11 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2013 8:59 AM by Axxell CA RSS

    Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11

    Axxell CA

      I recently purchased Adobe Premiere Elements 11 and I'm having trouble importing clips from my Canon FS300 camcorder.The camcorder records widescreen video at 720 x 480 pixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio (presumably using non-square pixels) The clips play correctly in Windows Media Player, VLC, Real Player and several other players.  They do not display correctly in Quicktime or when imported into PE11, showing a 4:3 frame.  I have tried just about every New Project setting in PE11, but the closest result I can achieve is a 4:3 picture in a 16:9 frame. If I run the clips through the VLC Convert utility and output them using the Video - MPEG-2 + MPGA (TS) codec, the resulting clips import and play correctly in PE11. Is there some obscure setting I need to implement when importing these clips, or is PE11 just incapable of recognising file formats which seem to be no problem for most video players. I assume I have the necessary codecs installed, as the clips play correctly in other players.

        • 1. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
          Steve Grisetti CommunityMVP

          Did you use Premiere Elements' Add Media/From Flip or Camera tool (the Video Importer) to get the video from the camcorder to the computer? Doing this, rather than simply using Windows Explorer or Finder to move the files will usually fix this.

           

          Otherwise, start a new project by going to File/New. On the New Project option screen, select Settings and select the preset for Hard Disk Camcorder, 720x480 widescreen. Then import your video into it and it should work fine.

          • 2. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
            A.T. Romano Community Member

            Axxell CA

             

            The key word here is .mod widescreen and all the problems associated with either the loss of the 16:9 flag in transferring from camera or the failure of the video editor to recognize the 16:9 flag. (It depends who you talk ). Classically the user is programmed to think .mod widescreen from a JVC camera. However...

             

            From what I have read, your Canon FS300 is capturing MPEG2.mod widescreen. The classical answer to that classical problem that you are facing is:

             

            Premiere Elements 11/Exoert view

            Add Media

            Project Assets containing your .mod widescreen file

            Right click the file, select Interpret Footage

            In the Interpret Footage dialog, go to the Pixel Aspect Ratio section and dot the Conform to: and set that field to read

            D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 16:9 (1.2121)

            or

            D1/DV PAL Widescreen 16:9 (1.4587)

            depending on whether this is a NTSC or PAL project

             

            If there are any minor black border remaining after Interpret Footage, the scale (constrain proporations on) the image in the monitor accordingly (should not take much).

             

            The other half of this story is starting with the correct project preset. In your situation, I would strongly encourage you to set the project preset (New Project Dialog) yourself via File Menu/New/Project, using NTSC or PAL DV Widescreen project preset and making sure that you have a check mark next to "Force selected Project Setting on project.". If you let the program do its automatic thing in this regard, you will probably (almost certainly) end up with a NTSC or PAL AVCHD Full HD1080i30 (or 25) project. After your manual set of the project preset, then use Add Media to bring your file into Project Assets where you will go through the Interpret Footage application.

             

            Please review the above and let us know the results.

             

            Thanks.

             

            ATR

            • 3. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
              Axxell CA Community Member

              Thanks, Steve - I should have made it clear that I'm actually importing clips from my hard drive, which I've already downloaded from the camera. I tried the Hard Disk Camcorder 720x480 Widescreen setting in the New Project dialogue and this is when I get a 16:9 frame with a 4:3 picture inside with black bars each side - close, but no cigar! Looks like I have a few more things to try ....

              • 4. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                Steve Grisetti CommunityMVP

                If you right-click on the clips in your Project Assets panel and select Interpret Footage, can you set it to widescreen?

                 

                As you might know, widescreen and standard 4:3 video have the same number of pixels. What changes the shape of the frame is the shape of these pixels.

                 

                You haven't said if your video looks tall and skinny, but that would be an indicator that it is widescreen video that is being interpretted as 4:3.

                 

                If your video isn't distorted and still doesn't fill at 16:9 video frame, then you may not actually have widescreen video after all.

                • 5. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                  Axxell CA Community Member

                  Many thanks ATR - with your suggestions and Steve's I have achieved a correctly proportioned clip displayed on the timeline and in the preview panel.  I had to preset the New Project settings to HDC 720x480 Widescreen initially - this gave me a 16:9 frame with a 4:3 picture and black sidebars.  I then used your suggestion to employ Interpret Footage in the expert view and force the pixel aspect ratio to 1.2121.  The clip then displayed correctly.

