Canon 7D / 5D Mark II Tips – HD video editing the easy way

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I am a Photographer experimenting with video, not the other way around. When I started thinking about editing video from my Canon 7D, I first thought of Adobe Premiere Pro.  I have an old version which I used for a project a few years back.  I would love to also get Adobe After Effects.   Since Adobe moved into the Suite system, it has become ridiculously expensive to upgrade their software.  I already have CS4 Design Premium and to purchase an upgrade to CS4 Production Premium, it would cost $1200!  No wonder they are having such an issue with software piracy.

I started looking for alternatives. I read about all of the problems associated with using Canon 5D Mark II video on  Slow processing, nightmare crashes, having to use proxy files, etc.  Many 5DII users convert their video using Cineform’s Neoscene before importing it into Premiere Pro, Vegas Pro and Final Cut.  That’s an additional step which costs $130 ON TOP of the cost for the video editing software!

Finally, I found Pinnacle’s new Studio HD Ultimate.  This new release is version 14, and since Pinnacle is a Avid company, it’s very polished.  Best yet, it is the only video software package which can directly import Canon 5D Mark II and 7D video without the need for additional conversion.  That’s right, it imported my 1920x1080p, 24 fps video without any problems.  It’s also around $100! For an extra $30, you can get the Studio HD Ultimate Collection which includes some great plugins as well as a real Chroma Key green screen.  Pinnacle offer some great video tutorials right on their website covering most of Studio HD’s features.


I have created two videos so far and posted them on YouTube.  I really love the way this one came out using multiple video clips, photos, transitions and even an audio track.  I’m impressed, see for yourself.

NOTE: I have added an additional article called Tips on Editing HD Video with Studio HD.



My Full Year with the Canon 7D

Premiere Pro CS5 & 7D HD-Video the Easy Way

Canon 7D Tips – Shooting both Stills & HD-Video with One Camera

Flip the Magic Button to Jump Between HD-Video and Still Photography

Still Video Image or Camera Raw on Canon 7D

Canon 7D – Tips on Shooting Time Lapse Video

Canon 7D – Tips on Creating/Editing Time Lapse Video

Canon 7D Tips – Image Stablization Video Comparison

Canon 7D / 5D Mark II Tips – HD video editing the easy way


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77 Replies to “Canon 7D / 5D Mark II Tips – HD video editing the easy way”

  1. Thanks again for your help. I’m using 50fps because I’m in Spain where PAL is standard – although since I really want to view the videos on a PC, it doesn’t matter that much. I’ve just tried changing my camera to NTSC and taking a test 640×480 60fps video, but still haven’t got a solution. Here are the output options I’ve tried (I’ve tried all these with 50fps and some also with 60fps):

    AVI : DV – poor qualty with 50/60fps and flicker with 50fps
    AVI : MJPEG – judder and stretching with 50fps
    AVI : Custom/Uncompressed – good quality but 10x original file size!

    MOV : DV – file size similar to original, but video blank with 50fps and 60fps (tried playing both with Windows player and Quicktime)
    MOV : MJPEG – average (degraded) quality

    MPEG-2 TS : Crashes with 50fps, poor quality with 60fps

    MPEG-4 : Full size – quality reasonable, but degraded from original, file size 1/8 original
    MPEG-4 : Custom 50fps – quality better, still degraded though, file size 1/3 original

    So… the AVI Uncompressed is good quality-wise, but when I said I didn’t care about file size, I meant within reason… 10x the out-of-camera file size is unreasonable! The best ‘compromise’ was the MPEG-4… but I still feel it’s a real shame to lose the quality from my original.

    I’d be grateful for any further suggestions! Thanks

  2. Although Studio HD does clearly stated that it supports both NTSC & PAL formats, the Pinnacle forum has many complaints about generating video for 50 fps. You can see a list here. I would contact Pinnacle directly to complain about this. They may have an update which is not listed on their website which addresses the problem. From my own experience, I know there is a bug importing 60fps video and trying to slow it down. You can see the work-around that I used.

    Another possibility is to download the trial version of Cineform’s NeoScene to convert the video either from 50 fps or to 50 fps. The trial version was fully functional for a trial period with no watermarking, but I am not sure if that has changed.

  3. Thanks for those links – it looks like I might be swimming against the tide trying to get this to work. I’ve just been chatting online for an hour or two, to two Pinnacle support guys, and unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed. They insisted “What you see in the EDIT is what you get on the output”… and since the view when editing is fixed at 720×480 I should record my footage in that format (which I can’t!).

    I don’t need to record in HD, and it doesn’t appeal to me since the files are so much bigger – but maybe that’s what I’ll have to do. I’m guessing I’ll have less of a problem here since it’s a much more common format.

  4. I have had mixed results with Pinnacle’s Support. I can take a few tries to find someone who is really knowledgeable enough to answer a tough question.

