Encoding 1080p to 480p

I am researching a good way to get into HD camcorders. I use my camcorder to take family video and edit the clips into a dvd.

I have built a high end computer that can edit AVCHD, and have high end video editing software I have been using (Adobe Premier Pro).

Now want to start to research which camera to buy.

My thought is to take HD video and down convert to DVD resoluition (480p) hoping to be able to get quality as good as commerical DVDs. The reason I want to do this for now is not all the people I send my dvds to have blue rays players.

So until everyone can use blueray and the burners (and media) are cheaper I am hoping to use this editing flow.

Should I expect to get really good results going from 1080p to 480p using standard dvd?

Will avchd format convert well to dvd format (mpeg)?

Perhaps this question cant be answered as it depends too much on what editing software is used?

Just looking for some recommendations?

Mostly depends on the source footage. Just because it is 1080p doesn’t mean it isn’t grainy, shaky, over exposed video, all three of which look bad in MPEG format (uses up a lot of bitrate). To minimize these effects, use a tripod and pay attention to lighting and exposure. Use enough light and try to light evenly so there isn’t a huge contrast ratio. That will ensure higher quality MPEGs from your HD source.