I was asked to write something for "First Frame", the magazine of the Guild of British Film and Television Editors about Adobe Premiere; who are one of the Guild's sponsors. The article was aimed at editors who were not already users of the software, and it was published in the Spring 2014 issue.
N.B. Pricing information was correct at time of publication, check the Adobe website for the latest pricing.
A Quick Look at Adobe Premiere Pro, and the Creative Cloud
Adobe's Creative Cloud is undeniably gaining traction in the professional editing market. To many, Adobe Premiere Pro, the non-linear editing programme of the suite, surfaced prominently as a competitor to Apple's Final Cut Pro series: in this rapidly changing world of camera codecs and 64-bit computer architecture, people needing to learn a new system are finding the Adobe interface more friendly, familiar, and intuitive than many other options - especially those who are already familiar with other products in the family such as After Effects.
A lot of myths still surround the Creative Cloud format - such as the requirement to buy ALL of their programmes (subscriptions to single programmes, including Premiere Pro, are available), the need to subscribe for an entire year (you can 'rent' for a single month), the idea of having to always be connected to the internet (the licence has to be checked every 30 days, but you can work offline - the programmes are downloaded to your hard drive just as with any other NLE), or 'having' to store your files in 'the cloud' (an amount of webspace is available for sharing work with Adobe Anywhere, and settings files will sync - but files are always stored locally). The only real difference is the way you pay for your license: and the benefits of doing so.
Within the Creative Cloud subscription structure is access to the latest version of all software. And this really is a key point - because not only are Adobe fixing the bugs that are found and submitted, but they're also really listening to editors about the features they'd like to see implemented - and frequently you'll see the results of an informal Twitter conversation between an editor and a member of #TeamAdobe included in the very next release - or indeed you'll be told how to enable that function that you just didn't realise was there all along.
Whilst it is possible to subscribe to only one programme, Adobe have worked really hard to get an entire workflow seamlessly integrated from script (Story) to metadata management (Bridge and Prelude), to the edit (Premiere Pro), effects (After Effects and Photoshop), audio (Adobe Audition), and grade (Speedgrade) - often utilising Adobe Dynamic Link which can allow real-time transfer and update of clips in Premiere Pro as you perform tasks in other programmes such as After Effects, such as adding titles or applying mattes. For example, a clip or section in Premiere Pro will update automatically across the Dynamic Link to match the latest version in After Effects.
Additionally, there are already a wealth of third party plugins available across the Creative Cloud, many of which are approved by and linked to from Adobe. Some favourites from other programmes (e.g. Boris, Red Giant, iZotope), and some new ones custom-built for the specific software.
Of course, approaching any new software can be a steep learning curve at the start. Adobe provide a large selection of video tutorials and tutorials with downloadable projects for you to work through, and other resources are available across the internet. I personally have found a publication by Peachpit Press, "An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro", an invaluable resource - it focuses on how to access the features you already know from other NLEs, rather than spending 90% of the book explaining the function and use of L-cuts and three point editing.
At the moment, pricing is £17.58 per month for a 12 month subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro, or £46.88 per month for a 12 month subscription to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud - little more than the cost of two individual programmes in the collection. Often there are discounts offered at or after large technological events such as NAB, and previous owners of Adobe products receive a discounted first year. A free 30 day trial gives access to all programmes within the Creative Cloud.