I currently capture and edit with Pinnacle Studio 9.4.3. So far I've learned that the best possible resolution for any project will vary based upon certain factors:
1. The resolution the raw footage was filmed in.
I have captured all of our VHS footage, recorded on a late '80s model Sharp Slimcam which if I'm lucky I'm think was recorded in 300 x 240
I have also captured footage recorded on a Sharp VL-E765 8mm camera. I dont know the exact recording resolution but I assume its the 300 x 240 or better as the footage from that camera appears crisper and clearer.
I have also done a few projects for some gaming communities where I capture ingame footage using a program called Fraps. Fraps can capture audio and video up to 2560x1600 on dual-core CPUs (1152x864 single-core) at up to 100 frames per second.
Soon I'll be purchasing a new camera and I'm looking at the JVC Everio MG-505. I like this camera for the fact that it has 3 CCD's, no tape, and records video at a full resolution 16:9 (1173 x 660 x3 effective pixels) and 4:3 DVD movie quality. I'd like to get the Sony HDR-SR1 since it records in true AVCHD standard, a derivative of MPEG-4 H.264 codec, (basically high def) but all the reviews I see for this camera rave about its ease of use and video quality but bitch about the fact that the AVCHD format is not yet supported by a quality editing program. (not even Vegas-a Sony product)
In addition to this, within my Pinnacle Studio, currently the best resolution I can get for a finished, rendered project, is 740 x 480 @ 29.97 fps. That is for an AVI file. For an MPEG the res is the same as VHS 352 x 240. If I wish to pay $9.99 I can purchase a premium unlock of MPEG-4 4CIF which is the AVC/H.264 coding but the max resolution for a rendered project is still only 704 x 567.
What I'm getting at here is this, Is there software that doesn't cost 1k that will render in at least a 1024 x 768 finished project, or is that getting into the high end programs?
I've tried flash converters, but all I've found so far still only render in the bottom end of the res spectrum.