Yesterday, I got the opportunity to moderate a chat session for one of Scott Kelby's Webinars. It was a great experience, but I missed the boat on one question. People were asking about RAW support for the Canon 550D/Rebel T2i. Since I've been using betas for a while now, I didn't realize that the shipping Camera RAW 6 didn't include this support.
Making things even more confusing was that there was already a Camera RAW update for CS4 a few weeks ago! CS5 uses a new rev of the Camera RAW engine, version 6, and the 5.7 update won't work with CS5. So, there was a period of a couple weeks where CS4 could support the camera and CS5 couldn't.
This new version of Premiere Pro is unlike anything you've seen before, both in stability and performance. And, there are specific new features geared toward DSLR Filmmakers.
To start with, there are new editing presets geared towards DSLR filmmakers. If you are shooting on the 1D, 5D, 7D, or 550D/T2i, these presets are very easy to use.
Then, the use of the Media Browser makes it very easy to view and even edit footage prior to even adding it to the project. I can even edit clips together directly off the memory card, without having to copy to a hard drive first.
Lastly, the performance of the Mercury Playback engine in Premiere Pro CS5 makes it really easy to edit, even on my older MacBook Pro laptop, without any transcoding necessary. The Mercury Playback Engine is 64-bit native, and this makes the decode of H.264 footage much more efficient, making it possible to edit direct without the transcode step.
Now, I'm a tried-and-true Premiere Pro user, but for those of you that prefer FCP or Avid, Premiere has the ability to transfer an edit over to those platforms as well, using AAF for Avid and XML for FCP. I've had some long-time FCP users tell me they are now using Premiere Pro as a "rough cut" tool, to show onsite rough cut dailies to clients, and it works great - insert memory card, drag clips to timeline, rough out the edit, preview it to client, save XML out, and import over in FCP later.
Premiere Pro CS5 is actually shipping now, so it's worth checking out. However, please note: The trial version does NOT ship with all the codecs that the full version ships with. This is due to licensing costs, and keeping the trial version free. In My opinion, you're better off contacting a local dealer, and playing with an actual copy in a store! That's the only way you'll get the full experience!