When Adobe shipped Premiere Pro, a rebuilt-from-the-ground-up version of the company's well-established semipro desktop video-editing tool, it still lagged behind Apple and Avid in offering new features. At this year's National Association for Broadcasters conference, Adobe announced an update: Premiere Pro 1.5. While it isn't the major overhaul that Pro was, Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 features several important enhancements, most notably support for Panasonic's line of 24P DV camcorders.

Upside: In addition to backing 24P (a downshift from 30fps to 24fps that gives video the appearance of film), Premiere Pro 1.5 extends its support of high-definition-video hardware, as well as its implementation of the industry-standard edit decision list (EDL) format and Advanced Authoring Format (AAF). Adobe also adds new work-flow-management tools, Bezier-keyframe support, and one-click color correction. Audio editing is said to be improved as well. Furthermore, even though Apple Final Cut Pro HD lets you import, edit, and export HD video over FireWire, it works with only professional camcorders; unlike Premiere Pro 1.5, it still isn't compatible with the HDV format used by the JVC GR-HD1 consumer high-definition camcorder.

Downside: Despite the Pro in its name, Premiere Pro is still a bit of an upstart in the professional world ruled by Avid and Apple.

Outlook: With its 24P support, Premiere is closing in on the competition from Apple and Avid, but the race is very tight. The Adobe Video Collection, which also includes updated versions of Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Encore DVD, will run you $999, or you can buy Premiere by itself for $699. You'll pay $99 to upgrade from Premiere Pro and $199 to upgrade from Premiere.