Well, yes. And no.
Yes, you can use each of those formats. HDV and miniDV will go right in, since they're digital formats. Just don't put them in the same project, since they require different project specs. (You can downsample HDV using DV Lock to capture it as miniDV. In that case, you can use both miniDV and that format in the same project.)
Capturing your hi-8 analog video will require a DV bridge, per the FAQS to the right of this forum, unless you know someone with a Digital8 camcorder that can capture hi8 and 8mm as DV.
But if all you want to do is turn your footage into DVDs without doing any major editing, Premiere Elements is not the most efficient way to go. In that case, you may just want to use a Plextor ConvertX -- and save yourselves the hassles, system demands and expense of working with a video editing app.
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I agree with Steve.
The HD footage does have a bit of "baggage" with it, if you wish to eidt/author to DVD, which is SD, by definition. Still, converting the HD to SD is not THAT big a deal. You just will not be able to effectively edit it, plus the SD material in the same Project.
This ARTICLE might give you tips on working with the analog material.
With a little bit of planning, and some Asset preparation, you can do a nice job of editing and authoring to DVD with PrE.
It is also best to do, just as you are, and exploring the pluses and minuses of your footage, so that you can plan for it, and not be later surprised, with any extra work. This work, done before you begin will always be better, and also quality will be as high, as is possible with the formats used.
I do not know the Plextor unit, or software, that Steve recommend, but if he mentions it, it must be good and capable of the job.
Good luck, and welcome to THIS forum.
One means of digitizing tapes...
Old forum message, message now gone, but here's the summary - I have not used, only made note of the product "Matt with Grass Valley Canopus in their tech support department stated that the 110 will suffice for most hobbyist. If a person has a lot of tapes that were played often the tape stretches and the magnetic coding diminishes. If your goal is to encode tapes in good shape buy the 110, if you will be encoding old tapes of poor quality buy the 300"
I completely agree with John T's (and Matt's) statement. The 110 is less expensive, BUT, with old tapes, especially, there is likely to be additional processing necessary to get the best material to output. One can use the less-expensive 110, and then spend time doing the correction work by hand, or can invest in the 300, and save a lot of time in the future. One pays at some point. If one's time is worth US$0.50/hour, it does not take THAT many tapes, before the 300 is paid for, and the results are likely to be better.
So many things in our life are decided on the basis of initial expenditure, where a few $'s more, going in, will later pay dividends.
I'm still digesting the information from the direct feedback and the links provided today. Regarding the Canopus ADVC 100 or 300, how do they compare with the ADS Pyro Link 557 or 558. Also do you know in which way the 558 and 557 differ? I notice the cost of the Canopus 300 is nearly twice the cost of the ADS Pyro 300. I'm up for spending the extrea money if the value is there. I'm not dealing with any VHS format as my oldest are Sony Hi-8, most of which haven't been played but once or twice since the original tapes were made. I also still have the fully functional Sony Hi-8 camera and cables, the same for my Sony Mini-DV camera.
I reallly enjoyed reading your "Analog Signal to Digital a Primer". It has helped my understanding of this process.
Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise on this subject,
You may not need a bridge at all. The Sony DV cameras I've seen (admittedly not many) all allow pass through. So you could connect your Hi-8 camera as an input to your DV camera and capture directly into PRE via the DV FireWire out.
Take a look at the last three paragraphs in What is the best device for capturing analog video? for more information on setting up pass-through.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
Thanks for the tip regarding "pass through". I've read the linked content; what a great idea and certainly worth a try. I'll set it up this evening and see if the pass through works.
The video camera, used as an A-D device is great, so long as yours has the pass-through capabilities. Going back, most did. In PAL-land, however, many with that capability were subject to higher VAT. Mfgrs. starting disabling that capability, to keep taxation down. In the US, mfgrs. also started omitting it from newer units, to keep the costs down. Now, it's a bit tougher to find, and some users will buy older digital video cameras, not to shoot, but to use their pass-through function. My feeling is that if you have it, I'd use it. You will probably want to run it off of the AC mains, as many of the batteries are pretty short lived.
Good luck and happy editing,