Premiere Pro review: where does Adobe’s video editor shine?

Premiere Pro review: where does Adobe’s video editor shine?
Joseph Johnston

Joseph Johnston


Adobe Premiere Pro is the raw video editing app from Adobe’s Suite. Its timeline-based interface, organized workspaces, and powerful editing tools, effects, and motion graphics are loved and lauded by some of the most innovative directors and content creators around the world.

It can take a while to get to know all its capabilities, but that’s only because Premiere can really do just about any video editing task imaginable. The app has been used to edit everything from Hollywood blockbusters and Super Bowl commercials to humble YouTube sketches and video podcasts.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll be able to understand the basic features and start editing with Premiere Pro after reading this article or watching a few brief tutorials. If you’re a professional video editor, read on to find out where Premiere shines and where its weakness starts to show.

You can no longer buy the Premiere Pro app outright; it’s only available as a subscription service with monthly or yearly payments. If you’d like to try the demo version, you can download a free seven-day trial of Adobe Premiere Pro.

Adobe Premiere DOWNLOAD

How does Premiere Pro compare to other video editors?

Compared to other video editing apps, the subscription price is pretty expensive. How much Adobe Premiere Pro will be worth it to you depends on your budget and what kind of video editing you’ll be doing. Although there isn’t a single standout alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro, it does have a few interesting competitors.

Premiere Pro is currently the most popular choice in the general video editing world, but there are several groundbreaking apps that can perform certain specialized tasks better or work more efficiently in different operating systems. Alternatives to Premiere Pro include:

Final Cut Pro has a lot of the same features but is optimized for macOS users.
DaVinci Resolve is cheaper and more focused on color correction.
Adobe After Effects has better visual effects and motion graphics tools; however, Premiere Pro is better at overall video editing and assembly.

Adobe Premiere Pro’s system requirements

If you use a PC, you’ll need the 64-bit version of Windows 10 or 11 to run the latest version of Premiere Pro. If you use a Mac, you’ll need at least macOS 10.15.

Make sure your CPU is at least a sixth-generation Intel or an AMD Ryzen 1000 Series or better with a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. Premiere now also has full support for Apple’s Silicon M1. Your display’s resolution should be a minimum of 1920 x 1080.

Adobe Premiere Pro main modes are import, edit, and export

A look at some of Premiere Pro’s newest upgrades

Older versions of the app had workspaces for Assembly, Editing, Titles, Audio, Effects, and Color. Now, it’s been simplified to just three main modes: Import, Edit, and Export.

The welcome screen now has a Learn option that can guide beginners through the workflow or show experts all the latest upgrades. The app comes with eight built-in interactive tutorials that demonstrate how to import clips, add titles, use color correction, edit audio, etc.

Many features and graphics now come with ready-made templates and animations. For instance, you can select one of the available animated motion graphic templates and just replace the default text with your own message or logo to make an instant intro.

The captioning workflow has been overhauled to allow for easier formatting and editing of your captions. There’s also a new automatic captioning feature that is currently in beta.

If you upload your videos to various social media sites, you may have to export to a different aspect ratio for each site. Premiere now has an Auto Reframe feature that uses AI to identify the most important things in your video and crop it to various aspect ratios, whether horizontal, vertical, or square, without losing sight of your subject. Auto Reframe also lets you adjust the keyframes it automatically creates in case you want to make some manual corrections. Final Cut Pro also recently released a similar feature it calls Smart Conform.

When you subscribe to the Adobe Premiere Pro service, you now get a free online video sharing account at with 100 GB of space. The service includes a web viewer and reviewer that allows your collaborators to check out your beta project and give you notes without having to install Premiere Pro.

Import practically any format

Premiere Pro can import video footage from pretty much any device that can record it. This includes practically any raw format from any professional camera, smartphone, or DSLR with resolutions up to 8K. With the right cables, you can even import video from tape with the timecodes intact.

Altering a video in Adobe Premiere Pro edit mode

Premiere’s editing layout is intuitive and adjustable

Once you’re in Edit mode, the workspace shows you four panels. If you like, you can undock these panels and move them around or remove them and add different ones.

