I have over 50 digital 8mm video tapes I intend to capture through PP CS5 to archive the footage and eventually edit them. 'Out of the Box' PP saves the files in avi format but the files are large and ultimately need converting in Encore to write to a DVD. I have a NAS storage device (3Tb) and another three external hard drives for storage, so space is not an issue but is this format the best for keeping the 'original' footage?
Yes. Do not convert to anything else, since conversions cost quality, unless one uses lossless codecs like Lagarith, but then the storage requirements multiply.