12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2009 11:21 AM by (adam_gold)

    Should I up-grade to CS4?

    Level 1
      Hi ya'll,

      Adobe now has a upgrade plan that will let me upgrade my 2004 version of Premiere-Pro 1.0 to Premiere-Pro CS4 at a reasonable price.

      So ... a whole bunch of questions and I hope you'll be patient and bear with me ...

      I make and sell a documentary (or travelogue) type video about the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (website if you're interested: http://www.snowbirders.net/index.html ). I record the video on a Canon GL2 to Mini DV tape, import to Premiere-Pro and edit. Audio (narration, sound effects and background music) is digitally recorded, edited in Sony Screenblast Sound Forge and added to the Premiere-Pro timeline. I also create drawings in Adobe Illustrator 9.0, photos in Adobe Photoshop 7.0 and include them in the timeline.

      I export completed segments (each 10 to 20 minutes long) through Premiere-Pro 1.0's built in Adobe Media Encoder. The segments are assembled (using Sonic "MyDVD" six segments to a DVD disk and two disks make a complete set. Each edition has a shelf life of a year or two before it needs to be up-dated. This is a low volume operation : I sell only 200 or 300 a year ... not a lot but an OK "part-time" income for a retired dude.

      To cut to the chase ... Is upgrading a good idea?

      I don't need HD capabilities. (The lowest common denominator rule says my DVDs gotta play on older DVD players.)

      I don't want to be required to buy new Photoshop, Illustrator or audio editing programs: Will CS4 accept documents and media made in my older versions?

      Does CS4 include a good built-in media encoder suitable for my application? Does CS4 have assembly tools that will enable me to skip the Sonic "MyDVD" program?

      Computer: Gateway 7200X with a Pentium 4 CPU at 3.0 GHz and a Gigabyte of RAM, Windows XP-Pro Service Pack 3. (And a terabyte of hard disk space, if that makes a difference.)

      Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions.

        • 1. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Some of your answers:

          Files created in earlier versions of PS, AI and Audition (or similar) will work fine. What might/might not work exactly would be the Edit in Photosho link (Encore). One may have to do that manually, if PP CS4 does not "find" PS. Still, very doable.

          You will replace MyDVD with Encore and it now integrates even better with PP.

          PP comes with a now stand-alone (though invoked from within PP) encoder AME. Use to be part of the whole package. It will handle all but the most obscure encoding tasks. It might not be as quick to use, as when it was integrated, but at least you now get batch encoding. One area of complaint has been the loss of Export>Frame (and keyboard shortcut) directly from PP. Now, there is another big step involved.

          Others will have to address your other concerns (or correct my statements).

          I'm still waiting for the jury to return on upgrading to CS4, but I *think* I still have some time to make that decision. If the door was about to shut on the upgrade path, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

          Good luck with the decision,

          • 2. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
            h2ofun Level 1
            The best feature I have found on CS4 is the batching encoding!!!! This single feature for me is well worth it

            • 3. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
              Level 1
              I think if you read the other threads in this forum you'll see the opinions are very mixed. If you don't really need any of the features in the newer releases, you may be better off sticking with what you have.
              • 4. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                Level 1
                I'm getting the feeling CS3 is still the way to go if you don't want to become an Adobe guinea pig.
                • 5. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                  (C._David_Young) Level 1
                  What are you trying to improve in your existing workflow? If it works with your existing computer then you might be better sticking with what you have. I would say only if you are willing to upgrade your computer and OS to Vista 64 should you consider CS4. Even so you might be better off getting a used CS3 package that includes Premiere and Encore. That is what I use and it has everything you need for your workflow. It is rock solid with Vista 64. From what I read in this forum CS4 seems like a risky upgrade and even loses some essential functionality like Debugmode Frameserver. In case you don't know, that is what allows Premiere to export its timeline to programs like Avisynth, VirtualDub, and HCencoder (all freeware) to, among other things, create DVDs of much higher quality than you get with normal Premiere mpeg encoding for DVD.
                  • 6. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                    rockyweih Level 1
                    I still use CS3 and have no plans on upgrading. It's amazing so many people accept all these WORK AROUNDS like using AE for things Pro should do. I don't have or need AE so this makes no sense at all to me. Work arounds are just a way of saying Adobe screwed up CS4 and still has not been able to fix it yet. Adobe you should be ashamed of yourselves for selling this product. Stay with CS3 until Adobe gets CS5 working. For a expensive upgrade we deserve better than CS4.
                    • 7. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                      >Stay with CS3

                      I thought CS3 was bugger than 2.0 and so never upgraded to that one even! It's disappointing so many find CS4 worse still.
                      • 8. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                        shooternz Level 6
                        Very dissapointing that its buggy as well as badly designed but had great potential.

                        Very retrograde step and the first time they have done it in my opinion. (I have been with Premiere from the outset so have some experience of all the versions now) Including MAC.
                        • 9. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                          Jeff Bellune Level 5
                          It's the CS4 AME that's given me the most problems. And almost all of those have been with Quicktime. PrCS4 has been rock-solid.

                          I got hold of some AVCHD .mts files from what will likely be my next camera - the Panasonic AG-HMC 150.

                          So far, the editing has been better than expected. I set up a 1080i/30 sequence (1920x1080, PAR 1.0) with 2 full-frame footage layers stacked, the top layer set to the Screen blend mode with a 25-pixel fast blur, a vertically-scrolling title scaled to 80% with a track matte key set to pull the key from a white matte scaled to 90% and blurred vertically by 100 pixels. I get about every 2nd to 5th frame during unrendered playback.

                          Rendered, of course, plays back every frame smooth as silk.

                          I'll have to render this out and burn to BD-RE and see how it looks on my HDTV.
                          • 10. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                            Andy Urtu Level 1
                            I would wait until at least 4.02
                            • 11. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                              Level 1
                              Say no more! If you add to that the fact Cineform and other plug ins are not yet CS4 compatible, the equation is simple. I'll stick with CS3. This said, I'm still using XP Home Edition with 4 Giga. My feeling is that CS3 is not Vista 64 optimized anyways. However I'm open for a discussion on that subject. Are there really significant gains?
                              • 12. Re: Should I up-grade to CS4?
                                Level 1
                                I ran Bill Gehrke's very useful Premiere Pro benchmark tests for CS3 on XP32, Vista 64 and Win7 64, all with four gigs of RAM, and with Win7 64 with 20 gigs.

                                Vista 64 was by far the fastest, followed by Win 7 and then XP. Amount of memory made no difference at all in the two Win7 tests.

                                I know this contradicts some people's experience with Win7 being faster, but maybe we'll see that improvement only with CS4.