The party line is that you cannot change project settings once the project settings have been set. You need to start a new project.
Edit Menu/Project Settings/General does not offer the opportunity for any significant project settings change in this type of situation.
I have discovered that, under certain circumstances, that the user can change the established project preset without starting a new project.
The approach to doing this involves editing the Notepad document of the saved closed project file (project.prel file). I have written about this in the following blog post.
You need to weigh the pros and cons of going through the procedure or just starting a new project and start the project again.
All of the above being said, on to setting to the correct project preset to match the properties of your source media. Please refer to the issues involved and how to set manually the project preset when the program is not doing the job correctly or best automatically.
To the specifics...if you are doing DV data capture firewire into Premiere Elements 12 Capture Window, the scenario would be...
a. Open Premiere Elements 12 to the Expert workspace, go to File Menu/New/Project and Change Settings. In Change Settings,
change the project preset to NTSC DV Standard or NTSC DV Widescreen depending on NTSC or PAL set up and 4:3 or 16:9 DV data source. Then before you exit that area, make sure to place a check mark next to "Force Selected Project Setting on This Project" in
the new project dialog. Exit that area and return to the Premiere Elements 12 Expert workspace for your Add Media/DV Capture selection.
If you are doing HDV data capture firewire into Premiere Elements 12 Capture Window, then same scenario except the project preset change involves NTSC HDV HDV 1080i30 (if NTSC). In this instance, the Edit Menu/Project Settings/General should look like
Please review and consider and then let me know if I have targeted you question or need clarification.
ATR - Thank you very much - with your suggestion I was able to change the project settings and fix my problem. I was doing the DV data capture and was banging my head against the wall last night trying to get this New Project screen with the change setting button. The problem was in my old Premiere 8, when I clicked on new project on the Premiere welcome screen, it went right to this screen where I could get the change settings. In Premiere 12, it goes right to Editor screen and I could not for the life of me find change settings. Again, thanks for your help.
Thanks for the good news that you are moving forward with your Premiere Elements 12 workflows.
Please let us know if you have any further questions on this matter or others or need clarification.