I was using my DV last Friday at Heavenly. Really a thrill to try to hold stable video at 35 MPH following a good carver! The free movie maker software has some limitations, but does a surprisingly good job and is versitile in its selection of special effects, transitions and addition of title, audio and other effects. To get a 16:9 setting, you must set your capture settings before capturing the video. Go to Tools, Options, Advanced settings. Set the capture to NTSC and 16:9 ratio. Default is 4:3 ratio. Your camera is capable of 16:9 ratio, but the camera settings also need to be set through the menu prior to recording. If you capture in 4:3 ratio then convert to 16:9 in editing, you will get a squashed (fat skier) effect. Its best to match camera settings and capture settings.
Be sure to capture to the computer in full DV-AVI with a Firewire connection. This consumes about 178 MB per minute of video, so you need a large hard disk. I run dedicated dual 200 GB Raid 1 hard disks for video capture (400 GB total) and editing, and the rest of my system runs on dual 200 GB disks in RAID 0. When rendering video from the Movie Maker, the default compression is to make a WMV file. If you want true DVD quality, its best to save the edited video in full uncompressed AVI format, and use a DVD authoring software to apply MPEG2 compression, or MPEG4 for streaming. The WMV file format is fine for display on computers, but most DVD players don't know what to do with it, assuming you want to watch the final production on your widescreen TV.
Ok, here is the bad news. You have a $1400 plus camera, the best software that allows you to realize the potential of that camera, will still set you back at least $100, and probably more. Don't expect the free Movie maker to compare with Vegas, Premiere, or other top end editors.
Sony Vegas Movie Studio 4 and DVD Studio Architect is very inexpensive consumer level capture, editing and DVD writing tool. You can download a free trial here: http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.co...p2.asp?DID=531
. Purchase is only $29 because this software intends to whet your appitite for the full prosumer Vegas 5. If you really want to see what editing software can do, try the full version Vegas Video 5 and DVD Architect. It gives you great color and sound correction tools 5.1 surround sound and loads of other high end features, at a high end price ($600 upgrade from Studio). I use this software and found it much easier to learn and less expensive than Adobe Premiere (only used trial version).
At a lower price, Pinnacle Studio Plus 9.0 is a fairly powerful product at $99 (or $69 if you are upgrading). Plus should give you everything you need but will include deactivated HFX (3D transitions and effects tools). So, they also push you to upgrade to their Liquid Edition 6.0 ($299 upgrade). Have not tried this but looks good for HD editing capability.
I predict that eventually, you will upgrade to a prosumer level software and probably a more powerful computer. BTW, you have found a hobby that costs more than skiing. Merry Christmas!