Welcome to the forum.
Can you let us know what version of PrE you are using, and on which OS version, you are running it?
Some things changed, as of PrE 11, and followed through with PrE 12, so we do not want to steer you wrong.
The Tutorial Links Page http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1275830 has information on settings (4th and 5th links)
Premiere Elements FAQ List (2 pages of FAQ as of September 2013) http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere_elements/premiere_elements_faq?view=all
Premiere Elements TIPS List (6 pages of Tips as of September 2013) http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere_elements/premiere_elements_tips?view=all
Bill Hunt - Thanks for your reply, and your excellent Tips & Tricks, from which I'm learning a lot! Now here is the detailed information with all the info you probably need to answer my questions.
I'm using PrE10 on an HP dv6-3140us Laptop with Win8Pro 64 with all updates, 8 GB DDS RAM,
an AMD Phenom II P840 triple-core 1.90 Ghz processor;
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 series (Microsoft - WDDMv1.1) display adapter,
600 GB 7200 rpm hard drive, and a BD ROM BC-5501H DVD/CD Drive.
The new Sony HDR-CX430V Camcorder records 8.9 MegaPixel JPEG 3984x2240 still DSC files,
and 3 choices of Video files: HD = AVCHD format 2.0, STD non-HD = MPEG-2 PS for DVD's,
amd MP4 = MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (1280x720 MAH files). I iusually use the MP4 choice, (but have
also used the HD and STD modes to compare), and import the files directly to my 600 GB drive,
and also to a 3-TB WD "My Book Essential" external USB drive as backup.
My first impulse is to use the NTSC AVCHD LITE 720p30 Preset for a new Project, but also wonder if the Hard Disk, Flash Memory choice of Widescreen 48 khz - might have some advantages? Also, in the future, I will be having Projects importing older AVI 4:3 ratio movie files for editing and uploading to YouTube, (using my YouTube-Channel Introduction-titles that are wide-screen), so what Preset will be best for those?
Also, I realize that the huge JPEG Camcorder still files, some of which will be used in the movies, need to be downsized, so what is the easiest solution for using them? I'll also be using some animated Google Earth-tour Maps, but am not sure how to obtain down-loads of them that'll work best with my presets?
All your help will be anxiously awaited and greatly appreciated.