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Editing HEVC using Adobe Premier Elements 2021

WesJan
Apprentice

I have a Canon R5 and enjoy using it both for stills and video.  The camera setting used to record my video seems fairly straightforward to me.  The setting is:  “1920x1080, 59.94 fps, Light (IPB).  And I have no problem either recording, viewing or editing (in Abode Premier Elements 2021) these files.

Since I never understood what CANON log files were, I elected to experiment.   I used the same identical setting as above but switched from Canon Log OFF to Canon Log ON (either C.LOG or C.LOG3).

Once that was done the Canon log files could not be viewed nor edited in Abode Premier Elements 2021.  These files could be viewed in Canon's DPP, so I believe they are correctly recorded.  And they did have the appearance of what I was told I might expect with Log files.

I further learned from Canon Technical support that the files that appear to be giving me trouble are 10-bit HEVC files.  And Canon Technical Support was not able to tell me whether Abode Premier Elements 2021 should be able to handle these HEVC files.  I did see some posts on the Adobe Support Community website that did suggest that at least in February 2021 there was considerable difficulty getting the HEVC files to run in Adobe Premier Elements.

My question for you is, as of January 2022, has anybody had success in getting Adobe Premier Elements 2021 to view and edit these HEVC files.  And if so, did you have to do anything special to get this to happen?

 

Thank you.

 

Wes Jan

 

7 REPLIES 7

rs-eos
Whiz

HEVC is very expensive to work with computing wise.  I avoid it myself even though I have an 18-core iMac Pro.  The problem is that my particular Mac doesn't have hardware-level encoding/decoding for HEVC, so everything must be done in software which is too slow.  Newer computers though are adding that capability.

I would first check if your computer has hardware HEVC capabilities.  Then, search in Adobe's documentation or their forums to see if Premiere elements supports HEVC.  And if so, would it use any hardware or only software.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

WesJan
Apprentice

rs-eos:

Thank you for your quick reply and for your comments.  Perhaps I am going about this in the wrong way.  The only reason I got involved in HEVC was that this was the end result when I captured a scene using Canon Log3.  I had no understanding or knowledge what the Canon Log3 captures would result in so I thought I would try to view such a capture.  I did obviously see that the images were quite different in terms of the coloration and other color gradings and I wanted to make the HEVC’s “look better”.  So I needed a video editor to do that.  And Adobe Premier Elements was not able to process this HEVC file, and thus my question.

So actually I discovered a format converter that would change the HEVC file into a more common image format and this worked.  But after my attempt at color grading this Log3 converted file in Adobe Premier Elements, I did not think that the Log3 file had any advantage over the same image captured with Canon Log OFF.

So maybe the real question I should have asked is, what benefits does the amateur videographer accrue by capturing video with Canon Log3 ON?

 

 

 

Hey Wes,

I think there's a little confusion here -- which is very understandable -- so let's see if I can clear it up. I dunno, maybe I'll make it worse. Let's see. 😉

First, log isn't a file format; it's a way of encoding brightness levels as numbers which fits a bigger range of brightness (dynamc range) into the same range of numbers. So, if your file uses numbers 1-1000 to encode brightness, normally 1 is black, 1000 is white. With log, black is 200, white is 800. So you can mess up the exposure a bit without clipping. When using log, the benefit is you can correct your exposure BEFORE converting back to linear, and fix the exposure without clipping.

So bottom line, log IN ITSELF doesn't change the file format, and I wouldn't expect a video editor to have problems with it.

However.

Apparently in normal FHD mode, the R5 creates H.264 files, also known as AVC. (I hadn't realised this!) When you switch log on, it switches to 10-bit H.265 files. HEVC is another name for H.265. It's understandable that it does this; because log compresses the range of numbers it uses, we need more numbers to avoid issues like banding. 10-bit gives you 1024 different numbers, whereas plain old 8-bit is just 256 numbers. So to use log without problems, you really need 10-bit.  And the R5 uses H.265 to get 10-bit.

So in the case of the R5, switching log on does in fact change the file format, to H.265 (HEVC), to get the benefit of 10-bit encoding.

H.265 (HEVC) is a more modern, complex file format, and your computer is less likely to have hardware support for it, and even if it does, Elements is less likely to be able to use it. Software-only rendering is SLOW. All in all, it's no surprise that Premiere Elements has trouble with H.265/HEVC.

BTW, the power of your computer also matters. I've seen people say "Premiere Elements can certainly edit 4K video", but that's garbage. What they should say is "Premiere Elements can certainly edit 4K video on a very high-powered workstation with buckets of RAM and a good graphics card". And BTW I don't know if that's really true.

Converting the video in post is probably not the answer. Yes, you can then handle the files, but that's because they've been converted to 8-bit. Because they're still log, now you're going to get banding. Look at blue skies for example. So, this negates the whole point of log.

So, what to do? I think if you're going to use Elements, you need to stick to H.264 (AVC), which I guess means keeping log turned off.

If you're not looking to create primo quality video, this shouldn't be a problem. Just expose carefully, and particularly don't clip out the highlights (sky/cloud etc.) Since you're shooting FHD anyway, this may well be the right answer for you.

If, OTOH, you do want to create primo quality video, then my guess is that a budget video editor like Elements just isn't going to cut it. You want to shoot in 4k, or maybe even 8k, and edit with a primo-cost editor. You may very well use log in that case, to get more flexibility with grading in post, but that's more of an option.

Personally, I use the R5 in 4k HQ mode, in Canon log 3, and edit with Premiere Pro. I add an effect to every clip to correct the exposure, then AFTER that an effect to convert to linear, usually using a LUT.

Also I use a proxy workflow -- I'm editing on a laptop, so I need this. Proxies are simplified, low-res copies of your originals that you edit on. I think a proxy workflow would fix your problem, but proxy editing is a pretty advanced feature, and as far as I can see Elements doesn't support it.

So I think at the end of the day, if you're serious about getting into HEVC, or 4k, or log, you need to spend more on software. I'm well aware that Premiere Pro is pricey; I resisted paying the 50 a month rental for a long time. But in the end it's been worth it for me, but then I am creating some more complex content.

OK, hope all that helped.

Clarencec
Apprentice

Interestingly enough Adobe Premiere Rush imports HEVC without any issues, so Adobe knows how to do it they just need to fix PrE 2021 and issue an update. PrE 2021 still doesn't support HEVC at least not the version used by latest iPhones.

walgreenslistens

I'm afraid that's a little simplistic.  Yes, Adobe knows how to do HEVC.  And no, they aren't going to "fix" PrE by adding Pro features to it.  There's a reason they sell Elements for £86.56, whereas Pro costs £19.97 per month.

kvbarkley
VIP

Note to, that the ability to use HEVC might be a "pro" differentiator between elements and full premiere. Check the specs.

WesJan
Apprentice

To all:

Thank you for your insights, thoughts, and suggestions.  There will be a delay while I ponder your posts and I likely will do more testing and gather more information.

But I will reply back.

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