I have been out of video editing for a LONG time (maybe 20 years), but had previously used AP. My computer at that time was a Sony VAIO desktop that had a Firewire (IEEE1394) interface. My question is: with new laptops, how do I ingest and control the camcorder over firewire to get the video/audio data into the laptop? I don't want to use Apple products, so is there any Windows platform available for video editing, or do I have to build my own at this point? Thanks.
We don't capture analog video anymore. We don't use firewires any more. Currrent cameras record "digital" video into files. Those files are then edited in one of the many 'non linear editors" or "NLE". Premiere Elements is an NLE.
Most any current computer can run the NLEs. Stronger CPUs and faster drives improve performance.
My oldest digital camera has reached its tenth birthday. My current editing machine is a $1000, off the shelf laptop.
Since most computers don't even offer FireWire connections anymore, your best solution is to capture your video over USB using a device like the Diamond VC500. The quality is nearly as good as FireWire capture and it works with analog as well as DV and HDV video. Best of all, the MP4s it catpures are compatible with Premiere Elements.