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Excellent bundle but depends on which, if any, version you already have
on 20 December 2011
The appeal of this bundle of the stills photo software, Elements 10 and the video software Premiere 10 is, without doubt exceptional value. If it's right for you will depend on where you are coming from.
I've used Elements for many years. Fans of other photo editing packages might correctly claim that some aspect are better served by other software - and yes, the organization of photos in PSE is a still a pig, but I'd counter that by saying that you quickly get used to it and this is more than offset by the fact that it is virtually industry standard and that means that there are a host of helpful books and magazines that will feed your creative juices. Big plus. If you are new to photo editing, just get it. It's a big and powerful bit of kit but it is relatively user friendly (and I certainly benefitted from buying one of the many books on how to use it to really get to grips with it). It's far more user friendly than it's expensive big brother - the full Photoshop package and to be honest for all but the professional user it does all you could want - the only thing you don't get is really something called curves which good though it is, hardly justifies the leap in price (there are some other differences, but that's the main one). If you've money to burn then get Lightbox as well which integrates nicely and solves the organization issues PSE has.
If you have anything up to PSE 7, then again the improvements are so huge - again, just upgrade. PSE 8 was a substantial leap forward in development terms. If you have this already, the decision gets more tricky. I have historically taken the view that if you upgrade every other year then you will save yourself some cash and keep on top of things. The big news of PSE 9 was the introduction of layer masks. This was something previously only in the full Photoshop software and it's a big improvement. So if you have PSE 8, it's probably still worth an upgrade.
If you have PSE 9 - then simply don't bother with this upgrade. The changes are minor - a slightly gimicky effects brush tool and a new technique in the guided tools options and, frankly little else. So if you have PSE9, then wait and see what is in PSE 11 would be my strong advice.
I'm much newer to Premiere so cannot compare with past versions. Having played around with it a bit, it's relatively intuitive, particularly if you are used to the PSE style. It seems to handle at least the basic tools you might want and is pretty good at what it does. I only use video relatively seldom so worth checking other more intensive users comments but for my purposes this more than does the job.
One nice aspect it that it loads without having to delete old versions and a. dos not crash and b. does not delete the old version - so you can get up to speed on the new one while still using what you are used to before deleting the old version off your system, which ultimately you will want to do because it's a big bit of software and the more powerful your computer the better it will run.
It comes packaged with 5 discs - one for windows, one for windows 7 64 bit, one for mac and two .... nope, you've got me there - no idea what the other two disc are for and this doesn't seem to be mentioned - they say "content" on them - but that's not particularly illuminating. You also get some printed material - it was helpful for me with Premiere - but if you are new to the suite then buy a book (and for Elements, you can safely buy an oldish version - 8 or better 9).
Overall it allows you some guided versions of each which are basic enough to use out of the box while allowing the more adventurous/experienced user room to go it alone and really experiment. You certainly get a lot of creative power for your money here.