It seems that the digital video camera are susceptible to the same format Babel that plagues still cameras; every manufacturer has their own flavor of marking video files, even if they use a standard codec. Samsung, in a pathetic attempt to force you to use their crappy video editor, fourCC codes their AVI files with SEDG instead of DIVX, meaning that their MPEG AVI files will only play with their supplied codec, which crashes CyberLink PowerDirector (a buggy piece of crap anyway) and makes Premiere Elements run slower than the DivX codec, which does a better job anyhow. My new JVC camera will record 4:3 or 16:9, but it outputs both as identically tagged 720x480 MPEGs. So I have to manually mark the files as being 16:9 after I import them into Premiere.
I'm really liking Premiere Elements: it has most of the functionality of Premiere and has not crashed yet. PowerDirector crashes on a regular basis; I'm going to try to get a refund. It's a complete waste of hard drive space.