                   

                  However, I don't see why I should have to go through this tedious procedure for every clip I want to edit - if 99% of the video players in the world can interpret the widescreen flag on the .MOD file automatically and correctly, why would I want to use a semi-functional video editor which is incapable of this simple action?

                   

                  I bought Adobe Premiere Elements 11 because I'd been led to believe that it was a top quality product, but this appears to be a fundamental and (as far as I'm concerned) fatal flaw.  I'm now looking for suggestions for an editor which does work properly - and a refund from Adobe.

                  • 6. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                    A.T. Romano Community Member

                    Axxell CA

                     

                    As I said, this story of .mod widescrren goes back several years and through the versions of Premiere Elements, with users voicing the same type of concerns and feelings about the matter as you have. If you do a Google search on this topic, it will be loaded. Typically it is the JVC footage that is involved. But it would appear, from your Canon footage, that the matter targets .mod widescreen regardless of the camera manufacturer. I am not sure if I have ever seen a definite explanation for all this. The focus seemed to get tossed between JVC and Adobe. Some claim a loss of the 16:9 flag going from camera to computer (if the 16:9 flag really ever existed) and some claim that the video editor does not recognize the flag. Whatever the case, editing of .mod widescreen continues to require special consideration, all of the time with regard to the 16:9 flag, other times with regard to the .mod file extension (.mod to .mpg needed) plus the 16:9 flag.

                     

                    Essentially all who have run into this problem corrected the issue with the Interpret Footage feature of Premiere Elements. I am not sure how other video editor with the same problem have handled it. Some users have opted to convert the footage from MPEG2.mod widescreen to DV widescreen.avi prior to import into Premiere Elements.

                     

                    After you replace Premiere Elements with another video editor, might I ask you to post back in this thread to let us know if you found a video editor, not player, that does not suffer from the 16:9 flag issue of .mod widescreen that you are seeing in Premiere Elements?

                     

                    Success in whatever your decision.

                     

                    Thanks.

                     

                    ATR

                    • 7. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                      Steve Grisetti CommunityMVP

                      Also note that often this is not an issue when you use the program's Video Importer tool (Add Media/From Flip or Camera) to get the video from the camcorder to your computer rather than simply dragging the files over to your hard drive using Windows Explorer.

                       

                      Although, as Tony says, .mod files have some unique quirks. Many people have found that if they change the file suffix from .mod to .mpg, the program is better able to read the video's specs and match project specs to them.

                      • 8. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                        A.T. Romano Community Member

                        SG

                         

                        Thanks for your additional comments on this seemingly endless .mod widescreen issue presented here and elsewhere.

                         

                        I will have to look into your observation

                        Also note that often this is not an issue when you use the program's Video Importer tool (Add Media/From Flip or Camera) to get the video from the camcorder to your computer rather than simply dragging the files over to your hard drive using Windows Explorer.

                        I have never seen anyone mention that before. Perhaps Axxel CA could give that a try before that Premiere Elements 11 gets sent back to Adobe for a refund and post his findings in this thread.

                         

                        Also, all the reports that I have seen suggest that the renaming of the .mod to .mpg is not related to the 16:9 aspect ratio issue, but rather related to whether or not the .mod widescreen can and cannot be imported into the project. If file extension renaming from .mod to .mpg was necessary for import, the 16:9 problem persisted in all the cases that I have seen or read about. Axxel CA may also want to give this .mod to .mpg a look and let us know the results.

                         

                        I will try to get some .mod widescreen to take a look also.

                         

                        ATR

                        • 9. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                          Axxell CA Community Member

                          Many thanks to all who have taken the time to respond with constructive comments on my original post - I have, as you suggested, tried some of these ideas and I have arrived at the following conclusions, which, hopefully will be helpful to anyone else in the same predicament:

                          1. I have no doubt that this issue is entirely with Adobe, not with the camera manufacturer. This problem only appears to occur with PE11 (and Quicktime)
                          2. Changing the file extension makes no difference.  PE11 will load both .MOD and .MPG clips but with the wrong aspect ratio in both cases.  Quicktime won't open the file with a .MOD extension but, if you simply rename the file to .MPG, QT will play the clip - with the wrong aspect ratio.
                          3. Importing the clip direct from the camera makes no difference - why would it? It's simply a different removeable drive location.
                          4. Video EDITORS which I've found so far which DO NOT have this issue are:
                               a) Windows Live Movie Maker    
                               b) AVS Video Editor
                               c) Corel VideoStudio Pro X6
                               d) Pixela 1.5
                          All these load and play 720x480 widescreen .MOD files automatically and correctly with default settings.

