You should use Share/Personal Computer/MPEG. Use one of the presets for 1440x1080i at either 30 ro 25 fps (depending on whether you're on the NTSC or PAL TV standard.
In light of your camcorder specifications and your description, I would ask SG to reconsider this choice.
It looks like your Sony HDR-SR 10 is recording AVCHD Full, 1920 x 1080, and your audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 channel (also known as AC-3). So, your project preset (new project dialog) should be:
NTSC AVCHD Full HD 1080i30 5.1 Channel (or its PAL counterpart, depending on your location).
Now, when it comes to export, the choice would be Share/Personal Computer/MPEG, using the preset of
H.264 1920 x 1080i30 (or H.264 1920 x 1080i25)
MPEG-2 1920 x 1080i30 (or MPEG-2 1920 x 1080i25)
Often the MPEG-2 1920 x 2080i is selected because it demands less processing power.
Even though you imported video with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel (AC-3), your export audio will be Dolby Digital Stereo (2 channel). See my First Look thread here for more details on 5.1 channel and Premiere Elements 8.
Please check it out.
Both will work. My method creates an HDV compatible file that will import into a Premiere Elements project and require no rendering.
Tony's method will produce an AVCHD file.
Both will produce files with virtually no loss and quality. Mine may be easier to work with, if you plan to use this file as source video in a future project.
Thank you both for your thorough reply.
Greg: Wouldn't a setting of 1440x1080i give me a 4:30 image?
No. The 16:9 image would use TV-standard non-square pixels.
That important focus with the HDV HDV 1080i with frame size 1440 x 1080 (4:3) is that is accompanied by the HD Anamorphic which encodes so that your video 1440 x 1080 (4:3) is stretched on display to give the 16:9.
With AVCHD Full 1080i with its frame size 1920, 1080 (16:9), you are dealing with Pixel Aspect Ratio = square pixel so that you do not have the HD Anamorphic with its associated stretch.
That is my understanding of the situation. If you are working with AVCHD, for export I would explore the merits of Share/Personal Computer/MPEG with MPEG-2 1920 x 1080i as mentioned in an earlier post.
Just a clarification add on which I do not know is necessary, but I will add it anyway
With either 1440 x 1080 with the HD Anamorphic or 1920 x 1080 with square pixel, the end result is the same 1920 x 1080. In the case of 1440 x 1080 with the HD Anamorphic, the HD Anamorphic results in the stretching of the 1440 x 1080 to 1920 x 1080 display possibility.