Technically, it doesn't matter how you transfer the files from the camcorder to the computer -- Premiere Elements Get Media, Windows Explorer, etc. The video files are just moved as is from the cam's storage to your computer's.
About the only change Premiere Elements may make is to change the suffix, if necessary, to MTS or M2T, which you can also do manually if you have problems importing the video into a project.
As for your other questions: "So would dragging and dropping the files render them useless for PE9 and NLE's in general? and how much of the structure do I need to drag over to the external hard drive, just the BDMV folder which contains the .mts files? or perhaps the whole Private folder also? Should I transfer from the cam instead of using the SD card reader?"
This is why it's best to use Premiere Elemnts' Get Media/From Flip, AVCHD Hard Drive Camcorder tool. It will get the right files directly from the camcorder, and you don't have to mess with all the other junk. All you have to do is ensure your project is set up with a project setting that matches your camcorder's specs.
BTW, your topic header calls the video from your camcorder HDV video. Technically HDV video is from tape-based hi-def camcorder. The format it saves the video to is very very different than AVCHD, so don't confuse the two!
Thanks for the reply Steve :-)
As I said, I need a major PC upgrade and latest PE version, but that will be at a later date. So unfortunately I won't be able to Get Media option! I'll copy over the BDMV folder from the SD card when it's full. The test video I've shot all appear to be .MTS files, so hopefully I won't have to mess about with the renaming files bit when I get the new PC and PE version and it will be simple enough to get media from my external drive.
Thanks also for the heads up on the HDV abbreviation. Things aren't as simple as they used to be!
Love the picture quality from the new cam, but I think the editing that will come with it is a whole new headache. Makes some of the issues we had with PE1 look like child's play! Still, interesting and good fun.
Many thanks again,
Paul, just to be clear -- you're not still running version 1 of the program, are you?
Unfortunately, if that's the case, you won't be able to edit this video in Premiere Elements.
Support for hi-def didn't come until version 4, and full support for AVCHD didn't come until version 9.
If you're still using version 1, you're going to find working with the footage pretty frustrating, unfortunately.
No, definitely not using PE1 (I'm an AVCHD newbie, the old Sony Mini DV cam now consigned to the attic!), in fact the PC running it is so slow it's rarely switched on now - but that's another whole can of worms :-)
New PC and PE version as soon as cashflow improves, I'll just be storing the .mts files on an external drive until it arrives hence the questions.
In the end though I found working with PE1 a good experience thanks to all the help from the forum members, so will go with PE again when the time comes.