Some Direction needed for Movie Making

First Year user here using imovie 11 on MacBook Pro mid 2010 13" and ready to buy a AVCHD progressive scan camcorder with flash memory for greater quality vids. Considering Sony, Panasonic, Canon cams. I intend to burn to HD and Standard DVD for tv viewing and also use on PC/Mac computers. I want as much flexibility as possible to grow.
Since I'm relatively new to Mac and movie making I may seem lost at times... I am. I've been on the support pages for FCE and FCP and used the supported camera tables and found them lacking for various reasons. I've also come to realize that there are some drawbacks to imovie/FCE/FCP... I think? Here is what I think I know and whatever insight you can provide is welcome..
imovie and FCE do not support 1080p. If you want real 1080p you need to bump up to FCP. My system will not support FCP. So, I will need to look at 3rd party software that will run on mac and match same with whatever camcorder.
Any thoughts/comments are welcome.
<Edited by Host>

I think this is a broad question, but in a nutshell, let me say that if you're concerned about whether iMovie, FCE and FCP can make 1920x1080 movies, the answer is YES for all three of them. iMovie does it a bit more automatically for consumers and so doesn't let you tweak settings much. FCE and FCP certainly let you tweak those settings a lot more (and in some cases MAKE you do that).
Now, if you're concerned about Progressive vs. Interlaced, that will depend more on where your footage comes from, but FCP and FCE can deal with either. For example, the Canon Vixia series AVCHD camcorders record in an interlaced stream, but can be set to a progressive record mode within that stream so that the progressive footage can be extrapolated from that later. It's complicated. The Sony cams in the same price range (and even well above that price range) ONLY shoot in interlaced, so progressive is not an option with Sony at the consumer level. Panasonic is similar here, but I will hold off comment because of those three brands, I know the least about the Pannys.
If you have more money and are willing to shoot with DSLRs, many of those typically shoot ONLY in progressive. The video is great, but I'm not sure if iMovie will work with this footage. FCE and FCP can.
In short, research your cameras as well as you can. Ask as many questions as you need to so you know what you're getting and what you can do with it.

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