I realize I have been remiss in not mentioning this fresh development until now. I do claim to run a technology website focused on PC post-production, primarily with Adobe products, after all. Partially I have delayed because I have seen no official announcements from Adobe. Since I was on the Beta, I was aware when the update went GM, and already had access to it. I have neither seen nor heard any mention of it on the Adobe Download site, and the only indication I have seen that it is publicly available is that the Adobe Update service now automatically prompts you to install it. Anyway, regardless of how it was released, it is here now, so let’s see what it has to offer.
The most significant feature that it adds is native support for Panasonic’s primary recording formats, DVCPro50 and DVCProHD. Interestingly, the update does not support capture of these formats from tape, which requires purely a software solution, since Firewire is the primary I/O mechanism. It does allow DVCPro AVIs created elsewhere to be imported and used though. The ideal workflow that Adobe is trying to support with this update is the P2 workflow, primarily from the HVX-200 camera. “Capture” from P2 cards is an OS level file copy, so regular capture settings are not required. The P2’s native wrapper is not AVI, but MXF, so this wrapper is now supported in Premiere Pro 3.1. My hope is that they extend this MXF support to include native XDCam files in the next revision, whenever that may be.
Other improvements from the update include fixes for the Project Trimmer, which did not handle WAV files correctly in CS3, and a bunch of random little fixes which aren’t worth noting, but that I definitely appreciate having. Adobe has not added features to Premiere with an update between releases since it added HDV support in version 1.5.1 back in February of 2005. At that point, their HDV solution was licensed from Cineform, very similar to their AspectHD, which was the most popular HDV editing solution for Premiere Pro at the time. It bears noting that Matrox has supported P2 MXF files in Premiere for over a year with their AXIO line of products, and in a way similar to Adobe’s recently released solution. Hopefully that trend increases the possibility of my desired native XDCam MXF support, similar to Matrox’s solution, becoming a reality in the near future. Until then, I will be testing out the fixed project trimmer to free up lots of “extra” disk space, and playing back my P2 cards and DVCProHD captures without necessarily needing to use an AXIO system.