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Adobe Premiere Pro 2021 review

Adobe’s latest update sees Premiere Pro working better than ever.

Adobe Premiere Pro review
(Image: © Jason Parnell-Brookes/Adobe)

Our Verdict

Premiere Pro 2021 is a top-of-the-line, industry standard video editor with an incredibly simple layout and powerful editing tools. The monthly subscription fee can be off-putting for those on a tight budget, but Premiere Pro has everything you need to create great videos.

For

  • Great workspace layout
  • ProRes RAW support
  • Easy team collaboration

Against

  • Expensive
  • Needs a powerful system to run

Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry standard video-editing software available for a monthly subscription fee, which is used by almost all major production houses. Unlike Apple’s video editor, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro works on both Windows and Mac. And its variety of tools and simple interface will delight both beginners and expert editors.  

Premiere Pro’s latest version, 14.9, was released in February 2021, and it brings bug fixes and performance enhancements. A bigger previous updates in October and November 2020 added additional codec support, and a Quick Export feature. In this Adobe Premiere Pro review, we’ll take a look at some of Premiere Pro's latest features. If you’re curious about how it compares to other editing software, see our piece on the best video editing software (spoiler: Adobe Premiere Pro is number one on our list).

Adobe Premiere Pro: Easy to navigate layout

Workspaces make organising easy (Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes/Adobe)

Premiere Pro’s interface is all about enhancing productivity while ensuring simplicity. It does this by arranging the application into different workspaces, such editing, effects, and audio. Each workspace helps you to manage a specific task and minimises distraction. 

You can switch between these workspaces using the tabs at the top of the window. To improve efficiency, the workspaces are further divided into resizable panels to help you view multiple aspects of your work easily. 

A great feature for beginners is the Learning workspace, which presents a set of easy-to-follow tutorials on how to use Premiere Pro. 

Each workspace has its own Panels (Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes/Adobe)

Each workspace is laid out, quite simply, in quadrants called panels. The Project panel is where you’ll import and organise your media, be it video, graphics, or titles. The Source Monitor panel allows you to preview clips you’ve imported before dragging them into your timeline for editing. This is much more flexible than viewing in the timeline because it allows you to set in and out points ahead of timeline importing. 

The Program Monitor panels allows you to view your project as it currently stands in the editing process. Then the Timeline panel displays a chronological view of your project, as this is where you’ll be making edits, and adjustments. Each panel is resizeable and modular, meaning you can rearrange them anywhere in your window to suit your own bespoke workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Audio editing and stock audio

Adobe Premiere Pro review

Royalty free stock audio can be accessed within Premiere Pro (Image credit: Adobe)

Premiere Pro 2021 has a plethora of powerful tools for editing audio, including meters, mixers, and effects. You can use these tools to adjust the audio gain and bass, remove noise, increase or decrease reverb, and clean up the audio, among other things. 

In 2020, a new feature was released that let users preview and download high-quality, royalty-free stock audio directly through the software. You can filter the audio by genre, mood, tempo, duration, and even vocals. This will save time because you won’t have to hunt elsewhere for the right audio track.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Quick Export

Adobe Premiere Pro review

Export your projects in a few clicks (Image credit: Adobe)

Premiere Pro’s version 14.6 saw the addition of a new Quick Export feature that gives users direct access to frequently used export settings. This can be accessed directly from the header bar on the application. Users can choose between a list of H.264 presets to decrease their export file size or select the default high-quality H.264 output with matched Source Settings.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Import Support for ProRes RAW

Adobe Premiere Pro review

ProRes RAW support is now available on the latest version of Premiere Pro (Image credit: Adobe)

ProRes RAW is a codec by Apple that compresses RAW footage while retaining high-quality video data rates. Premiere Pro previously didn’t support the ProRes RAW codec, but it has been updated and now any computer with version 14.5 and higher will import and edit ProRes RAW videos natively. 

Adobe Premiere Pro: Productions

Adobe Premiere Pro review

Productions makes it easy for teams to collaborate (Image credit: Adobe)

With Productions, Adobe makes collaboration a breeze for editors. Productions offers a scalable structure for team members to share assets and organise projects efficiently. It enables multiple editors to work on the same project without duplicating the existing project files or media. Since the software merely references the media on the local storage, it saves storage space because there’s no duplication of media between projects.  

An excellent feature is that if you rename files and media in the local storage, it renames them in Premiere Pro Productions too, and vice versa.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Colour management for ARRI ProRes

Adobe Premiere Pro review

Embedded LUT support for maximizing efficiency (Image credit: Adobe)

This update from the previous version creates an efficient workflow for footage shot in ProRes with ARRI cameras by providing access to embedded LUTs. A LUT (look-up-table) is a color preset that’s applied to video footage. Applying a LUT creates a specific tone for the visual and is relevant when footage is shot in Log color space, which retains more data but has low contrast visuals. 

Without an embedded LUT, you’d have to manually apply a LUT to each clip to see what the footage looks like on Premiere Pro. This can be distracting and time-consuming when editing.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Performance Improvements

Premiere Pro now has a faster audio pre-roll on both Windows and macOS. It ensures rapid playback for massive projects or projects that have a lot of audio effects. Using NVIDIA and AMD GPUs on Windows, the new hardware decoding now presents quicker playback and a more dynamic timeline performance for the HEVC and H.264 formats.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Should I buy it?

Adobe’s constant updates have ensured that Premiere Pro meets video editors’ demands while simplifying the process for them. Its streamlined interface, powerful tools, regular updates, and team collaboration options make this outstanding editing software. 

You must keep in mind that Adobe Premiere Pro is advanced editing software, and although both beginners and experts can use it, it may feel overwhelming for a casual user. If you’re looking for a simple editing application, Adobe Elements, Rush, and Apple iMovie will be more suitable. 

Saying that, Adobe has done well to cater for the amateur by providing a Learning workspace with easy-to-follow tutorials, guiding the user through the software. Any creative user, especially with a design background, will find Premiere Pro useful for putting together not only video, but audio, and graphics too, including animations and titles.

Adobe Premiere Pro 14.6: System requirements

macOS

  • Intel® 6thGen or newer CPU
  • macOS v10.14 or later
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 2GB of GPU VRAM

Windows

  • Intel® 6thGen or newer CPU – or AMD equivalent
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1803 or later
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 2GB of GPU VRAM

On both systems, internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.

Read more:

The Verdict
9

out of 10

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Premiere Pro 2021 is a top-of-the-line, industry standard video editor with an incredibly simple layout and powerful editing tools. The monthly subscription fee can be off-putting for those on a tight budget, but Premiere Pro has everything you need to create great videos.