Primarily Bill, the outcom


Primarily Bill, the outcome will be how you instruct your NLE and how your NLE will handle mixing standard definition and high definition resources. When using a program that easily handles both it would be equally easy for an inexperienced editor to wind up with something that looks and plays horribly due to unplanned application of 4:3 aspect (640×480 pixels) ratio and 16×9 widescreen with its assortment of (and the gamut of HD-rated resolutions from 1,280×720 pixels (720p) to 1,920×1,080 pixels (1080i/1080p) for starters). That unplanned outcome could come out looking radically unattractive.

And, when applying the range of SD vs HD, high definition has a bounty of recording formats from HDCAM & variants, to DVCPro HD, AVC, XD HD, AVCHD, HDV and others … you can wind up with a convoluted mess if you haphazardly mix any or all of these … NOT SAYING this is your intent or the scope of your question, but still.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that a person can also shoot some type of widescreen with some SD model camcorders, and the resulting playback from all these elements might not work well on the end user’s system, which might, or not, have up-res capabilities. Blah, blah, blah …

So, the answer is technically, yes you can (I know nothing about your Premiere Elements 8 or its capabilities for this) but the echo is do you REALLY WANT to do this? Like commercial productions that use old footage, amateur footage, mixed quality to represent footage shot with crappy security cameras, up and down the quality scale in an effort to represent these various elements in the storytelling process, a planned approach might work for mixing these, or dirtying up resource footage to represent one or more types, including SD & HD.

So, to goof around, practice and explore the boundaries, there’s nothing that says you cannot, and many have in fact done so. But when doing something “serious” or commercial, you might want to establish your reasons for mixing the two an be sure you can make it WORK together the way you intended.

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