Thanks for that insight--very helpful. But, well . . . hold everything. My Panasonic HDC-SD60 camcorder is rated at least 60 fps, I thought, and I also thought that was making frames that are 1920X1080. Now I go in and look at "properties" on a video clip and find that the stated frame rate is only 30fps, but at 1920X1080 resolution. Perhaps--I'm not sure--I can set the camcorder to take a lower resolution and get a higher frame rate?
BUT HERE'S WHAT I ALSO DISCOVERED: This is more important--for my own purposes. I CAN get frame-by-frame playback on the computer by starting a clip, then clicking the "pause" button, then manually clicking the !!> button each time I want to advance a frame. This gives me super-slo-mo with stop action at every advance--excellent for golf swing study. I counted the frames advanced from the instant the takeaway started (as best I could tell) to the point where the swing was finished (swinging the driver), and it was about 60 frames, + or - one or two. Then I put the stopwatch to the swing in real time, and it was between 1.9 and 2.2 seconds, on about three timing tries--only an approximation--but it does fit right in with the specs of 30 fps, given my 60 frame count.
So I am suddenly converted from <disappointed> to <<very happy>> camper/golfer. With the Panasonic HDC camcorder, I got the high resolution I wanted, plus I can get the stop-action and frame-by-frame look at the action with the supplied software. No, it's not exactly a slo-mo playback, but slo-mo by itself is no big benefit--without stop action--anyway.
Now what bothers me is that I went out and spent $100 on some Corel VideoStudio ProX4 software, thinking that would let me play back in slo-mo. No good. And yes, my PC system does exceed the requirements stated by Corel for their software to function. It was choppy just playing my AVCHD video, whereas the supplied software from Panasonic plays that back flawlessly and beautifully, even at full screen size and even when copied to a disk and played back on a Bluray or ordinary DVD player on the big-screen TV. I have tested it both ways. I have now uninstalled the Corel software and put it all back in the box. Do you think I'll be able to return it for a refund? The retailer where I got it says no returns on software if the box is opened.
Another observation: The Panasonic software has a button for "high speed burst" playback of a sequence of still shots. I have yet to be able to make this work. It tells me I haven't selected a series of stills to play. But I don't seem to know how to do such a "selection". I have a file with 18 stills and I hit "select all" and they all light up blue. Yet it tells me I haven't selected a sequence of stills. Go figure. Maybe I have to get them all down into the "edit" tray? And what would the "high speed burst" do, were I able to make it run? If I can't regulate the speed and effectively make that my slo-mo function, it may be of no use anyway.
I know there is always a learning curve to climb on software, but it sure looks like we're doomed to pay big $$ for just the opportunity to get on the ladder. And to find that there's nothing good at the top. What's to be learned from that--to only buy software on a 30-day trial basis--then let it expire if it doesn't suit you?