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

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What a difference a generation can make!  Not only did Premiere Pro CS5 get the boost to true 64-bit performance, but it is now very happy to work with native Canon 7D and 5D Mark II HD-Video files.

1.  New Sequences with defaults for DSLR video


Just create a new Project in Premiere CS5 with the factory defaults.  Next, you will see the screen to create a sequence for video.  Don’t worry about the set-up.  Just click on the pre-set folder for Digital SLR and then pick the resolution like 1080p24.  The description even says that it is for Canon EOS Full HD Video.  Both the video settings and the audio settings are automatically set.  Easy.  (NOTE:  if you did want to tinker with the setting, you have the option to select from the folder DV – 24P.)

2.  Drag and Drop to create a new Canon HD-Video Sequence.


From Bridge CS5, you can drag a Canon 7D video file directly into the Resource Panel in Premiere.  You can also right-click and Import a video file directly.  With the Canon HD-Video file listed in your Resource Panel, you can even click on the video file and drag it directly onto the New Sequence Icon to create a new Sequence with the settings for a Canon 7D HD-Video file.  Easy.

3. Working with Canon HD-Video files.


Thanks to the new 64-bit programming, Premiere CS5 handles the Canon 7D video files directly without the need to reprocess the file.  No more Proxy Files!  It gets even better if you have a new nVidia Graphics Card like the Quadro FX 3800 which can use Premiere’s new Mercury Playback Engine.  (Currently, the Mercury Playback Engine only supports the new Quadro line, but there is a thread on the Adobe Forum which explains how to enable the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro for any nVidia graphic cards with CUDA acceleration.)

4. Exporting Sequences.


Even Exporting a Sequence is easy now.  With the Sequence selected, use Export > Media to set the export options.  In this new dialog box, there is a new Export Setting to Match Sequence Settings.  Easy!

You can see the results in my latest video Paparazzi – Jake Gyllenhaal in Times Square.   I uploaded this HD-Video file to both YouTube & Vimeo.  It has never been easier to edit Canon 7D HD-Video files in Premiere CS5.  And yes, you will get the same easy results with Canon 5D Mark II HD-Video files too.

Adobe Evangelist Jason Levine on DSLR Editing in Premiere Pro CS5 from Jason Levine on Vimeo.

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14 Replies to “Canon 7D Tips: Premiere Pro CS5 & 7D HD-Video the Easy Way”

  1. Thanks for the helpful tips!
    I’m new to this video stuff so lots of help is needed!
    I just got P Pro CS5 and have been testing it out. The one big problem I have is exporting. I can’t figure out what format to use so I can watch my Canon 5D & 7D videos in all their HD widescreen glory. I have a new i7 iMac with 8 GB RAM.
    I tried “Match Sequence Settings” as advised, but my Mac won’t play the product. I have also tried m4v with no luck. I can watch the .mov version I exported for Quicktime, but the quality was poor.

    Any suggestions?

  2. The 7D movies use AVC H.264 encryption which has caused problems for many people. This could also be an issue for you.

    I am a PC user. Windows 7 plays the H.264 encryption perfectly, but older versions of Windows stuttered. Picking the right video format is frustrating, which is why “matching sequence settings” makes it easy. Premiere Pro CS5 does have presets for YouTube at 720p and Vimeo at 720p, but neither in 1080p (maybe in a future Adobe update since both websites are still tweaking their 1080p formats.) Try one of these presets and see how they look.

    Is your operating system up to date? Can you play the original movies created by the Canon 5DII & 7D? If you can’t watch the original movies, then “matching those settings” is not going to help. There is a thread on the DP Forum which indicated a minimum CPU of 2.2 Core 2 Duo with 4GBs of RAM is necessary for smooth playback on a MacBook, so your i7 iMac with 8 GB RAM should be powerful enough. Have you checked for updated video drivers?

    It could be a Quicktime issue though. Quicktime 7 added limited support for H.264, but not AVCHD. So, you do not want to select AVCHD as your output format. (Great article on the 7D video formats). Have you upgraded to Quicktime X which has better compatibility?

