Dawg, I have the Sony DCR-DVD305, and have been using it successfully for quite a while with PE7, with few issues, once I had a workflow nailed down.
I believe the 505 is basically the same camera, with some additional features.
This workflow worked for me in the past so I'll pass that along:
Sony Browser to PC as Mpeg.
Mpeg to Windows Movie Maker, output to DV-AVI, taking default settings.
DV-AVI imported into PE7.
This should also work for PE8.
Upon getting Cyberlinks PowerDirector v7, my new workflow changed to this:
I take the min-DVD directly from camcorder to my PC, and capture the disk via Power Director.
PD will convert the VOB's directly to DV-AVI Type 2 on one pass.
I then load this DV-AVI into PE7.
(PD v7 was pre-installed on my new PC from HP, or it can be purchased from Cyberlink).
Other options to try:
Copy the VOB's directly from the mini-DVD to your PC and use Prism to convert these to AVI.
Or load the VOB or Mpeg into PE, then use that to convert to AVI.
(Export to DV-AVI with PE8 is done with SHARE/PC, not Export under the File Menu, which is greyed out).
I've had many issues trying to work with Mpeg's and VOB's when loaded directly to PE with limited success.
So if you can get it converted successfully to AVI outside of PE, I've found this to be a better approach.
Post results, if any of this works for you...
Note: One other thing, if you are working directly with VOB's to PE, especially multiple VOB's from a single DVD, you can encounter out-of-sync issues between video and audio. If this occurs, review this link from Muvipix:
Kodebuster, U da mon! Thanks!! Your first workflow works great. And "feels" great: I would like to stick with basic included stuff like Sony Picture Motion Browser (PMB) and Windows Movie Maker (WMM), if possible...nothing against Powerdirector, Prism etc...which may work great for some folks...but did not for me. Prism made a mess of 16:9 apsect ratio. PD simply choked. At least in one instance, the audio is issue seemed to stem from the fact that I moved the mpeg from a 64-bit windows platform to a 32-bit platform. So this issue could have many possible causes. In short, import media using Sony PMB (get latest from esupport.sony.com). http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu-list.pl?mdl=DCRDVD505 As of this writing, PMB is useless with Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)...as soon as SP2 is installed, the camera will no longer be recognized as a DVD drive. So need to uninstall SP2 (and be at SP1) for PMB to launch when you connect the camera to the computer by USB. Also gone (not supported) in Vista (even SP1) is video streaming...so mpeg file import is really the only option. This is not bad...I read somewhere that MPG retains original video quality quite well. Of course, you could buy an Windows XP machine just for video import...(but then probably better off getting a new camera)! Anyhow, after import, process each clip/file (or combine them into chapters, add titles, transitions etc - if you like what WMM can do) and "publish" them using WMM to your videos directory as NTSC AVI. I have not tried this...but WMM could take it all the way to burning the DVD you want, but then we are in PE discussion board, so what would be the point ;-)... As advertise, the AVI files imported into into PE smoothly and I was able to even add a soundtrack and use default menu. After confirming that final resultant DVD plays completely, I bought PE 8 and changed my trial version to full install.
Glad to see that things worked out okay.
Just goes to show, PE8 works fine when you've nailed down a decent workflow...