  • Previews and thumbnails of your source footage are at the top left
  • A preview of your project video is at the top right
  • Your project’s assets are at the bottom left
  • Your track timeline is at the bottom right

Your track timeline has two separate sections to help keep you organized. All the audio tracks are placed in the bottom section, and all the video tracks, including images and graphics, are in the top section.

If you want to skip the Import screen, you can just drag and drop almost any type of media file from any file explorer straight into your timeline. Premiere Pro will automatically create separate but linked video and audio tracks and place your media in them so that you can jump right into editing. The app will also automatically save your project at regular intervals to make sure you don’t lose too much if the power goes out.

The basic editing tools are easy to learn

Premiere Pro offers four classic editing tools that sound like they might feel at home in a waterpark: Slip, Slide, Roll, and Ripple. These give you different ways to trim or shift clips quickly while preserving the length of the project or adjacent clips. You can edit tracks even while the project preview is playing.

The app also has a regular Trim mode that trims without shifting, which you can access by double-clicking on either end of any clip. In Trim mode, your preview window will split to display the outgoing frame of the clip you’re editing as well as the incoming frame of any adjacent clip. This mode gives you easy options to make adjustments one frame at a time or add transitions.

Adobe Premiere Pro’s transitions

Premiere Pro comes with a large library of transition effects, and you can find plugins online with many more. Once you have at least two clips in your timeline, you can search for a transition in the assets panel at the bottom left and then drag and drop it to where the clips meet.

Transitions are just as user-friendly as clips. You can drag the edges of a transition in your timeline to change its length or select the transition and delete it. Selecting a transition will also open a transition control panel beside your project preview panel where you can dig in and change even more details.

Lots of highly maneuverable effects

The app comes with hundreds of video and audio effects, all of which are searchable from a search box in the assets panel. These include toolkits for

  • Lighting
  • Colorizing
  • Keying
  • Warping
  • Stylizing

Premiere Pro lets you drag and drop any effect onto any track to apply it directly. You can also go to File > New > Adjustment Layer to create a new adjustment layer on your timeline. When you add an effect to an adjustment layer, it affects all the tracks below it.

You’ll find the Effects Control window in a tab in the top left panel. When you select any clip or adjustment layer, you’ll be able to tweak any effects you’ve applied to it here. That includes adjustments to the opacity, speed, position, scale, rotation, anchor point, and Lumetri colors of the clip. This window is also where you can apply time remapping to any effect by using keyframes.

Premiere’s built-in effects are user-friendly and powerful enough that they’ll work for most home content creators and even many professionals. If you’re making the next “Avatar” or you need advanced tools like automatic motion tracking masks, you may need a more powerful engine like Adobe After Effects.

Use export mode in Adobe Premiere Pro to choose custom templates

Export as simple or advanced as you like

When you’re happy with your project, you’ll move seamlessly to the Export workspace. The Export mode gives you a list of handy export templates you can pick, from common social media sizes to high-quality media files. You can also select various formats together to export to all of them at once.

If you want to get into the details, Premiere gives you dropdown menus in plenty of advanced categories so that you can tweak your export specs to taste. If not, the interface lets you breeze past the specifics and just export your video.

Final verdict: Adobe Premiere Pro is the king of raw video editing

Whether you’re a novice video editor or a demanding pro, Premiere has the best for both worlds. Its large professional-level toolkit has plenty of simple entry points for newbies. The app runs and renders quickly on most computers and fits into an expansive ecosystem of products and services that let users create and collaborate easier than ever.

Ready to try out some of the features of this video editing software? Check out our guide on how to color correct amazing nighttime videos with Premiere Pro.


  • Drag-and-drop media and effects
  • Detailed transition editing
  • Subscription service gives you regular free updates
  • Easy integration with full Adobe Suite


  • Steep overall learning curve
  • Unsatisfactory 3D graphics editing

Developer: Adobe, Inc.

Publisher: Adobe, Inc.

Top Features: Timeline-based video editing

Platform Reviewed: Windows PC

Joseph Johnston

Joseph Johnston

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