Digital Video - August 2010 - (Page 18)
gear | august 2010
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
Upping the NLE Ante
If you liked Premiere Pro before, then you’ll love the CS5 version.
PROS: Takes advantage of modern 64-bit operating systems. Enhanced real-time performance through the Mercury Playback Engine. Additional performance boost with certain NVIDIA cards using CUDA technology. Native REDCODE RAW support including 4K timelines. CONS: Some improvement needed in reading P2 metadata. XML and AAF import do not work consistently. BOTTOM LINE: MSRP:
Adobe is leading the pack when it comes to system performance. Premiere Pro CS5 $799; CS5 Production Premium $1,699; CS5 Master Collection $2,599 www.adobe.com
BY OLIVER PETERS
Premiere Pro, but one complaint you The big story behind Creative Suite often hear is that it doesn’t scale well 5 is native 64-bit operation for all of to large, complex projects. I haven’t the applications, which requires a tackled a large job with CS5 yet, so I 64-bit OS (Windows Vista, Windows can’t say, but overall the application 7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard) run- “feels” much more solid than previning on a processor that supports ous releases. The highlights are the Mercury 64-bit operation. The upside of this is much better performance, but Playback Engine, more native file the downside is that you’ll have to and camera support and acceleratupgrade all of your plug-ins to 64-bit ed effects. According to Karl Soule, Adobe technical evangelist, Dynamic versions. Adobe really honed in on per- Media, “The Mercury Playback formance. I’m running a late-2009 Engine is made up of a number of different technologies 8-core (2.26GHz) Apple EXCELLENCE that use the latest hardMac Pro with 12GB RAM. ware in computers. The The change from CS4 three main technologies to CS5 provided noticeare 64-bit native code, ably faster launch times multicore optimization and more responsiveand GPU acceleration. ness in all of the Adobe 64-bit code means that applications, particularly Premiere can access more RAM than Premiere Pro. There have been quite a few before and can process larger numworkflow improvements, but the bers much faster. Multicore optimigeneral editing features have not zation means that Premiere Pro will significantly changed. If you liked take full advantage of all cores in Premiere Pro before, then you’ll love multicore CPUs, splitting processor the CS5 version. If you weren’t a fan, threads so that the load is balanced then improved performance and the and distributed evenly. GPU accelereasy integration of RED and HDLSR ation uses both OpenGL technology footage might sway you. I’ve never for display playback and [NVIDIA’s] had any real stability issues with CUDA-accelerated effects and filters
for color correction, chromakeying and more.” Sean Kilbride, NVIDIA technical marketing manager, says, “By moving core visual processing tasks in the Mercury Playback Engine to CUDA, the [Adobe] team was able to create highly efficient GPU-accelerated functions with performance gains of up to 70 times.” Adobe has certified several CUDA-enabled NVIDIA graphics cards, including the Quadro FX 5800/4800/3800 series and the GeForce GTX 285. Since the Mercury Playback Engine is more than just GPUbased hardware acceleration, you’ll see the benefits of increased performance even with other cards. Karl Soule points out, “On my 17" MacBook Pro, I can edit clips from my Canon DSLR camera natively, without any need to transcode the footage ahead of time. I can also play back somewhere between five and seven layers of formats like
AVC-Intra with no problem.” The Mercury Playback Engine is designed to accelerate certain effects (like color correction, the Ultra keyer and picture-in-picture layers) and formats (like RED and HDV) and in general delivers more composited layers in real time. As part of this redesign, the available Premiere Pro effects are marked with icons to let you know which offer hardware acceleration and 32-bit and/or YUV processing. I was able to test CS5 using both my stock GeForce 120 card and a Quadro FX 4800 loaned by NVIDIA for this review. Clearly the FX 4800 offers superior performance, but performance wasn’t shabby with the GeForce. For example, if most of your work consists of “cuts-and-dissolves” projects shot on P2, then you’ll be very happy with a standard card.
Even if you’re happy with another NLE, you’ll find plenty of reasons to pick up CS5 Production Premium and add it to your toolkit.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Video - August 2010
Digital Video - August 2010
News & Notes
Adobe: Lightroom 3
Sound Devices: 552 Portable Mixer
Adobe: Premiere Pro CS5
Automatic Duck: Pro Import AE 5.0
Canon EOS 5D Mk II Domination
DSLR Secrets of the Stars
In the Wild, Man
Tools & Technology
Digital Video - August 2010