Premiere Elements 9 will work with virtually any miniDV or HDV tape-based camcorder, Flip camcorders, DSLRs that shoot video and AVCHD camcorders. There are other formats (hard drive standard def camcorders, for instance) that will work with the program, but are probably not the ideal choices.
Panasonic, for some reason though, has designed a line of camcorders that shoot in 60p, which is not compatible with Premiere Elements. I'd beware of them.
In fact, if you're really concerned about compatibility, I'd recommend you stay with Sony and Canon.
And, if you get a hard drive camcorder of any brand, make sure it shoots AVCHD. Many of the under-$500 hard drive camcorders may or may not work well with the program.
Hello again, Steve.
Thanks so much for getting back to me.
As a follow-up question, what does AVC/H.264 mean? Is that the same as AVCHD?
Sorry, it might be because it's nearly 10 p.m, but those Wikipedia links (although very kind of you to send!) were just too complicated for my sleepy brain!
I guess the main thing I need to know is... can I buy a camera that records H.264 or only one that does AVCHD?
Thankyou again for all your help.
Yes, AVCHD and H.264/AVC are the same thing. (The HD just stands for hi-def.)
But make sure the camcorder you get shoots in true AVCHD. (It will say so right on the camcorder's body.) A camcorder that merely shoots in MP4 may or may not work with Premiere Elements.
The H.264 CODEC is a common, high-compression, high-quality CODEC. It is used in AVCHD, and also MP4, and is one of the approved compressors for BD (Blu-ray Discs). All AVCHD is H.264, but not all H.264 is AVCHD. AVCHD is a sub-set.
Now, as Steve points out, camera mfgrs. are very fond of tweaking standard CODEC's, and that can create trouble. Also, they like to do variations, like Steve mentioned. Again, those can create problems.
I understand camera mfgrs. wanting to get the smallest files, with the highest quality, but they should also consider the editability of those files. To cover that base, many include video-editing software, but most users are less than impressed with those apps.
For a little "light reading," this ARTICLE will discuss CODEC's in general terms.
PS - Adobe's list of "guaranteed" cameras is the ones that they have physically tested with. However, almost any such list will be obsolete, by the time it gets put up, as camera mfgrs. are constantly releasing new models, and some might be identical in their recording characteristics to others, while some might deviate drastically. Adobe is constantly testing, but cannot keep up with ALL of the developments in real-time.
I also agree with Steve, that Sony and Canon are good bets. Also, read some camera recs. on Muvipix. Lot of good info there.
Hello again, Steve:
Thankyou to you and Bill for info re AVCHD. I now have it narrowed down to Sony's HDRCX350 or HDR110. Weight is an issue for me, so that's why the 110 option.
I've just had another thought, though. Will PE9 cope if some of the files I input are from my Mini-DV recorder and some are in the new AVCHD format? Or do I need to finish using all my DV files in PE3 and then swap over to PE9 once I start using the new camcorder?
Also, we are about to update our computer to a quad-core, as you suggested recently. But the big question is... can I install Windows 7 on this, or won't I be able to use PE3 with Windows 7? (I am half-way through a PE3 project).
Thanking you, in anticipation of your reply,
The problem will be either up-rezzing the SD footage, or down-rezzing the HD footage. Going from SD to HD is usually the more problematic, regarding quality.
There are some options, but I do not know of one that works in PrE. Red Giant's Magic Bullet Instant HD plug-in for PrPro works well. There might be similar that is either a full, stand-alone, or is compatible with PrE, but I am unaware of such.
Down-rezzing the HD, and using that in an SD Project, along with the original SD material is probably better, but that would mean that you would be outputting to SD, for something like DVD, and not BD.
You will have issues, if you try to use both SD and HD in the same Project, unless you are using the SD material, in something like a PiP treatment.
Good luck, and I hope that others will have some viable programs/plug-ins to help.
Premiere Elements 3 should work on Windows 7, as long as you ensure you have the version 3.02 update. It's certainly worth a try anyway!
Have fun with that new computer!
The Sony HDR-110 seems to have some problems in low light situations. You should probably read the reviews prior to buying that one.
Yes, I have actually heard that, too. The biggest draw-card that one has for me, is it's weight. But I will probably end up going with the 350, I think, at this stage.
Thanks a lot for your input.
And Happy New Year!
And a Happy New Year to you, as well.
Good luck in the camera search.
After a fair bit of actual side by side comparison testing (that I found difficult to get camera sales people to do) I recently bought a Sony HDR CX350 (PAL with GPS) and I am extremely pleased with its results. Completely compatible with PE9 in full HD.
Shoot everything in full 1900x1080 HD The picture quality is as good or better than broadcast Full HD telecasts (on my 40" Sony BRAVIA TV set)
Go for the solid state only models.
The only disadvantage is it is sometimes hard to see in the viewfinder in very bright sunlight. The more expensive eye piece model would be better if you are going to do a bit of beach or desert shooting.
The colors are extremely natural and the anti shake is the best I have seen. Walking along a pathway on wide angle is as good as one of those fancy steady cam gadgets the professionals use.
Big still photos are not as crisp as a good still camera but even individual frames from a movie make perfect 7x5 photos prints!
I can edit it with PE9 quite fast with an old Windows XP Core Duo 2.4g / 4gb RAM. (complicated effects and transitions require the area concerned to be rendered to eliminate preview jerkyness on large projects)
Fastest on 3 hard drives for fast preview and editing. 1=OS & Adobe, 2=All project & scratch files, 3=media files.
Unless you are doing incredible effects or doing it for a living where time is money, I cant see the need for anything faster.
Re mixing formats in PE9,
I recently did a 2 camera project of a choir with my new camera Sony CX350 (1920x1080i) and my old Sony HCR90 (widescreen DV tape 720 x 576i)
I imported one camera to track 1 and the other to track 2, using the sound only from the new camera which was excellent
I could do dissolves etc between the two cameras with no problems.
I set the new camera to a wide shot of the choir on a tripod and took individual close up shots of singers with the old camera.
The picture from the new camera was so good I could zoom in 2x and show the left side (sopranos) when they were singing and the right side (altos) when they sang independently. The quality from the new zoomed in camera on the final SD was as good as the full screen old camera so it made it look like I had 3 SD cameras.
I have heard of people having trouble mixing stuff ripped from DVDs or MPGs without converting to AVI first
It sounds like you did your homework, and it paid off. Thank you for reporting the success, and the high/low-points of the camera. Even with the pro cameras, there can be trade-offs, like the viewer that you mention. No one camera will be perfect for everyone, even if they have unlimited budgets. In the PrPro forum, a new Panny, and the RED are being debated/evaluated. For some, one is the "right camera," but others point to features, layout, whatever, that makes the other their "choice."
Good luck, Happy New Year, and happy editing,
Hi Ted: Thanks so much for all this info. It is fantastic to hear from someone with actual experience of this camera.
Sorry for my ignorance, but what does 'Go for the solid state only models" mean?
Just a guess on my part, but I'd assume that this means a camera, that records to flash media, rather than something like HDD, or mini-DVD.
Now, I might be totally off-base, so let's both wait.