I'm still surprised to see people trying to edit video from a $3500 camcorder on a $75 program. But who knows? It might work.
First, dont' convert the file. And especially don't convert the video with Handbrake. You're only going to make it worse.
It's not clear from your project settings if you selected an AVCHD 1920x1080 stereo -- but, if you did, you should not see red lines above the clips on your timeline until you add effects to them. Is that the case in your project?
If you have the project set up with these specs and you're still seeing red lines above the clips, it's most likely that you've shot it in a format incompatible with Premiere Elements. If, for instance, you've shot in 1920x1080 in 24p or even 30p, you may have problems. (This camcorder shoots in a variety of frame rates and formats, only a few of which are compatible with Premiere Elements.)
Again, it's not likely that this camcorder was designed to have its video edited on an under $100 editing program. Have you considered going with Premiere CS5?
Do you know what settings are compatible with PE8 that I can just set my camera to? I am not sure what the stereo settings are for my project. That option wasn't clear under project settings. We use PE because it's what we know. When I Google any other video editing software it appears that they all have their own issues with crashing. I'd hate to spend the time and $$ to have the same issue.
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I'm not an expert on the camcorder, but if you can set it up to shoot in 1920x1080 60i/30fps AVCHD video, it might work.
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A Debug Event is often the result of Memory, or Resource issues, but can be the result of the Assets, and/or the Project settings. Steve has addressed some of the latter.
For the former, take a look at this ARTICLE. It starts as a general PrE tune-up, and then goes in more detail, via links to other articles, for tuning the computer and the OS.
Good luck, and hope that something is helpful,
What is the learning curve for upgrading to the Pro version of PE? Will this solve my HD issues and importing from the expensive camera? Will it be able to work if I still have versions 8 and 9 on my system? My new computer is still crashing and I believe it is because of the PE 9 installed on it. Very frustrating. I'd like to get rid of PE 9 all together. It has been uninstalled and re installed more than once and on more than one computer. Is this a common problem?
Premiere CS5 is a much more sophisticated and heavily supported piece of software. It also works with a much wider range of video, so it may well work better with your professional camcorder.
However, there's not substitute for a good, stable computer. If you're having problems with Premiere Elements, you could find you'll also have problems with a more demanding app. But it's worth downloading the Premiere CS5 trial to find out.
Most likely you'll find that Premiere CS5, which is a 64-bit system, will be better able to take advantage of your operating system's 64-bit architecture.
The basic principles of Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro are the same: You start a project, you add media to it, you edit your video on a timeline and you output the results. So you won't find a big learning curve with the basics. But the Pro version of the software has a number of high-level tools you may eventually want to learn and master.