    Give Cineform’s Neoscene a try. Before the CS5 update, many Premiere Pro users swore by it to convert their 7D & 5DII files.

    You might also want to try shooting at a higher/larger format and converting down. You will be working with bigger source files, but who knows, in the future you might wish you had a hi-res video to use.

  5. I just came across your blog and have been stuck here for a while now…although your content is very helpful I still have one question…(or two)

    I’m quite a novice when it comes to videographing with my new 7d. Which steps are necessary when i want to upload it on youtube with HD quality…I’ve tried to import it with iphoto then editing with iMovie so the options are 1080p/24fps. I just export it to Quciktime so I’m not sure what kind of format that is, i guess it’s .MOV.

    Still…the quality turns out to be crap when i’m uploading it on youtube, does somebody have any tips on what I should do?

    I’d appreciate your help! Thanks.

  6. Have you checked the video again on YouTube? Both YouTube and Vimeo have several steps to display 1080p video. Both websites actually reprocess the video to meet their streaming video requirements. (This reprocessing can also alter the video quality, so you always need to double check your video after uploading.)

    With YouTube, you must start with a video that is 1080p (although a 720p may also work). The Canon 7D creates MOV files which use the H.264 codec and is a format supported by YouTube. Once you upload it to YouTube, YouTube will process it quickly for the initial display, usually within a few minutes after the upload depending on the length of the video. This first pass will look blocky. Usually within 1-hour, YouTube will replace this low-res video with a full HD video with selectable viewing up to full 1080p.

    With Vimeo, the full 1080p display is limited to paying Vimeo Plus members. After the video has been uploaded, you would need to log back into the settings for that video and go to the “Video File” tab. You will then see the option to “Display this video in 1080p”. Check it and the video will be reprocessed for 1080p viewing.

  7. Hi. I would like to burn the 5D MII HD mov file on a DVD so that I could share the video to audience, who just has the DVD player but would like to see HD movie. Is it possible? Thanks a lot.

  8. Well, you have a few problems. You can burn the native H.264 MOV file to DVD as a computer file for back-up and transport to another computer. However, in order for a regular DVD player to play the file, it would need to be able to process the native H.264 MOV format. Not all regular DVD players can play the H.264 MOV format. Programs like Nero will input this file but convert it to a MPEG-2 non-HD format which can be played on a regular DVD player. Blu-Ray is a different story. With Blu-Ray, you will be able to convert the file to an MPEG-4 with H.264 encoding for playback in HD.

  9. i have zero problem with the speed of the program…my computer rocks! my issue is how to output a file in HD 1080 (for web use – vimeo). i have searched for the answer, played with many outputs and nothing is working. i have a 5D mark ii and record in 1920×1080 (30fps). i even have the project settings “use this format for new projects” set to 1920×1080 (30fps), but every time i go to output my project the default output for fullscreen is stuck at 720 and all the other settings are greyed out (i can’t click to change them). i played with the custom settings, but it will not allow me to add 1080 without changing the numbers to 1024×576 on me. it’s so weird. i play the original file and it looks fantastic fullscreen (27″ monitor), but anything i output looks pathetically degraded fullscreen. i am at my wits end! please help!

  10. UPDATE: as always, as soon as i ask a question, i figure it out! i was trying to output it as an avi or mov (which is what it is originally), but i found the 1080 output option under mpeg2. it’s outputed and looks great fullscreen!

  11. First, there is a patch available from Pinnacle which updates Studio HD to 12.1.3.

    But, check the Default Project Preferences. It sounds like the default setting for new projects is still at 720p. Be sure to change Use this format for new projects to selecting HD 1920×1080/30p or HD 1920×1080/24p. You can see the screen in this article.

  12. No idea. According to the Corel site, it supports MPEG-4 & AVCHD, so it is possible. I did find a forum posting claiming the 7D videos crashed the user’s computer, but that could be form a variety of reasons. Pinnacle Studio HD is in the same price range and I know it works very well with videos from Canon 7D/5DII/T2i. Premiere Pro CS5 also handles these videos very well, but is priced significantly more.

  13. The Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 came with my new HP laptop couldn’t import my Canon 7D videos, a major disappointment 🙁 (there may be a way to do it, I don’t know …the import should be pretty straight forward right?..but it was not!)
    The Pinnacle Studio 14 has no problem to import the videos …I am a old Studio 9 user and I am happy with Studio 14 so far. 🙂 Thanks Photoframd!

  14. I have been using Cyberlink PowerDirector. It supports 5D Mark II video files without conversion, is a pleasure to use, has not crashed on me, has all the common export needs (including HD), has most of the functionality of the astronomically priced professional products and can even directly upload to YouTube.

    Here is a quick (very quick) video I did:

  15. Thanks for the info. I have not tried Cyberlink in several years. Take a look at the image quality of the original video and the output video from Cyberlink to see if it is as sharp as the original. Both Adobe Premiere CS5 and Pinnacle Studio HD retain the original image quality without looking “reprocessed”.

