The Specs on the camera for Compression and Media are:
Frame Rate(s): 1080/60p,1080/60i,24p Digital Cinema
HD Video Format: AVCHD(and H.264for 1080/60p mode)
Don't really understand all this - I know the 1080/60p is a step up from 1080/60i. Not too many TV channels have the 1080/60p yet
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That's right. 60p is a strange and non-standard frame rate for a camcorder. It's not necessarily "step up", since your TV only shows 30 frames per second anyway. It just a strange format that Panasonic has adopted that makes the camcorder incompatible with all of Premiere Elements' project presets.
Someone on Premiere Elements support site http://Muvipix.com figured out a workaround. You need to use the software that came with the camcorder to convert the videeo to 60i. But to me, that's just extra work Panasonic has added to the process.
It's possible you can shoot with the camcorder in 24p, which the program does support. But you may be stuck having to do your editing with the software that came with the camcorder. Which is a shame -- and strange design decision on Panasonic's part!
Would I be able to work with the 1080/60i in PE 9?
It's certainly worth a try!
The challenge is that I don't know if that Panasonic uses true AVCHD or not. So you may need to experiment with a number of presets.
You'll know you've got the right project setting when you put your clip on your timeline and there is NOT a red line above it (until you add an effect or transition to it).