13 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2010 11:25 AM by Dailey Pike

    CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists

    Kona Bob Level 2

      I'm seeing a lot of posts by folks who are disappointed to discover that new, expensive hardware is required for Premiere CS5 to deliver all that it is capable of. I've thought that Adobe has been quite up front about that issue in all of their pre-release presentations. They have made it very clear that CS5 is a serious attempt to aggressively insert Premiere Pro into the professional market that has been dominated by Avid and FCP.

      Part of the disconnect is surely the fact that AVCHD has become a leading format in inexpensive consumer HD cams, yet presents one of the most difficult challenges for any NLE/hardware configuration to edit natively. Thus the paradox of needing a $6,000 system to edit footage from your $500 camera.

      CS5 can now do it- fast and pretty- but it takes a lot of horsepower and that costs money. It's the leading edge right now.

      In my view the, issue of Professional vs Hobbyist user centers more on speed than quality. The tools available at reasonably modest cost (including CS5) allow a skilled "hobbyist" to produce and deliver finished video productions at a level of quality that matches that of a professional studio. The big difference with the pros is that time is money. It is worth a lot of actual $$$ to them to have the hardware that gets the job done faster.

      The NLE is just the tool to get a job done- like a screwdriver. If you have the skill, you can create a piece of custom furnuture in your garage, on the weekends, with hand tools, that is a work of art. However,if you are running a furniture shop with 10 employees, it will pay to invest in power tools.

      There are a variety of alternative workflows that produce top quality results, allow you to use the great features in CS5, and can be run on older hardware (quad core, 8 GB RAM, random GPUs). One of the best IMO is the Cineform digital intermediate. No matter what your acquisition format- HDV, AVCHD, EXCam, etc.- Cineform converts the original files to lossless, lightly compressed .avi which can easily be edited, real time previewed, Dynamic Linked back and forth b/t PPro & AE, etc., then exported out to whatever delivery format is desired. CS5 is an excellent platform for this workflow, even on less than cutting edge systems. To me, it is worth the upgrade.

      I've only used CS5 for a week now, but my impression is that this is the strongest, most stable, feature rich product Adobe has ever delivered in the PPro line.

      But, the reality is that, for easy HD editing, it requires the latest hardware, or alternative workflows like Cineform.     

        • 1. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
          shooternz Level 6

          That all kind of sums it up very well.


          Fact is...it has always been this way of course.

          • 2. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
            DVDmike Level 1

            I try not to get suckered into the hobbyist issue often.  But I have recently in at least one thread. And now this one.  To me PPro is supposed to be a professional program and part of a professional editing suite.  It is expensive enough on its own that the average hobbyist is not purchasing it anyway.  The vast majority of hobbyists want a program costing less than $150.  But it is obvious that a lot of hobbyist have indeed purchased PPro, just as many hobbyist have purchased professional D-SLR's.  (I cannot believe how many have purchased D3's or D3s's for example who don't make any money on their photography.)


            Your suggestion about the cineform usage is a good solution for those who want CS5 but don't want to upgrade their systems.  However, they may have to wait before Cineform comes out with a CS5 version?  For now, they can use CS4 if they have it and wish to purchase Cineform.  So if a hobbyist wants to complain that they don't think they need a more robust computer to run their software, let them complain.

            • 3. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
              Kona Bob Level 2

              The pre-release version 5 betas of the Cineform products are available right now and can be downloaded from the Cineform site. They are good for a 14 day trial period. The final release products will be available within that timeframe.

              The version 5 products are back compatable with CS3/4, but are designed specifically for CS5.

              • 4. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                I agree with your assertions. Gong back some years now, Adobe did a series of surveys of users here, and probably elsewhere, and one of the repeated questions was: if CS5 offered significant advantages, would you upgrade to a 64-bit OS, should that be all that is offered. It would seem that the majority of the answers were "yes."


                It has been stated here, that the salesman in the electronics shop just loves to sell an AVCHD camera, as he knows that the client will soon be back to buy a computer to actually edit that stuff. It is a bit of a paradox, that one needs a pro-level workstation, to edit a consumer format, but that is the way that it is.


