Shot 24p film mode, highest resolultion, on a Panasonic HDC-SD9.
Tried to edit raw MTS files, crashed PCs. Then used VoltaicHD to convert down to 1280x720, but even those files were also too much for PCs, and they crashed. (Fine for short edits though). Decided to give up on HD for now.
Created a script to create batch file to convert all my MTS files to 720x480 using ffmpeg (email me at max at htgrp dot com if you want copy of this vbs script).
ffmpeg command is
ffmpeg -i 00001.MTS -vcodec libxvid -b 18000k -acodec libmp3lame -ac 2 -ab 128k -s 720x480 -aspect 16:9 00001.avi
(figuring that out wasn't a walk in the park either)
Sony Movie Studio Vegas 9 is able to edit these files quickly and easily (unlike 1280x720).
Rendering to Sony AVC however created an audio synchronization problem. The audio would slowly go out of synch. Couldn't figure out fix.
Tried Mainconcept codec, but that didn't work well. Normal mpeg2 created interlace problems.
The solution: rendered as Windows Media 11. Set frame rate to 23.476, key frames 3, highest quality. Left audio default settings.