Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium review
The welcome return of Audition, some performance consolidation, and a smattering of new features make CS5.5 Production Premium a dot release worth considering
Review Date: 9 May 2011
Reviewed By: James Morris
Price when reviewed: £1,608 (£1,930 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Adobe CS5 Production Premium was always going to be a tough act to follow. The Mercury Playback Engine’s shift to 64-bit and graphics card acceleration were incredibly big news, and it was inevitable that this next generation would feel like an anticlimax, particularly as it’s a dot release. But it does have some enhancements that could entice CS5 users to upgrade, and new users to take even more notice.
The Production Premium suite is a huge bundle, with unchanged editions of Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, OnLocation, Encore and Bridge, augmented by new versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Device Central and Media Encoder. The biggest news is that Audition has made a welcome return to the suite, as it now runs on MacOS X as well as Windows.
Premiere Pro CS5.5
Premiere Pro CS5.5 is very much a consolidation of what went before. A number of its new features are essentially there to keep up with the latest developments elsewhere in the video production world. For example, there’s native support for Canon’s XF-series camcorders, which shoot MPEG2 with 4:2:2 colour, and this includes specific sequence presets.
Support for RED cameras has been enhanced, too, with even greater control over import settings. You can pick a white point using an eyedropper; there are five-point curves to adjust red, green, blue or luma values for a clip; and a histogram is available to review the effects of your adjustments. You can also save and load RMD settings files.
The Mercury Playback Engine now supports a greater range of graphics cards, although still limited to Nvidia’s CUDA for acceleration. Most notably, a few mobile graphics chips are included on the list. You’ll need 1GB or more of frame buffer, and this applies only to Windows; MacOS is still limited to the Quadro 4000 and 4800, or the GeForce GTX 285. A few more effects have also been added to the accelerated list, including Directional Blur, Fast Blur, Invert, Additional Dissolve and the new Film Dissolve.
Adobe is continuing to promote integration with its (currently free) Story script collaboration app. You can create a Story script, use it to organise clips in OnLocation, then call on the associated metadata to facilitate editing in Premiere Pro. In particular, having a clip’s script section attached as metadata makes actor voice-recognition using the Premiere Pro Speech Analysis tool far more effective. However, only big-budget, well-organised projects will be able to take full advantage.
Recognising the growing use of DSLRs with poor audio provision, where audio is captured on a separate device, a new Merge Clips command lets you create a single clip from aligned audio and video tracks. You still need to line up the different tracks yourself, using clapboard or other synchronisation markers, but the new clip is a virtual pointer – no reprocessing is required, and the original separate clips remain exactly as they were. You can also overwrite layers in the timeline by simply dragging and dropping a trimmed clip to the Program monitor at the appropriate point. You can also remove a snippet from the timeline across multiple layers using the Extract command.
There are many smaller, but still welcome, usability tweaks to Premiere Pro CS5.5. The Pen tool lets you add keyframes to the rubber band for a parameter directly on the timeline, rather than having to go into its effects properties panel. You can also now use the keyboard shortcuts from Avid Media Composer 5 or Final Cut Pro 7, instead of the Adobe ones – or create your own custom set. The remaining enhancements come from integration with Audition.
It may be good but at £1608 + VAT it's hardly value for money. The US Adobe site is advertising the product for US$1699!!!!! - typical Adobe
By mart4494 on 9 May 2011
Upgrade from CS5 to CS5.5
I find nothing compelling in this dot release.
At the upgrade price being quoted I'll pass, thanks, and wait for the next full release.
By jontym123 on 11 May 2011
I love that Adobe is adapting with the rise in the use of tablets and smartphones. Definitely a sign of the times.
We recently did a post on C.S. 5.5 ourselves- http://www.softwarecrew.com/2011/05/adobe-creative
Would love thoughts/feedback!
By ShaunMJ on 16 May 2011
Frankly CS5.5 not good enough
No stabilizer, unbelievable, only in After Effects. It's sibling PE 9 is better than this especially for simple editing, slow Mercury Engine in 64bit Quad Core , handles HDV/mpeg-2 worst than older software ?
By BobDix on 30 Aug 2011
hi my name is abdullah
By samidedar on 14 Dec 2011
- Why teachers shouldn't be nervous about shift to coding
- Microsoft expands encryption over NSA spying "threat"
- UK Cloud Awards 2014: nominations now open
- BlackBerry says "we're still alive" as sales hit new low
- Has HP turned a corner?
- Adobe admits it's struggling to notify hack victims
- Microsoft rolls out Office 365 admin app for mobile
- Office 2013 Service Pack 1 to arrive early next year
- Backup the best defence against CryptoLocker
- UK SMBs can now buy ads on Twitter
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Google’s support policies shove users towards Chrome
- Lenovo Yoga Tablet review: first look
- Michael Dell's reasons to be cheerful
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- Can Microsoft survive? The future of Office
- A real-world guide to business VoIP
- Sack your PA: how to stay on top of your work life
- Power lies with the internet giants, not the governments
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- How to get a job in cloud computing
- Are today's tech start-ups simply get-rich-quick schemes?
- Choosing the right tablet for business
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation
- How to build a really bad network
- Facebook Graph Search: don't panic
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW