Cutting and joining requires a complete re-encoding of the long GOP format and thus quality loss. Nothing to do about that. The yellow bar means that your sequence settings and your source material do not match 100%. This may be caused by the .mov wrapper. You can try to create a new sequence from clip by right clicking on a clip in the project panel and see if that does not show the yellow bar. If it is still there, then is is the source material. The green bar only shows if you have force rendered the complete seuence.
1. This has nothing to do with export quality, so it's safely ignored.
2. You cannot export to any lossy format without losing quality. To retain all the original quality, you'll need something lossless. I recommend the UT codec in YUV420 mode.
The only problem with this, however, is that it's not really much of a deliverable, meaning you can't put that on disk. If you want a DVD or Blu-ray, you'll have ot go back to a lossy format.
I am new to PP CS6, a consumer, and recently edited my first movie from footage shot on a Contour+ video camera, similar to your unit. Disclaimer here ...
Are you sure your footage is 50fps? My Contour+ shoots in "60p", which is technically 59.94 frames per second.
While what folks are saying here is true that any time you encode video using a lossy compression algorithm you will lose quality, I would not expect you to experience "significant" quality loss. That was not my experience. I am wondering if you have some settings off one way or the other. I have noticed (as a consumer) you have to be meticulous about how you create sequences and in what form and especially how you export sequences.
Perhaps go back as Harm suggested and create a new sequence based on the clip by dragging a clip onto the new item icon. Drop in your footage. Then try exporting with H.264 Blu-ray format, 720 59.94 preset, check maximum render quality, maybe VBR 2-pass and see what comes out.
yes, I am sure the footage is 50p. When you set the camera with Storyteller, you can decide to use the PAL footage (25p/50p). Since I live in Italy, I prefer to use PAL settings as it is the European standard.
When I say "significant" loss of quality, I mean that if I export with a lossy format, I lose a lot of details of the original clips, although I export with the same format / quality as the original clips . For example (and I am thinking about cycling on a trail), in original clips I see all the single tufts of grass, while after exportig I see just a green layer with just some thfts. It is a pity!
Anyway, this weekend I will try to create a sequence from the clip and to export the sequence with a lossless format....and check the outcome. I think this solution will solve my quality issues.
In addition, I will try different lossy formats to export a video to be uploaded on the web. Maybe, could be enough to use a preset setting like Vimeo HD to get a satisfactory outcome. I realized that Vimeo HD setting cut the footage to 25p, so I could try to increase the quality of export ...leveraging on the footage cutting to keep a small dimension for the file.