What is wrong?
Your testing methodology. You can't trust software players, computer monitors and especially Youtube uploads to judge the quality of media. For that, you need a properly calibrated external TV.
Can someone look over my render settings and tell me if I should change anything?
Does not the Canon shoot in 1920x1080?
Your sequence settings are 1440x1080 1,33 aspect.
Why the audio bitrate so high?
Start with using the format your camera uses. XDCAM HD is wrong. If you don't know what codec your camera uses, forget about a sequence preset and just import a clip from the Media Browser and right click on the clip in the project panel and select New Sequence from Clip.
'Every autodidact had an idiot as a teacher'
If you have no idea what you are doing stick to the default settings/presets, they are usually the best.
Make a new sequence and copy everything from the old into the new one.
This looks more appropriate for your camera.
For learning Premiere you can start here:
A digital dslr preset? I should get my eyes checked!
Still, I would like to hear from someone who knows the optimal render settings I need. I want to learn as much as possible and you don't learn much using default settings.
Some to the point questions:
How are my Bitrate settings? is the bitrate encoding correct? target and maximum bitrate?
What does "Level" mean and should I chose a higher one?
What should my codec be and why?
Should my frequency be 44 or 48? Why?
What bitrate should I use?
Thanks a lot for your help, Ann!
What is final destination of your footage?
As of right now it is youtube since I'm using youtube as a tool to get better at filmmaking and editing. The future however will hold larger platforms.
Try using the H264 - Youtube preset after getting uyour sequence and camera settings matched..
BTW - Higher video bitrates are what provide better quality
Use the HDTV 1080p 24 high quality preset.
You only need to change the framerate to 23.976 and check Render Use Maximum Render Quality; don't touch the rest.
Try again with the new sequence setting.
I said dont touch anything other then i told you to change.
You will always suffer a slight quality loss.
Did you upload to YT?
Yeah I checked it, it's fine.