I am the proud owner of a Panasonic HDC-SD5. I'm going travelling for a few months, and am taking said recorder and a small Asus EEE PC laptop with external HD.
The main job of the laptop is simply to facilitate transferring the huge HD files (recording at 1440) to the external HD. Obviously I'm not planning on meddling with these files on such an underpowered machine. My first question is to check that if I copy the .MTS files to an external HD, when I get home I'll be able to import them into an editor (preferably iMovie). IE it's OK to store them in this "raw" format.
Second Q. Were I to record small clips (less than 60 seconds) at a low quality, (640x480 tops) is there anyway I could get these files into a format compatible and small enough to upload to Flickr/Youtube/Vimeo. Clearly this -does- involve transcoding the data on my weak little machine. My hope is that with small file sizes It'll be able to manage and it doesn't matter if it takes 12+ hours for a minute of footage. What software can you recommend for this process?
The laptop can run XP or Linux - I'm technically confident with both, including the command line for linux. I'm looking for as lightweight, small apps as possible.
Thank you in advance for any advice or comments you can offer!