Not everyone would have predicted it a few years ago, but digital cameras have become a matter-of-fact item in many homes. Normal, non-tech people have learned to unload pictures from a memory card, view them on the computer, and print them on a color inkjet. Ambitious home users can use a program like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Microsoft Digital Image Pro to crop the photos, correct lighting problems, or even manipulate them a bit.

Now digital camcorders and DVD recorders are dropping in price, and early adopters are going through a new learning curve with software that frequently is unpolished and buggy, or difficult to use – just like consumer photo software was when digital cameras first became affordable.

Later this fall Adobe will release Premiere Elements, a $100 consumer version of its high-end video application, with tools for capturing video from a camcorder, adding effects and transitions, and saving the finished video on a DVD. Here’s an article about Adobe’s announcement today, which also announced a new version of Photoshop Elements.

Even if the Adobe program isn’t the perfect choice (Adobe programs are notoriously difficult to learn), this is certainly a big step forward on the road to digital video for consumers. There’s every reason to think we will be as fluent with video in a few years as we have become with photos.

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