Newbie - Editing Software Suggestions

Hello - I recently purchased a Sony DCR-SR40 and I want to burn the video recorded over to DVD. It came with some software but I’m not too impressed by what’s available in terms of changes you can make so I’m looking at possibly purchasing some more advanced software.

I’m not a professional by a long stretch and it’s not something I’ll be doing a lot although with a baby coming along in the next few weeks I imagine I will use it more than ever. Does anyone have any recommendations for intermediate type software that will give me some editing capabilities as well as graphics etc.? I was in Staples earlier and saw a couple of programs (Adobe Premiere Elements is the one I remember) but held off until I could ask some gurus.

Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated.


Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 is a very good choice for what you are describing. It is able to import and edit mpeg2, which is the format your camera records. And it will output to dvd of course. Use good media for your burns, like Verbatim +R 16x disks.

One tip I can think of offhand is to shoot mostly in HQ (the highest quality setting). Since mpeg2 is a compressed format, you’ll want the highest bitrate you can get in your videos. Even at that setting, your hard drive will still hold approximately 7hrs of video.

I noticed that a standard DVD doesn’t hold a lot of video that I’ve shot. Can you compress this down further or will I just have to burn more DVD’s? I bought some DL DVD’s today from Staples thinking that I could get twice as much on those, is that accurate? They are expensive though so I’d rather not make too many coasters. lol

Thanks for the info on Adobe, I may end up going back for that program as its on sale now for $59 AR I believe from Staples. Any other suggestions?

You have to be careful about dual layer media. The ONLY good ones that are commonly available are made by Verbatim. If you have bought anything else, take them back for a refund and get the Verbatim +R DL disks. I wouldn’t suggest using dual layer disks for long term storage either.

If your videos are irreplaceable, and many of the shots of your child will be, I’d suggest storing them in a couple of different ways. Get an extra hard drive, maybe even an external one that hooks up via usb, and keep a copy on it. Make copies on a couple of different types of disks. Look for Taiyo Yuden disks online— for example and buy the 8x +R TY disks. These 8x TY and the 16x Verbatims are probably your best bet for long term storage.

As far as the length of your videos, you should be able to adjust that in Premiere Elements. You really don’t want too much compression though, so cut the fat and keep them close to the 4.3gb target size if at all possible when using single layer dvds.

Thanks for the information. I’ll probably just take back the DL discs I bought and just stick to the single layer dvds. Too expensive to not get right! haha