    Let me know if you resolve the issue.

  3. I do this steps but video is bigger then screen in this siqence I dont know what to do help?? video is 1920 1080/25/mov I dont know why in project video is bigger then screen format is corect 😕

  4. The screen size for 1080p video from the Canon 7D is 1920 x 1080. Did you want to resize it to 720p? That would be 1280 x 720.

    I am guessing that you are using the PAL setting with the FPS at 25. (NTSC uses FPS at 24.)

    Are you having a problem with the playback of the video? As long as the player can handle HD video, it should automatically scale both 1080p and 720p video to fit the screen. Check your playback settings and make sure that it is set for PAL. Trying to play a PAL video on an NTSC player will cause the video to be bigger than the screen. If you want to play the video for NTSC (in the US), you will need to change the setting to NTSC.

  5. That was by far the most helpful information I have been able to find on this topic. Thank you so much for taking the time!

  6. I have been trying to export a video (canon t2i at 720p 59.94fps 48000hz) and everytime, regardless of what method of export through premiere pro cs5, it stops at 4% and won’t finish encoding. Have you ever heard of this? I tried on my MacBook Pro 13″ unibody and now on my brand new 21.5″ iMac. I’m at a loss and need to get this video out.

  7. First off …Hi, I am a PC. Anyway, can you play the video on either the T2i or in Premiere? It is possible that the file video file is corrupt due to a camera error or a card error. Was the video recorded in NTSC or PAL? (US should always be NTSC format.) Have you checked for any Mac updates for Premiere Pro?

    If you are up-to-date, then create a new project and work with the presets within Premiere for importing the video file (under 720p, you will see the option for DSLR 720p60). Then export the editing file using the “Match Sequence Settings” option. Video encoding is very complicated. I have wasted plenty of time trying to “tweak” the settings only to find that my output file was unreadable. Video encoding is also very resource intensive. Make sure that Premiere has plenty of system resources available, and try using the Mac’s internal hard drive rather than writing directly to an external drive.

  8. Hey there, so I’ve been using Premiere Elements for a long time but am very new to Premiere Pro. I’m having trouble with exporting to the same quality of the video I’m editing.
    I’m editing footage from a Canon 7D on premiere pro. I’m using the correct sequence settings for 1080p 24fps. When I go to export I select “Match Sequence Settings” so I can export in the same format. However, when I do that, it changes the quality from 100 to 50 and the slider bar is greyed out. Do you have any idea why it’s doing this or any idea of what to do to fix it? I just want to export in full 100 quality 1080p.

  9. I have never seen that, but I am using a Windows 7 workstation. First, check to make sure your Premiere Pro is update-to-date. This could be a bug issue. If you uncheck “Match Sequence Settings”, can you set the quality to 100%? If so, try setting it to 100% and then rechecking the “Match Sequence Settings” to trick it.

    Next, close your existing project and start a new one. Premiere should automatically start with the same settings of your last project. Take a look and see if there is something in the output settings which would change the quality – set for YouTube, DVD, etc. Those initial settings can be tough to reset.

    If everything looks correct, open your existing project and try duplicating the sequence which contains your clips and then output that. If it still does not set the quality to 100%, try starting a new project an importing a 7D clip and outputting that to compare the dialog box. If that doesn’t do, you may need to call Adobe. Good luck!

  10. So I still can’t get it. However, I took another look at your picture up there under “exporting sequences” and it says quality 50 there too. So maybe that’s just how it always is?

    Also, I tried exporting as a h.264 (as someone on a different forum suggested) and set the preset to HDTV 1080p 24 High Quality because it was supposed to be a true transfer. I couldn’t actually tell a difference, but the file size is larger.


  12. Jerky video is jerky video. There are a few plugins for Premiere and After Effects which claim to stabilize the erratic movement. But, there is a degradation to the quality of the video. The best way is to eliminate it while filming. Lenses with Image Stabilization will drastically improve the look. You can also try one of the Image Stabilization systems or even a shoulder mount. But, try this $10 solution first.

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