Many people are staring at their digital camcorders, wondering how to get video off the camera for a DVD or some other project.

Adobe Premiere Elements is the software of choice for the long run. It’s the best designed software on the market, relatively easy to get started but capable of complex tasks as you grow into it. Here’s my thoughts on the new release of Adobe Premiere Elements 3.

If you are brand new to the world of video, that’s a big first step. For your first project, turn to Windows Movie Maker, already installed on your computer for free. (Look on Start / All Programs – the current version was installed with Windows XP Service Pack 2.)

The Windows Movie Maker web site has detailed instructions about capturing video from your camcorder and turning it into a simple movie, ready to be burned onto a DVD. (You’ll need separate software for the final burn, typically from Roxio or Nero, each of which has its own learning curve and bugs and idiosyncrasies, but that’s the way it goes when you go down this road.)

Windows Movie Maker is as simple as video can ever be. If you run into its limitations, it will still have been a good training ground – you’ll be better equipped to step up to deeper programs like Premiere Elements.

Have fun!

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