I just purchased a Nikon D5000. All of the video settings are set for me to shoot 720P. If I want to edit the HD footage in my PC, how do I transfer the footage so it stays in it's native HD format? Does it transfer over the USB? Or do I need to purchase a HDMI to go out from the D5000 into my computer?
Yes, you transfer the files over USB (or take the card out of the camera and use a dedicated card reader... they're usually faster).
There would be no benefit to capturing files you've already shot to the memory card via HDMI. Unless, you record the uncompressed HDMI signal to a higher-bitrate device or capture card live while you shoot; you might gain a bit of quality that way. You should check if the D5000 even outputs via HDMI at full-res with no display overlays while shooting live; even if Nikon says it does, it may not be the full HD signal. I'm a Canon guy as of late so couldn't tell you.
Just copy the media into a folder on your computer. If you are using Premier, you can import the media as is and edit away. Make sure you copy all of the card folders, as some have important data that support the media.
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