The Vixia is an AVCHD camcorder -- so yes, you can download it's video (not capture but download) directly from the camcorder to your Premiere Elements project.
The challenge is that AVCHD is a highly compressed hi-def format, so it requires a lot of horsepower to work with it. Most people who are successfully working with it are using computers with quad-core processors and 4 gigs of RAM. And, with Premiere Elements 8, which tends to be a resource hog, it can be even more challenging.
If this is your first venture into video editing, I'd recommend you stay with a tape-based format. You'll have a much smoother workflow.
MiniDV camcorders are available on Amazon for under $200 and are a great buy.
For hi-def, HDV camcorders, like the Canon HV20, 30 or 40, or available for about what you're paying for your Vixia, and their tape-based hi-def video is much easier to work with.
This is great info. Just one more clarification please. Are you saying that it is easier for me to use tape vs flash? Just want to be sure I understand the lingo.
Yes. Tape-based video, whether miniDV or HDV, is much easier to work with as an editing source than hard-drive or flash-based video.
(Sadly, places like Best Buy are phasing out tape-based video completely. But there are still lots of great sources online!)
OK - if I purchase something like the HV20, is there anything else I need to purchase with it that's not included.(cables, connectors, whatevers!) It's always such a mystery to figure out what else I need. I order and then find out I needed something else. Basically, I want to be able to film my how-to's, edit in PE 7 and upload to YouTube. It does look like the HV20 has microphone audio input which I need because I want to use wireless mic. Any other suggestions? What about extra tapes?
The Canon should come with a FireWire cable. If not, you will need to get one with the connector for the camera and also for your IEEE-1394/iLink/FW connector on your computer.
You will want to buy extra tapes. First, you can archive these for later re-Capture, and rewriting tapes is not a good idea.
For your mic, make sure to set the input on your camera. You will want your mic to "replace" the internal mic.
That should be it.
Thank you so much!
You are most welcome.
The one reason that I hesitate to say that the FW cable WILL come with the camera is that there are different connectors for FW. Usually, the socket on the camera will be a much smaller connector, and not require any power. The connector on your computer might be the same, or might be much larger. The larger connectors are more common on desktops, while one that matches that of the camera will be more common on a laptop, unless one has a PCMICA, or ExpressCard for FW. Because of these potential differences, some camera companies do not ship a FW cable, since there are many instances where the connectors would be wrong. Still, these cables are inexpensive and readily available in all possible connector configurations.