  16. I have been using Pinnacle Studio for about a year. I love the program. Its awesome collection of transitions, and the ability to create stunning titles (motion and not) is great. I love the preset export formats it provides. It is extremely easy to use and quick to do the edits.

    I have noticed, however a very glaring problem over the past few months. At first I thought it was limited to lower resolution videos. I was working on a time-lapse video in which the source was 640 by 480. I was getting horrible interlacing/pixelated results. Even in uncompressed AVI. I contacted pinnacle. Their support was decently responsive and they helped me narrow down the problem. It turns out for 720×480 content, you want to pick DV as the “pre-render” and not MPEG2. This problem solved, all was well.

    Then I started paying attention to my high def content. I shoot with 2 cameras, a Canon 7D and a Canon HG21. Most footage comes from the Canon 7D. I started paying attention to the output produced when I created a highdef video and noticed the same pixelated/interlacing problem was there as well. Its extremely noticeable when one adds titles. The titles look all jaggy.

    I been trying different configurations in the project settings tab with no good results. At the moment I can get AVI’s that are uncompressed to show no interlacing/pixelated affect but MP4 output is pixelated again.

    I also noticed if you set “Pick project settings based on first clip” that the Canon 7D 1920×1080 30p videos are detected by Pinnacle as interlaced, even though several other apps I tried (Sony Vegas for one) import it as progressive.

    I will post back here some more concrete results with project settings/etc soon. This problem is bad enough that I am now looking at other packages because the output produced by Pinnacle’s product is questionable when it comes to this interlacing artifact problem.

  17. Thanks for the posting. Have you tried uninstalling Studio, deleting all of its files, cleaning the Registry and then performing a clean install? It sounds like something may have changed on your computer for the results to change so dramatically. Try updating your drivers too.

    I have not used Studio HD in a while now. Still a good product for the price, but I have been using Premiere Pro CS5 since it was released last year.

  18. No. Its not a installation issue. I was working with it in a fresh install and was creating new projects. I spent some time last night analyzing all my videos that I made and I have now figured out, at least for 30p the problem.

    The major underlying problem, with the 7D at least, and Pinnacle is that Pinnacle sees my video clips as interlaced and not progressive. I checked the videos files in several other applications (Sony Vegas for one) and they see it as progressive.

    How did I determine this?
    1.Go to project settings and make sure you have it set to “Set format based on first clip”.
    2. Then add a video file from the 7D that was recorded in 1080x30p mode.
    3. Notice that Pinnacle sets the project up as interlaced mode. You can see this by hovering your mouse over the timeline or just going back into that dialog box.
    4. For fun, add a title to the clip that overlays the video. Make sure its a motion title.
    5. Export the clip as either an uncompressed AVI or a 1080p MPEG4.
    6. Look at the title and notice it is pixelated/interlaced

    How to fix the title part.
    1. Go to project settings and explicitly set the format to 1080x30p
    2. Follow steps 2 through 5 above and notice the title is now sharp and clear.

    Now if your video clip has a diagonal edge of some kind, say a line running along the floor or a table top edge else where in the clip you will notice in areas that do not get “rerendered” by Pinnacle Studio that they appear jaggy. If you open the source footage in video player you will notice they do not.

    How to fix this?
    Apply a RGB color filter but set it to do nothing. This forces Pinnacle to re-render the entire clip and the edge that was jaggy will no longer appear that way in the output. The filter you choose does not matter but it should be one that wouldn’t’ change the clip.

    Of course this greatly increases the processing time. Another option would be to convert the videos to some other format outside of Pinnacle be fore using it so that Pinnacle sees them as progressive.

    I also performed tests on 24p mode. In my tests, only once was I able to get it to produce the interlaced look, regardless of how I created the project/imported the video. I wasn’t able to reproduce this one occurrence.

    If someone could please try my steps above and let me know what they get. I will hopefully soon post some screen shots of exactly what I am referring to, and maybe even some clips (though its hard to share those on the web without compression and downsizing hiding the artifacts).

  19. I have only used Studio HD with 7D video at 24 fps. The one time I tried importing a 60 fps video, I discovered a bug which still has yet to be fixed. You may be happier in the long run jumping to Premiere Pro CS5 or Premiere Elements 9. At least Adobe fixes bugs with periodic updates and fixes. I have yet to see Pinnacle address any of these bugs outside of issuing a completely new version of their software.

  20. I can see “Studio Moviebox HD Ultimate Collection V.14” and “Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection Version 14” in Internet. A seller said that Video of Canon 5D Mark II cannot be imported without conversion into “Studio Moviebox HD Ultimate Collection V.14”.
    Are they the same products?? My another question; does either have DVD authoring tool features in?? Thanks a lot.

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