Please excuse the length of my question (I like to explain myself fully to be understood) as I may have asperger's syndrome.
(at the moment I have version 8.0 but am saving up for a new laptop and will buy the latest version early next year)
Let's pretend for a moment that we're back in the era where HD is so new that hardly anyone here has it.
It took a long time to find the perfect way to prepare (SD) videos to bring in to PE. Along comes (thanks to this forum) Streamclip which is the super solution I've longed for for years. That can convert MPEGs and VOBs beautifully into DVC pro - a variant of DV-avi and viola! Lovely clean videos that Prem El works with, just as well as if they were captured from your miniDV camera through firewire. Solved.
Now. Prem El nowadays lets you begin a project with an MPEG setting, I suppose for the newer camcorders that film in MPEG onto memory cards and the like. Although this works well, and it seems that Prem El is now working natively with MPEG (note that I said "seems") some still swear by starting your project in the good old DV setting, and streamclip is the best way to prep your vid bits. I think this is still the case in 2012 with the current PE version (where are we now, 11? Something like that).
Okay so as long as streamclip can bring it in, you're sorted. Only in the rare instance that you have a clip that streamclip can't bring in (and that is rare), must you first convert it into MPEG (or whatever) first, but it's not often that you have to have this other layer of complexity. So, working in standard definition where the end result burning a DVD is completely sorted - apart from one thing - don't mix pal and ntsc clips together in the same project, unless you don't care that you'll get motion issues. Set your project settings to the what is the majority of your clips is. Use G Spot to tell you the frame rate, and if all but one of your clips is NTSC, then set your project as - oh you get the point.
OK let's move on. Now I AM gonna talk about HD now.
I have prem El 8, and I've been given the challenge by my bosses (we show student films and things for education events - all copyright considerations are sorted) to go to the next level and make a compilation of HD clips and show them with either a blu ray, or a DOREMI cinema player (creating DCPs is easy so I'm not asking you about that)
I've started testing these, and HD clips are a curious animal, as they come with many screen resolutions and frame rates, with more codecs doing them justice with no artifacts that as was in the SD world.
I was so spoilt with Streamclip making everything PremEL ready in SD that I now have a thirst to find something like it, that can take a whole load of different HD clips, and convert them beautifully into something that PremEl loves.
Does there exist a thing of such wonder?
Also despite what is says in the Share section (export full 1920x1080 in H264 etc) My Prem El. Version only exports its timeline in what turns out to be Mt2, then I have to use something else to convert it into H264 or .Mov.
Do more recent versions or Prem El export into a larger range of codecs?
I don't mind paying a small amount for extra software, but not if I know that future Prem El's mean I don't have to.
thank you for being patient.
The best program for working with a variety of clips and converting them to a common format is Quicktime Pro, which costs $29 and can be downloaded from Apple.com. It may not work with everything out there (since mobile phone and camcorder makers keep inventing new codecs all the time) but it should work with most.
Another great video converter is the Aunsoft Video Converter, a $35 download.
If you're looking for an editing program that you just dump whatever you want into it without regard to format, iMovie does a very good job with virtually any format -- though, of course, this program is only available in the Mac format.