                           

                          My choice is to go with the Corel product - it's cheaper than PE11, appears to have a similar range of features and, most importantly, allows me to edit my clips immediatel without faffing around with arcane settings. Windows Live Movie Maker is free and works well enough for for basic editing. Pixela came bundled with the camera but has a horrible UI and is a bit clunky.  AVS looks good and is also cheaper than PE11, but I prefer to stay with a major name software producer - which is why I bought PE11 in the first place. I cannot believe that Adobe (or rather Adobe users) have tolerated this fundamental malfunction for so long, especially when nobody else seems to have the same issue.

                           

                          My advice to anyone who doesn't want to dump the Adobe product, is to use the VLC converter to recode their clips - this is quicker and easier than fiddling about with the settings in PE11.  VLC, btw, is completely free, will play almost anything and is, IMHO, the best video player I've ever used - a pity they don't make an editor - I'd happily pay for that!

                          • 10. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                            A.T. Romano Community Member

                            Axxel CA

                             

                            Thank you for your findings and comments on this matter of the handling of .the mod widescreen by Premiere Elements. One continues to learn whether they be a beginning, intermediate, or advanced user of Premiere Elements. That is the rewarding part of this type of discussion.

                             

                            I appreciated the manner in which you introduced the subject, stated the problem, gave your findings, and made your conclusions. I was particularly interested in the list of can do video editors. You need to go with what works for you.

                             

                            After your previous post and that of SG, I went searching for a .mod widescreen online to experiment with in Premiere Elements 11. I could not find one at the moment. But then I remembered that someone had sent me a sample for troubleshooting a few years back. I found it finally. The results are presented for interest value and hopefully not to stir up controversy.

                            a. .mod to .mpg had no affect on the 16:9 issue in Premiere Elements 11...expected.

                            b. taking the .mod widescreen into Premiere Elements 11 via the Video Importer had no affect on the 16:9 issue in Premiere Elements 11...expected.

                            so far we seem to be in agreement in our findings.

                             

                            The only video editor that I have of the 4 that you mentioned that worked in this regard was Windows Live Movie Maker. Windows Live Movie Maker  came with my Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit computer so I took a look at the problem in that program. When I tried to import the .mod widescreen into that program via its Add Videos and Photos, it shutdown the program (.mod or .mpg file extenstion). Yet, when I imported that same file into Premiere Elements 11 on the same computer as Windows Live Movie Maker, it opened with no problem, but with the 16:9 issue that I could correct with the Interpret Footage feature.

                             

                            True, that was a sampling of one .mod widescreen file. But the statement of the comparsion was unexpected. Based on that, if you had not planned to, please consider the tryout of your next video editor for use with the .mod widescreen to avoid unexpected results which will delay you moving forward with your video projects.

                             

                            Success with your video editing projects whatever you decision,

                             

                            ATR

                            • 11. Re: Video clips from Canon camcorder have wrong aspect ratio in Premiere Elements 11
                              Axxell CA Community Member

                              I've carried out some more testing with Windows Live Movie Maker, using several different 720x480 widescreen .MOD clips from my Canon camcorder and it has worked correctly every time. My test platform is also WIN7 Pro 64-bit SP1, which included WLMM version 2011 Build 15.4.3555.0308.  Having said that, I couldn't recommend WLMM as a serious editor - mainly because it's very slow.

                               

                              My wife breeds competition horses and we sell all over North America - many of our horses are sold on the strength of video footage. We've been using an older version of Windows Movie Maker and Pixela, but these both have performance and usability issues. I was looking for an inexpensive, fast, efficient and reasonably well featured editor which didn't require too steep a learning curve.  Adobe Premiere Elements seemed to fit the bill perfectly - it's just a pity that I evaluated it using AVI clips from my Nikon rather than the MODs from the Canon, which my wife actually uses more frequently. I certainly didn't expect a product from a leading software company to have such difficulty processing a relatively prolific video format.

                               

                              If it's not inappropriate, I'll be happy to continue on this thread to report our experiences with Corel VideoStudio Pro X6 for the benefit of other frustrated PE users.