                Now, even in the PrE forum, users have been screaming for a full, 64-bit program. Here, there are some screams, that PrPro is a full 64-bit program. You can just never please the consumers.


                Now, PrPro is also a great NLE for the serious hobbyist, but it is geared more towards the pro. Still, it does not preclude the non-pro, so long as they are willing to, and can invest in the hardware necessary.


                Thanks for your observations,



                • 5. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Strictly hobby for me... but when I force let my out of town relatives view my home video, I want the best look I can get, at a price I can afford


                  For me, that is now a new 64bit computer and AVCHD camera... but I will still output DVD so the AVCHD to DVD discussion at http://forums.adobe.com/thread/634498 is one I am following


                  I already know that the MTS files from my new Canon Vixia are MUCH higher quality than anything I could do with my old 8mm camcorder, so now I just have to wait for CS5 and see how well it does at down scaling to write a DVD... hopefully, I will end up with a something better than I could do with my old computer and work flow


                  Since I work at a University I qualify to buy the education version, so can (barely) afford CS5 for hobbyist use

                  • 6. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists


                    a quick question from a newbie (soon to be a professional) CS5 user...:

                    i have sensed that AVCHD is not exactly the choice of most folks in this forum. I haven't gotten my camera yet, but when i do i'll make sure not to get one that shoots AVCHD. But since i might have to eventually edit some AVCHD...which is the best way to go about it??? to the question ...:what is this "cineform" codec and how does it work.

                    thanks for patience!

                    • 7. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                      joshtownsend Level 2

                      There's a reason cameras with easy to edit codecs cost more than a screaming computer.

                      • 8. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                        Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                        The following is a great camera that produces an easy to edit format...P2.




                        You can capture to mini DV Cam or the internal "flash" SD card for 1080i.  This camera does everything a person should need for corporate video production.  The flash media is still expensive, but a hobbyist could get by with a smaller capacity card.


                        This camera shoots in rectangular pixels (1280x1080), so because of this and some other missing features, it's most likely not recommended for the indie film maker.  A co-worker uses the Panasonic HVX200P camera for hi-def TV production with great success.

                        • 9. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                          Curt Wrigley Level 4

                          P2 and XDCAM(ex) both edit nicely and have cams under the $10K line. (if you want tapeless)

                          • 10. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                            DVDmike Level 1

                            slightly off topic, but with keeping with hobbyist options, does anyone know if CS5 will now support Flip video HD files natively for editing?

                            • 11. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                              Curt Wrigley Level 4

                              DVDmike wrote:


                              slightly off topic, but with keeping with hobbyist options, does anyone know if CS5 will now support Flip video HD files natively for editing?


                              • 12. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                                Kona Bob Level 2

                                AVCHD kind of got its start as a consumer cam format, but is moving up in the food chain with Sony's introduction of the NX series of small pro cameras.

                                IMO, AVCHD is an excellent acquisition format, but a lousy editing format.

                                Indeed, Cineform (www.Cineform.com) is one excellent solution to the editing problem.

                                Cineform products plug into Premiere Pro and allow you to convert many codecs, such as AVCHD, into lossless, 10 bit, 4:2:2, 1920x1080 .avi format for editing in PPro. When editing is complete, you can export the timeline to whatever delivery formats you need (DVD, Blu Ray, Flash,etc.) in AME.

                                Another benefit, if you do multicam shoots with different camera formats, by converting all of the footage to a uniform Cineform .avi spec, you never need to be concerned with compatibility issues (frame size, pixal aspect ratio, frame rate) while editing- all the footage is now the same spec.

                                • 13. Re: CS5- Professionals vs. Hobbyists
                                  Dailey Pike

                                  Hey Chuck,


                                  That's kinda neat that NextTag has a price history chart.


                                  That camera started out at over $5000 in 2008 and now about half that.


                                  I shoot on a Canon XHA1 and PP has no problem whatsoever.


                                  I'm looking forward to Sony's "affordable" 35mm digital cam that's expected next year.


                                  Dailey Pike