tried to, a dilaogue box flashed up to say Premiere was already runnjing and I couldn't install the additional contents. It flashed up the same message even after I'd closed Premiere. When I went to Adobe's website (look there if you want to be further disenchanted) there was a warning message saying there were issues with nVidia cards which caused frequent crashes with Elements and I should install updated drivers. This is like bad shareware and after my experiences I'm tempted to go to Trading Standards and ask that Adobe be foreced to put a warning sticker on the box to remind purchasers that this is 32-bit software, despite what it says about Windows 7, and installation really shouldn't be attempted by those with ulcers (and those without risk getting them) or with limited time. It's a dog, and a mongrel at that.
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on 17 October 2009
Sorry:
Be aware that Adobe does not provide support on this product. I have contacted them several times & they simply do not reply.
DO NOT BUY IF YOU EVER THINK YOU WILL NEED SUPPORT!

It appears that Photoshop Elements 8 & Premier Elements 8 DO NOT make use of the 64 bit Windows 7 operating environment.
This means they cannot use the extra RAM that may be available which would speed up the programs which can be frustratingly slow, even on fast computers.

DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION: - Wait for a Windows 7 version.
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on 15 November 2009
This product appeared to be exactly what I was looking for and was purchased as a 'bundle'. I am bitterly disappointed with it. The two CD's provided are confusing and there are no detailed instructions provided - just an over view.

On loading the first of the disks I tried to use the editing programme and was informed that it hadn't been loaded. The second of the two disks rejected the code and I was advised to go to the menu and cancel the registration numbers. As the disk wouldn't load I felt this was rather ridiculous. I suspect that the fault lies within the software as the same problem occurs on two computers and I shall be returning the product to Amazon for a replacement of the return of my money.

I have been generally satisfied with Photoshop 6 and Elements 4 (although it wouldn't write to a DVD!) and am extremely frustrated.
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on 7 November 2009
I agree with another review here. Customer Support from Adobe for their product is really awful (really). I would be very careful about buying this. If you never need help then fine.
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on 18 February 2010
This has to be one of the biggest disappointments in my long career in IT and buying software. Photoshop elements 8 is good fun to use and it worked well except for the face recognition. I had a series of photographs of the same person and it failed to recognise her. . But you are paying for Premiere Elements 8 as well. It does not appear to work, I was on the tech support for 50 minutes and still no joy. The speed is tortoise like when rendering. I will go back to VLC (free), Windows movie maker (free). and any video converter (free. Just get the Photoshop!Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8 Bundle (PC DVD)
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on 21 February 2010
DO NOT BUY OR INSTALL Adobe premiere 8 because it will freeze, crash and stall on your computer.If you do not believe what you are reading then go to Adobe web page <Tec notes> and read the customer complaints. Do yourself a big favour and spend your hard earned cash on different software. How do I know,because I brought it and it does not work, IT IS UNFIT FOR PURPOSE. I would give this product a score of 0% out of 100%.
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on 5 February 2010
Adobe have now issued a patch and it appears to have cured the problems I was suffering with. I haven't given it much of a thrash yet but have had no further crashes.

My system is AMD Phenom 9650 Quad-Core 2.30Ghz, 4GB Ram, 500Gb HDD, ATI Radeon HD4350 and Windows 7 64Bit and although Elements runs fine Premiere 8 is virtually unusable. It hangs frequently and Exit has to be forced via Task Manager. Has anyone out there managed to run this software successfully on a similar spec system?
For those folks who report the software as excellent please advise what system specs you are running.
I should imagine that there is quite a number of people out there (probably including Adobe themselves) who would be interested in the answer.
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on 6 January 2010
I've been a Paint Shop Pro user since v2, and a Photoshop Elements user since v5. The latest versions of each are incremental and add a lot of bloatware, including, in Adobe's case background tasks that are installed and activated without any user option to disable. As far as options and interface is concerned, the products are about equal. Overall I slightly prefer PSP, but Photoshop's Panorama option is very good and in fact is the main reason for me getting this upgrade.

For other reasons, Adobe shoots itself in the foot. I installed it and activated it; after a couple of weeks it asked me to activate it. If that keeps happening, eventually I suspect the activation will fail because it will look like it has been installed on multiple computers. Then there's one of the background task mentioned above: Elements AutoAnalyzer.exe, which is kicked off on booting up and was taking up 30% of my cpu (a C2D E6300). I had to use msconfig to disable it.

All of which would have got it a 3 star review, maybe even 4 - Photoshop is a good product, despite the problems. Premiere Elements, however, I've found to be every bit as bad as the critical reviews have said; in fact it's pretty much unusable and most definitely not fit for purpose. Trivial operations that Nero Vision or Windows Movie Maker handle with ease, cause Premiere to freeze, or often to simply vanish from the screen. In a class action suit, Adobe wouldn't stand a chance.

I paid about £15 over the cost of Photoshop Elements alone to get the combined package, but it isn't worth that. In fact, in its current state, Premiere Elements 8 is worthless.
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