Originally Posted by ChessieMom
.... Is the format of the Sony camera video, something that is easily transferred to your pc and edited easily? What I want is to put videos to music...so I need to be able to add an audio track and "synch"it (not sure what the proper terminology is), as well as perhaps add some special effects. I don't have any problems using software to do that, but I want to make sure that the video format provided by the camera is not one that is a PITA to use.......
Sony and Pansonic teamed up to create a standard called AVCHD. You can read about it here: Wikipedia: AVCHD
. It has become a defacto standard for consumer and some pro models of camcorders. I know nothing about Canon cameras and camcorders so I can't help you there. The files created in that standard are everything but a PITA!
AVCHD combined with SD cards make it easy. Pull the card from the camera and plug it into your computer's card reader or a cheap card reader plugged into your computer's USB port. If you don't like that, plug the camera into the USB with the supplied cord.
Launch the software that comes with the camera and it will copy, as well as catolog, the video to your computer. If you don't like that, you can copy the video files with Windows Explorer. If you don't like that either, most video editing software will do it too.
You made it slightly more complicated when you wrote you want to " I need to be able to add an audio track and "synch"it (not sure what the proper terminology is), as well as perhaps add some special effects". The various software that comes with the cameras may or may not do that very well. However, my favorite editor, Adobe Premier Elements 10 for about $75 does an amazing job with sound tracks and has no problem reading and using the AVCHD files I get from my cameras. Many that post here prefer the consumer version Sony Vegas for about the same price.
I'm not saying there isn't a little learning curve with this stuff. But, it is fun and the results can be spectacular with the current cameras, computers, software and all the various viewing options.