Adobe has announced the latest version of its consumer photo and video editing software, which has reached its 11th release.
Adobe's done a little bit of a u-turn in the latest package though: the dark background of version 10 has been axed for what Adobe calls a "brighter, easier and friendlier" user interface. It looks much more in line with the consumer package; it's a clean and well laid out interface that also has prompts and pop-ups to help first time users find their way around and work out what to do.
That aspect and a stronger focus on online social sharing are the main themes of the latest version, though the core pillars - Organise, Edit, Create and Share - remain the same.
Guided Edits help make the process of adjustment easier, while a variety of "share to" options that includes Vimeo, Facebook, mobile devices any many more front the features list. But there's no share to Twitter or iPad (at least in the version we saw) which seems a little strange.
Tilt/Shift, High/Low Key, (enhanced) Vignette, and many other modes have also been added. When in the Expert mode it's possible to see and adjust the masks that these edits create, which brings a level of control that's just shy of what's available with Photoshop. Not bad for less than £100.
Elements 11 even goes as far as pulling the Refine Edge mode from Photoshop CS5 into the latest software - ideal for selecting complex outlines such as hair.
The Organise feature - which helps to categorise by name, face, place, date and other options - now also includes geotagging via Google Maps (though you'll need an internet connection to be able to make the most of the mode).
Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) 7.1 is included in the package and, although it's a stripped-down version compared to that found in Lightroom 4 or Photoshop CS6, it can still read all the latest raw files. There's little this software isn't compatible with.
Over in Premiere Elements there's a similar-styled and easy-to-use interface, which now includes colour adjustments, Hollywood FilmLooks, slow and fast motion and reverse play. Although there's no graphics card optimisation (everthing runs directly from the CPU), the Mac and Windows versions are now both available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds - that's a first for Premiere Elements.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 are both available now, priced £119.14 for the double bundle (£98.16 for the upgrade), or £79.10 (£64.81 upgrade) each.