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The Project Preset chosen at New Project, should match your Source Footage (the files that the camera shoots), as close to 100%, as is possible. This might also entail adjusting the settings on your camera, for maximum results. Then, once edited, one can choose the Export/Share settings for their intended delivery scheme, i.e. Flash Video in your case. Also, within the Flash Video settings, one can increase the bit-rate for higher quality, but with the cost of larger file sizes. Unlike some Export/Share settings, Flash uses the "Connection Speed" to set the bit-rate, where some Export/Share choices actually use the term "bit-rate." They are the same, but not 100% intuitive, at first glance.
What is your camera (make/model), and what are its settings? That will determine which Project Preset to use.
[Edit] Which version of PrE are you using? You mention Flip camera (there are a couple of different ones), and later versions of PrE have a Flip Mimeo Preset, which should be the best choice. Also, many of the Flip cameras shot some version of HD, so an NTSC DV (SD) Preset would cause down-rezzing of your material to start. It would be better to do the down-rezzing with the Export/Share.
The DV camera is a Sony Digital Handycam DCR-VX1000 (from 1997!)
I don't know much about the settings...I haven't changed any internal settings...the only thing I adjust when I'm filming is the focus, exposure, white balance, etc.
The digital camera is a JVC Everio.
I guess I'm debating which camera to use more...the DV camera is nice for adjusting everything manually & being able to hook up a microphone, and the digital camera is nice because it's so small & easy to upload my footage (whereas the DV camera uploads from the tape in real-time!) I was just comparing videos I've made from both cameras, and they seem to look the same...so that's why I was wondering about the project settings.
We have Premiere Elements 9.
I would choose one, and stick to it.
The older miniDV tape camera will produce footage (with Capture), that PrE can use perfectly, for an NTSC DV (SD) Project.
The newer camera will produce footage that has a higher resolution, as it is HD, and instead of Capture (as you mention, in real-time), you will just Import the footage. With later versions of PrE, there should be a Flip/Mimeo Preset, that should work fine.
I would not mix the footage, but it seems that you are not trying to do so, and are only trying to choose one camera, and stick to that for each Project. I would try that Flip footage/files in a Flip/Mimeo Project, and judge the output quality. Do not use that footage in an NTSC DV (SD) Project, but one designed for the Flip camera.
While the Sony probably has better glass (can be very important), it is SD (Standard Definition), so only has about 1/4 of the resolution of the Flip, with inferior glass. That increased resolution might make up for the glass difference, in general terms. For the safety videos, one might never see the differences in the lenses of those two cameras, but test for yourself, with the proper Preset for each camera.
Okay, I filmed some new video last week with the JVC Everio camera...now I am creating a new Premiere project, and for settings, I found that the "Hard Disk, Flash Memory Camcorders" settings apply to that camera (it even lists it, saying "...for videos produced by cameras such as the JVC Everio")
At first, I chose Standard, but then realized my clips were actually shot in widescreen, so I closed the project, deleted it & created a new one, with the settings in widescreen.
But, my clips look distorted. Even though the video files themselves say they are 720x480, and when I open them up to just view them in Windows Media Player, they are widescreen clips, and are not distorted.
In Premiere, the clips are distorted, even though the project settings are set to widescreen...when I try to drop the clips in the timeline, it says the project settings do not match the clip settings & asks if I want to change the project settings to match the clip settings...I said "OK" to this, but the clips still look distorted as standard ratio too.
It could also be that PrE is missing the PAR "flag," in the files' headers, and if so, then you should be able to Rt-click on one of those Clips, and choose Interpret Footage, setting it to the desired PAR.
As there are different PAR's, can you confirm that this JVC footage is SD (Standard Definition), or is it HD (High Definition)?
For more detail on PAR, see this ARTICLE.
It is standard def.
Where do I right click on the files to choose Interpret Footage? I have them all shown in the Organize Media tab right now, but right clicking does not bring up an interpret option...
Nevermind, I figured it out! Thanks for your help!
OK, for NTSC SD material, Standard 4:3 has a PAR = 0.9, and Widescreen 16:9 has a PAR = 1.2.
Glad that you found Interpret Footage in the Project Panel.
First, what shows at Interpret Footage, before you make any change?
Does that match what G-Spot, or MediaInfo said about that same Clip?