What computer operating system is your Premiere Elements 11 running on?
First question that comes to mind is what is the Canon XA10 mode - MXP, FXP, or other?
How does the XA 10 compare to XA20, 60D, and GoPro - what mode are you using for each camera?
a. bitrate, and whether or not highest quality mode is being selected
b. format, AVCHD video compression, frame size, frame rate, interlaced or progressive video, file extension
Let us start here and then decide what next.
Im running OSX 10.8. The camera is running in FXP mode, with the other cameras the XA20 and GoPro is .MP4 and the 60D is .MOV. as for bitrate I will have to go into the camera settings to look I can do that next weekend when I'm back home but the highest quality mode should be selected. I know the XA10 is in 60i, before I had premiere elements I used iMovie and the XA10 video quality looked great in that program.
The FXP mode is not the highest quality setting for the XA10 camera. I believe it is MXP.
Although both modes appear to have the same AVCHD resolution of 1920 x 1080, the MXP bitrate is around 24 Mbps (megabits per second) versus the FXP bitrate of around 17 Mbps. Could you do some new recording in the MXP and FXP modes and compare the quality from the same XA10 camera?. The higher the bitrate the higher quality would be expected. Also please try to find the data on the bitrate for the settings used for the XA20 and GoPro. Then we can put that all together and try to determine what we have. At this point, I am not seeing how a bitrate of 17 instead of 24 could degrade your source to the "terrible" status in Premiere Elements.
60i is only the frame rate (60 fields per second equating to 29.97/30 interlaced frames per second). It does not give us the quality information offered by the bitrate.
Are all these camera recordings as AVCHD 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 interlaced frames per second? And, for this XA10 footage, is the Premiere Elements 11 project preset = NTSC AVCHD Full HD1080i30?
Also, how does the "terrible" manifest itself in what you are seeing for XA10 footage when it is on the Timeline rendered?
b. lines especially in higher motion activity
c. color distortion
We will be looking forward to your results.
I will switch it to MXP and do some recording, the XA10 is the only camera recording in AVCHD. Do you know how to check the project preset so I can be sure its in NTSC AVCHD Full HD1080i30?. Right now when video is imported the reason I say its terrible quality is because it looks like its a very low resolution maybe like 240p or something like that. Thank you so much for the help so far
Thanks for the follow up.
In Premiere Elements 11 and 12 takes over setting the project preset based on the properties of the first file drag to the Timeline. Sometimes it does it right; sometimes not. You can check what the project has set by using the readings from Edit Menu/Project Settings/General and the readings for Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Size, and Pixel Aspect Ratio even if the fields look grayed out. If the project preset is set for NTSC AVCHD Full HD1080p30, then the Edit Menu/Project Settings/General should be as represented in the following screenshot
Please refer to setting the project preset yourself manually and then importing the source media into the project.
Depending on how the current stage of troubleshooting progresses, you might want to post a screenshot
of your Expert workspace, showing the Edit area monitor display of the rendered Timeline.
We will be watching for your results.