Premiere Pro CS6 Roundup: Switchers, First Looks, and Tips

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

Last week Rich wrote about his decision to switch from FCP7 to a combination of Premiere Pro and Media Composer instead of FCP X. Since then, Adobe released Premiere Pro CS6 (along with all the other CS6 tools) and a number of people have published first looks or accounts of switching to the increasingly popular NLE. Here is an annotated roundup of the best of those articles, as well as, some resources on how to get started if you are unfamiliar with Premiere Pro.

If you've seen any other good articles, or if you have a story to tell about your experience with CS6, please get the conversation going in the comments below.

CS6 Lovers

  • David Lawrence is a long-time Final Cut user who has been reviewing his NLE options since deciding that the magnetic timeline in Final Cut Pro didn't mesh with his editing style. Based on his extensive first impressions with CS6, it looks like he has found a new home. While he covers many aspects of the tool, the thing that blew his mind was real-time playback while editing on a relatively old system. In his words, "the Premiere Pro timeline is the honey badger of timelines." In terms of David's experience switching, he found that the adjustment to using the new NLE was much easier than relearning how to edit in FCPX. This one is well worth reading.

  • Cinematographer, filmmaker, blogger, and DSLR expert @PhilipBloom provides a great account of why he moved over to Adobe Premiere CS6 from Final Cut 7. Bottom line: The software is essentially what he needed Final Cut to become. The biggest strength is the ability work on multi format timelines with NO TRANSCODING?" Working with all native footage, all on the same timeline, is a huge advantage for someone editing a doc that combines epic, F3, a f100,5dmk2 footage.

  • Scott Simmons provides a detailed look at how Premiere Pro has improved, in his random notes on a first "real world" Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 edit . He found the software much improved and a joy to work with. Highlights included: the new Prelude application; a fast clean interface; performance of third party hardware cards that interfaced with the Mercury Transmit Technology; the adjustment layer; and hover scrub. Weaknesses included: some issues with mouse movements not completing; a poor keyboard shortcut editor; and challenges tracking the exact edit point inside a dissolve or transition when a timeline track was closed. There really is a lot of detail in this one.

  • A couple weeks back Shane Ross put out a great NAB wrap up video. This led to questions about what it was edited with. Surprise, you guessed it: The bulk of the editing was done in CS6. The post provides a good look at how he organizes footage for quick and efficient editing, as well as, color on how things worked in CS6 versus Final Cut.

  • Vincent LaForet, whose presentation at the Adobe booth at NAB was fantastic, has been using Premiere Pro and After Effects for a number of months (lucky!). This post outlines some of his favorite new features across the Production Premium Suite. In his words, a key reason he works exclusively in Premiere is that "the ability to natively edit video formats and dynamically link between different applications has made our workflow much smoother as we shoot a variety of different formats, from the H.264 to R3D codec."

  • Derek Liu is another Final Cut 7 editor converting to Premiere Pro. In this post he details his laundry list of things that he wanted to see in Adobe's new software. He skips over the major features that have been covered elsewhere, and instead focuses on the minutia that can save bits of time here and there. While many of the things on his wish list were checked off in CS6, there are still a number of items that he would still like to see. This one is a good resource for a Final Cut 7 user that wants to see how things behave differently in CS6.

  • Connor Crosby at EditingWhiz provides his first impressions on using Premiere Pro CS6, and how some of the changes compare with Final Cut Pro 7. Highlights for him are the ability to zoom in on the playhead selection area, the thumbnail view in the project pane, and clip labeling (although he has some issues with its implementation). Lowlights are the overzealous tool tips, and adjustment of scale, position, and rotation inside the canvas.

  • 100 Acre Films provides some perspective from a long-time all Adobe shop. Big improvements include: the uncluttered interface, dynamic trimming (taking a cue from Apple and Avid), hover scrub (big time saver), Warp Stabilizer, and the simple fact that everything runs much faster and smoother. They are also a big fan of Prelude, which was used at the end of each day on a remote shoot to log footage and create a rough cut with the client. Noted weak points are media management, performance in a shared project environment, and color correction tools.

  • Clay Asbury has written a great QuickStart Guide to New Adobe Premiere CS6 Features. In it, he showcases the most significant enhancements, concluding that Adobe has done a great job of listening to professional users and that it's poised to grow its user base.

CS6 Haters

Nuff said. Nice work #JohnAdobe.

Seriously, beyond some basic issues with the new software and adding support for more GPUs, the most consistent issue that seem to come up is the need for better media management for teams working in shared environments.

Where to Turn For Training

Hacks & Tips

Final Thought

One final thought is that it's great to see a company being so active in the community answering questions, asking for feedback, and providing guidance on where they would like to go next. The Premiere Pro product management, marketing, and social media team seems to be firing on all cylinders. Hopefully the team keeps following through on its commitment to listen to editors and keep rolling out regular improvements. In their words, Premiere Pro isn't Finished.