The article from our FAQs will explain why video resolution is very different than photo resolution.
It doesn't matter what resolution the photos are you put it -- you still only get video resolution (720x480 pixels for standard DVD or 1920x1080 high-def) when you output your video.
Thanks for the reply. Does the rendered preview always only work at DVD resolution? My project was set up for HD so 1920x1080px. Why doesn't the rendered preview operate at the project resolution?
Actually I've just read your reply again and this makes perfect sense. However, the resolution of the stills in the rendered preview looks nothing like 1920x1080. In fact, there looks to be very serve compression artifacts in the rendered preview which are nothing to do with resolution. The quality of the rendered still images is incredibly poor.
Could you clarify one aspect of your issue? Is your DSLR 1920 x 1080 p25 project/4000 x 3000 pixels still to DVD-VIDEO widescreen issue both with and without Pan and Zoom Effect applied to the still?
Are you working with Default Scale to Frame Size enabled or disabled?
Thanks very much for the quick reply. I am just dragging the full res image into the timeline and I don't remember seeing an option of selecting 'default scale to frame size' although the imported image doesn't completely fill the 1920x1080 frame so I assume this isn't selected. The poor quality within the preview only occurs when the pan effect is applied. I have selected a fairly large portion of the still image and I don't believe it would be smaller than 1920px (so no up scaling should be applied). Initially the preview looks fine until it is rendered. I have output the clip to MP4 H.264 HD file and it all looks ok. It's just the rendered preview that looks awful.
I have a few things for you to consider and tryout if interested.
First, you are taking a 4000 x 3000 4:3 still into a 1920 x 1080 16:9 project (you say project preset = PAL/DSLR/1080p/DSLR 1080p25).
Your problem is confined to the preview of the pan and zoom result using the Pan and Zoom Tool (I am assuming the you are using Premiere Elements 10 or 11 or 12...I do not recall that you said which one).
Edit Menu/Preferences/General includes the preference "Default Scale to Frame Size" and it does just that. It is typically found ON. So, when your 4000 x 3000 pixels still is imported, the program tries to fit it as best possible into the 1920 x 1080 16:9 space set up in the Edit Mode monitor (Magnification = Fit) by the project preset. In your case, you would expect to see the following with black borders:
Is that what you are taking into the Pan and Zoom workspace? Or are you scaling what is seen there so that the image just fills the 1920 x 1080 space? Does it look like the following after scaling, if you do scale to fit?
And important point to remember is that whatever the case, the Pan and Zoom workspace is not referencing what is seen on the Timeline, but is instead referencing back to the original at the hard drive save location.
An alternative to all of this includes
Bringing you image into the project with the Default Scale to Frame Size disabled in preference. Then the 4000 x 3000 will overflow the space in the 1920 x 1080 monitor. You would then ignore what you see in the Premiere Elements workspace, select the Pan and Zoom Tool to open the Pan and Zoom workspace, and do your pans and zooms on the image that you see there. Click Done when finished. Back in the Premiere Elements workspace render the Timeline and scale what you see in the Edit Mode monitor as needed.
You also might want to look at beforehand cropping your 4000 x 3000 4:3 to 2200 x 1238 pixels 16:9 and using that as your source media with or without the Default Scale to Frame Size enabled.
Please view to see if the previews look any better and/or there are improvements in the export.
Thanks very much for the comprehensive reply. I will have a look at those settings to see if that makes any difference.